Ways to Get B1G Football Back on Top

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Last updated: 03/01/2013 11:03 AM
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Five for Friday: Ways to Get B1G Football Back on Top
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A few weeks back, Urban Meyer emphasized that if the Big Ten wants to get better, they need to recruit better. Sure, that's one way to do it, but that's not the only way.

Sometimes big obstacles require big plans, and some plans are a bit bigger than others. The key, of course, is to keep climbing. Right now, the Big Ten is standing at the foot of Mt. Everest, and I mean to be its Sherpa.

1. The True Romance Gambit
'True Romance' is a movie where a fella named Clarence Worley comes upon a suitcase full of cocaine, so he calls up an old buddy who lives up in Hollywood because he thinks his buddy will be able to sell it for him. Clarence and his girlfriend set off for Hollywood with stars in their eyes and dreams in their heart. Spoiler alert from this point forward: Eventually Clarence is introduced to a big movie producer who has agreed to buy the suitcase, so they meet up in his penthouse apartment. It turns out that the cops are on to the exchange, as are the original owners of the cocaine. Basically, they all show up at the apartment at the same time, and a Mexican standoff takes place between the cops, the crooks and the movie producer's own personal armed protection. Eventually, shots get fired and everybody dies except for Clarence and Alabama. They leave with the money and move to a beach, happily ever after. So, to apply this to the Big Ten, the first step would be to steal the SEC's cocaine and make sure that Jim Delaney finds it and tries to sell it to the Pac 12. The rest should take care of itself.

2. Sell the Big Ten Network to ESPN for $25
If you want the most powerful entity in sports to stop treating you like competition, then you have to stop being their competition. With so much money to be made off of the conference, ESPN will have to treat it with respect. Granted, the schools will lose some money in the deal, but they'll more than make up for it via coverage and good will. The B1GSPN will take some getting used to, but in order to show the fans good faith, their first show will be the public firing of Mark May.

3. Spend More Money on Coaches
Ha ha ha. Just kidding. Let's try to keep things serious around here.

4. Think Outside the Box
No, I'm not talking about the cliche, I'm talking about the Lost and Found Box. In other words, stop hiring coaches who have been discarded and forgotten by other teams. Call it the 'Ron Zook Rule'. Exactly two Big Ten teams have hired former Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman this winter. That's nearly 17% of the entire league! Was it because he was the best candidate available, or was it simply because he fit? After all, if you're scrounging through a Lost and Found bin, are you going to steal anything that doesn't fit? Of course not. Last year, Iowa hired Greg Davis to be the offensive coordinator. He was previously fired by Texas for not being any good. Apparently that made him uniquely qualified to run the show at Iowa. The Hawkeyes finished with the 11th-ranked offense in the Big Ten last year, averaging just 310.4 yards of offense per game. They were 11th in scoring as well, putting up just 19.3 points per game. Nice hire. Similarly, Darrell Hazell hired John Shoop to be his offensive coordinator. Shoop was the OC at North Carolina from 2007-2011. Here are the ppg of his offenses for each of those seasons: 21.2 ppg, 27.7 ppg, 23.8 ppg, 25.3 ppg, 28.0 ppg. Last season, without Shoop, the Tar Heels averaged 40.6 ppg, but I'm sure it was just coincidence.

5. Invite Alabama to Join the Conference
To turn an old phrase, if you can't beat them, let them join you. Alabama in the Big Ten would take some getting used to, but let's not pretend that we haven't already been exposed to yokels. Penn State joined the conference in 1993, after all. Obviously, Alabama is only going to be relevant while Nick Saban is there, and he doesn't have more than seven or eight years left in him. It won't be that bad, and the conference will get three or four national championships out of it. Then, when Saban does retire, the Big Ten can simply cut Alabama, citing disciplinary reasons, or medical hardship, or some such tale.

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