Urban’s Real Goal - End Noon Kickoffs
It seemed both a bit odd and somewhat arrogant of Urban Meyer to suggest that the conference as a whole needs to recruit better. On the one hand, if the Big Ten got more respect nationally, Ohio State might have won a national championship after going undefeated this past season. On the other hand, if his job is to beat the competition, does he really want them to get harder to beat? Go to the tape of his original interview and his real goal becomes more apparent.
You can listen to his actual comments here if you haven't already. To be fair, you'll hear the radio host leads him to complain about Big Ten recruiting a little bit so it's not as though he necessarily was on a mission to scold the conference for a lack of recruiting success.
In the interview, he seemed to consider the noon kickoffs to be "a problem". He went on, "Our best game, our best recruiting sales pitch was Nebraska. Obviously we played well, but it was too traditionally strong teams, a beautiful night, electric atmosphere, that would compete with anyone in the country. We did very well that night when we had players there. If you want to get players to your game, it's hard to get them there at noon. It's hard to really appreciate the atmosphere because it's much different and once again everyone's got a constituency they have to worry about, mine is simply the 18-year old player coming out of high school. I want to show him a beautiful facility, an electric atmosphere that can compete with anyone in the country".
So it's not that Urban really wants to see Illinois or Minnesota land more four-star players. Rather, he wants to get the conference to change it's scheduling philosophy so that there are more games later in the day or at night so that he can recruit better. But unless he can get the rest of the Big Ten to agree, it won't happen.
Perhaps Meyer could address the problem by scheduling some tougher competition in September (Buffalo? Florida A&M?). He'll get Wisconsin, Iowa, and Penn State all at home before November. Any one or all of those games could be played at night if there's enough interest from the television partners. Sure, it might be good for recruiting to play Michigan in prime time. Then again, the kids might prefer a little sunshine and a tolerable temperature over a higher average blood alcohol level for the fans in attendance.
Ol' Uncle Urban may suggest he's looking out for the interests of the conference. But really, it sounds more like he just wants to make his job easier.