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Best Jobs in Big 10 Football

June 1, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Hawkeye Nation

Athlon’s annual football magazines are hitting the newsstands; I picked up the national edition early Monday morning in West Des Moines at a Kum and Go. I have heard the Big Ten and Big 12 editions can also be found in the Des Moines metro, too.

One of the features this year ranks every college football program with regards to what are the best jobs to have and why…which also sheds light on some of the challenges certain jobs have.

Iowa came in at #30, and said one of the reasons it fared so well was that it was the top school in the state and then said ‘sorry, Iowa State’. It talked of it’s solid tradition, even using the word strong, citing five Big Ten titles since 1981 and two BCS bowls since 2003, plus the support from the home crowd. The downsides are things we have talked about here for years; the state doesn’t produce a plethora of high major talent.

The final analysis said that it’s difficult for a school that doesn’t have a strong local recruiting base to compete for national titles, citing Nebraska as an exception.

That’s something I have been saying and writing for years, and something that some fans don’t want to hear, even though it’s a stone cold reality.

Nebraska built a national championship legacy under Bob Devany and advanced it under Tom Osborne. Nebraska’s ridiculous streak of nine or more win seasons (1969-2001) is something we will never see again. Nebraska utilized a unique system during those years, and the longer Osborne was there, the more unique the system became as more and more schools went away from the wishbone. The more success they had, the more they were able to stockpile talent. Success breeds success, and doing it over multiple decades at the level Nebraska performed has enabled them to overcome their inherent local recruiting disadvantages. Nebraska checked in at #17 by the way.

Here is where Athlon rated Big Ten schools ahead of Iowa:

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#28 Michigan State
#25 Wisconsin
#11 Penn State
#10 Michigan
#5 Ohio State

Texas was #1, USC #2 and Florida #3. I have no issues with those three at all, and Texas is the easy #1.

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With regards to the Big Ten, Michigan State is in a very populous state. Wisconsin also produces more annual BCS level talent than Iowa, as they have more than 5,000,000 people in that state where Iowa is hovering around 3,000,000…their home field environment is also pretty amazing and they have won three Rose Bowls in the last two decades.

The listed ‘cons’ for Michigan (no, not those kind) were interesting..they are ‘old school’ in their thinking, and set in their ways. That may be why Rich Rodriguez is having a tough go, and the article pointed that out.

Ohio State at #5 is solid and seems about right…they had Alabama #4, and I wold probably move Ohio State to #4 and move Alabama down to #5.

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Iowa State checked in at #70; the only three BCS conference programs rated lower were Wake Forest, Duke and Indiana at 71, 72 and 73.

There is plenty more to read in this item and I found it to be very entertaining and insightful, as I agreed with much of it.

It’s always fun to see the angles these magazines take each year with regards to their feature stories…and it’s great to see that the magazines are starting to hit the newsstands.

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