Now on to the 4th part of our look at how talent is distributed in the major conferences. For definitions, sources, or other potentially meaningless bric-a-brac take a look at one of our earlier pieces. So far we've covered the ACC, the SEC and the Big-12.
Today it is the Big-10. Since we're assuming that you've either a) read the earlier stuff, or b) clicked the link, let's just jump right in.
The Big 10 has 40 consensus top-100 recruits. This doesn't compare favorably with the ACC (56) or the SEC (50), but is well above the ten-team Big-12 (31). Here's how that talent is distributed:
Four teams have enough high end talent to feature entire starting lineups of former top-100 recruits. The Spartans lead the way with nine, the Hoosiers have seven, the Illini have six, and the Buckeyes have five. Five other teams either have three or two.
But – as noted in the earlier posts which you have no doubt read – the 2012 NBA Draft was overwhelmingly populated by former top-40 recruits. We'll bump that out to 50 and see how it looks:
Ohio State suddenly looks a bit more talented, no? OSU and Indiana each have five top-50 guys (out of a total 12 top-100), whereas Michigan State becomes a team of extreme depth (only Florida has more consensus top-100 players), while only four of those are from the top-50. Michigan and Illinois can each claim two, while Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota have one a piece.
But what about the elite talent – the top-25, 5* players? Here's how it looks:
Honestly, there's not much to see here. More important is what's not here. The Big-10 only has seven consensus top-25 guys, while the SEC (14) and the ACC (12) have considerable more elite talent. The take home is that it takes this kind of talent to win National Titles, and here the Big-10 is thin. Can a B1G team win it all? Of course. But you might be wise to look elsewhere for your favorites.