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Big Ten Recruiting Spending Has Soared Recently, Nebraska Spent More Than Any Other B1G Team In '13

The Big Ten hasn't won a national championship in football since Ohio State took home the title in January 2003. The Midwestern conference has struggled to produce at a high level on the field ever since, trudging in comparison to the output of success manufactured by the SEC. Don't say they're not attempting to make up some ground, though. 

">April 29, 2014

By way of a public records request, Iowa City's The Gazette published Tuesday the recruiting budgets of the Big Ten's public football programs from 2011-2013. The documents show that the conference's public schools have increased spending on recruiting by 57 percent in a two-year period. The Big Ten's current 11 public schools spent $6.47 million on recruiting in fiscal year 2013, compared to $4.1 million in 2011. 

Of the 11 schools, Nebraska spent the most money in 2013. The Huskers pledged $818,509 to recruiting efforts in 2013, up from $478,554 in 2011. Penn State has nearly tripled its spending over the two-year period, going from $258,800 in 2011 to $736,739 in 2013. 

It's a necessary effort for a conference that has struggled to compete with the SEC, the nation's elite conference and the winner of seven of the last eight national titles. 

“The costs are rising, coaches are traveling, they have to travel,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It’s an expensive thing.

“It’s an arms race, no doubt. But we’re probably a little bit healthier here in the Big Ten than in other regions in the country.”

Since Ohio State won it all during the 2002 season, the Big Ten is 30-52 in bowl games and 8-13 in the BCS. The Buckeyes have been the only conference team to appear in the title game since that season, losing in back-to-back seasons to Florida and LSU--SEC teams--by a combined 41 points. 

Recruiting at a high level seems to be a good predictor of success. The SEC continually has more top-ten recruiting classes than any other conference. It shows on the field, and it also shows come April and May, when the NFL Draft occurs. The SEC had a record 63 NFL draft picks in 2013, while the Big Ten had just 22.

 [The Gazette]