The Big Ten is facing an identity crisis.
While the league always seems to be considered among the top conferences in the country, especially when it comes to recruiting, a lack of postseason success is becoming a trend.
The last Big Ten team to land in the Final Four came in 2015 and for a national champion, it's been since Michigan State in 2000 for the league. Two of the league's big boys – Indiana and Ohio State – have been struggling and parted ways with their big-name coaches since last season. The declining respect level was obvious last March when the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee did not give the Big Ten a higher seed than No. 4.
So, is this negative trend affecting recruiting?
As of right now, the answer to that is no. And the past two weeks it has been a resounding no.
There are 48 members of the class of 2018 Rivals150 that have committed. Thirteen of those are headed to the Big Ten, the highest percentage of any league.
"The Big Ten has great competition," said Gabe Brown, a recent Michigan State commitment from the Detroit area. "It is probably one of the best that I have seen, really. You are playing against the top players coming out of the Midwest, just going up against them, it is a great conference."
Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State received a 2018 commitment more than a year ago, but the past two weeks has sped up the influx of talent into the league. Not many conferences, as a whole, have had a better 14 days on the recruiting trail than what the Big Ten just enjoyed:
That's seven commitments, six coming from Rivals150 prospects and three from the top 50. The only non-ranked prospect is Brown, who will most likely be ranked during the next update this month.
Illinois, Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue have yet to nail down a 2018 commitment but the rest of the league has made great strides. While recruiting success doesn’t automatically equate to postseason success, it should put the league back into the conversation for the nation's best conference.
"The talent we have coming in, especially to Michigan State and Michigan, we really have a chance (to win a national title)," Brown said. "Michigan State is going to win it, because those are my dogs, but yeah, we have a really good chance to turn everything around."