Originally Posted by boozehound
history says no. MI will bounce back as will wisconsin. OH state is still very good (obviously) and will continue to be. Iowa will be back in form. Ill will never be better than the middle fo the big ten pack (year in and year out). Chambana (hey at least you guys have one of only 4 antonio's pizzas)
Michigan and Wisconsin were solid in the conference this year and it didn't keep Illinois from going to a BCS game. If you look at Michigan this year, it's more or less what they've been all decade. They aren't a dominant program, and a couple Rose Bowls aside haven't been since they won the national title.
Illinois won't be Ohio State/Michigan-type elite, but they're set up better to be the No. 3 team in the conference, who can annually compete for conference titles, go to BCS games and possibly even contend for a national title, than anyone else in the league. Penn State's slipping toward mediocrity and will continue to until Paterno retires. Wisconsin pretty much is what they are. A rock-solid program that has a glass ceiling because they don't recruit enough elite talent. Iowa's run came and went. Ferentz should take the next big-time job that comes calling, whether it's Michigan, the NFL or whatever else, if he can get a chance.
Illinois has the strongest talent bases to recruit from, not only with the Chicagoland talent but pipelines in D.C. and Florida, and has maybe the nation's best recruiter. As long as Zook is here, talent will be here.
History may say no, but history hasn't seen a recruiter like Zook at a place like Illinois, either. Illinois has long been thought to be a sleeping giant, and maybe Zook woke it up.