Wisconsin has been a team that has always looked east and south when it comes to recruiting in football and basketball and now with the move to add Maryland and Rutgers Wisconsin football head coach Bret Bielema sees some advantages to the dramatic move east. Especially when it comes to recruiting.
"Like I said, when the divisions were made, I really like where we're at just from a standpoint we've traditionally recruited more east than west, so that part is intriguing to me," Bielema said at his Monday press conference. "It draws that much more attention. But it's probably a decision they're not going to poll the coaches on. I'm pretty sure that's going to be the case."
All you have to do is go back to Wisconsin's last Heisman trophy winner to know how important the east coast has been to the Badgers. Some guy by the name of Ron Dayne just happened to come out of the state of New Jersey.
Now fast forward to the present and New Jersey is an area the Badgers have been hitting hard once again in hopes of gaining a foothold. This past class saw D.J. Singleton added (will be a freshman for them this spring) and they recently received a huge commitment from 2013 four star running back Corey Clement out of that state.
With the Big Ten adding Rutgers it can only help a school like Wisconsin gain a bigger advantage in recruiting players as it'll be easier to put parents at ease about coming so far away from home for school and football. They'll be able to see their sons playing football from the comfort of their homes without having to pay extra on their cable or satellite bills and the Big Ten is a much bigger draw than playing in the Big East. Especially when the conference actually has some attention out there.
If rumors hold true and Rutgers becomes a member of the Leaders division alongside the Badgers it could add some instant intensity to games as recruiting battles between the two are pretty heated already, at least according to Bielema.
"I think that on the East Coast, when we are recruiting out there, probably more so Rutgers than Maryland right now, at least football-wise, we do go against Rutgers quite a bit in recruiting when we're in New Jersey, New York, even in — on the eastern side of the country in Florida as well, we go against Rutgers quite a bit." Bielema said. "So that part must be real."
What was made clear by commissioner Jim Delany today is that demographics made this move necessary more so than anything else, at least in terms of helping member institutions stay competitive. With that move there may be no school inside the Big Ten not named Penn State that stands to benefit from this move than the Badgers.