Second-year Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer caused a stir in February when he told a Columbus radio station that the Big Ten needed to step-up its conference-wide recruiting efforts. A supposed call-to-the-carpet at the Big Ten coaches’ meetings never happened, but one suggestion Meyer made back in February could be starting to take root inside the Big Ten.
Lost among the shuffle back in February was this quote from Meyer on the Big Ten’s insistence on avoiding night games, especially late in the season: “If you want to get players to your game, it’s hard to get them there at noon,” Meyer said.
There’s a lot of truth packed into that simple quote. A noon kickoff means that a large chunk of recruits won’t be able to make it in time for kickoff and if they do, they’re missing out on pregame festivities and the chance to soak in a campus engulfed in the pageantry of a football game day. Coaches have at most seven chances a year to host a recruit on game day, so why wouldn’t you maximize every hour you can from those few opportunities?
So when the Big Ten’s 2013 prime-time schedule was released Monday, Ohio State was listed three times, the most allowed by the Big Ten. The Buckeyes will play two prime time home games, against Wisconsin on Sept. 28 and Penn State on Oct. 26.
Though, it’s only two games (up from one last season), it’s a start. After all, we’re talking about a conference where November night games are banned and importing temporary lighting for night games is commonplace.
If Meyer’s reasoning isn’t enough, look at it this way: compare a noon Big Ten kickoff with a 7 p.m. kickoff at LSU and, well, wouldn’t you want to go to LSU?