Has Urban Meyer’s SEC-Like Recruiting Pushed Big Ten to Its Limits?

Whether you love or hate him, former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema may have had a very valid point with his words about Urban Meyer and recruiting.

“I can tell you this,” Bielema said in February 2012, according to Matt Hayes of the Sporting News. “We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC—in any way, shape or form.”

The old-school Big Ten may have had that attitude, but with Urban Meyer leading the new school of coaching in the conference, things appear to be trending toward utilizing more SEC-like practices in recruiting.

One practice in particular, oversigning, is close to becoming prevalent in the Big Ten.

The one difference is, oversigning as it’s known in the SEC has been outlawed in the Big Ten since 1956. However, since 2002 there has been a bit of a change in how schools can recruit in the B1G.

As Andy Staples of SI.com pointed out in 2011, the Big Ten imposes its own rule that’s a bit easier to understand than the NCAA’s or that of other conferences:

The Big Ten has no issue with oversigning because it banned the practice in 1956. The conference actually loosened its rule in 2002 to allow schools to oversign by three players, but even that rule is drastically different from the NCAA rule now in effect. According to Big Ten associate commissioner Chad Hawley, schools are allowed three over the 85-man limit, not the annual 25-man limit. If, for example, Michigan ends a season with 20 open…

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