Here is this week's mailbag:
I'd pick Michigan. The jury is still out on the two new head coaches, Brady Hoke and Luke Fickell, who may not be the Buckeyes' coach after this season. Ohio State is about go through NCAA sanctions, which are bound to make life a lot tougher for the program.
If, as I suspect, the Buckeyes get hit with sizable scholarship reductions and a postseason ban, it's going to hinder them in the next few years. They'll still get players, but it's going to be much harder to recruit, especially outside the state of Ohio. We've already seen some anecdotal evidence of the impact the dark cloud hanging over the program has had on recruiting. That dark cloud is the uncertainty left in the wake of former coach Jim Tressel's lying to the NCAA and knowingly playing some high-profile players whose eligibility was compromised for an entire season. Anytime a program loses scholarships, its margin for error shrinks dramatically. Your depth takes a hit. That lack of depth also affects the way your team can practice. A postseason ban also would spur the free agency of immediate transfers that we saw with USC last year.
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