Nick Saban: 'The Big Ten is a really good conference'

Nick Saban has some kind lies to tell you about the Big Ten
Nick Saban has some kind lies to tell you about the Big Ten. (USATSI)

In case you needed further proof that college football coaches aren't all that different from presidential candidates, just take a look at Nick Saban's recent trip to Ohio.

Saban appeared at a fundraiser outside Cincinnati Wednesday night, and after speaking for 25 minutes he took questions from the audience. It didn't take long for one of those questions to be about the Big Ten catching up to the SEC, and that's when Saban went into "vote for me" mode.

“I think we have a little bit of an advantage when it comes to the recruiting base we have in the Southeast,” said Saban, according to “But I think the Big Ten is a really good conference. And I want to be quoted on that.”

Lies! Damnable lies!

Seriously, I say this as somebody born and raised in Chicago who has spent his entire life following Big Ten football: The Big Ten is not "really good." It's not nearly as bad as some folks want to believe it is, but it's not quite really good, either. If ranking the five power conferences, I'd have the Big Ten settling into fifth. Not miles behind fourth place, but with work to do to catch up.

Though I appreciate Nick Saban saying such kind things about it, even if he's just in politician mode. Maybe the words of the great Nick Saban will instill Big Ten football players and coaches with the confidence they need to stop being so moderately above average.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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