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Spanning The Empire...Your National Letter Of Intent Day Open Thread

What is old becomes new, and players from all over the country pledge their allegiance for the next four years to schools to play the game of football. In the B1G, this past year has been Michigan lapping the field on everyone...until one Urban F. Meyer grabbed the controls of an OSU program that looked to be in a recruiting death spiral.

Meyer closed the gap on and then passed Hoke and Michigan in every major recruiting service rankings, mostly by grabbing guys that had committed to other programs, and he isn't stopping. If I'm reading the tea leaves right, OSU has the biggest chance at a 'signing day surprise', which is nothing like an 'October Surprise'.

But I could be way off on that.

What are some storylines around the conference as letters of intent roll in? I know Jerry Kill at Minnesota has done a good job of repairing relationships Tim Brewster damaged with high school coaches around the state, and has nailed down all but two of the top 10 in-state recruits. The bad news is that Minnesota has about as much football talent as New Zealand has hockey talent, but it's a start. Over in Madison, Bret Bielema is struggling to bring home a good class thanks to a lot of offensive coach defections to Pittsburgh when Paul Chryst took that job. And Illinois coach Tim Beckman will have a lot of hustling to do to match former coach Ron Zook's recruiting prowess. The good news is he could probably roll out of bed hungover and outcoach him, so the Illini have that going for them, which is nice.

Purdue is looking for players that have already had their ACL's operated on; it saves money on surgery and rehab. Northwestern grabbed top recruit LB Ifeadi Odenigbo, which was surprising. At least until we found out Notre Dame was one of his final schools. I mean seriously, who wants to play for a guy like Brian Kelly? Well, Gunner Kiel does. He started out committing to Indiana, then put on an LSU hat for a cup of coffee, then went to Notre Dame. Oh, you wacky teenagers. As for Indiana, they are ranked higher than Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska, of all teams. Kind of surprising, but good for Kevin Wilson. And bad for Nebraska. WTF, Bo? Step it up.

As for the rest of the conference, Iowa won a battle for OL Alex Kozan over Michigan, which was kind of surprising...if you ask Michigan fans. Michigan State is kind of butthurt that Urban Meyer won't leave their recruits leave Brittany alone, and Bill O'Brien is still getting ready for the Super Bowl...which is having a detrimental effect on his first recruiting class.

So use this open thread to report all signings, surprises, and last minute switches, or just general recruiting talk. When things cool down, we'll have a recap on the day's events, and in a few days we'll do a final analysis on how badly Urban Meyer kicked everyone's ass who 'won' and who 'lost'. For now, here's exclusive video footage of a Bret Bielema recruiting pitch:

Hmm, maybe that's why they're having problems bringing talent in this year. Happy NLOI Day, everyone!