Let's face it, the Ohio State / Michigan rivalry isnt what it once was. Because of that the Big Ten has suffered. The Harbough hire will reignite and reengergize the rivalry, and with it, bring back a dominant Big Ten.
I know, I know, as an Ohio State fan I should be referring to them as "THAT TEAM UP NORTH", but ever since Jim Tressel's reign at Ohio St. there hasn't been much of a rivalry. In fact, since 2001, Tressel's first year as Ohio St.'s head coach, Ohio St. is 12-2 against Michigan with one of those losses belonging to interim head coach, Luke Fickel in 2011. I understand there were some incredibly close games played, but you simply can't argue with Ohio State's production - they've simply dominated Michigan in the win's column.
In that same 14 year time span, according to teamrankings.com, the Big Ten has averaged the lowest conference power ranking among the power 5 conferences, while the SEC has since risen to dominance.
I'm not blaming Michigan for the entirety of the Big Ten's lack of conference firepower, but I simply think a good Michigan team is good for Big Ten football. I keep hearing from (now defensive) Michigan St. fans that Michigan St. has taken over the title of the 'Prince of the Big Ten'.... psych. Sorry, Mich St, but you always have been and always will be a basketball school. You've had a good couple years here, but with Harbaugh taking over, you're toast. A good Michigan football team is in the same vein as the 90's Miami Hurricane teams or any good Notre Dame team. Such polarizing teams make for great game watches at the bars. You hate their guts and you love beating them, but you also secretly love to watch them play.
While I do agree that Michigan St. and Wisonsin's success has been good for the Big Ten, I just don't think it has the lasting impact on the overall conference's well-being as does a healthy, dominant Michigan team. When good recruits from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio are leaving their home states for greener pastures of better football in the SEC, the Big Ten has an issue. I think Harbaugh will remedy that problem by bringing back a rivalry like none other, and with it Big Ten dominance.
So why do Ohio St. fans want this? Simple - they're sick and tired of hearing they'd be 8-4 if they played in the SEC. A good Michigan team, makes the conference better and in doing so, shuts the SEC fans up. Here's to ten years (hopefully) of a reincarnated Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes rivalry.