When you think about those years with Matta, Izzo, and Ryan at the top of their games and Beilein, Crean, and Painter having theirs teams really strong for significant periods, the conference was very strong. (And that's not even mentioning guys like Tubby Smith.) And OSU was the best program in the B1G for a solid 8-year stretch - 5 conference championships and a 2nd place finish and 5 conference tournament championships, one NCAA runner up and another Final Four.
It sure seems like health had something to do with it. I mean, apparently the guy couldn't take off his pants or shoes. Hard to compete like that, even just with the mental drain.
But unless Gene Smith already knows who the coach is going to be, he probably didn't handle this right. Archie Miller and a bunch of other candidates are gone and the spring signing period is over. Would've been better just to do it immediately after the season.