Monday, January 30, 2012

The Worst Week of the Year in College Football

National signing day is fast approaching the world of college football, and for some, it's a time to dream.  For them, it's a time to count stars and watch pixelated online highlight videoes of their team's newest members. For others like me, it's a time to head for the hills and hide as this time of the year represents the worst of college football.  Things like turning a basketball game into a command performance for a high school football player by the #2 team in the country, for example.

Recruiting is an important part of college football, but it's just that...a part. I would have hoped that some fans would have learned the lessons of the Steve Pederson/Bill Callahan error to put this time of year in proper perspective...but sadly, not. So we'll be inundated with amateur speculation and anal-ysis that is, at it's core, pure speculation.  That is if you choose to read or listen to pay much attention to it.  And as is my tradition during this worst week of the year, I'm unplugging.

Sadly, I wasn't able to unplug in time to avoid this gem from the Big Red Network:
Nebraska may have had to alter its recruiting strategy late in the game when Lester Ward and Collins Okafor announced their intent to leave Nebraska after four years with degrees (and kudos to them for earning those degrees).  They added a big back to their recruiting class yesterday in three-star running back prospect Imani Cross from Georgia.
Oy, vey.  The idea that Nebraska's coaching staff would have somehow have been surprised or had to react to the graduations of Ward and Okafor is one of the most absurd ideas I've heard.  The coaches monitor the academic progress of every player, and were well aware that both players were on their way to graduating. It's far more likely that graduation plans have been well planned for some time. It wasn't really "announced" last week; instead, someone noticed that the names were missing when the roster on were revised at the start of the spring semester.

Sadly, that's the type of "information" we get during recruiting week.  Idle speculation and prognasticating.  It reminds me of the the commentary during the opening minutes of Iron Chef on the Food Network.  (One of my wife's favorite television shows.)  For those of you unfamiliar, "Iron Chef" originated in Japan, and is a battle between two chefs to create unique dishes from a "theme ingredient".  As the competition begins, the commentators try to analyze what each chef will do with each ingredient.

Recruiting coverage is like turning off Iron Chef at the ten minute mark of each show just as the chefs are beginning to do their work. All the important work is still to come.  A chef who makes bad decisions or does a horrible job with the finest ingredients makes bad food.  Take Hiroyuki Sakai's Callahan-esque decision to make ice cream out of trout.

That's why this week is the worst of the year. Yes, the jimmies and the joes matter.  But it's what you do with the jimmies and the joes that matter more.  (Even Food Network knows that it's more than the ingredients, judging by their latest show, "The Big Waste" where chefs work their magic on food headed for the garbage.)  I'll be looking elsewhere for entertainment.  If you are looking for something more productive to do, the UNO Mavs are playing Bemidji State this weekend. For now, this blog will be back after the silly season is long over.

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