Monday, January 30, 2017

The Worst Week of the Year: Is It Perhaps the Last?

Wednesday is National Signing Day for college football - a day that represents the worst of college football. I used to go on vacation this week and avoid all of the hype and misinformation, but with kids in school, I can't really do that.  I've railed on it so much in the past, I don't feel I need to go into much depth. Yes, recruiting is important...but the coverage and especially the rankings end up misleading as much, if not more, than they inform or predict.

You'll see the typical boasts from the recruitniks about how "Stars Matter" ... and they do.  Except when they don't.  Witness this exchange I had with a Rivals writer during Alabama's Peach Bowl on Twitter.

Alabama and Texas have racked up plenty of Top Ten recruiting classes over the last ten years. But the results couldn't have been any more different.  Nick Saban has a broom closet full of awards, while Texas is now on their third head coach.  And that's the real point:  coaching matters.  And if you consider talent evaluation as part of coaching, then it is THE most important factor in college football success. That's why Alabama gets more out of their four and five star recruits than Texas does.

The good news is that this might be the last year we have this awful February day of recruiting hedonism. The NCAA seems poised to allow an early signing day, which will offload much of the hype into December.  And since we'll have real football to discuss with coaching changes, bowl berths and playoff scenarios simultaneously, the excessive hype will be much more muted.

So this week, my Twitter mute function will be getting a workout. In recent years, I've ended up having to unfollow over three dozen writers.  Some of them never got a refollow in the weeks afterward.  I know I'm in the minority; I know from our stats at CornNation that recruiting coverage sells.  (I've even had to help pitch in when Brian wasn't available. Brian does a really thorough job with the coverage, which is good because it also means I don't have to wade into it.)

Hopefully there's a good hockey game on Wednesday night so I can avoid most of the rehashing.

No comments: