The Folly of Signing Day

Signing Day.jpg

National Signing Day has come and gone, everyone go back to instagraming your meals. Well wait a tick...let's delve a bit into the psuedo holiday that is National Signing Day.

Rankings, rankings, rankings. Rivals, Scout, ESPN, The Chronicle, The Morning News, The Statesman, everyone ranks players and everyone ranks classes. The question is based on what? Here's the scenario, is a five star athlete a five star athlete because he's that dynamic a player at a given position or because he has offers from the right schools. If Ohio State or Alabama recruit a kid his Rivals ranking goes up. The assumption being that those schools are the best talent evaluators. Therefore isn't the system geared so that talent and offers from certain schools yield a favorable ranking and therefore can Alabama ever have a bad class? I guess they could if they couldn't secure the commitments of kids that Ohio State, Texas, and USC are recruiting. My head hurts.

The hat dance. Who came up with it? Can we have them punished? I have an idea, how about the top recruit does the Lee Corso mascot head bit. What if they reveal a chest tattoo? They could bring out the hostess that showed them around the campus of the school they're choosing. Or they could just sign the letter of intent and fax it to the appropriate school.

Which brings me to the press conference. Thanks ESPNU for covering these. They really keep things in perspective. It's not enough that these kids have been told for the last two plus years that large institutions of higher learning are willing to trip over each other to bring them into the fold, now they get to bring every family member/teammate/homeroom teacher they've ever known to a stage and pull a freakin hat out of a bag.

The war room. This is a new phenomena. Hey let's show coaches receiving faxes! I get faxes everyday, come film me. Guess what, 99% of the time THEY ALREADY KNOW WHO'S SIGNING WITH THEM. It's purely for show. It's not a good show. At least in the NFL teams are actually choosing players. On National Signing Day the stars are a fax machine and a piece of paper.

Every coach signed "a great class" or "the best class in school history" or "I wouldn't trade our guys for anyone else's." Just once I'd like to hear a coach say, "18 year-olds are dumb. It's like herding cats. Half these guys couldn't play dead in a cowboy movie." I get behind that guy because I know he's teaching valuable life lessons to our youth.

On to More Specific Observations.

  • Texas, for the first time in a long time, didn't finish in the top 10 of the fictional recruiting rankings. Surprised? Me too. What would surprise me more is if Mack and Co. don't right the ship and fast. Austin is too great a place to recruit to and UT has too many resources. 
  • Ole Miss. Seriously. This is either the greatest recruiting job in history or the most impressive grouping of violations since SMU was good.
  • The SEC dominated recruiting. No surprise, but can someone tell me how the PAC 12 slipped as far as they did? You can't recruit kids to LA, San Francisco, Arizona, or Seattle?
  • Speaking of the SEC, Vanderbilt had a haul. James Franklin will get the next big job he wants.
  • San Jose State had the worst rated class in the FBS according to Rivals. This includes Idaho who are moving into the FCS in a year. This of course means nothing. Absolutely nothing.
  • Charlies Weiss at Kansas signed 18 Junior College players. 18! No, that doesn't seem desperate at all Charlie. Enjoy rebuilding every year.
Posted on February 7, 2013 .