Daily Archives: June 19, 2010

It’s going to be one weird year in the Big XII.

Start with the fact that you’ve got two schools leaving at season’s end, both of which are facing demands that each fork over millions of dollars for the privilege of fleeing a conference that less than a week ago was on death’s door and now has its remaining members proclaiming that it’s stronger than ever.

Then, you’ve got five schools ready to give 10-year commitments that probably aren’t worth the blood they’re written with, because none of the givers have any better options to pursue anyway.

And one of the school’s which purportedly had a better option and didn’t take it (and in not doing so, likely did more to ensure the survival of the Big XII than any other school) is getting raked over the coals by its fan base for not leaving.

Fun times in 2010.  When are Big XII Media Days scheduled?

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En Fuego

While we’re on the subject of recruiting, you might want to check out a couple of posts over at Heisman PunditThe first ranks the best and worst programs of the decade, filtered through Sagarin’s rantings, national championships, top 10 finishes, wins over ranked teams and BCS performance.  The second ranks programs based on the talent they’ve acquired (using data from Rivals) and compares it to what they’ve achieved over the decade.

Based on what I see there, I’ve got a question for those arguing that Mark Richt deserves to be enthroned on a hot seat:  how did Pete Carroll escape your critical eyes, based on the results from the past few seasons?  Southern Cal’s 2008 team, which still has one class left to enter the NFL draft, ranks higher in NFL draft points than Georgia’s 2000  and 2002 squads.  That’s remarkable for a program that hasn’t sniffed a BCS title game in four seasons.

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Filed under College Football, Recruiting

“Besides, who wouldn’t want to be part of a ‘Dream Team?’”

It started with Todd Grantham’s arrival in Athens.

… Coaching at a school with a fertile recruiting base like Georgia and its bordering states was a big attraction to Grantham.

“I think you can be better than Florida, you can be better than Texas and you can be better than Southern Cal, if those players came to the University of Georgia,” Grantham said.

Mark Richt latched on to the concept of selling the in state school hard to top in state recruits, referring to the class he’s trying to assemble as a “Dream Team” capable of chasing national titles.

… The “Dream Team” is the phrase borrowed by Georgia coach Mark Richt for his in-state recruiting efforts. It will be another strong year for talent among the state’s top rising high school seniors, with more than 200 expected to sign major-college scholarships in February.

Richt and his assistant have been using the “Dream Team” sales pitch since early spring, telling the state’s elite that if they join together and sign with Georgia next February, the Bulldogs will contend for future SEC and national championships.

Most recruits see the pitch for what it is – a marketing tool used to distinguish Georgia from other elite schools chasing elite talent.  Just ask one of Georgia’s top targets, Ray Drew:

… The “Dream Team” concept is nothing new in recruiting, where every school tries to develop an innovative sales pitch. Drew has heard most of them during his travels.

“Auburn talks about family, that’s what they use to try to get their players,” he said. “With Florida, they have a pretty good record at home. They talked about ‘Protect this house, protect this house.’ Everybody has their own little slogan that they try to sell you on.”

Yet Sporting News’ Michael Tunison sees it as evidence of something else:

… most recruits want to see that a school is getting the best talent available, not simply appealing to a sense of localized pride to keep in-state talent from straying elsewhere. Georgia is going to get recruits no matter how inspired its sales pitch is, but for those on the fence, the school is going to have to try a little harder than that.

On one level, that’s such a tautological statement that it hardly bears being made in the first place.  But if Tunison intends for us to glean something insightful from that, all I can take from it is an accusation that Georgia isn’t working recruits like Drew hard enough.

That seems like a silly complaint, given that Georgia’s getting consideration or has already gotten commitments from all but six of the top thirty in state high school players on the ESPN 150 list and all but two of the top fourteen on Rivals’ list.  Given roster restraints and the reality that there are always going to be other reasons, such as legacies at other schools or wanderlust, for kids to commit to out-of-state schools, how many kids going to places other than Athens makes Richt’s “Dream Team” pitch a flop?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting