Compare and contrast.

Light Bulb Goes Off Department: It finally dawns on Stewart Mandel that LSU underachieved last year under Les Miles: “… how did last year’s obviously ultra-loaded squad — a No. 1 QB and two first-round receivers — lose two of its first six games?”

Good question! It was a good question last fall, too, Stewart.

Meanwhile, Pat Forde has a much more insightful column up about a trend that isn’t good if you’re a football coach at a mid-major school – namely, that the rich are getting richer.

… Being selected 28th also made Staley the lowest first selection from outside the college game’s power elite since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. That’s a point of concern for everyone who doesn’t have an automatic spot at the BCS money trough.

After the free-flowing festival of projection and prognostication all weekend, here’s the one hard-and-fast fact to come out of this draft: The NFL has never been less interested in spending top dollar on low-profile football players from low-profile programs than it is right now. [Emphasis added.]

The old NFL saying is, “If you can play, we’ll find you.” Well, either the collegians outside the BCS conferences cannot play, or the league is no longer trying as hard to find them. Because the trend is to use top picks on the glamour boys from the glamour teams in the glamour conferences.

Last April it took 27 picks to get a non-BCS draftee: Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams. That was the record — until this year, when Staley slipped one slot lower…

If you consider that getting to play on Sundays is a major consideration for many recruits, should this trend continue, it’s going to be a harder sales job to get a lot of those kids to look at a school that’s not in a BCS conference. As Forde puts it, “(t)he path to the first round is straighter and narrower than ever. For better or worse, it rarely detours through the smaller schools anymore.”

The article is definitely worth a read.

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