Tuesday January 4
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA)
Teams: #6 Ohio State (11-1) vs #8 Arkansas (10-2)
Time (TV): 8:30 pm (ESPN)
Letters of Intent Received Over Last Four Years: Arkansas +30
What does that +30 mean? It means in the four recruiting classes from 2007 to 2010, Arkansas signed 30 more players than Ohio State did. In four seasons, they signed 109 players to the Buckeyes’ 79.
In other words, they signed almost two entire recruiting classes more than Ohio State did.
His piece is marred somewhat by being overwrought, though. In one breath he acknowledges that there are valid reasons for a program to sign more than 85 kids over a four-year period…
Not every team that has signed more than 85 or so players is oversigning. There are always legitimate reasons to sign more than 85 players over a four-year period. Some players transfer for playing time, or to be closer to home, or they may flunk out, or they may even leave early for the NFL. Attrition happens everywhere.
… but he doesn’t bother to analyze whether that’s the case for any of the SEC schools he clearly takes pleasure in lambasting. Instead, we get this for a conclusion:
… But it’s to the players’ benefit that the Big Ten doesn’t oversign, and humanity’s as well. There is at least one conference out there that remains convinced (for the most part) that they are comprised of academic institutions, regardless of the money that pours in via their football programs.
Meanwhile, if a player fails to meet the coach’s expectations in the SEC, they are deemed to have no further value and pushed out.
That’s not college football—that’s professional football. It’s the biggest difference between the SEC and the Big Ten right now and it will be until the NCAA finally steps in and enforces their pretend rules—or changes them altogether.
Just like they did with Cameron Newton.
Oh, puh-leeze. Humanity’s benefit? Take a look at this story on Troy’s Corey Robinson (h/t Smart Football). In terms of sheer numbers, Troy is one of the biggest oversigners in the nation. But I doubt Robinson would be starting there if they didn’t engage in the practice. Hell, he might not even be playing D-1 ball right now if it weren’t for that.
… Heavy recruiting attention didn’t follow for Robinson, who is now listed at 6 feet tall and 214 pounds.
He received some attention from Sun Belt Conference schools and said “Ole Miss was talking to me a little bit here and there.” Troy knew about Robinson because then-offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was a good friend of Lone Oak High head coach Jack Haskins, whose son Billy Jack is a former University of Kentucky quarterback. Lone Oak ran an offense similar to Troy’s and Robinson felt comfortable in choosing the Trojans.
Sounds beneficial to me.
I’m of two minds about oversigning. It doesn’t violate any NCAA rules and it gives certain kids a chance they might not otherwise have to play at a D-1 school. As long as the process at a given school is transparent so that recruits know the nature of the bargain they’re striking, it’s hard for me to object. The problems I see with it are two-fold: one, it’s hard to believe that every head coach is straightforward about what he’s up to (I’m looking at you, Les Miles) and two, it’s anti-competitive to the extent that kids who go into a program that oversigns could perhaps be playing at another D-1 school.
I’m not sure if there’s a happy solution here, mainly because the real problem isn’t so much signing more than 25 student athletes in a given year as it is about how the slots come open to allow a school to sign that sort of class size. And I don’t think the NCAA says word boo about that right now.