Free for all

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of angst today in the college coaching ranks over the new transfer rule hitting football and basketball.  Here’s a typical example:

“I’ve always been about developing players, but it’s not developing players anymore,” says Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. “It’s about assimilating a team for next year that can win.”

Yes, because guys like Nick Saban don’t want to spend time developing talent.

“You’ll see less and less people signing 25 high school kids,” says Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck.

We already know about Dan Mullen, P.J.

“Mid-majors are fixing to feel the pain,” Grass says. “The Power 5s are going to have FCS big boards and mid-major big boards. It’s a trickle-down effect. Us being the minor leagues? There’s a little validity to that. The top 25 are going to poach the mid-majors and the mid-majors are going to try to poach the FCS guys.”

They used to do that with coaches, too.  Somehow, y’all survived.

“It’s no longer building for the future,” Kampe says. “The portal is going to be like the Brazilian steakhouse. The Michigans of the world will have a schmorgasboard. And at the end of next year and the next, they’re going to go back and get more steak.”

Basically, what all these quotes tell me is that most FBS coaches don’t want to spend their time on player development.  It’s easier to let some other guy do that.  It must be nice to make millions a year and not have to work as hard.

You know who’s really gonna benefit the most from the new rule?  Not the coaches running around looking to replace recruiting high schoolers with lower division talent on a wholesale basis.  It’ll be the Sabans and Smarts of the world who mine that high school talent and pick and choose transfers on a limited basis to fill an immediate need.  (Which isn’t to say they won’t have a transfer big board.  Shit, Saban’s probably had two analysts working on that for a few years now.)  What do you think will be the more successful approach over the long term?

And here’s the final word:

“It’s really crazy right now. Never seen anything like this,” he says, “but two years from now, it’s like the stock market—it’s going to find its way and recorrect itself.”


Filed under Recruiting, Transfers Are For Coaches.

23 responses to “Free for all

  1. RangerRuss

    Other beneficiaries will be the overlooked or underdeveloped players who blossomed in college and would have been forced to languish at smaller programs and out of the limelight. Coaches such as Smart or Saban can train ’em up properly and assist them in reaching their full potential and increase their chance of making it to the League.
    I like it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. TN Dawg

    I actually think this works against the top teams in one fashion, this will improve their competition by a larger degree than it will improve them.

    Georgia, Alabama, etc they may be missing just a piece or two will build depth and improve incrementally. But programs like Auburn, Tennessee that have the money and the resources and are missing multiple pieces will almost certainly improve much more quickly than they would have organically. Which will make them a little more challenging as opponents.


    • That’s a fair point, although I can’t help but wonder how much good the talent infusion will do at programs that don’t put a priority on player development. Not to mention integrating wholesale changes on the two deep is a pretty big challenge, although I suppose coaches that do it year after year will get better at it.


      • TN Dawg

        Well, I think that would be contingent on the types of transfers that programs seek.

        Guys like Ganus, Catalina, and Smith from smaller/next level schools didn’t/don’t really require much by way of development, they are more plug and play, kind of like the NFL model where the scheme is preeminent and you shop/recruit for players that fit the scheme.

        If you are mostly getting transfers from bigger schools that are transferring because of program turmoil (basically all of Tennessee’s players), again these probably don’t require a whole lot of development.

        Where I think that will really matter is if you are getting transfers from bigger schools that are leaving because they haven’t been able to crack the line-up at their previous school.

        I think the integration is the key, how quickly can you teach your scheme. I think guys like Lincoln Riley seem to be great at this. I’d say OSU is probably good in that area as well. Their offensive schemes seem to never really miss departing talent all that much.


        • Russ

          It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. I can see your scenarios playing out, but I can also see the Bamas and Georgias getting that one missing piece that makes them complete (like I hope JT is for us).

          Riley certainly made hay with Jalen Hurts, who was displaced by a generational talent in Tua. I’d say that worked for both teams. Actually, OU is the poster boy of taking talent like that at QB.

          Not sure what my point is other than it will be interesting to see it play out.

          On the flip side, it’s killed our basketball team (well, along with Crean). We’ve had a new lineup each year and when we can’t win with the overall #1 player in the NBA draft, I don’t see much hope. Wish we could field a good BB team.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. So, nothing has changed other than the ability to be eligible immediately. Given the stats I heard 2 days on XM, a lot of players are having a problem finding a home I don’t see this as a big deal.


    • There’s still plenty of time before August. Hell, Tennessee by itself could make a significant dent in the transfer portal by then. 😉


      • Senator, I guess my point is that every school probably has two big boards – one for high schoolers by class and one now with those in the transfer portal by class. The calamity that some are predicting just isn’t going to happen. It’s called math. If 400+ guys are in the portal and most teams have 2-5 spots available, a coach has to see a guy who can help his team now (1-2 years) rather than use that spot for a high school player that could be a 3-4 year contributor.

        The raiding that some coaches and Todd Berry are predicting only occurs if there is a significant amount of tampering occurring. I’m not sure a D1 coach who is secure in his job is going to risk getting caught in an attempt to poach players by telling them they have a scholarship if they put their name in the portal.


        • Depends on how serious the NCAA is about punishing tampering.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, I would agree with that. To me, tampering is a hell of a lot more dangerous to the sport than NLI.


            • Down Island Way

              If you think for 30 seconds little nicky does not have an analyst charting those 5*s that he didn’t sign, that got away…do believe coaches keep in touch after those student athletes sign…”how ya doing, is your mother o.k., saw your grades, are the instructors treating you like we will”…call me, we’ll do lunch…


          • originaluglydawg

            Tampering is already a problem, but will get a LOT worse now.
            Even as I type this, schools like Auburn are likely implementing a de facto Department of Tampering.
            When the best teams get so rich and deep in talent that top talent is riding pine, some of these kids will have second thoughts.
            But that will take a while. Maybe two years.
            It’s a Pandora’s box and it’ll have good and bad consequences. We can’t possibly see them all right now.
            ie: Recruiting will be curtailed at the programs that feed heavily in the portal trough. We’re already seeing it! Georgia has a transfer QB (and I’m happy about it). Some kid isn’t getting offered for QB at UGA because of that. What follows?
            With all the talent rushing to the top, HS kids will be left with fewer offers from their dream teams.
            Schools further down the power list will be able to recruit at a higher level, only to see their kids poached.
            You know it’s already happening.
            Smaller schools and conferences will become to the big time programs what College Football is to the NFL. A developmental feeder league.


        • Speaking of tampering, does anyone think there was anything questionable about Tyrique Stevenson suddenly transferring to Miami? I haven’t heard anyone suggest that, but it just seems like Miami is in panic mode to try to close the gap with Clemson.


          • originaluglydawg

            Uh..we might live in a glass house on this issue. Tampering is just getting it’s legs. There will be strict rules laid out by the NCAA but there will be clever ways to get around every rule. The schools with the most developed and talented tampering system will do well.


  4. For every Smith there’s a guy like Brenton Cox who is a 5* freak but couldn’t play with the big kids.

    And I’m not sure we should count on Smith yet. He’s got to prove he can play man coverage.

    At the end of the day I always come back to how uga plays these cupcakes and Munson would be moaning about some kid on their defense who was their top tackler last year. Well every team has a top tackler. Hell I dominated my little league team in 6th grade but that’s just cause we were awful.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    I have nothing against the portal and agree coaches like Kirby, who just need to plug key holes, will continue to benefit.

    But I question whether many of these kids are still doing coursework and working toward degrees while awaiting their fait in the portal. That could be devastating for the kids. And it leaves colleges and coaches open to accusations that they don’t give a flying f#*k about educating the ‘student athletes’. I’m looking at the mass movements of college basketball players and wondering how all this relocation is actually benefitting the kids.

    Which leads me to another question. Are grad transfers like Tre McKitty leaving with an actual degree or is he just biding time? I’m not singling out UGA or Kirby, just using Tre as an example.


  6. rigger92

    Don’t our units (o line/d line/etc) substitute in game more than the averages? My thinking is, Kirby may be relatively safe from losing players to transfer because he rotates 2 and 3 deep at many positions during games, so highly rated talent rides less pine.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Some disgruntled players will jump in the portal. Some highly talented players will. Most will stay put for all the reasons they made their decision in the first place. The biggest disrupter will still be when a HC jumps ship for a “better” offer. Now those kids get to make a decision about their future rather than being locked-in. I think this disrupts BB more with true all-star teams being created annually by a few top programs. Isn’t that essentially what AAU programs are? Soccer, volleyball, baseball and golf teams might see the same as well.


  8. gotthepicture

    Georgia had several guys transfer out this season (scholarship only listed):
    Mathis (Tulane)
    M. Tongue (Oregon St) – P5
    T. Blount (Old Dominion)
    Matt Landers (Toledo)
    N. Johnson (MTSU)
    J. Johnson (FSU)* – P5
    T. Stevenson (Mia)* – P5
    Notice that less than 1/2 of them landed at P5 schools. And I would guess that all of them were at least 3 star player and maybe all 4 or 5 stars out of HS. Georgia brought in 1 guy (so far) and he is from a P5 school, so they didn’t raid the lower tier schools, they actually helped them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Because Kirby can out recruit the rest of the world, with the exception of saban, I assume we’ll always be a net contributor to the portal.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. uga97

    Market corrects itself everytime the cfp committee drinks a toast after 13 games.


  10. shellbine

    I am curious to see how the Jermaine Johnson transfer will work out. I gather his Dad wanted him to have more minutes to improve his draft status. It will be interesting to which the NFL rates higher—an integral part of an elite defense or an integral part of a lesser defense.


  11. bigjohnson1992

    The portal master is in his lab tonight making more special potion.