The much anticipated first college football playoff rankings are out and there were a few surprises for the common fan. Through the years of major college football, the fans, writers, etc. have been conditioned to put on a pedestal undefeated football teams. In this year and perhaps into the future, the message may be “not so fast”
The initial college football playoff rankings as comprised by the committee of 14 has the University of Georgia as it’s number one (sorry Bama) and Wisconsin dropped to number nine overall. In comparison, the AP poll has Alabama at #1 and Wisconsin sitting in the playoff cone at #4. However, the committee is not as impressed with Alabama’s on field accomplishments this season as they are with Georgia’s. Buoyed by their one point road win at Notre Dame, the committee feels that for now, Georgia is numero uno in the country. Kudos is being given here to Georgia for scheduling a tough non-conference opponent like Notre Dame as opposed to the cupcakes that Bama has feasted on. Unfortunately, for Alabama, one of those cupcakes happens to be preseason Top 5 team Florida St. that is mired in on of their worst season’s since Burt Reynolds was a box office hit. If all things stay the same, the true #1 out of these two SEC giants will be settled on the field in the conference championship game.
We all know that the NFL is a quarterback driven league right? The QBs get the endorsements, they get the limelight, the press and a majority of the accolades. They also get protected by most of the new rules being put together and there has also been a push to up their production through the way the game is played. Despite all that, the trend in 2017 in the NFL is to recapture the ground game.
For the last decade, the NFL has fueled its high point, passing fancy agenda but what has withstood the test of time is that a good ground game can get you through the rigors of the late season, playoffs and win you a Super Bowl. Throwing the ball around the yard may excite fans and make fantasy geeks giddy. However, it has not been lost on many a NFL team that the Dallas Cowboys dominated the 2016 regular season by unleashing the most prolific ground attack in the league. It seems Zeke Elliott and the boys were what finally made the league, at large, open their eyes.
Few things are more brutal than Monday morning traffic on the way to work. That is unless you have opened up the Twitterapp on any Sunday morning during the college football season. It can be the purest of entertainment to watch fans meltdown and fire entire coaching staffs, administration and swear off their program loyalty. At first it can be comedy but when it persists, it can turn into problems for coaches, teams and programs. With that said, some coaches that social media fired a few weeks ago have reclaimed their temporary pass with big wins last week.
If you’re a college football fan like me, then there’s nothing you like more than taking in the action each and every Saturday. It’s a ritual whereby you park yourself in front of the TV at noon and move only for bathroom breaks and hot wings until midnight. An increasing part of the Saturday ritual for many though is commenting on Twitter and it may be ruining the game.
Coaching pressure is nothing new but the level and scale has increased dramatically with the advent of message boards and social media, most specifically Twitter. As the results poured in last Saturday, the messages from fans were loud. “Get rid of Butch Jones” and “How much is Ed Orgeron’s buyout?” Orgeron is in his first season as head coach of LSU and Butch Jones has produced winning seasons in three of his last four years and is yet to lose a bowl game at Tennessee. Last week it was those two guys, in weeks before, it has been Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M, Mike Riley at Nebraska and Jim Mora at UCLA. What has happened to us? I realize that social media is a medium for the loudest and a lot of times the most ignorant amongst us but one can not deny it’s increasing power in decision making these days. My message here to the college football programs is turn down the volume, perhaps even mute it.
One thing I have always emphasized in my recruiting articles and discussions on The GridironStuds Show, its that the best asset you can have in recruiting is self awareness. 80% of the mistakes that are made in recruiting are done so because the recruit and / or the parents lacked a certain amount of self awareness. This article will discuss another reason why self awareness is key when it comes to college football recruiting.
Remember when people got engaged, got married and remained married until death? Yeah me neither. Divorce rates in our country have grown steadily over the years as people have found the word commitment less and less appealing in their social standards. College football recruiting over the last decade has mimicked this pattern in a most troubling way.
I am not certain who is to blame for the trend we have seen in college football recruiting recently. Recruits now commit just for the hell of it and often change their minds multiple times in the process. I do know this, the word “offer” has seen it’s value plummet faster than United Airlines stock days after their overbooked flight fiasco. College football coaches are passing out offers left and right, often times in an effort to gain publicity. Kids who have neither gained lip hair nor varsity playing time are picking up offers from Power 5 schools. Perhaps social media is to blame as it has appeared to have shaped society’s behavior since it arrived on the scene roughly a decade ago.