Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recruiting geography and other links

This article is sparking all sorts of discussion in the blogosphere. The premise -- that the talent in the south is deeper and better and gives southern schools an advantage -- overstates that advantage and also overlooks the other factors in winning. As BC has shown, you can win when you don't have a deep talent pool in your backyard. Winning is not just about finding talent, it's also about nurturing it and then using that talent to out scheme your opponent on Saturday. Now, I am not saying BC has as much talent as Florida, but I also don't think Florida is assured of anything based on their location and good recruiting. Just look at what happened with Ron Zook. Coaching still matters. Development still matters. And the recruiting rankings still miss guys (see BJ Raji). I'll flush out other thoughts related to this concentration of power in the south in a later post.

New Jersey Oline prospect Nolan MacMillan is visiting BC this weekend.

BC has interest in South Carolina kicker Grant Clayton.

ACC writers are still talking about the Gene-Jags contract.

Pat Ross and Brian St. Pierre are the BC guys in the Super Bowl.

Former BC star and NFL pro bowler is going to take over Long Island's Chaminade's football team.

This guys speculates that Logan would join Jags in San Fran.


Erik said...

I know Boyd had a nice NFL career, but didn't know he made the Pro Bowl 3 times! That's excellent.

Move over, Penn State. BC is Linebacker U!

CT said...

While I'd agree that geography guarantees nothing, the bigger point in that article is correct. Southern teams have a built-in advantage before a snap is called. It's akin to the Yankees/Red Sox situation in baseball--their enormously bloated payrolls don't by themselves guarantee championships (as we've seen), but it is a HUGE advantage before April 1st.

The SEC is the best conference, top to bottom, in the country.

I cringe when I say that, but having been born and raised in Atlanta--possibly the best big-city college town in the country--I remain convinced of it.

Most kids haven't left the nest by the time they're 18 and want to stay close to Mom and friends. Dreams of the NFL don't matter as much. Big stadiums and fan support impress on weekends the kids visit.

The point is one we all know well: BC has to find the kids who value the educational part of the equation as much as the football part in order to be successful. Possible, yes, but innately harder to do and without any built-in advantages.

BCMike said...

The Big12 was better than the SEC this year, top to bottom. Certainly more "premiere" teams as well.

The mighty SEC was what, 4-7 vs. the ACC this year?

Florida was a great team, UGA's defense was laughable and 'Bama was a paper tiger. The bottom of that league was just poor.

jay said...

someone at the bottom of that league beat us.

mod34b said...

CT --

You say "The point is one we all know well: BC has to find the kids who value the educational part of the equation as much as the football part in order to be successful."

When I went to BC -- mid 80s -- the athletes were, for the most part, disinterested/bad students who did not care about school at all. Yes, there were exceptions, but most of the football players were not there for the value of a BC education. They were there for football and at BC because BC was the best program to recruit them. No one turned down Oklahoma for BC and the BC educational experience!

I hear this refrain -- BC athletes are 'special' athletes who value the BC education -- again and again. Isn't it really just a myth with very little substance?

eagle1331 said...

mod -

for the most part, that is definitely not the case anymore. A lot of our current football players are actually pretty intelligent and don't take advantage of the system. At least that is what I saw the last 4 years...

CT said...

Talk about paper tigers: ladies and gentlemen, the Big 12!

With all due respect to the boys out in the heartland, those offensive statistics were skewed playing against terrible defenses. If the national championship game taught us anything...

Listen, I hate saying it. And I don't think the SEC is head and shoulders above everyone. But they do have the best athletes and, in my humble opinion, the best football. But it is certainly alot closer than the SEC homers would argue.

Historically, the SEC has been the most successful in bowl games, clearly outperforming everyone else (41-27 vs. the ACC in bowls).

I'm crying as I type this.

Year in and year out, the SEC also shows up to its BCS games--a trait the ACC would do well to learn from.

To the other point, I do think that we perhaps cling to the idea that BC football players are a cut above the competition (are they all really "BC guys?"). But I don't think that diminishes my point. Truth be told, we can't recruit star athletes IF we compare ourselves to the Floridas or Texas' of the world in terms of tangibles. The football experiences are far better in those places. It's almost laughably absurd to compare BC's atmosphere or facilities to any of the football factories we like to compare ourselves to. So, we have to include the above-average intangibles--a worthy diploma, a motto that places others before self, and a well-rounded approach to individual development during your most formative years. If BC or the football players didn't care, I doubt we'd graduate 90% of them.

mod34b said...

How special is BC? Look at the comparables in terms of US News Rank and football gradualtion rates. We are very similar to all the highly regarded schools with 'big time' football progams. The only outlier here is USC with a low grad rate.

Stanford –Grad rate 93% -- US News Rank -- #4
Duke – 93% -- US News Rank -- #8
Rice – 85% -- US News Rank -- #17
Vandy – 91%-- US News Rank -- #18
N.D. – 93% -- US News Rank -- #18
USC – 57% -- US News Rank -- #27
Wake – 90% -- US News Rank -- #28
B.C. – 93%-- US News Rank -- #34

max said...

BC is pretty special considering they're probably the 1st or 2nd best football program with a high grad rate within that group. Yes they lost to Vandy, but BC clearly has a better program than theirs....ND's program has been discussed ad nauseum...and Wake and BC have had pretty similar outcomes over the past 5 seasons. So if you want to go to a great school with the best football, BC is near the top of that list.