Friday, September 09, 2016

End of the Week rant: Where is the renaissance of New England youth football?

I was at BC when Bill Parcells sparked the turnaround in Patriot Football. His success, combined with the Krafts and obviously the Brady/Belichick combo turned the region into a Football mad hotbed. At the time and periodically since, I have read about how this passion trickled down to the youth levels and more kids than ever are playing youth football in New England. I also read that the quality of youth and high school coaching in the region improved dramatically. Then you throw in UMass and UConn jumping to FBS in the past two decades. This should be the best time ever to recruit out of New England! We've had 20 years of football passion and growth. The kids who were born during that era should be on BC's roster now or on our development radar! Yet, it is the same old same old. Where is the talent? When does the bumper crop mature?

On Saturday both UMass and BC will call on plenty of talented players who came up in the state. But given the population, there should be more. I know the usual excuses are still in place (the demographics of the region, the popularity and diversity of youth sport options, the weather, etc.) but there is still something missing.

Even if UMass grows their program and BC becomes a perennial contender, I don't think Massachusetts is ever going to become like Ohio or Texas (on a relative basis). If the Patriots hugely popular run couldn't deliver on new talent, college success isn't. Plus the new fears about head injuries are also going to scare off parents.

This will leave BC to continue going outside the region to fill out the roster. But I hope that soon BC coaches start looking at local basketball, lacrosse, and hockey talent and find a few more athletes who slipped through the cracks or who should really be playing football. There's got to be some out there.


mod34b said...

Rant not ATL: youth and high school football remains very popular in MA.

They even still. play in Cambridge.

Georgia Eagle said...

They even play football in the , Peoples Republic of Cambridge? Noooo!

ATL_eagle said...

Mod: How come Mass is not producing more talent?

mod34b said...

ATL - good question. Perhaps a recruiting maven such as Kash might know

looking at just Rivals stats BC had 51 recruits list in 2016. CT as smaller state had 73 recruits listed on Rivals

MA hasa population of about 6.8 million, so i looked at 5 other states with population in the same range

State 2004 # recruits listed; 2016 # recruits listed

MA - 2004, 20; 2016 51
MD - 2004, 45; 2016, 318
MO - 2004, 60; 2016, 196
IN - 2004, 42; 2016, 137
TN - 2004, 92; 2016, 292

bigger states

NJ - 2004, 131; 2016, 312
NY - 2004, 54; 2016, 180

first thing to note is reporting bias. I am looking at number Rivals chooses to report. They do not seem to place too much emphasis in MA. maybe there are many more "Under the radar" recruits then we know - but then again, where are the Jaime Silvas hiding??

must be the weather. more northerly, less fertile recruiting grounds. in 2016, FL had over a 1,000 recruits listed in rivals.

also, at least in the more affluent MA towns, parents are really focused on getting kids into premier schools, such as Ivies and Nescac (Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan Williams, Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, and Union College) The 2-3 best kids in high school football usually wind up in Ivies or Nescac (or d-3). They don't even get a sniff from BC (too small, to slow, not up to ACC standards). i don't see too many kids even going the FCS route (Del, ME, NH RI etc)

obviouly, the big area of interest in New England is EDUCATION. As we know, There is no area in the US with this kind of educational opportunities . so i guess there is a big difference in priorities of parent sin MA then down south.

But MA has actually improved in recruits int he last decade, it is just woefully short of similarly sized states. NJ is the closest fertile recruiting grounds, and that is one of BC prime that is a +

CT said...

That is a pretty ignorant post. Only northern kids and their parents care about education? Only in NE? Come on. No wonder nobody likes BC. Yeah, that explains it. Welcome to 19xx? This is just about northerners who still live in 1977. Blaming it on weather is literally the stupidest thing I've ever read.

mod34b said...

someone is being a dick again..... try to talk like you are a bC graduate

CT said...

The weather? Really? Pls just once make an imtelligent post.

mod34b said...

why is the South over represented in the US military (most over represented part of US) and New engladn is the most under represented in the military?

military recruits by state

and CT the education in New England blows the doors off souther education, get serious. MA is #1 state for education and your georgia is #35. See Augu 2016 ranking of states education systems

mod34b said...

i really should not have complimented you the other day. i knew it would boomerang. You really thrive in tearing down and criticizing, and offering nothing of substance except some repeated drivel about the SEC and Atlanta and how no one in New England could even imagine what football in the south is like. o brother if i hear that one more time....

do you grandiose CT have a theory as to why MA is a poor recruiting area?

mod34b said...

ps.. i said i do not know why MA stinks for recruits.. Level of education, parental priorities and colder weather are possible factors. hockey? you tell me smart guy. why do i even fucking talk to you. uuugghh the bitch is back

i've heard it said by a harvard man that if being nationally ranked in football was important to harvard, then harvard would be nationally ranked in football. That sort of sums up certain attitudes about football.

CT said...

Repeated drivel? That's rich.

CT said...

"Must be the weather." Your words.

CT said...

Why is the south "over represented" in the miltary? Where did this come from? Brilliant.

Hockey has nothing to do with anything down here. Niche sport.

The south cares more. People invest in what they care about.

Spare me the College rankings based on algorithms. BC grads should be smarter than that. Look up Big Data.

Heni Herbal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mod34b said...

Henri Herbal. Thank you. You are a most welcome relief from that other guy. Omg.

(Psst. Henri I really think that other guy has got some issues. One very angry dude, right Henri. You know - what the Italians say.: gagoots, I think in psychological terms under the DSM it is called a "personality disorder)f

Georgia Eagle said...

You are correct. Education is a bigger priority in NE than Dixie. Football rules in GA . Also, although i have no empirical evidence to back it up, I wouldn't be surprised if hockey drains off many of the elite athletes in MA.

Knucklehead said...

Yes, hockey 100% agree with that insight( and lacrosse).

Also culturally HS and College football are not a priority. There is no glory in those sports here. They are niche sports in NE.

Back to hockey. Hockey is a huge family sport in NE. When you play hockey your siblings, parents and neighbors are usually all in it with you. Requires $$, travel time and outside of school practice(most schools don't their own hockey facility)That ties into the catholic high schools which also tend to be family oriented and most have serious hockey programs. That ties into income levels etc. Also the divorce rate in MA(and NE) is lower than most states outside NE. I don't have all day to explain the importance here but I think even CT can come to the right conclusion from the Divorce point.

Baseball is huge in the south also but Mass produces a lot of baseball players especially for a state whose fields are underwater for 6 months each year.

Yeah weather, CT. Why do think BC baseball now plays the first half of the season on the road?

mod34b said...

8 of top 10 recruiting states in South. Other 2 are Ohio and California.

2016 recruiting by state list

Mass way down on list.

But other states that produce good football teams are low too - eg Wisconsin, WV, Nebraska, Ky,