I just finished up the latest season of Netflix's Last Chance U and highly recommend any football fans watches. The primary focus has moved to Independence Community College in Kansas, but there is still a lot to learn about college football as it applies to BC. (There is also an epilogue on the main personalities from Season 1 and Season 2.) Here are some of my takeaways. SPOILERS AHEAD.
We don't know everything about some "elite" recruits
One of the featured players is former Florida State QB Malik Henry. If someone like Henry ever signed with BC, the fanbase would flip out and assume that Henry would be on his way to winning four Heismans at BC and a few National Championships. Yet watching this guy play, you wonder how anyone -- including Florida State -- thought he would be so good. I think with someone like Henry, the hype starts early, perpetuates itself and no one ever stops to ask if the kid is really a great player. He's pretty thin and smallish, so you wonder if he could ever take a pounding. Based on the game action, neither his arm nor his legs seems special. Finally he is a royal pain in the ass who assumes he is great and smarter than everyone. As he hopped around high schools (four in total), how did no one realize he was a fraud? How did Jimbo Fisher not realize he would be a challenge? I think Addazio leans on "character" a bit much when he talks about BC. But I do think BC's emphasis on a player coming to camp, and being around the staff a lot, has value. You can start to find out what these kids are really like and who is just hype and ego.
Talent > coaching
Like the previous seasons, you start to see how great talent can cover up a lot of mistakes and make coaches look good. Independence's Coach Jason Brown admits as much throughout the doc. It is chaos on the sidelines and the practices appear very disorganized. Brown is futzing around with all sorts of administrative stuff (like pizza and uniforms) and yet they are still winning. They even overcome all sorts of infighting among the coaches, the players, and the coaches vs players. I want smart, organized, and stable coaches. But shows like this remind me that most champions are winning with talent more than they are winning with great coaching.
Still no BC presence
Last year's background clip of a BC game remains as close was we've gotten to the Netflix series. None of the players are in the BC mix. An assistant from New Mexico State (who works with Spaz and Doug Martin) shows up to recruit, but that's about it. That is probably for the best. Although they've moved from Mississippi to Kansas, the typical JUCO player remains such a bad fit for BC, that I have no problem with Addazio avoiding that route.