The 2010 college football season came to a close a week ago with the Auburn Tigers putting an exclamation point on an absolutely magical campaign. I took a week off from In The Bleachers to recharge the batteries and we're getting back at it folks with all the articles, podcasts and of course the non-stop twitter machine that you've come to expect from ITB.
Some sites will be moving on to college basketball, some will just take a break but us? We'll do neither of those two things. I'm sure this isn't news to most but for you newbies: I do not watch or care for college basketball. Yes this makes me a statistical anomaly, especially for someone who went to UNC. So that's out of the way and while we did take a week off that was more for my sanity and adjusting to my schedule than actually having no content.
With that said we're back on the program folks, the ITB offseason will give you the football fix that you need on a daily basis and that means podcasts, articles, stats from our guru and plenty of thoughtful commentary to get your through until games kick off in September.
However, before we jump into things I'd like to preface it all with a few words on recruiting. The topic has been broached several times, I've found it irksome generally and even addressed it to a point during the podcast with Brian McLaughlin from The Sporting News.
The topic, in a nutshell is the approach to recruiting.
We don't do recruiting updates here at In The Bleachers for a few reasons. Most obviously unlike your favorite team specific blog or website I don't just have a shallow pool of recruits to look at. The same thing that helps the website be so universally appealing also makes it impossible to look at individual classes or schools. Just don't have the time and the energy, sorry.
That being said, the real reason we don't have much in the way of team specific or player specific recruiting is because I don't want to. A simple answer with a complex explanation behind it. To be clear I'm not going to criticize folks who are into recruiting, everyone has their "things" and since I know recruiting is the lifeblood of college football I understand why some folks are so gung-ho about it.
I'll spare you the whole let the kids enjoy the process chatter and the "don't get attached to the whims of a 17 year old" thoughts and go straight to the you've got to draw a line somewhere and I'm going to do it now, before we start having guests on the podcast and before we start looking at recruiting decisions.
Blasting all recruitniks is a bit of an elitist attitude that I don't fall in line with. Personally I appreciate the work guys like Scout, Rivals, Nike, ESPNU and other smaller sites do to rank these kids, evaluate film and give thoughts and projections on such a massive talent pool. I like to know where the kid is taking his official and unofficial visits too. I'm into all of that stuff because it helps me get a feel for not only projecting kids but also what the coach thinks of a kid (unofficial and official visit weekends tell me a lot about a staff's view of a kid).
I watch the Army All-American and the Under Armour All-American games. First of all I'm a football fan so that gives me a shot to watch some ball. Secondly, it is truly the first time I get to look at these kids and see how accurate the service evaluations are in their projections. Plus I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy seeing the kids commit on camera, some might hate it but for me it's a kid having fun deciding where he's going to play the game he loves.
Recruiting is about the kids so I don't have a problem with the guys changing their minds during the process or hanging in limbo until the last moment. What I do have a problem with is the folks who lose their minds over de-commitments and players generally pulling a juke on a school at the last minute.
This topic most recently came to light with Brent Calloway the linebacker who switched from Bama to Auburn and then became the recipient of nasty messages from the Alabama faithful.
Instead of scolding or whining I'll go with the simple "don't be that guy" approach to these type of incidents. It is still a game folks and these guys are still high schoolers regardless of their physical ability.
Don't be that guy who sends a threatening facebook message. Hell don't be that guy who facebook friends a 17 year old they've never even met.
Don't be that girl who loves a kid because he's committed to FSU but then hates him when he goes to Florida. I understand most of you folks only care about your specific school but actively hating a kid for making a personal decision is just ugh.
Don't be that fan who gets so wrapped up in a kid de-committing that you are upset for days by someone you'll never even meet.
Basically just be smart and be adults. Sure following recruiting is important. Obsessing over the whims of 17 year olds is taking it a bit too far. 17 years old changes its mind, a lot. Their about to make the biggest decision in their lives, you're a spectator hoping their choice benefits your school, don't be anything beyond that folks.
With that ground rule laid out, now on to the ITB Offseason Program...