Southern Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame and the SEC rule recruitingPublished 10:21am Monday, July 23, 2012
In this crazy, fluid world of college football, some things just never change. When your football program consistently sends kids to the NFL and you compound that with a top-notch education, you stand a good chance of bringing in the best athletes in America to your program.
Such is the case for Southern California, Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.
It is no coincidence, that these schools also are leaders in the academic world. Degrees from any of these institutions are highly regarded on a national level and they represent an alumni base that spreads from coast to coast, not just within their region.
Surprised that the Aggies are ranked in the top five in all the recruiting polls? Jumping from the Big-12 Conference to the Southeastern Conference has paid immediate dividends for their football program. The Big-12 was on life-support just a few short months ago.
If you were a prospect choosing a school that not only had high academic standards, but now also played in arguably the top college football conference on the planet, where would you go play football?
It has established immediate benefits for both the Aggies and the SEC.
By bringing in Texas A&M, the Southeastern Conference not only added a quality football program, they upgraded the conferences academic level. There has been recent scrutiny surrounding the conference and their less than stellar ability to produce the “student-athletes” (excluding Vanderbilt).
There has never been an issue preparing kids for the NFL, but there are no degrees in “NFL” at any institutions of higher-learning throughout the land.
The other equation is the school with the “wow” factor that brings in the gifted athlete. Take Oregon and the Phil Knight effect. Knight owns Nike and some would suggest the entire city of Eugene. He is an Oregon alum. So guess what these prospects see when they visit the campus?
Why is this not a recruiting violation?
NCAA and Nike … you can make the call here.
How about an entire room filled with the latest Nike athletic gear for their choosing. It sits just a door away from the football dressing room.
Did I also mention that Oregon also ranks at 111th in academics in the latest U.S. News and World Report?
They also sit at 26th and 38th in two recruiting polls.
The ‘bling’ is starting to dull.
Rounding out the top ten schools as of this date, are Florida, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Alabama and Ohio State. I will also mention Texas because they did sneak in the top ten in one of the polls.
I will not go into the various recruiting sites and how they determine who and how they rate a prospect.
However, out of respect to the readers, I will do exactly that in my next column.
It will cover Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 24/7.com.
If you think voting for the best teams in the wacky world of college football is a mystery, try evaluating every high school football player in America and Canada (yes, Canada), then attach a star from one to five on his back.
Every recruiting site has its own formula for evaluation.
One site only rates the top-15 recruits based upon their formula, regardless of how many commitments the program ends up with.
You can only bring in 25 for any given year.
Remember, 25 scholarships per year and 85 total on your roster is the NCAA rule.
Did I mention transfers, early enrollees and gray-shirting?
I will also explain these different scenarios in the next column.
Will recent Alabama flip Reuben Foster stay put at Auburn?
Sources tell me he will be on the move again before this is all over.
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist.