Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
The big news of today is the aftermath of the very first ever early signing day in modern college football history. Mark Stoops, as you might expect, is a fan of the early signing period as are many of the coaches of lesser programs in America. The reason is that it gives the power teams less time to convince players that are committed to schools like UK to flip to their team, and basically forces the Alabamas, Floridas, and LSUs of the world to expend more effort on the front end recruiting lesser talent rather than scooping them up with late pushes when their other plan-A’s fall through. I frankly love the idea.
Predictably, Nick Saban hates it:
I don’t think it’s in the players’ best interest,” Saban said. “I don’t see how it benefits anybody. I think it’s really stressful for everyone. We’re all trying to get ready for bowl games and playoff games and we have a signing day right in the middle of when we’re going to be practicing for a playoff game.
Aww, poor Saban, his job is so hard and he sooo stressed. It just breaks my heart to think that a man paid as little as he is should have to suffer the abject misery of having to try to win a national title while occasionally picking up the phone to snatch away some 3-star to fill a hole, only to recruit right over him the next year. Poor Nicky, coaching Alabama is such a burden. Maybe Frodo Baggins will answer the call and help wretched Nick & Co. find the strength to pack around the One Ring that is the head football coaching job of the Yellowhammer state.
No, Nick, it mostly benefits everybody but you and a few others. It forces powerhouse programs to work harder instead of trading purely on their reputations. It helps less talented players find their way into better situations, and reduces the stress on players by forcing them to make a call rather than dithering around in hopes Alabama or Ohio State will finally deign to notice them. It helps coaches at lesser schools recruit better players and have a chance to win them straight up without the benefit of attrition.
Are there downsides? Sure, it compresses the recruiting schedule forcing earlier evaluation and potentially disadvantages coaches changing programs. Programs who have to do more out-of-state recruiting are also inconvenienced. Overall, though, I think it’s a net benefit for schools not named Alabama, Ohio State, et. al.
Anyway, it appears it’s here to stay.
Tweet of the Morning
2014-DEC-20 UK destroys UCLA 83-44 in the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago.— bigbluehistory (@bigbluehistory) December 20, 2017
Devin Booker @DevinBook scores 19 (including 5 threes) while Aaron Harrison @AaronICE2 adds 15 points for the Cats.https://t.co/anNTUnCHiP pic.twitter.com/w079buZMZk
I remember that so well, it was perhaps the only time that I’ve ever felt a pang of pity for UCLA. I’d love to feel that again soon, like… Saturday, maybe?
- Rivals.com’s Justin Rowland evaluates the UK early signing class. Justin is a fine football analyst and always worth your time.
- Rivals.com ranks Kentucky’s 2018 class as #27. Scout ranks UK #29. ESPN has the Wildcats at #32.
- Amongst the generally good signing day news, this is not the best thing. I hope it doesn’t become a trend.
- How Mark Stoops got Terry Wilson (QB).
I say he’s right. You can’t let another team dictate your strategy solely on a perceived weakness. Work to get the ball inside, but if they give you open looks, step up and make them.
Other Kentucky sports
- Kentucky hoops hosts #24 Cal at Memorial tonight. Plus, it’s Dollar Day.
- U of L just keeps getting funnier.
UL fans fretting over who Clemson signs is akin to UK fans losing sleep over who Alabama signs. Silly. You don't really compete with them.— Troll of Tears..... (@bigcliner69er) December 21, 2017
- Did Kirk Herbstreit cost Ohio State two top targets?
- Ed Orgeron is exactly as you would expect:
“He comes over to the house, man, and Julie, he makes himself at home,” Favorite told Julie Brinks-Stewart. “He walks in, ‘hey, how y’all doing today?’ went straight to the kitchen. ‘Oh, it smell pretty good in here, man!’ my mom was like ‘well, I cooked some red beans!’ so then, ‘oh, for real?’ So he goes into the refrigerator, pulls out a pot of red beans ‘hey, y’all got some rice?’ my mom comes with a pot of rice, he scoops the rice, puts the red beans and rice together. ‘Hey, so y’all have like a cover? I’ll use a napkin.’ He takes the napkin, put it over there, put the food in the microwave, and then he started talking football. That’s making yourself at home. It really was a big, big recruiting tool that worked like a charm because I was this close to saying ‘hey, should I go to USC?’”
Orgeron was on USC’s staff at the time.
- Oh, just in case you thought recruiting was over …
- Heh. Well, the rich just keep… you know the rest
- Down goes North Carolina! To… Wofford?
When the entire country learns how to pronounce your name in one night pic.twitter.com/iHJZvYPiyN— Wofford Athletics (@WoffordTerriers) December 21, 2017
- Albany almost ruined Christmas for Louisville.
- Bruce Pearl went from FBI intrigue and job in jeopardy to decimation of his team’s roster to … 10-1.
Other sports news
This has long been foretold:
- Enes Kanter motivated to make playoffs just to stick it to Turkish President Erdogan. Works for me, that guy’s a jerk.
- Christian Laettner: Still a douchnozzle after all these years.
- NASA planning interstellar mission for 2069. I’ll be sure to tell my great-grand nieces and nephews.
- New Stargate movie coming out in 2018. Nice. I wonder if Kurt Russell will make a cameo?
- Are Facebook job ads engaging in age discrimination?