One of the great joys in life is listening to Tech fans rationalize and make excuses for their miserable football program . But this post on FromTheRumbleSeat takes the cake. Titled “The State of College Football After What We Learned Today,” the author does not offer any introspection about Tech’s ability to recruit.
Instead, the author argues that the system creates an unlevel playing field and that the NCAA needs to step in to “fix” the situation. This type of outward looking blame-game is absolutely typical of a graduate of the North Avenue Trade School. Indeed, the author goes on to suggest that Bama and UGA are stealing recruits from Tech.
Let’s pause here for a second – UGA stole a single player from Tech. Saban has never heard of Georgia Tech, and probably assumed it was the same as Georgia Southern. But in typical Tech fashion, the author suggests that Tech recruits are coveted and often stolen by prime schools (he ignores that Tech lost recruits to powerhouses such as NC State and Mississippi State).
Let me attempt to do my best to paraphrase this post (but read for yourself): The SEC is good, and they recruit well, which causes a snowball effect and accordingly the ACC cannot compete because the best kids want to go to the SEC. This is unfair and the NCAA should change it. Sometimes other schools steal Tech’s recruits… that’s very unfair. In fact, Tech has recruits everyone else wants, keeps them secret as long as they can until big programs swoop in, and if only there was an early signing day Tech would be able to compete with Alabama.
Read the whole post, but here are the pertinent parts:
The concept of a “runaway freight train” describing the SEC’s ever-increasing dominance of college football is pretty accurate. Nothing will ever stop them until the NCAA changes the rules surrounding how they do what they do.
The problem is, when on the poor end of things, it can become a vicious cycle only capable of being broken by an incredible coach (a very rare breed) who can get players to perform more than anyone ever expected them to.
These kids all tell us they’re “solid” to Tech, and have convinced themselves that they are, but have had other schools recruiting them since their commitment to Tech. (Keep in mind, the other schools are likely turning up the heat on our commitments mostly because they’ve lost commitments of their own, but also because some kids were undiscovered by most before committing to Tech.) They listen enough to start thinking they might just take one more visit…what harm could that do? Then they take that visit, and are amazed at how nice campuses are, how beautiful their women are, how
big their signing bonusesstadiums and weight rooms are, the teams they’ll get to play against…and they’re gone. All this basically to say that the system is broken.
It’s pathetic and downright sad that our program is having to keep certain recruits secret, so that other programs won’t come in and swipe them up. We have no way of evening the playing field when we’re not one of the top programs or in the top conference in the country, when we play by the rules of how many we can sign, and keep players on the team for 4-5 years regardless of how well they perform.
We watch uga and Alabama sign 30+ guys per year (somehow this works out mathematically to fill an 85-man roster, though I’ve yet to figure out how), while we’ve yet to sign more than 23 under Paul Johnson and have only signed over 20 twice. We watch them dogfight over the nation’s top prospects, only to come and snatch our top prospects up once they realize they can’t have all of the prospects that everyone wants.
At the end of the day, if college football is to continue as the game we know and love, it’s going to be caused by changes in recruiting rules that benefits teams who very effectively recruit before other teams are able to jump in and grab their players. An early signing period is the only way to derail the unstoppable freight train that has become the SEC.
Anyone feel similarly, or am I just complaining and throwing a hissy-fit?
I actually agree that it’s “pathetic and downright sad” that Tech has to somehow keep recruits secret (how do you do that anyway? Coaches can’t publically talk about recruits), or it’s at least sad the author thinks that’s what’s going on. But he knows what’s really happening: better football programs at better schools with more “beautiful” women (or any), stadiums that hold more than 50,000 fans, and weight rooms that contain free weights (and no Richard Simmons videos) tend to be able to take who they want.
Remarkably, nowhere in the post is there any indicia that Paul Johnson is to blame. Paul Johnson has only signed over 20 twice? Has Tech ever had a full roster? Tech, for all its flaws is still a BCS program. In fact, Tech has been able to recruit in the past. In 2007, the last year of Gailey’s tenure, Tech recruited the 18th best recruiting class in the nation, with eight 4-star recruits including Morgan Burnett (NFL), Nick Claytor (NFL), Jonathan Dwyer (NFL), Derrick Morgan (NFL), and Josh Nesbitt. Five of those 4 stars came from Georgia, and Morgan Burnett was a UGA legacy Tech managed to flip.
Georgia Tech chose to fire Gailey and hire Paul Johnson. Since then, Johnson has overseen six recruiting classes, and in total has recruited ten four-star recruits. Simply put, Johnson has not been able to recruit like Gailey could. This is not the SEC’s fault.
Let me rearrange some of the post’s sentences (in italics) to form a more accurate synopsis:
It’s pathetic and downright sad Tech fans can’t look in the mirror and instead engage in non-stop complaining and throwing hissy-fits. Because Tech’s campus is a shit-hole and the students are rejects from the Big Bang Theory, recruits who also visit the SEC are amazed at how nice campuses are, how beautiful their women are, how big their stadiums and weight rooms are, the teams they’ll get to play against.
Being at a loser school with myopic focus on science kills recruiting and starts a vicious cycle only capable of being broken by an incredible coach (a very rare breed) who can get players to perform more than anyone ever expected them to. Tech fans cannot admit Paul Johnson is not that coach. Even if he was, he’d bounce for another program like O’Leary did.
We’re not one of the top programs or in the top conference in the country, and should start acting like it. DragonCon is more fun anyway.
A last note to the author – An early signing period isn’t going to help you. Your better recruits know they have to wait it out with the bigger programs, and they won’t sign. If you want to get better, fire your asshole coach and find a young upstart who can recruit. Hang onto him for 4 years and then when he leaves hope you can do the same all over again with another coach. You’re smart kids, you can figure this out. We’ll enjoy kicking your ass in the meanwhile. I’m sure you enjoyed 2008.