With today's official announcement of Colorado to the Pac10 conference and the expected announcement of Nebraska to the Big10 conference (which officially makes it a Big12, don't you think?)… it would seem that the summer realignment-ageddon has officially begun.
For those who thought last season's national championship game between Alabama and Texas was a chess match between Nick Saban and Mack Brown, it turns out that it was actually a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos and Jenga.
Nah, Nick and Mack were reunited recently to film one of those funny ESPN commercials. I'll let you fill in your own jokes today, unless it's a hi-tech computer joke.
In yet another offseason move to control the recruiting arms-race, the NCAA has banned the “Tiger Prowl”, as utilized very effectively by Auburn.
Under the new rules, teams are only allowed to have two coaches visit a prospect's school on a recruiting day.
Auburn gained national recruiting buzz when the “Tiger Prowl” first rolled onto the scene. Instead of sending just a couple of coaches to schools, seven members of the Tigers coaching staff all jumped into a stretch limo and made the rounds from school-to-school.
The high-roller approach didn't go over with other coaches or the NCAA, who specifically mentioned the visits in the statement accompanying the rule.
Although during an evaluation period no in-person, off-campus recruiting contact may occur with a prospective student-athlete, it has become commonplace for institutions to send numerous coaches to a prospective student-athlete’s educational institution. Oftentimes arriving in limousines and extravagant buses, these multiple coaches are appearing at the high schools of the prospective student-athletes just as much to be seen as to actually conduct an evaluation. Many institutions are unnecessarily expending resources in order to have multiple assistant coaches attend these evaluations as a result of the perceived recruiting benefit. By permitting only two football coaches per institution to visit a prospective student-athlete’s school on any given evaluation day, it would preclude institutions from sending a large number of assistant coaches to a school just for perception purposes.
Knowing the rule has been coming, at least two schools – Auburn and Georgia – have been using the Prowl in the last few weeks to maximize attention before the NCAA could put a stop to it.
I think this should be taking as a compliment to the Auburn Tigers. They did it and it worked. Auburn finished with the Rivals #4 recruiting class, besting SEC rivals Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia and 10 other conference foes.
And since no good deed goes unpunished, the Tiger Prowl concept is banned, just as Urban Meyer's texting thumbs were summarily silenced by the NCAA.
It's hard to predict what the next big thing will be in the recruiting arms race, but you can pretty much count on the SEC to dream it up. Les Miles in a jetpack? The Kentucky coaches in a YouTube lipdub? The Vandy “V” being shown like Batman's bat-signal high over Atlanta?
Don't laugh – it could happen.
The 6-foot 4-inch, 320-pound junior college transfer will suit up for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Fall of 2011. Roll Tide!
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