Wednesday, February 07, 2007

your John Hancock on the line, please.

The New York Times piece on Illinois football coach Ron Zook (known around EDSBS parts as [NAME REDACTED]) and his apparently amazing recruiting class is notable for the mudslinging done by Golden Domers and Spartan lovers.

John L. Smith, who was recently dismissed as the head coach at Michigan State, expressed a view shared privately by many rival coaches and recruiters: “If they had a winning program and all of that, it would be a different deal. If they had the greatest facilities in the world, then maybe they could sell them. But what are they selling?”

He added, “Where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire.”

Smith ought to know better than that, because he and Zook are peas in a pod -- decent to great recruiters, can't coach for shit. It's what got Smith fired at the end of last season, and will likely get Zook canned after the next two years if said recruiting class doesn't show up. It's one thing to land (pay?) top-notch football talent to sign with you, especially when it's obvious you'll be able to get your freshmen playing time right away. It's another thing to get a conference championship and a BCS bowl out of it. OSU and Michigan are still in the Big 10.

I'm not sure of what to make about signing day in general -- the overexposure via ESPN, SI, and other venues to high school sports (never mind Two-a-Days and Friday Night Lights, even though the latter is fictional) are putting 17 and 18-year old high school students in a bad spot. I mean, we're obsessing over where high school students are going to spend their next four years in life like it was a guarantee they're meant for Great Things depending on where they sign.


Vegan Viking said...

When the person who says "where there's smoke, there's fire" is partly responsible for the smoke (as in this story), I'm willing to believe there might actually be no fire.

Signal to Noise said...

True. If a disgruntled former coach makes your story, you might not have much of one.