Football recruiting nuggets top Rick Bozich's Monday Rewind.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In case you missed the news, I am not a five-star fan of college football recruiting ratings. I am a 10-star fan of discussing what interests readers.
So even though I'm in the 0.0001 percent of college fans who do not obsess over college football ratings at this time of year, it's a perfect time to launch the Monday Rewind with five recruiting nuggets because we are nine days from national signing day, and if there is a time to obsess, it's now.
1. The gurus don't agree on many things, but they do agree that Kentucky has assembled what appears to be the most talented football class in the area. I checked four services and put together the numbers. All the gurus love what Mark Stoops and his staff are doing.
2. Even Charlie Strong doesn't get them all with the Longhorn Network and a 100,000-seat stadium to sell. Over the weekend, the Longhorns suffered their fifth de-commitment since Strong took over from Mack Brown – and this one stung because they lost their guy to Texas A&M, which is trying to flip the entire state of Texas into an SEC state.
Linebacker Otaro Alaka, from Houston, entertained home visits from both Strong and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin – and picked the Aggies after committing to UT under the previous coaching staff.
That might explain why Strong and his staff have worked overtime to sign two guys who de-committed from Louisville – and why they made a strong, but unsuccessful, play to get Trinity quarterback Reggie Bonnafon, a Louisville recruit, to visit Austin.
3. As strong as the local classes are, Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana are only ranked in the middle of the pack in their leagues. The competition never sleeps.
Rivals rates the Kentucky class eighth in the SEC, Scout says ninth and 247 goes with 10th.
Louisville's class would rank 10th in the ACC, according to Rivals. Scout says seventh and 247 has the Cards 10th.
For Indiana, it's seventh in Rivals and eighth in Scout and 247.
Better make another phone call or write another note, fellas.
4. Surprise, surprise. Alabama is king. The Crimson Tide remain on top in all four ratings, leading Ohio State in two, Texas A&M in one and Tennessee in another.
If Alabama loses more than one game in the next four years, Nick Saban should move directly to the Hot Seat.
5. How is Charlie Strong doing overall?
Good, not great. The Longhorns have the Number 14 class with Rivals, which is one spot behind Kentucky. They rank 12th in Scout and 13th in 247 and ESPN. He got a late start, but he's selling Texas.
If Mack Brown failed to deliver a consensus Top 10 class, the folks in Austin would be wondering what the heck is going on. Strong gets a honeymoon period. Next season, he'd better get back in the top 10. Or top five.
For the record, Brown's 2013 class ranked 24th on Rivals, but the Longhorns were second in 2012, third in 2011 and third in 2010.
*Could Cuonzo Martin actually be on the hot seat at Tennessee?
After three seasons?
Reasonable people would have to wonder about that, but David Climer, veteran columnist at The Tennessean and observer of all things Orange, presents a case for why Martin might not be as safe as you'd think.
The Vols were buried at Florida Saturday. They're only 3-3 in a sub-par SEC. It is a team carried by juniors and seniors so things figure to get worse before they get better.
Oh, and Cuonzo Martin is not Bruce Pearl.
That's the takeaway – or the punch line. You can decide.
Even though Pearl parked the program on NCAA probation, apparently a substantial chunk of Tennessee just can't quit Bruce and his face paint, bare chest and ability to sell, sell, sell.
Pearl's three-season show cause status with the NCAA will expire in August. He has marketed himself wisely while working with ESPN and on the radio. Jobs will open, including possible positions at Boston College (Pearl's alma mater) and Auburn (eager to fill its new arena).
Might Tennessee make a change before Pearl is no longer available?
We all know better than that.
*Searching for some warmer thoughts?
Try this: Both Indiana (Number 3) and Louisville (20) will start the season ranked in the Top 25 in Baseball America's college basketball poll. The Hoosiers and Cards visited Peyton Manning's favorite city – Omaha – for the College World Series last June.
Indiana is led by a pair of likely first-round picks in the 2014 MLB Free-Agent Draft – catcher Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Sam Travis. Relief pitcher Nick Burdi, another likely first-rounder, is Louisville's top pro prospect.
U of L opens its season against West Virginia in Charleston, S.C. on Feb. 14. IU plays at Texas Tech the same day.
1. Which team will win Super Bowl XLVIII?
Denver 79.6 percent.
Seattle 20.4 percent.
2. Which local player is most likely to make the Mid-Season Top 25 Watch List for the Wooden Award?