BOZICH | What's bad for Ohio State can help U of L, UK, IU, WKU
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is not a fan of college football's new early signing period, which means it's good for programs that don't have all the advantages of Ohio State.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In college football, I have three guiding principles:
Don't wait until the fourth quarter to go for two.
If a rule change irritates Urban Meyer and Ohio State, Regular Joe Programs will benefit.
If you heard how loudly Meyer howled this week when college football adopted an early three-day signing period in December, you know better days are ahead for programs that are not Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma, USC and others with the biggest and best of everything.
Programs like Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and (especially) Western Kentucky can find a guy the 5-Star Shoppers have overlooked or snubbed, earn a commitment and get the player's name on a national letter of intent on Dec. 20, 21, 22.
Then they can exhale without worrying about Meyer, Jim Harbaugh or Nick Saban trying to big-foot them by poaching the prospect off his commitment to fill any openings left in Mr. Big Shot's recruiting classes.
Coaches, players and recruiting analysts created a name for this growing tactic. They call it flipping. Former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielama began complaining about Meyer's tactics 15 seconds after he landed at Ohio State.
The 5-Star Shoppers use flipping as a tactic to maintain their hold on 35 or 40 guys to fill the 20-25 spots in their recruiting classes. For the programs that do not shop primarily at the 5- or even 4-Star market, it resulted in cruel and unusual punishment.
Ask any coach who lost a kid to Ohio State, Alabama or Florida State in January or early February. It stinks.
The kid who looks like your best commitment is more likely Ohio State's 26th best prospect. The Big Boys are not sure they really want him until they lose No. 8, 17 and 24.
Then, they're all in, flashing their considerable advantages like a larger stadium, more extravagant player lounge and 7-figure assistant coaches.
You're wishing, hoping and praying to hold them off. Good luck with that.
Now if it's a player you're sure you want, you've got him if you can secure his signature Dec. 20, 21, 22.
You know, the way it works in basketball, which has November and April signing periods. Most basketball programs fill their slots during the early signing period, not after the season ends.
I have not heard John Calipari, Rick Pitino or Mike Krzyzewski shrieking about guys committing in November.
Not the way Meyer shrieked on Monday. He reacted as if somebody told him that Jim Harbaugh was bringing Michigan's 2018 spring practice to Columbus.
"We're absolutely opposed to (the early signing period)," Meyer said told Landof10.com. "I hear the reasoning is because there's so many de-commitments. What the hell does that (mean)?
"So because 17-year-olds are de-committing, let's give them a legal document so they can't de-commit. That's not very smart. Young people have a right to chose where they want to go to school. Period. Let them de-commit 100 times. They're 17 years old.
"So I don't understand whether it's lazy, whether it's … I don't understand why there's this big push. Now they want to have official visits in their junior year.
"There are some kids that don't even have ACT scores. Their bodies are gaining 12 pounds. Why not move it back to their sophomore year? It's bizarre. You going to see more transfers and more mistakes made in recruiting than ever if they keep pushing this thing up."
I'll try to help Meyer with three things here:
Players can still de-commit if they've only given an oral pledge. Most de-commits come from guys who make an oral pledge as a sophomore, junior or early during their senior season. Those guys can still change their minds. It's an early signing period, not a hostage taking situation.
Nobody has to sign in December. Meyer can still try lean on every guy the Buckeyes are pursuing to wait until early February and then participate in the National Signing Day Hat Juggling contest. This will merely provide breathing room for kids who have made a decision and simply what to unplug from the recruiting nonsense.
The football early signing period will still begin about six weeks after college basketball's early signing period -- and Western Civilization has not crumbled because basketball players have been committing on the second Wednesday in November.
Remember: Never defer. Don't wait until the fourth quarter to go for two.
And if a rule change annoys Urban Meyer, it's likely good for the rest of college football.
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