OTC: Football’s Best Recruits Continue To Shun Cold Colleges

Kansas football coach Turner Gill discusses the recruiting class of 2011, which was labeled the 34th-best class in the country, according to Rivals.com. Gill announced the class in a news conference on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 at Mrkonic Auditorium.

Rivals Top 20 Schools for 2011 Football Recruiting
1)     Alabama                       11) Oregon
2)     Florida State                 12) Tennessee
3)     Texas                           13) Oklahoma
4)     USC                             14) Florida
5)     Georgia                         15) Nebraska
6)     LSU                              16) North Carolina
7)     Auburn                          17) California
8)     Clemson                       18) Ole Miss
9)     Notre Dame                  19) Texas Tech
10) Ohio State                    20) South Carolina
Rivals’ experts rank every Big 12 South school except Baylor ahead of the first Big 12 North school, a surprising Kansas at 34. Mizzou is next at 46. Iowa State’s and Kansas State’s recruiting classes did not make the top 50.
In Rivals Top 20, only three programs (ND, OSU and NU) can be considered cold-weather schools. It is my belief that the warm weather states and schools will continue to dominate college football. This is not a good thing for our local schools in the former Big 12 North. Even Mizzou’s Gary Pinkel appears to have lost some of his annual recruiting magic with a class that many experts are labeling as subpar. Kansas fans are giddy over Rivals placing their class as the Big 12’s sixth best. It’s all about expectations. And if you’re a football team from the North, those expectations have never been more miniscule. Read on.
“FSU, Auburn, Alabama, USC, Texas, UGA, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Clemson.”
Jeremy Crabtree, in listing ESPN’s top 10 college football draft classes, Twitter
GH: Crabtree, who is now with ESPN, also shows a strong southern comfort with his top 10.
“They are going to have five running backs that could probably play at most Big 12 schools.”
Jon Kirby, on KU’s situation at running back next season, 810 AM
GH: We have debated here in the past the worth of Darrian Miller, Blue Springs’ much-toted running back. I think he’s going to be a great college player while many Mizzou and Iowa fans scolded me for propping up a kid they said their schools didn’t want. It will be interesting to see who’s right on Miller…and I don’t think we’ll have to wait long. He is already enrolled in Lawrence and he should get plenty of playing time even as a freshman.
“How do you put it? Another bad recruiting class for Kansas State. I don’t know how else you can put it.”
Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: The recruiting grades do not include juco signings. Let’s hope Snyder still has his magic in turning jucos into purple gold. If not, Manhattan could quickly begin to resemble Dodge City circa the 1880s for Old Bill.
“When you’re talking about how Bill Snyder has improved the (K-State football) program, you’re talking about a lot of intangible stuff.”
Austin Meek, 610 AM
GH: The Purple People are getting lean and mean on this constant diet of Snyder “intangibles.” It is ironic that Snyder’s own amazing and unprecedented success in the ‘90s is what fuels his fan base’s angst.
“Well, (K-State) got some quantity. I don’t know how much quality they got. … It certainly looks like it’s going to be pretty hard for K-State to win any hardware in the Big 12 the way it’s going to be set up going forward.”
Austin Meek, columnist Topeka Capital Journal, in an interview with Nick Wright, 610 AM
GH: While K-State is getting dumped on from everywhere for having what most experts believe to be the worst recruiting class (again) in the Big 12, the reality is that none of the Big 12 North schools look to have done much to threaten the southern juggernaut that haunts the conference trophy case. Read on.
“It may be the best (recruiting) class for what the program is of any class in the country. For a 3-9 team, this is a really, really good class for Kansas.”
Kevin Kietzman, on Turner Gill’s first recruiting class at Kansas, 810 AM
“KU football coach Turner Gill ecstatic with No. 34 recruiting class in country.”
Headline at KUSports.com
GH: Gill’s first recruiting class is a feel-good moment for Jayhawk football fans. But the reality is that they sit far below five southern teams in the Big 12. Unless Gill’s top goals are to go 7-5 and play in the Gator Bowl each year (which would appease many KU fans I know), he’s going to have to ratchet up his recruiting to ever approach the altitude where Mark Mangino had the Hawks flying.
GH: Gill’s first recruiting class is a feel-good moment for Jayhawk football fans. But the reality is that they sit far below five southern teams in the Big 12. Unless Gill’s top goals are to go 7-5 and play in the Gator Bowl each year (which would appease many KU fans I know), he’s going to have to ratchet up his recruiting to ever approach the altitude where Mark Mangino had the Hawks flying.
“To me this is a critical point in the tenure of Mike Anderson. Critical in the question of is this program going to get to be what it is the Missouri fans want the program to be. It’s critical off the court in who he’s recruiting and how he’s recruiting. … If you want to beat Kansas you’ve got to beat them with some players.”
Soren Petro, after Mizzou was bounced in Stillwater 76-70 on Wednesday night by the very average Cowboys, 810 AM
GH: Petro bemoaned reports that Mizzou appears to have lost out on three big-time basketball recruits out of the St. Louis area – one even to hated Kansas. Anderson’s frenetic full-court style does not translate to attracting McDonald’s All-Americans. Can Mizzou get to be where Arkansas once was playing this way? Yes. But as Petro stated, it’s going to take talent. Not Ricardo Ratliffe, Kim English and Ricky Kreklow talent. It’s going to take Kansas talent to play with and win a conference title.  
“(Wally Judge) has been in and out all year. I mean it’s not like, you know, it’s one thing if Jamar Samuels comes in and says that to me, because Jamar’s been so good this year. You know, it’s unfortunate. You never want that to happen. You don’t want a distraction for your team in the middle of conference play.”
Frank Martin, when asked about the impact of Wally Judge leaving the K-State basketball team, 810 AM
GH: Not the smoothest of answers from a guy who made his K-State bones talking silk into a mic. I watched Martin closely during the Cats dominating win over Nebraska on Wednesday night. He was a totally different coach. He rarely was seen violently demeaning and berating his players. Maybe Frank has grown up some this season as well.
“I’m tired of people blaming Frank Martin for this! Eventually some blame has to be on the players!”
Bob Fescoe, on K-State’s fall from top-five in the country to the bottom tier in the Big 12, 610 AM
GH: Yeah, let’s blame the kid on scholarship who is 1500 miles from home and let the millionaire coach off the hook for have three high-profile players leave his program in the same season. That sounds Fescoe reasonable.
“This (K-State) team has dismantled this year. Their practice habits are bad, they don’t know what they’re doing when they come out of the huddle. That speaks to almost everything that the players aren’t understanding what Coach Martin is telling them.”
Dave Armstrong, Big 12 TV broadcaster, 810 AM
GH: When Damsel Dave starts poking your program, you’ve got some issues.
“The Morris twins are not the quintessential Kansas basketball players. They were not recruited by a lot of schools kind of because of who and what they are.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman did not define what he meant by “who and what they are.” But I found his leading statement to be quite condemning for a pair of college athletes whose only off-court blemish is shooting a BB gun out a dorm window their first weeks on campus. Yeah, they have a lot of tats and toss their elbows about on occasion, but they’ve managed to not hit any women or get stuck in a Taco Bell take-out window.
“I’ll tell you right now, Markieff (Morris) is going to be the first guy drafted off that Kansas team. I’m not sure Markieff wouldn’t have more scoring ability if you get him away from his brother (Marcus).”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Interesting. Will both Morris twins go NBA after this year? Neither? Is Josh Selby the quietest one-and-doner since Xavier Henry? Or is Danny Clinkscale correct in predicting there is maybe no NBA talent on this season’s Jayhawks? Much hoops to be played before we have to bother with those questions.
“Might be best streak in sports RT @Raazoul: Here’s a stat for you: (Kentucky’s) Rupp Arena has NEVER had its court stormed and never will.”
Seth Davis, CBS college basketball analyst, Twitter
GH: Sounds like a pretty boring place. Sometimes you need to get off your high horse to experience how much fun all the peasants are having.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24
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20 Responses to OTC: Football’s Best Recruits Continue To Shun Cold Colleges

  1. Cliffy says:

    Recruiting rankings are meaningless …
    As DeArmond pointed out, the Mizzou class that included Jeremy Maclin and Sean Witherspoon was ranked in the mid-40s. If these rankings were accurate, Notre Dame would be in a BCS bowl every year.

    Kudos to Crabtree for making a good living by providing meaningless information.

  2. dp says:

    Crabtree and ESPN
    Hall and OG Wangsta’ Nick Wright failed to mention that Crabtree and ESPN ranked lil ole K-State’s class ahead of Pinkel and MU’s…..not to mention they’ll have two 5-star transfers, Arthur Brown from the U at LB and Bryce Brown from Tennessee at RB. Any improvement on defense at all next year and they’ll be at least a 7 win team.

  3. % says:

    Recruiting rankings
    Why do recruiting class rankings continue to garner any ink at all? Why do we even discuss this hocus pocus system of evaluating talent?

    Haven’t these rankings been proven time and again to have the proximate worth of a handful of wooden nickels?

  4. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Screw the rankings
    Gary Pinkel and his staff have shown consistently over the past decade that they know WAAAY more than these schmucks at Rivals do. Honestly, there just wasn’t alot of talent in the state of Missouri this year. Next year, is loaded. Mizzou’s ranking will rocket back into the top 25.

  5. Gavin says:

    it may be nitpicking…
    But I think Oklahoma would also be considered a “cold weather” school. Playing in the Big XII South doesn’t automatically make the weather warm. Is it as cold in Norman as it is in Columbus or Pittsburgh? Probably not. And your larger point about warm weather schools recruiting better than cold weather schools is still pretty much correct, but I think that recruiting success corresponds more with money than with weather. I don’t see Miami anywhere on that list, for example.

    Many of the schools you list, like Alabama, are in states with warmer climates, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Alabama also has a really good, albeit loathsome, coach in Nick Saban. I suspect that the amount of money Alabama pours into football facilities, weightrooms, dormitories, etc. probably is a function of all that success as well. Look at the cold-weather schools you list that did well yesterday: Do you notice any themes there? They value football tremendously, they pay a shit-ton of money to be a football power and they have huge stadiums. It seems to me that those things all lend themselves to successful recruiting as much or more than the climate. If all it took was warm weather, wouldn’t we be hearing a lot more about the success of Southern Miss and Tulane?

  6. JP says:

    Not a bad class for a 3-9 team
    Turner deserves a lot of credit for this class. You have to crawl before you can walk and then run. KU getting a top 30 ranked class after the miserable season they had is worthy of some praise. Recruiting is like drafting, and we will know soon enough if there is progress from this KU program.

    As for Kietzman, he cowered out of here on Monday, knowing what was in store for his beloved Kansas State team at Lawrence. That’s why he opened Tuesday’s show on the Frank White situation. With regard to the Morris twins, wouldn’t you know he would have a (In My Opinion) borderline bigoted comment on the Morris twins. They were being recruited by KU and Villanova. Once again, old K State Kietz never lets facts get in the way of a good story.

    Finally, with K-State’s win, the Kietzman sees his shadow. 6 more weeks of exclusive K State talk on Between the Lines, and nothing about KU and Missouri.

  7. Jim says:

    MU’s ranking is lower this year because they have a small class. Their average star rating of their recruits puts them in the top 4-5 of the Big 12. Kansas was ranked higher this year because they took in 10+ more players than Missouri, even though their average ranking is lower.

    Also, the rankings vary based upon who is recruiting them. Much like a kid who is being recruited by Kansas basketball has a better change of being a McDonald’s All American, a kid being recruited by Texas/Oklahoma/etc will have a higher star rating.

  8. Johnny Utah says:

    KK’s hate
    How can a listener take Kietz’s analysis seriously? He doesn’t even hide his KU hatred anymore. any compliment is a backhanded one. I wouldn’t advocate KU fans boycotting KK’s show, b/c it’s good to hear what the enemy thinks. BTW: I haven’t heard much from KSU fans this week. hmmmm….

  9. EVG says:

    K-State FB recruiting ranking
    I’m not saying KSU’s recruiting class is world class, but they did fill some big needs with some nice signings (especially late in the process). And as you point out, the Rivals rankings exclude jucos. I’d further point out that they exclude TWO former #1 HS prep recruits (nationally) in Arthur and Bryce Brown. I think I’ll trust Bill over some desk jockey at Rivals.com.

  10. Jayhawk Fan says:

    YUP, and KK is not the only KU hater
    He doesn’t even hide his KU hatred anymore. any compliment is a backhanded one…
    Yup, he is not the only one either….

  11. Jayhawk Fan says:

    LMAO, like you understand reality.
    Tell us about reality ….LMAO….

    ….the reality is that they ….. blah blah blah….

  12. Hoppy says:

    What exactly would Husker Greg hate about KU football???? The fact that the Nubs won’t have them on the schedule anymore i guess, I would hate that.

  13. Hoppy says:

    What exactly would Husker Greg hate about KU football???? The fact that the Nubs won’t have them on the schedule anymore i guess, I would hate that.

  14. Hoppy says:

    What exactly would Husker Greg hate about KU football???? The fact that the Nubs won’t have them on the schedule anymore i guess, I would hate that.

  15. shecky says:

    Good Work, JP
    Congratulations to JP who somehow managed to criticize KK for both 1) avoiding talking about K-State and 2) exclusively talking about K-State in the very same comment. Nice job!

  16. harley says:

    The facts about mizzzou that we arent talking about…
    Mizzou continues to turn out first round draft choices to the nfl. Had gabbert not gone
    it would have made next season a stellar season.
    but my reports that I am getting are saying that this franklin kid is damn good.
    As far as anderson in bball…i’ve always contended that with the 40 minutes of hell defense
    he won’t get the top recruits like kansas.
    However….theres a big difference in bball than football. In football theres no tournament.
    MU can lose all their games to texas and kansas in a season and still get deeper into
    the tournament than either team. the reg. season means nothing to fans. Its just a pre
    ranking systme. Expect mu, if they don’t get too tired by the end of the season to go
    deep into the tournament…why? because the firswt time you play this team you can’t
    figure out how to handle that 40 minutes of hell. Ku and texas and other big 12 schools have
    seen it numbersous times….but in the ncaa tournament teams won’t get long to try to figure
    out how to play against it.
    Anderson may one day switch from this style…i’ve recommendd it many times….but he’s
    taken the program into a higher level and until he proves otherwise he’s still them an in columbia.

  17. MoCrash says:

    Old News
    Why is this being considered as though it’s anything new in college football? Warm-weather schools have long dominated the recruiting, just as they have the national championships, since that is where the talent lies. There is also the attraction of both milder climate and football tradition to entice some Northern athletes to go south, but when the numbers are broken down that is less of a factor than Southern schools keeping home-grown talent in the region. The balance of power between the Big 12 North and South may be widened by the loss of Nebraska, among the few Northern programs with the tradition to come close to matching the South in recruiting, but the South was stronger from Year 1.

  18. MrOlathe says:

    Population Shift?
    The shift over the last 25 years from the rust belt to the sun belt is a huge factor.

  19. Rainbow Man says:

    Smaller World
    A kid from Chicago can now play in Florida instead of Michigan, and not worry about being far away from home. Somehow…. he will come up with plane tickets when he needs em.

  20. Rainbow Man says:

    Another Thing
    Something they get at KU (Basketball) and Nebraska and Notre Dame that helps them compete. You play for that program.. and they will TAKE CARE OF YOU FOREVER in those communities. Sure there are exceptions, but they stand out. The other cold weather schools don’t get it… You play there… you are forgotten. Tradition matters in cold weather climates…

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