Incoming Michigan State recruit Gary Harris hits the big stage

SEC Football: Oversigning (“Cheating”)=More Championships

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As Wes Bynum’s 19-yarder sailed through the desert air to split the uprights and down Oregon in the Tostitos BCS national championship there was no question Auburn was the best team in college football.  There was also no doubt which conference was at the top of the summit.  The cheers of “S-E-C” that rained down like ticker-tape on the Auburn players and coaches was evidence enough.  Fans chanting the conference’s moniker knew, and so did the rest of the nation, the SEC, with victories in the last five national championships, was college football’s king.

Fans, writers and even coaches have sought to explain this domination.  Many pegged blazing SEC speed as the reason, asserting that kids from Florida and Georgia just have better wheels than farm-boys from Ohio and Wisconsin.  For years, that reasoning has been widely accepted, but lately a new explanation has bubbled to the surface: oversigning.

By: Jeff Beck [Read more…]

Grading Minnesota Gophers 2010 Signing Day

By Mike Gallagher

4:30 in the early evening on Wednesday February 3rd, 2010 rolled around, and Seantrel Henderson broke Minnesota fans hearts.

After much speculation and months of waiting, three letters were on the lips of the best lineman in the nation. [Read more…]

National Signing Dayapalooza

By Paul M. Banks
National Signing Day, college football’s version of the NFL draft, continues to grow in popularity each year. The everyday causal football fan has now joined the hardcore college football nerd in following the day’s events. There are even parties thrown at sports bars and restaurants in honor of the event.

Yes indeed, there are that many people interested in going out on a February night to watch high school football highlights and learn where those kids are attending college.

This year, both Illinois and Northwestern had live streaming coverage of and special soirees for the first day that blue-chip recruits have an option to sign their letters of intent. The local sports media came out to Evanston in full force to see how much recruiting benefits NU Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald gained after a season where his team finished just one win shy of the school record.

It started and finished locally, with Northwestern receiving commitments from five Chicagoland recruits to go along with 13 signees from across the country. The Wildcats’ five local commits gives NU a total of 16 Chicagoland signees the past three years and ups their current roster of Illinois players to 34. “Our focus always begins and ends with Chicagoland and we are thrilled with the commitments we received from our local student-athletes,” said Fitzgerald.

Patrick Ward OT 6-7 285 Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic is the jewel of the class. His father played on Illinois’ 1984 Rose Bowl team. “It’s critical to your success, recruiting is the lifeblood of your program…We feel like we filled our needs from a size, speed, and toughness standpoint, Fitzgerald said. Allen Trieu, a recruiting analyst for Scout.com, called Northwestern’s 2009 signing class the “most underrated class” among Midwest FBS schools, while Rivals.com rated Fitz’s haul as middle-of-the-pack. The recruiting specialty site ranked the class 58th overall in the nation.