Random thoughts
by Wass (2023-01-26 21:41:03)

I'll try this again. My first attempt was somehow blown out when I had to set my phone down and answer the door. Chemo meds that I have to sign for because it is a "black box" drug. Wonderful stuff, derived from one of the most infamous drugs from the late 50s/early 60s. But that's another story. The post was too wordy anyway, so I'll break this one up into two (equally wordy) posts.

Transfer portal - I have to admit, it wasn't as chaotic as I expected and not nearly as chaotic as some had predicted. On YouTuber had predicted that hundreds of players would jump in to test the NIL waters. Turns out, that didn't happen and I see the guy who predicted it as a click bait hack. Still, a lot of players jumped in and a lot are still looking for a home. Depending on what you believe somewhere between 52% and 64% found a landing spot. The sites that keep up on this remind me of the early days of recruiting on the internet - biased opinions from the so-called recruiting gurus like Tom Lemming. I found two of the major sites, 247 and On3, to be rather sloppy in keeping tract of things. There are guys that have long since found a new place still listed as available while not even listing others. 0n3 seems to be a bit better but by no means perfect. I also question their rankings of players. Who exact is making thar call? I was surprised to see 3 Stanford O-linemen as highly ranked transfers. Was the ND game the only Stanford game these "experts" watched? Stanford's OL was awful the rest of the year. Sure, there were injuries, but that doesn't excuse the horrid play. Some teams completely revamped their rosters. Colorado took something like 24 transfers so far and 16 incoming freshman recruits, nearly half the roster spots. Relatively few current Colorado players have jumped in, so they have a lot of "roster pruning" to do. Arizona State has 26 transfers coming in, but they lost a lot to the portal. I wonder if we aren't seeing a lot of "take from Peter to give to Paul" at some places. Sure, they may have brought in a bunch of new players, but if you lost a ton of players, are your really that much better? Not every player is a big time transfer like Caleb Williams. Many are players who lost in the roster at their current school looking for a fresh start. Schools taking the most players from the portal were usually those with new HCs, though some schools seem to be relying on it, such as USC and LSU. I think that is a bit of a gamble because the talent in the portal varies from year to year. There are plenty of players now in part because of the COVID year, but that won't last forever. Couple that with the "JT Daniels" rule that will limit non-graduates to 1 transfer without penalty of sitting out a year (we'll see how long that lasts!), and the numbers will fall a bit, hurting schools who look to fill positions with transfers. It could help in recruiting for some schools, in that you could tell a recruit that going to such a school will mean you'll have to wait a couple years to see the field because that coach uses transfers to find starters and that the recruit might find themselves in the portal after a couple of years. There are schools that lost a ton of players but took few in the portal, like A&M. They lost nearly a third of their roster to the portal, many of them younger players. Sure, they still have a lot of talent and brought in a bunch of quality recruits, but you can't replace that year in and year out. Then there are the schools who lost kids to the portal and didn't care, like Alabama. That's how they operate. The portal was tailored to Nick Saban's method of recruiting. Get in as many highly ranked recruits as possible (and accuse anyone who gets a more highly rated class of cheating), and push out anyone who doesn't produce after a year or two. As for ND, they filled some roster holes, with the exception of a big DT, but they are also 9 over the limit for grants. More on that in a later post. I am glad they took Hartman, but I am not as excited as most. ND needed to take a QB, and he is likely to start. But I am more cautious, along the lines of what Mike Goolsby has said. He's a 6th year player who was projected as a late round draft pick (7th is what I read, for what that's worth). ND risks losing younger QBs to the portal and may find themselves looking for a starting QB out of the portal next year. Unlike JT Daniels, Hartman has been very productive at Wake and I am confident he will fit in at ND. ND is done for now in the portal as picking are pretty slim at most positions, especially along the OL. There are some good players left, but ND will have to wait until the May portal opens to find a big DT if and when one enters then. I would shy away from a player who has transferred more than one. They are likely a bit of a head case and may be a detriment to the team. I like the "JT Daniels" rule but I doubt it will last. I am also surprised at home many players went to a team in conference. It wasn't that long ago where that was quite difficult.

NIL - I stated this before, but it's part of the game now. There seem to be few rules regulating it with the NCAA being useless in policing it. I read where a running back from Texas got a Lamborghini Truck out of it. That's crazy to me. Then there is the QB recruit, Jaden Rashada, who backed out of his LOI because of NIL issues. I'm sure someone will pick him up, but how many schools are willing to shell out lots of NIL money (and "gifts") for an incoming freshman who may not pan out? Every school has different "rules" for handing out NIL money. It really is the wild west for that right now. Will it end up being those schools with the wealthiest donors always have to best players? It doesn't guarantee the players will stick around. Look at A&M and Oregon. They have plenty of NIL money yet lots of players left. And who is really pulling the strings with it? It is supposed to he the coaches, but it cab open the door to wealthy alumni meddling in things. Listen to what we have to say or we'll cut your money off. Unlikely? Sure. But is it possible? Did anyone think a 9th year senior with another year of eligibility would ever be possible? I was going to say something disparaging about SMU and USC, but I'm rambling at this point. As for ND, they k ow full well they have to play the game with NIL money if they want to compete. I am not sure how they figure who gets what, but I do wish there was a more universal equation that everyone had to follow. I find the way it is handled now to he rather odd. Correct me if I am wrong, but the whole NIL thing was supposed to compensate a player for a university profiting using their name, image, and likeness. This isn't what is going on. The money comes from a 3rd party and the university just keeps the profits. Further, it is just a paycheck that is arbitrary. Recruits can secure a massive NIL paycheck when they sign their LOI yet may never pan out. Can a player have their NIL money yanked out from under them when they don't pan out in an effort to force them out? I am asking because I don't know if they can do that. At any rate, I think we are slowly going to a system where the players are university employees rather than student-athletes. And that's not good.

That's all for now. You're all lucky chemo fog is a real thing because I forgot a lot of points! I will post some thoughts on "roster pruning" and the roster situation as a whole, but I have went on way too long. Please correct and clarify things regarding NIL and the portal. I'm still learning it (I had quite a long hiatus) and want to understand how they work. Sorry about the typos in advance.