College Football Playoff Expansion
An expanded playoff field will be arriving soon – as late as 2026. The effects of this expansion will impact just about every aspect of college football as we know it. How will it affect recruiting?
What we already know is that programs that advance to the CFB Playoffs experience a noted boost in recruiting in the years following (see Cincinnati this year or Washington in 2018). Who wouldn’t want the chance to compete at that stage?
In this sense, it would appear that there will start to be more parity in recruiting and the product being put on the field. With more teams allowed in, players won’t feel as inclined to commit to one of the handful of schools that we currently consider perennial Playoff contenders.
What programs have the most to gain?
Think of “second-tier” football schools such as Florida, Texas A&M or Utah. They seem to always be at the precipice of national contention, yet can’t seem to solidify themselves as a blue chip program. For one reason or another, none of these schools have made the Playoffs, yet they continually use the prospect of qualifying for them as a selling point when recruiting.
With a 12-team field, these schools would have already participated in a handful of Playoffs (according to where they finished in the CFB rankings), with the very real likelihood of competing in more moving forward. That lessens the recruiting gap between schools like Alabama or Ohio State and the aforementioned.
Texas Official Visit Extravaganza
According to reports, Texas spent almost $300,000 over the course of one weekend in June. Nine recruits visited, four have already committed. The goal is to get them to commit, right? For Texas, this goal is to be met by any means necessary.
The Athletic did a deep-dive into what the weekend looked like for each of the recruits and how they were courted to the program. No expense was spared.
Clearly, Texas’ recruiting budget far exceeds that of the average college football program. But this extravaganza still lends weight to the notion that visiting a campus is just as important for a school as it is for an athlete. Texas used the resources they have at their disposal, and they did it in convincing fashion.
Arch Manning, son of Cooper and nephew of Eli and Peyton, just so happened to be one of the recruits on this trip. The family is notoriously private when it comes to Arch as his impending college commitment garnered more and more national attention.
Manning is currently rated as the number two prospect in the country by ESPN. His commitment to Texas, along with many others who made the trip in June, have bolstered the Longhorns’ recruiting class ranking. They currently rank third in the 2023 class behind Georgia and Alabama.
LSU Recruiting Violations
It’s become common for followers of college football to hear about recruiting violations and the impact they have on each respective school. Recently, LSU has come under fire for recruiting violations that leaves them in a difficult position moving forward.
James Cregg, an assistant coach with the team, willfully and knowingly visited recruits during the Covid-19 recruiting dead period. After an investigation, the NCAA issued its sanctions against the school. LSU also self-imposed restrictions and guidelines regarding their future recruitment practices as a result.
These events shine a dim light on a program that is only two years removed from a national championship. Ed Orgeron left town in a rather unceremonious manner and speculation has run rampant as to the state that he’s left the Tigers.
Recruiting violations have destroyed football programs before. Sanctions have ranged from fines and scholarship limitations, to being deemed ineligible for bowl games. Even the death penalty has been doled out before.
In LSU’s case, the necessary steps seem to have been taken. The program will move onward and upward with the perpetrator gone from the team.
Still, this example of a recruiting violation is noteworthy for young student-athletes, their parents, and even schools themselves. It’s important to stay within the rules when having any sort of contact between a recruit and a college.
Do your best to stay educated and make note of the schools that take the rules seriously and go about their business in the right way.
NCAA Transfer Portal Updated
One of the most polarizing topics in college football of late is the transfer portal. Initially made available to players on a wider scale due to Covid-19, the transfer portal has allowed players to essentially act as a free agent.
Regardless of where anybody stands on the portal, it is here to stay. This is especially so after recent NCAA rulings have updated the transfer process to further modernize its usage.
Last month, the NCAA voted to introduce “transfer windows.” According to SI, the new changes will affect how often players can go from one school to another without penalty.
Each season, there will be a 45 day window immediately following the championship selection. Another 15 day window will take place in the beginning of May.
“Like their peers in the general student population, college athletes choose to transfer for any number of reasons,” said Jere Morehead, the NCAA board chairman. “We believe the changes enacted today enable member schools to adapt to students’ needs, while also positioning students for long-term academic success.”
Morehead also acknowledged that the transfer portal landscape is constantly evolving and changing with each season. Further updates are always being considered by the board. Until next time, we wait.