I admit it. I hate recruiting.
I understand it's important and I understand that programs have to go out and get talent, but the whole process makes me feel icky. I just can't obsess over 17-year-old boys, perhaps the most unreliable group of people on the planet.
Some of these kids will become stars, some won't. Nobody knows, not really. I know, in the end, that if you get a lot of highly rated kids, you'll probably have a talented team. Not every kid pans out, but on average, it works out. It's all a numbers game, which means I just don't care that much about each individual signee. Our class is already a success, really.
Not to rip on Richard's work or anything. I think he does a great job, and he avoids the general creepy vibe that usually accompanies recruiting. On some sites, there is no noticeable difference between the language used regarding recruiting and porn. Which is beyond creepy.
But mainly I hate recruiting because of articles like this.
Hey, I appreciate that Stewart Mandel's got a deadline and he has to write SOMETHING about recruiting. And talking about LSU versus Alabama is as good of a tact as any. So this isn't to single him out, because I think Mandel is a pretty good college football writer.
Really, the only guys were "at war" over are Richardson and Stinson. But get this, we're both in the SEC West and chances are good were gonna cross paths every recruiting season on the big name guys. But one quote from Mandel's piece kind of show there isn't this huge recruiting war between the two programs:
"Contrary to many predictions upon his hiring at Alabama, Saban has not made much of a recruiting dent in the state he once dominated. His first two classes included just one Louisianan apiece."
Shiver me timbers. Let's face it, we have a bigger recruiting rivalry with Texas. We're always raiding Texas, and they try and raid Louisiana. And we actually share a border not "practically share one". Saban is a terrific recruiter, but we don't exactly share the same recruiting zones. There's some overlap, but not much.
And Guilbeau's quote just kills me.
"Saban going to Alabama was LSU's worst nightmare," Guilbeau said. "... It's always felt inferior to Alabama, and since Saban is at Alabama, LSU fans fear the old days could be coming back when Alabama and Bear dominated LSU. Deep down, LSU fans know Saban is a better coach than Miles and they just can't handle that."
Seriously, shut the hell up. There's some great journalism there, Glen. I wasn't aware that I felt that way, but thanks for telling me. Maybe older fans have a Bama complex, but I went to LSU starting in 1993. I hate Auburn, not Bama. Maybe Guilbeau has always felt inferior to Bama and feels that Saban is a better coach than Miles, but I don't. He's just projecting his own biases onto the entire fanbase.
This is really the first time in almost twenty years that Alabama and LSU are both good at the same time. The rivalry is being reignited, and obviously, our former coach being at Bama has a lot to do with it, especially since he's a jackass who is really easy to dislike. He's also a jackass who wins, making him easy to like if he's coaching your team. But to say we are in this massive recruiting war isn't really true. Most Louisiana kids are going to stay in Louisiana. And until Bama starts taking two or three prospects each season from the Pelican State, we're not in a recruiting war. Not really.
We'll each have great classes, largely pulled from different areas. We'll both have really good teams which will likely compete for the SEC title against one another. Isn't that enough of a rivalry? Do we really have to manufacture one?
I can't wait until Signing Day is over.