Is the concept of "meta-recruiting" real?

Discussion in 'Recruiting' started by IP, May 22, 2022.

  1. IP

    IP It's just business.

    This is going to be a bit of a schizo-post, feel free to either help guide me over a target or physically cringe as you close this tab.

    Throughout my life, even before the recruiting rankings services, Vol fans have paid attention to recruiting I am sure most fan bases of storied programs do. Where are the players coming from? Where do the coaches look?

    I recall in the 90's going into the 00's, Tennessee looking for pulls from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and to some extent California. I think those were places from which we consistently pulled out-of-state talent.

    In particular, the rise of Georgia from mediocrity in the 00's to present was also a period with a noticeable change in the level of talent we were consistently pulling from the state. We still WERE pulling players, but whereas we used to get sure-fire future starters that any team would want, we were more than likely getting 3 or 4 star guys which were more often than not still solid players but not quite top 10 from their state.

    To a lesser extent, this trend occurred in the Carolinas as well. And perhaps even in-state as Bama became a juggernaut and Tennessee wandered the desert.

    Perhaps an even more straightforward search for this phenomenon would be in the state of Florida. There are 3 big teams historically: Florida, Florida State, and Miami. It is possible for all 3 to be good at the same time. It is hard for two to be truly title contenders at the same time. Usually as one dips another rises. Right now, Florida and Florida State are waning. Therefore, it is not shocking to me to see Miami getting some noise. They almost have to be, if the other two are sinking. UCF only slightly complicates this, as they don't have the selling points of a major conference, lots of TV time, and a long history with connections to recognizable names.

    If you read all that and are still here, you probably have a gut feeling as to what extent this kind of one-step-removed phenomenon matters. It probably mattered a hell of a lot more in the past than it does now due to bigger television footprints. BUT-- if it does still matter, there are some small trends that would seem to provide some extra tail wind to Coach Heupel and staff. Clemson, who soaked up a lot of Georgia and Carolina talent, is flagging. Bama, while still a juggernaut, is clearly not head and shoulders above everyone anymore. The talent in-state has perhaps never been better. It seems like within the meta-recruiting landscape, there is an opportunity to get back some air from Clemson and try to move above the pecking order of Florida. We aren't going to catch Bama or UGA in a year or two, but we can catch just about everyone else. And that's one step away from catching those two.
  2. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Saban and Kirby keep [itch bay]ing about the NIL instead of getting on board with it, Tennessee will blow past them.
    NorrisAlan likes this.
  3. IP

    IP It's just business.

    I agree. And I think it could go even further than that, with them damaging their brand in a way that has never been seen before. Because it sounds like they don't want people to maximize their opportunity. That's directly contradictory to the message of competitive sports, higher education, and pursuing a career. It's bad. It's company store shit.
    Memtownvol likes this.
  4. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Dabo has already talked himself into a corner
    10SEvols likes this.
  5. Volgrad98

    Volgrad98 Contributor

    In the case of Dabo, Tennessee's incompetence contributed greatly to his success. I won't be convinced otherwise.

    I don't mean to derail this thread into "bash dabo", just wanted to throw in my 2 cents
  6. IP

    IP It's just business.

    Yes, and that only goes back to the meta recruiting thing. You line up all the guys who for one reason or another wanted to be at Tennessee or had it at the top of their list and then ended up somewhere else and became stars... it's a long list and it fits right into what is being discussed here. Those guys were going to go somewhere. It could have been here.
  7. Volgrad98

    Volgrad98 Contributor

    When I see a school like Texas who has a talent rich backyard and money but lackluster results, the real factor for me boils down to coaching. Do they(recruits) want to play for a certain individual and his staff? Do they(coaches) produce NFL talent?

    Don't know if that answers the question
  8. IP

    IP It's just business.

    I think that is actually a secondary thing to the meta. Look at Dabo. Look at the various Florida coach failures who had good players but fizzled out. Look at Butch Jones, who had a couple nice classes.
  9. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Texas talent is extremely overhyped.
    SetVol13 likes this.
  10. SetVol13

    SetVol13 Contributor

    It feels like every player we get from that state is a bust.
  11. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Denarius Moore is the only one I remember panning out
    Memtownvol likes this.
  12. PilotFlyingJ

    PilotFlyingJ Chieftain

    Hey guys, I just found this thread and while I'm no where near an insider or expert on what has been discussed, I have been privy to bits and pieces of information that pertains to what has been brought up. What I share is going to be largely anecdotal so take it for what it is. Before I start, I just want to say that if anyone reading this knows something I've said to be false or incorrect etc. please contribute and let me know because the recruiting machine of every school is different and they are changing constantly. It's a wilderness of mirrors.
  13. KyleAlexanderfan

    KyleAlexanderfan Well-Known Member

  14. PilotFlyingJ

    PilotFlyingJ Chieftain

    Texas is gigantic and the bureaucracy that operates it's public education is just as large and dense. It has and (outside of rare occasions) will always hinder the sustained success of football at UTA. The rare occasions I speak of is when they actually stumble upon a HC with a great cfb mind that is coupled with and equally large personality that relishes in the politics that comes with that job. Minus the tenure of David McWilliams, they've always had Great football minds as HC but only twice did they have guys that had that ability but worked just as hard on the political end where they achieved sustained success. That was Darrell Royal and Mack Brown.

    There are simply too many masters to serve at that position and I'll give you two perfect examples of this. Both examples will show you how Texas was prevented from making MAJOR moves simply because of the apparatus that they operate in and how little control they have had over the direction of football program.

    1. SMU's death penalty sanctions killed the old SWC and once it's downfall became apparent, it left every member school searching for a nice landing spot. I don't know what every schools intentions were but 3 schools had immediate landing spots waiting for them. Arkansas was going to join the Big 8 and SEC commissioner Roy Kramer began the steps to bring in Texas and Texas A&M into the conference. Nothing was final but by late 1990 SEC officials were drawing up different alignment models with both Texas schools being the 11th and 12th conference members. Then without warning, the deal was dead and neither side made any further efforts to bring those two athletic programs into the SEC. Why? What happened? Who killed this match made in heaven? The answer is insane but is a sterling example of the obstacles that are completely out of their control yet have historically prevented them acting on their own best interests.

    What happened was that the newly elected governor, Ann Richards, and her lieutenant gov got wind of the move and made it completely unfeasible. The both of them were alumni of rival SWC schools (Baylor and Rice I think) and knew that the move would critically hurt their schools and the other state colleges of Texas so their stepped in and flatly told Kramer that UTA and A&M could make the jump to the SEC but only if the conference broadened their expansion by also taking their respective alma maters and maybe a few other old SWC schools. They knew it would kill the deal and damage the prospects of both A&M and UTA but did it anyway and painted it as a victory for all football fans in Texas by keeping them all united in a conference.

    2. I take it for granted that most everyone knows that Nick Saban had agreed to take the Texas job some years back but ended up backing out in the last minute. If that is new information I apologize for not giving much of a back story at this moment but for the sake of staying on topic I'll just summarize it by saying that Saban and his wife had grown tired of UAT and were ready to make a move. The only problem with leaving Alabama is that he couldn't just take another big time college job. When he took the Alabama job in Jan '07, Bama was desperate enough to hand over supreme authority to him. Saban got complete and total control over EVERYTHING. By EVERYTHING I mean that anyone and everyone involved with the Univ of Alabama or the promotion of Alabama football could be shit canned if Saban wanted them out. He restaffed and restructured everything. A lot of the work that he did during the first months was getting rid of nearly everyone who had been collecting cobwebs since the era of the Bear. He knew what he wanted and it was made clear to his possible suitors what would be required. The UTA administration and their big boosters did a hell of a job getting everyone on the same page and drawing up a deal that would guarantee the same power with an outlandish amount of money and benefits. Saban had accepted the job but before he signed the contract and it could be made official he got a phone call from whomever he had been working through at UTA which was routine as they had spent a lot of time going over all the necessary details on how his program was to be staffed, organized, and paid. This phone call was anything but routine for Saban and destroyed the fortunes of Texas football. Saban, who demanded complete control with zero oversight from the typical University admin riffraff was very surprised when he was told that everything was good to go except that his contract was being held up by some yahoo that represented a pissant backwater hellhole in West Tx on the University BoR. A West Tx nobody used his authority to turn what should have been a mere checkbox formality into an opportunity to feel like a big shot by holding everything up when he refused to sign off on the hire until he personally had a sit down interview with Nick [uck fay]ing Saban. Because of how their university system operates, Saban was told that he needed to perform this nonsense before UTA could legally offer him a contract that was designed to make him the most powerful man in Texas. Saban exploded and by that evening had Alabama agreeing to another gigantic extension.

    I know that this was only two stories but upon hearing them I kinda got a better grasp of why Texas football has sucked for a good portion of my life. hope these were entertaining and helped to give you an example of why the immense size of UTA actually works more to their detriment than benefit.

    That is all from me tonight. IP, tomorrow I'm gonna try to tackle some things you wrote in your initial post.
    Volgrad98, Volsdude, dknash and 2 others like this.

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