- After a long fight to enact it, tomorrow is College Football’s first Early Signing Day. We’ve previously covered how most teams are going to handle ESD — They’re going to treat this as the primary signing period. But, as Andy Staples writes, that’s not the only change that ESD will have on the recruiting landscape: Here’s who wins and loses, and how the rules work for the new era of ‘crootin.
- ESPN is predicting (hoping) that tomorrow’s inaugural ESD will be chaotic. What? Three weeks after the regular season, right after finals and grades, a few days before Christmas, and in the midst of bowl and playoff preparation? What could possibly go wrong?
- One player Alabama will not be inking tomorrow is consummate tease Jaycee Horn. Horn was originally a Tennessee commit, but opened his recruiting back up after the tire fire enveloped Knoxville. It was thought Alabama might get back in the mix, as the the Tide was originally a finalist. But, the draw of home keeps Joe Horn’s kid in the East at South Carolina.
- TEASER I: Later this morning we have an ESD ‘17 what-to-look for piece. Ordinarily, we have gone all out for NSD. But, that has been with the benefit of months of prep, testing the weather, and so forth. Those of you who recall RBR’s older coverage will be pleasantly surprised: we’re going back to the future — open thread, links of prior write-ups and commits, and on-the-fly editorializing. We’ll do retrospective pieces after the fact rather than rehash what you’ve already read.
- One guy we know who hates ESD: Nick Saban:
Two things happen: I see more players getting pressured by some schools to sign early so that they don't get an opportunity from maybe a bigger school later, which I don't think is in the player's best interest," Saban said. "A guy may have an opportunity to go to a place he's always wanted to go to or maybe a SEC school when he's getting pressured by another place to sign early.
- While Saban may hate recruiting early, it’s never too early to say Saban is the best to ever sit down with momma in the living room and close a deal. Tom Lemming is a huge fan.
- For Alabama, the ESD is posing a unique set of challenges.
- This year has been a particularly fluid one for quarterback commits. And, a lot of those teetering dominoes are doing so based upon events that began unfolding two full years ago. Alabama will be looking to take one QB, it appears. Here’s who’s left, who’s susceptible to be poached, and how it’s shaking down in the race for elite arms.
- Tom Fornelli makes an interesting case for changing up mechanics of Heisman voting. In this information era, where we have weekly discussions on the CFP (and previously, the BCS,) why are we still cloaking this award in secrecy? It’s not the only suggestion he has, but I think there’s something to this one particularly.
Heisman voters used to be allowed to do this only a few short years ago. During the season, websites and newspapers would take straw polls of Heisman voters to find out where things stood. There'd be stories written about the results, and it kept people talking about the award all season long. The Heisman then mandated its voters stopped doing this. The reasoning behind it was that it spoiled the outcome, and drama was desired.
Well, there hasn't been much drama in the Silent Age of Heisman Voting, but even if there had been, I think the rule is a disservice to the award.
- How did Brian Daboll do in his first season as an offensive coordinator? Ryan Fowler at the Game discusses.
- Alabama returned to the practice field yesterday. Once again, Saivion Smith and Jarez Parks took reps with the Tide. Alabama has begun Winter prep with a back-to-basics camp approach. That makes sense; a lot of fundamentals are lost over a three-week delay. But, today ‘Bama begins in earnest on its preparation for the Rubber Match with Clemson.
- And, when the team takes to the practice field today, it will do so a hungry group. There is a real sense of urgency, though not desperation, in the underdog-minded Crimson Tide. It is refreshing to hear the perennially-favored Tide badly want to prove something. On Damien Harris’ part, Alabama now views Auburn with a Lake as a rival, and they are ready to avenge the last-second loss.
- Still haven’t had enough ESD news? TiderInsider’s Rodney Orr takes a stab at predictions for ‘Bama tomorrow.
- TEASER II: Tomorrow morning, after the JP, we have an extensive Q&A with UTSA’s beat writer on Pete Golding. It’s excellent stuff. You will enjoy it as much as you will be entertained.
- We close on a lighter note, with all 22 SEC Shorts from 2017. Let this be your year-in-review.
We have a lot on tap today. So, dig in, and go forth to evil.