2012-11-17

Week Twelve FBS Preview - The College Football Players

Greating from the Maldives!

I'm on vacation, but I can still do some stuff here, even if I have only a netbook and an WLAN access at the lobby.

Today I want to have a look on the players in college football.

Most of you probably now the NFL and their system, at least a bit.

You know about the Draft (of college players, so you will learn today where there come from before the got their draft status), the Free Agents (maybe even restricted abd unrestricted), the transition and franchise players?

Well, in college fottball, this all does not exist.

While a regular NFL player has in average now around 6+ season and the stars even have 10+ seasons, the regular college players has 4 season of eligibiity to play on that level.

Once you finished your fourth year, you are destined to move on, either to the NFL or to a different job.
If you were smart, you have a college degree already and can work where ever you want (if you did find a job).

As a college player you start your career as ... High School Football Player.

High Schools do offer regularly football teams and they often do field several teams by age.

The last class of High School Players, which get a High School degree and did play football, sometime get the attention of college football scouts.

The colleges were very very often informed about a talent by the high school coach of that talent himself.
The coach does some videos (or do some cutings on existing game material) and sends it to college football departments.

Based on those videos, the scouting staff of the bigger programs and the coaching staff of the smaller one do check closer and might decide to offer a scholarship.

The FBS can offer over 80 scholarships for the whole team, so each year around 20 scholarships are offered to kids from each FBS team.

That sounds as a lot, but there are of cause way more players than scholarships (of all levels of college football).

Mathematical there is a factor of 1 scholarship on 10 players, realistic the chances are a bit higher since not all players decide to play college football or any sport at all in college or what ever they do after graduation.
Some do say that the factor in reality is 1 to 4.

As a non-us-player, you have a hard time getting one, if you are NOT in an US-high school.
You should have at least play there and got the attention of scouts, after that it gets easier and even players from different countries then get a scholarship offer sometimes, even if they don't graduate in the US.
But those kids are the tropical birds in the college football squads, they don't come often.

OK, now the player (any player) got the attention and receives an offer by at least one program.
If there is only one, well, take it or leave it.
If there are more, the player can choose between those schools.

Every program can recruit in his own state and normally in all states of schools in your own conference.
So lets take the SEC, they have schools from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas and South Carolina.
They can recruit all there.

Some schools can even recruits further, nationally. Like Notre Dame as Independent.

So it is no surprise that a really hot talent gets more than one offer.
Latest on signing day (normally the first wednesday in february) they have to commit to a program and that will normally be your home for the next four years.

They scholarship is only a one year commitment, and it sometimes happens that the school or the player decide to part ways, but it is not so easy than fire and fire.
There are special rules by the NCAA for both cases, which I will not explain here.
At the end of the day, it can happen that a player changes the school or even loses the scholarship in total.

But normally the school does renew the commitment every year and will be your home and family for four years.

A new recruited player, playing his first year, is called a FRESHMAN.
A second year player is called a SOPHOMORE.
A third year player is called a JUNIOR.
And a fourth year player is called a SENIOR.

The regualar cicle for a player is, that in his first year he rarely gets playing time, since he is adjusting to that next level.
In his second year he gets often playing time as a backup, and in the third and forth year it can happen, that you become starter.

Keep in mind, that latest AFTER the senior season a player leaves, so all players, which might have been better and older than you on the roster do leave, year after year.
Of cause it happens, that there are really great talents, playing starter in their first or second year ale.rady, but there are also players as senior, who never became starter in their whole career.

There is a special rule for coaches, which gives them the chance to keep player for five years.
It's called REDSHIRTING.

Redshirted players can do training with the team, but they are not allowed to play on the field in their redshirt-year.
This normally happens to QBs and some really good players hit by a season ending injury before the regular season startet.
They are often refered, when then become regular players again, as redshirt-freshman (or which ever season they are in).

The coaches only have a few spots for redshirting, so they normally take very talented QBs and teach them in their first year in training all the stuff they need and then have a few years a stable QB to lead the team.

Unfourtunatelly for coaches, a very good player will always have an eyes on the NFL and the player is allowed to declare for the draft, once he was three years in college, doesn't matter if this includes a redshirt year or not.
So it can happen that a hot QB plays his redshirt-sophomore season and decides to declare for the draft.
If he does that, he loses all his rights to play the left two years of college football, even when he is not drafted.

Each year more and more players do decide to declare to the draft early and skip the final year(s) of their college football career.
Most of the time these are regular Juniors, but sometimes also Redshirt-Sophomores.

Each year, some of those are NOT taken. They gambled high and lost everything.
Most of the time they even not finished the educational part of college and don't have a degree.

That's the dark part of college football and the system.

Those players are hot recruited and get the sugar blown into their butt holes, but there are only 32 NFL teams needing around 5-7 new players every year and there are 4 time many FBS schools and they have 20 seniors each year and then some leaving early (called UNDERCLASSMEN).

Of cause some believe that THEY will be taken and will get rich. And some will do that.
But some won't and those UNDERCLASSMEN don't even have a degree to work with.

But many DO get a degree and when they are not drafted (or then decide to NOT play in the NFL, which also happens) they go and find a job or do further university stuff or try to get into the coaches ranks.
The system is NOT designed to create NFL players, it's primary designed to help kids getting education.

I hope you got now some infomations about the lifecycle of a college football player.

The BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 12

#13 Stanford @ #2 Oregon
This is the end for Stanford. The end of hope for a PAC 12 championship game.
No more Luck, no more close games, they will get pounded by Oregon and then some.
Oregon is too fast and too good for them.
They will beat Stanford and then try to beat Oregon State for a PAC 12 Championship game.
AFTER that, they will play for National Championship.
I'm in here for Oregon and that will not change.

#18 USC @ #17 UCLA
That's a game nobody expected to be meaningful, this year.
UCLA did turn around great and USC did fall hard.
UCLA can try to secure a PAC 12 championship game, so can USC.
I'm expecting a tough match and a Bruins win!

#23 Texas Tech @ #24 Oklahoma State
The Red Raiders are hotter than expected and Oklahoma State did lose some games more than anyone expected from them.
Now, they battle it out.
I really liked the change of game Texas Tech had this season.
They are much better than last year.
Oklahoma State on the other hand is inconsistent.
It's a wonder they did not lose more games.
But the HC of the Cowboys knows his job and did save the season for them.
Expect a high scoring game and a Cowboys win at the end.

Ohio State @ Wisconsin
The Buckeyes are the true favorites here.
They are unbeaten and only the errors of the former coach and players did bring them out of the postseason.
Next year will be a stunner.
Wisconsin will play in the Big Ten Championship game, regardless of the result of this game.
But they can prove they belong there, by beating the Buckeyes.
I split here.
But in that situation I go with the home team, so the Badgers will win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

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