If recruiting truly is the life blood of any program as many college coaches like to say, then Sparty will have a date with the ICU very soon. Coaching clichés, commonly referred to as “coach speak”, are often given out for the purpose of exciting fans or giving the media good sound bites. Most coach speak is not informative and leads to eye rolls and audible sighs. After all, what coaching staff doesn’t want “maximum effort” from their players, or believe that “the team that controls the line of scrimmage and doesn’t turn the ball over wins the game?” Recruiting as the lifeblood of a program isn’t just coach speak however.
Recruiting great talent is critical in building a program that will compete and win at the highest level. John Calipari likes to say that there are 3 important factors in building a great team. #1 is recruiting, #2 is recruiting, and #3 is recruiting. Techniques, schemes, player development, and strength & conditioning are all important factors, but talent trumps them all. Teams with extraordinary talent lacking those qualities have won championships in the past, see 2001 Miami under Larry Coker. On the other side, it is very difficult to win without a minimum level of talent even if you have all the other qualities. If you rely on factors other than talent, eventually it will catch up to you. Usually it catches up when facing a team that is as well coached and conditioned as you are, but has significantly more talent. The 2010 Capital One Bowl between Michigan State and Alabama is a good example. Michigan State fans have reason to be terrified that such incidents will increase in frequency, both in B1G play and nationally. Fear is very much warranted because of what is transpiring in recruiting.