national signing day - HBCU's....

by Prez Ro, Matteson, IL

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According to a very popular national cable sports network, the cream of the crop prep football players can be found in the southern region of the United States.

Who can argue that considering the last six FBS national championships have been won by schools residing in the Southeastern Athletic Conference, and the highest rated recruiting classes are made up of schools in the South — more than 50 percent of the blue chippers came from there. Additionally, more than half of NFL players were a product of a southern college or university.

If the consensus overwhelmingly favors southern schools landing rich, young, southern talent during the meat market that is recruiting season, then why aren’t HBCUs (especially at the FCS level) stationed below the Mason Dixon Line struggling to keep up on the gridiron?

Not since the 1970s has an HBCU won an FCS national championship. The SWAC, which has a history of cultivating solid professional talent, lost more than a dozen consecutive playoff games before it declined inclusion in the FCS postseason.

The MEAC hasn’t fared better either in postseason play, compiling its own lengthy winless streak even though proven warhorses like Buddy Pough and Joe Taylor are roaming the sidelines.

We all know that the great black prep athletes are going to gravitate to BCS power conference schools due to the trinkets of national championship possibilities, national television games, million-dollar facilities, endless supplies of female groupies and deep pocket boosters never wavering in support.

However, shouldn’t the lower level schools (or the “Little Sisters of the Poor” as Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee affectionately calls non-BCS schools) get some of the leftovers?
How can the Sports Network top 2012 FCS recruiting classes consist of James Madison University, Portland State, Appalachian State and Villanova?

If the best talent is in the south and those kids are more likely to enroll in schools close to home, Eastern Washington, Villanova and North Dakota State shouldn’t have won the last three national championships.

One would think that Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State and others would be right in the middle of it. Jackson State, Grambling and Southern — while not postseason regulars — should be routinely in the top half of the FCS top 25 poll being heritage football programs with somewhat of a regional following.

Maybe, just maybe, the athletes HBCUs have acquired during National Signing Day are not that good even though they just so happen to be from the south. Maybe the athletes are not being coached up. Maybe the wrong southern athletes are being recruited. Maybe I’m wrong.

What I do know is that we all will wait the next four or five years to see how the crop of 2012 matriculates before determining if there is progress or regression in the quality of football across the landscape.

Here is your opportunity to stop hating the media and actually become it!

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