Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chicken Little arrives as expected

I'd like to introduce you to someone.

This is Eltoro Freeman. In addition to possessing the five-and-a-half-star name "Eltoro Freeman," Eltoro is a four-star prospect according to both Rivals and Scout, is the No. 10 member of the B'ham News postseason Super Seniors, considers his Mom his hero, and has drawn comparisons YEAAAAAAHH to Tray Blackmon. Freeman is from Alexander City, AL and is a member of Auburn's 2008 recruiting class.

"Wait a minute," say the members of the peanut gallery. "Freeman signed as part of Auburn's 2007 class. And there are no four-star prospects from Alabama who have signed with Auburn in the 2008 class. Saban's stealing them all away!"

No, it's not, not that any Auburn fan should be surprised at being told that their sky is falling, particularly by Dawg fans and sh*t-stirrers like Finebaum. The hype tornado that swirls around Saban at all times and the cruelties of recruiting math ensure that Auburn fans can gird themselves against a number of "Dewey Defeats Truman!" declarations over the next several months.

"And today in sports: Saban owns Tuberville!"

It's true that the 2008 numbers don't look good for Tubby at the moment. But they were never going to look good. I've linked to this Saurian Sagacity post once already, but it seems worthwhile to look at it again since Auburn is in the precisely same situation that Mergz describes for the Gators (well, Auburn's recruits haven't been quite so highly rated. No a big difference, though.) With 30 recruits in last year's class and 25 the year before, there's simply no room for another large, highly-ranked class. The Tigers also have to be cautious; Tubby can't hand out early offers willy-nilly when there are so few to go around.

The biggest reason for AU fans to blithely ignore the Signing Day warnings of doom, though, is that those nine players who didn't qualify, like Freeman, aren't really members of the 2007 class. They aren't on the roster, they're not redshirtng, they're not at Auburn, they don't have scholarships ... the only connection to the Class of 2007 is their Letter of Intent. It would be much more accurate to assign them to the class of 2008, since first there's no guarantee they'll fulfill their commitment, and more importantly that's when they'll actually begin counting against the 85-scholly limit.

So while King Crimson may sign a heck of a class this year, it's not going to be anything close to the deathblow to Tubby I promise you'll hear it described as more and more as Signing Day approaches. Because Auburn's 2008 class is (very likely) going to have guys like Enrique Davis and Carlton Johnson in it even if they're not included in those end-all-be-all ranking.

Heck, it'll even have good players from Alabama in it. Just ask Eltoro Freeman.

UPDATE: Well, that's what he'll tell you, but he won't be one them. Check the comments for big fat D'OH! on my part.


Mark Johnson said...

A very good point, with one minor quibble:

While Enrique Davis could be at Auburn in '08 (as could the nearly forgotten and truly awesome Raven Gray), both Carlton Johnson and Eltoro Freeman are in junior college.

That means they won't be Tigers until 2009, along with Nick Fairley and whoever else from the raft of '07 sign-and-places Auburn decides to re-sign in two years.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Bloody hell, you're right. Oh well. Prep school, JUCOs, who can keep track of it all? Besides people who aren't writing posts about it on blogs, of course.

Mark Johnson said...

Hey, you write the fantastic blogs, I come in and quibble days later over minor details.

In the grand scheme of things, you're probably coming out ahead.