A prevailing theme in the second season, weeks 6-10 or conference play, by way of the two year cycle called waterfall has created blowout match ups and dismay. The blahs are felt statewide as the daze of powerhouse teams face subpar competition after a first season, zero week through week 5 that were competitive and playoff atmospheric contests. The level of play also include some very nice rivalry games and allowed student bodies to have some fun while competing in the neighborhood. Unfortunately for some serious and talented student athletes the fallout of the second season and inequitable match ups has colleges staying away from many teams including annual the top tier programs.
"We are better off watching the championship games or a few late round playoff games in Colorado while making strides in other cities with better competitive teams on both sides of the ball." -D1 coach
For many teams that have some talented athletes they have played varsity football 2-3 years and are on the college circuits. However, for many teams that have a large enrollment, often players do not see varsity action until their senior season. Of course there are the coaches that their strategy is playing athletes their senior year since they have been contributing for 4 years and deserve a starting spot. These are the hidden gems or talents that will be overlooked and may not be seen during a traditional October or November college visit. Usually rising juniors and bubble seniors are scouted during the final months of the season as coaches are in the final stages of their evaluations for a December signing period. The association creating RPI and the fallout of mulish conference games forced the inequitable overall picture a
For years we have been hearing Colorado prides itself on being forward thinking when it comes to high school sports, but we are behind per many college coaches.
"We often hit the road in April to May to visit high schools and talk to coaches about their prospects. It is more appealing to see spring ball or contact drills as teams prepare their underclassmen for the August season. Usually we invite kids to our campus in June but now the process will be earlier in 2018." -D1 coach
December 20-22, 2017 will be the first early signing period followed by the popular first Wednesday in February, February 7, 2018, marketed by ESPN as signing day. The day in which athletes declare their (NLI) National Letter of Intent.
States like California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia and Florida will continue to be heavily recruited because of the policies and levels of competition. In the past decade many Colorado teams have played out of state teams from neighboring Utah as well as California, Arizona, Georgia, Florida and Washington just to name a few. Some may want to visit Disney World but others might just want to play against better competition! So RPI, wild card points and/or dominating teams playing inferior teams has killed recruiting efforts in Colorado. Athletes and parents are having to go out of state to be noticed because the current format does not warrant a Friday night visitation.
"I firmly believe my son might have caught the attention of many D1 teams had we not had such an inferior schedule of opponents. Coaches know what teams are competitive and want to see battles not cream puff teams. Moving from 32 playoff teams to 16 helped but not by much. It was the out of state competitions and another sport in addition to football that got him notice, NOT solely football!" -D1 Father
It is conceivable the coaches, athletic directors and football committee that are under the direction of CHSSA did not realize the impact of RPI, but it is not the first time we have heard @CHSAA RPI is killing recruiting efforts. Some of the powerhouse teams are playing younger players earlier as blowouts are occurring in the first or second quarter. The starters are not getting quality reps and some of the stars are not racking up big numbers which is a barometer for some recruiting coaches. The lack of quality reps shows when coaching staffs request game film and the starters are done once the score eclipses 40 and second team players are inserted. Durability might enter some coaches minds but ultimately it is the competition. Just like the fans, college coaches do not want to see RPI #5 play #33 or #8 versus #40. While high school sports is supposed to be FUN the element of business and sports will overlap and recruiting is a massive topic that many want addressed in the new mudslide in 2018.
The remedy could start by allowing teams to have (OTAs) organized team activities as early as Mid April in addition to moving the start of Fall ball to the last Monday in July. At minimum have football coincide with Golf, the earliest starting date of all fall sports. In the meanwhile let us hope that the committee for 2018-19 makes the proper adjustments so we can make Colorado football great again.