Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 Playoffs -- Week 5 Prediction Results

First, we want to say congratulations to Magazine, Rivercrest, and Shiloh Christian on their state final wins. Next, we have reached the end of high school football in Arkansas for 2010.  We are certain that coaches and players are already dreaming about spring football, summer 7-on-7, and the 2011 season. Finally, we have the results of the 2010 Arkansas state football championship predictions from last Friday and Saturday below. 


Shiloh Christian (61), Pulaski Academy (40)

We called the over/under on this game at 100. Hope you picked the over.  Turnovers plagued the Bruins (5 of them) or this game would have been closer. The SC Saints are losing a ton of their key players. We won't be surprised if we see PA back for another run next year.


Rivercrest (14), Harding Academy (10)


Magazine (48), Danville (20)

It ended up being a 2 out of 3 week, and we picked 5 out of the 6 championship games correctly. We hope you enjoyed the football as much as we did this year. We will be trying to put up more content that deals with running a successful 7-on-7 tournament and/or league, 7-on-7 offensive plays, and 7-on-7 defenses. Keep checking for new content or subscribe to our feed (see the "SUBSCRIBE" button on the right). Thanks for a great year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2010 Playoffs -- Week 5 Predictions

It is truly hard to believe that this is the final week for Arkansas High School football in 2010. The smallest three football classification will determine their champions at War Memorial on Friday and Saturday. We have had a great time following the games this year. 


Pulaski Academy over Shiloh Christian

The over/under on this game has to something like 100.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see the final score end up being 65-63. The PA Bruins have heard all year that the 4A trophy has already been engraved with Shiloh's logo. There has to be extra intensity in their practices this week. The SC Saints know what it takes to win it all, but they haven't truly been tested since being embarrassed by Euless Trinity. We think that this one has all the makings of a classic championship game.


Rivercrest over Harding Academy


Magazine over Danville

Again, we are just guessing about 2A and 3A. Luke Matheson over at Arkansas Varsity has made his playoff picks for this week. I only agree with his pick of Magazine. Let's hear your picks! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2010 Playoffs -- Week 4 Prediction Results

Congratulations to Greenwood, El Dorado, and Bentonville for bringing home the hardware.  We are sure those teams had a really fun trip home from Little Rock.


Bentonville (49), Fayetteville (28)

The Bentonville Tigers finished off a perfect season after being tied at halftime. Just to stir the pot, why wasn't this game played in Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. The teams traveled 3 hours to play each other, and they are located 20 minutes apart. How much sense does that make to anyone except the Arkansas Activities Association?


El Dorado (31), Texarkana (21)

The El Dorado Wildcats finish with a big win over their 6A South rival. That makes the state championship even sweeter.


Greenwood (36), Camden Fairview (35)

We told you that Greenwood wins the close ones.  You can't let the Bulldogs hang around or they will end up beating you.


Pulaski Academy (56), Star City (28)
Shiloh Christian (56), Pulaski Robinson (12)

Both Pulaski Academy Bruins and Shiloh Christian hung 56 points in the semi-finals. This sets up a classic game in War Memorial, but all some Arkansas high school football fans will see is that two private schools are in the final.


Harding Academy (33) , Fountain Lake (15)
Rivercrest (17), West Fork (14)


Danville (20), Bearden (14)
Magazine (55), Magnet Cove (30)

A 6 for 9 week. We nailed the top 4 classifications. The 2A and 3A results surprised us, but we don't really know how to evaluate those teams very well. I am still begging for the "real" Magnet Cove to show up. It seems that I can't pick a MC game to save my life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 Playoffs -- Week 4 Predictions

This week in Arkansas High School football the largest three classifications determine a 2010 champion while the smallest three feature games that will determine the championship pairings next weekend.  All indications are that the weather will be pretty good for these exciting games of week 14.


Bentonville over Fayetteville

The Bentonville Tigers look to finish off a perfect season.  The Purple Bulldogs had to take a road trip for every playoff game on their way to War Memorial. The Tigers faced their toughest test of the year when they won a 38-34 game over Fayetteville in week 4.  Is the real question about this game, "Will Barry Lunney, Sr. retire after an undefeated season?" 


El Dorado over Texarkana

The El Dorado Wildcats only loss this season was in the game at Har-Ber.  They won the first match-up over Texarkana by 6.  We look for a similar margin in Little Rock.  This one will be very entertaining, but the Wildcats bring home back-to-back trophies.


Greenwood over Camden Fairview

Greenwood righted the ship after a slow start.  Camden Fairview has impressed all year long.  We see a close game.  Somehow, Rick Jones and his Greenwood Bulldogs always win those.


Pulaski Academy over Star City
Shiloh Christian over Pulaski Robinson

This week means a tough test for both PA and Shiloh Christian.  The PA Bruins will face a tough Star City Bulldog defense and an offense that can move the football. The Bruins tend to go big offensively when they play better teams (see the Nashville game). The SC Saints will be facing excellent speed from the Senators of Pulaski Robinson. They have seen better (see the Euless Trinity game), but they haven't faced it on a consistent basis this year. If this week plays out as expected, then we will have a classic in War Memorial.


Fountain Lake over Harding Academy
Rivercrest over West Fork


Bearden over Danville
Magnet Cove over Magazine

Again, we are just guessing about 2A and 3A, but Magnet Cove has made a believer out of me after going against them two weeks in a row. Luke Matheson over at Arkansas Varsity has made his playoff picks for this week. Let's hear yours! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Playoff Bracket -- Week 4

As a service, we are providing a link for those of you looking for the Arkansas High School football playoff brackets for 2010 (updated with Week 3 results). So, here is the link to the official Arkansas Activities Association pdf of the bracket.
If you have predictions for the week, let us hear them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2010 Playoffs -- Week 3 Prediction Results

On Wednesday, we picked the outcome of the 18 playoff games that were played last night. This morning, we are looking back to find out how well we did.  Here are the results from Arkansas High School football on Friday, November 27, 2010. Our correct picks are blue and the misses are red.

Har-Ber (20) @ Bentonville (49)
Fayetteville (24) @ Fort Smith Southside (21)


Texarkana (42) @ Pine Bluff (28)
Lake Hamilton (20) @ El Dorado (21)


Greenwood (38) @ Batesville (13)
Camden Fairview (34) @ Watson Chapel (21)


Mena (22) @ Pulaski Robinson (50)
Ashdown (0) @ Pulaski Academy (38)
Nashville (10) @ Shiloh Christian (48)
Pottsville (12) @ Star City (41)


West Fork (27) @ Glen Rose (7)
Rison (6) @ Harding Academy (35)
Fountain Lake (44) @ Mansfield (21) 
Harrisburg (28) @ Rivercrest (44)


Bearden (21) @ Bigelow (14)
Danville (35) @ Mineral Springs (14)
Carlisle (20) @ Magazine (41)
Magnet Cove (28) @ Spring Hill (21)

Not a bad week (14/18).  The championship games are set for 5A, 6A, and 7A.  The other classes will fight for War Memorial on Friday.  We hope your Thanksgiving was a great one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 Playoffs -- Week 3 Predictions

We figure that this weekend is the confluence of three great American traditions:  Thanksgiving, Football, and Shopping.  We are extremely thankful that we (in all likelihood) will not be shopping. Here are our picks for playoffs this week (our pick is bold underline).


Har-Ber @ Bentonville
Fayetteville @ Fort Smith Southside

We think the best game in the state will be played in Bentonville.  The Tigers have been the best team all year and we don't see that changing.  The Rebels will take care of the Purple Bulldogs to get into the state title game.


Texarkana @ Pine Bluff
Lake Hamilton @ El Dorado

This Friday looks like any other 6A South conference Friday. The teams finished 1-4 for a reason, so we picked the higher seeds.  It looks to us like it will be Zebras versus Wildcats in War Memorial stadium.


Greenwood @ Batesville
Camden Fairview @ Watson Chapel

We see Watson Chapel and Greenwood moving on. [sarcasm] We are sure that surprises everyone in the state [/sarcasm].


Mena @ Pulaski Robinson
Ashdown @  Pulaski Academy
Nashville @ Shiloh Christian
Pottsville @ Star City

As sad as it makes, it looks like Mena's resurgence ends this Friday.  They will back next year. The PA Bruins get Ashdown at home this time (and it wasn't close on the road).  The Nashville/Shiloh Christian should be very entertaining.  I am sure there are Scrapper fans/players that still don't know how they lost this game last year.


West Fork @ Glen Rose
Rison @ Harding Academy
Fountain Lake @ Mansfield
Harrisburg @ Rivercrest


Bearden @ Bigelow
Danville @ Mineral Springs
Carlisle @ Magazine
Magnet Cove @ Spring Hill 

We are just guessing at 2A and 3A.  Please leave comments to educate us.  Have a great Thanksgiving and football weekend!

Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 Playoff Bracket -- Week 3

Based on our search traffic, it is pretty obvious that some are looking for the Arkansas High School football playoff brackets for 2010. So, here is the link to the official Arkansas Activities Association pdf of the bracket.
If you have predictions for the week, let us hear them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2010 Playoffs - Week 2 Prediction Results

On Thursday, we picked the outcome of the 36 playoff games that were played last night.  This morning, we look back and find that we correctly selected the winner of 29 out of the 36 games (80.5%)  If you take away 2A and 3A because we told you we didn't know much about those classification, our record is even better (18/20 or 90%). Here are the results from Arkansas High School football on Friday, November 20, 2010.  Our correct picks are blue and the misses are red.


Fayetteville (34) @ West Memphis (20)
Bryant (7) @ Bentonville (38)
Har-Ber (37) @ Conway (27)
Cabot (7) @ Fort Smith Southside (28)

Officially, the state championship is held in Little Rock two weeks from now. However, most folks in NW Arkansas think that the Bentonville Tigers hosting the Har-Ber Wildcats next Friday will decide the title.


Jacksonville (6) @ Pine Bluff (30)
Van Buren (21) @ El Dorado (48)
Lake Hamilton (63) @ Marion (48)
Texarkana (21) @ Jonesboro (13)

We correctly identified the strength in the south, but underestimated Texarkana.  The semi-final match-ups will be outstanding.


Monticello (7) @ Batesville (27)
Alma (21) @ Camden Fairview (28)
Little Rock Mills (14) @ Greenwood (20)
Greenbriar (24) @ Watson Chapel (47)

A 4 out of 4 performance in 5A.  There were no surprises for us except that the Greenwood Bulldogs were in a game in the 4th quarter. Greenwood will once again be practicing on Thanksgiving (has happened every year but 2009 under Rick Jones).


Pulaski Robinson (14) @ Booneville (9)
Ashdown (27) @ Clinton (19)
Nashville (65) @ Gosnell (27)
Valley View (14) @ Pottsville (18)
Ozark (27) @ Pulaski Academy (43)
Mena (31) @ Dumas (28)
McGehee (7) @ Shiloh Christian (58)
Trumann (21) @ Star City (39)

A perfect prediction week in 4A helped out by Mena's upset over Dumas.  The real contenders dominated. That means, don't let that PA - Ozark score fool you. It was never a close game.


Fountain Lake (30) @ Earle (12)
Fordyce (27) @ Glen Rose (28)
Bald Knob (14) @ Harding Academy (41)
Charleston (22) @ Harrisburg (34)
Greenland (7) @ Mansfield (24)
Riverview (7) @ Rison (39)
Harmony Grove (27) @ Rivercrest (28)
Jessieville (18) @ West Fork (30)


Junction City (8) @ Bearden (27)
Des Arc (13) @ Bigelow (16)
East Pointsett County (28) @ Carlisle (34)
Horatio (15) @ Danville (50)
Strong (26) @ Magazine (34)
Magnet Cove (41) @ McCrory (22)
Mineral Springs (30) @ Parkers Chapel (28) 
Hackett (21) @ Spring Hill  (56)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It is extremely hard for us to believe that the 2010 high school football season in Arkansas has reached its second week of playoffs. It seems like just yesterday that we were apologizing for our delinquency in posting the results of the Shootout of the South, but that wasn't yesterday. That post was July 16. Here it is in November and we are back to discuss the home stretch of the season.

Here are our picks for playoffs this week (our pick is bold underline).


Fayetteville @ West Memphis
Bryant @ Bentonville
Har-Ber @ Conway
Cabot @ Fort Smith Southside

We have a feeling that the game in War Memorial Stadium will feature 2 teams from the 7A West.


Jacksonville @ Pine Bluff
Van Buren @ El Dorado
Lake Hamilton @ Marion
Texarkana @ Jonesboro

The strength of this classification is found in the 6A South.


Monticello @ Batesville
Alma @ Camden Fairview
Little Rock Mills @ Greenwood
Greenbriar @ Watson Chapel

We think the favorites roll in 5A. Greenwood comes alive because its almost Thanksgiving.


Pulaski Robinson @ Booneville
Ashdown @ Clinton
Nashville @ Gosnell
Valley View @ Pottsville
Ozark @ Pulaski Academy
Mena @ Dumas
McGehee @ Shiloh Christian
Trumann @ Star City

Ashdown finishes off the 2-4A giving the PA Bruins another home game in the 3rd round.  Look for some big offensive numbers out of the heavyweights (PA, Shiloh, and Nashville).  We think Booneville's perfect run comes to an end.  [The Mena pick was made with the heart not the head.]


Fountain Lake @ Earle
Fordyce @ Glen Rose
Bald Knob @ Harding Academy
Charleston @ Harrisburg
Greenland @ Mansfield
Riverview @ Rison
Harmony Grove @ Rivercrest
Jessieville @ West Fork


Junction City @ Bearden
Des Arc @ Bigelow
East Pointsett County @ Carlisle
Horatio @ Danville
Strong @ Magazine
Magnet Cove @ McCrory
Mineral Springs @ Parkers Chapel
Hackett @ Spring Hill 

We are just guessing at 2A and 3A.  Please leave comments to educate us.  Have a great weekend and get out and see some high school football near you!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Looking for Blog Banner/Web Graphics?

Over the last 6 months or so, we have designed a few blog banners for the websites that we touch in some way.  You can see three examples of our work below. We are looking to expand what we do a little bit and we want to work with bloggers to produce custom blog banners.

If you are looking for someone to produce a blog banner or other graphics for a web page, give us a shout at We are willing to work with you on reasonable prices, and we will provide you with great graphics for your site. We can use your image/idea, or you can give us guidelines and let us shoot for what you have in mind.

4th and 10

Tales from the Krit

Arkansas 7-on-7 Football

Friday, July 16, 2010

2010 Shootout of the South Results

A 10 day trip to the United Kingdom and the Arkansas Activities Association Dead Period (June 20 - July 3) interfered with our keeping you as up to date as well as we intend.  The Shootout of the South was held on June 18-19 at the Mighty Blue Bird Complex.  The Pulaski Academy Bruins played well enough to win the Baptist Health Shootout of the South. This tournament marks the Bruins second victory in the 2010 Arkansas 7-on-7 Triple Crown after they won the Sonic Air Raid two weeks earlier.  In the other shootout brackets, Nashville walked away with the Chenal Heights Bracket while Stigler (OK) won the Windstream Bracket championship.

The Top Gun Award for the 2010 Shootout of the South was Nashville's Colt Moore.  Garrett Lamb of Pulaski Academy won the Most Outstanding Receiver Award.  The Most Outstanding Defensive Player honor went to Dylan Little of Pulaski Academy.  

  • Pulaski Academy qualified for the 7-on-7 National Championship in Hoover, AL with the win.
  • The Triple Crown will not be claimed this year as Pulaski Academy has chosen to pass on playing in the Vype 7-on-7 Tournament at the University of Arkansas.
  • Previous Champions of the Shootout of the South
    • 2005 Rogers
    • 2006 Allen (TX)
    • 2007 Heritage Hall (OK)
    • 2008 Lake Hamilton
    • 2009 Fayetteville
Friday Pool Play Results

11:00 am
Allen 42, Lakeside 26
Conway 30, Parkview 16
Nashville 14, Watson Chapel 16
Shiloh Christian 39, Little Rock Hall 2
Afton 8, Magnolia 18

11:35 am
Rogers Heritage 44, Lake Hamilton 37
Heritage Hall 35, Russellville 2

El Dorado 37, Cenla Christian 8
Pulaski Academy 34, Dumas 0
Fayetteville 30, Central Arkansas Christian 21

12:10 pm
Stigler 35, Fountain Lake 7
Greenbrier 20, Warren 16
Allen 11, Conway 16
Lakeside 30, Watson Chapel 37
Parkview 18, Nashville 21

12:45 pm
Shiloh Christian 34, Afton 11
Little Rock Hall 0, Lake Hamilton 34
Magnolia 7, Rogers Heritage 34
Heritage Hall 16, El Dorado 16
Russellville 7, Dumas 18

1:20 pm
Cenla Christian 4, Pulaski Academy 32
Stigler 0, Fayetteville 48
Greenbrier 23, Central Arkansas Christian 7
Warren 7, Fountain Lake 16
Allen 35, Parkview 14

1:55 pm
Nashville 37, Lakeside 14
Conway 21, Watson Chapel 16
Shiloh Christian 32, Magnolia 16
Rogers Heritage 53, Little Rock Hall 14
Afton 16, Lake Hamilton 28

2:30 pm
Heritage Hall 27, Cenla Christian 16
Pulaski Academy 42, Russellville 14
El Dorado 16, Dumas 0
Fountain Lake 14, Fayetteville 50
Warren 28, Central Arkansas Christian 30

3:05 pm
Greenbrier 34, Stigler 0
Allen 35, Nashville 35
Lakeside 21, Conway 37
Parkview 21, Watson Chapel 42
Shiloh Christian 21, Rogers Heritage 39

3:40 pm 
Little Rock Hall 2, Afton 18
Magnolia 0, Lake Hamilton 34
Heritage Hall 16, Pulaski Academy 27
Russellville 20, El Dorado 21
Cenla Christian 23, Dumas 21

4:15 pm
Fayetteville 48, Warren 23
Stigler 20, Central Arkansas Christian 30
Greenbrier 25, Fountain Lake 16
Allen 36, Watson Chapel 16
Conway 16, Nashville 7

4:50 pm
Lakeside 14, Parkview 34
Afton 7, Rogers Heritage 32
Shiloh Christian 14, Lake Hamilton 16
Little Rock Hall 9, Magnolia 14
Heritage Hall 14, Dumas 16

5:25 pm
Russellville 9, Cenla Christian 30
El Dorado 41, Pulaski Academy 29
Fountain Lake 16, Central Arkansas Christian 39
Greenbrier 23, Fayetteville 25
Warren 25, Stigler 9

Pool Standings
  •  Pool A
    • Conway 5-0-0
    • Allen 3-1-1
    • Watson Chapel 3-2-0
    • Nashville 2-2-1
    • Parkview 1-4-0
    • Lakeside 0-5-0
  • Pool B
    • Fayetteville 5-0-0
    • Greenbrier 4-1-0
    • Central Arkansas Christian 3-2-0
    • Warren 1-4-0
    • Stigler 1-4-0
    • Fountain Lake 1-4-0
  • Pool C
    • Rogers Heritage 5-0-0
    • Lake Hamilton 4-1-0
    • Shiloh Christian 3-2-0
    • Magnolia 2-3-0
    • Afton 1-4-0
    • Little Rock Hall 0-5-0
  • Pool D
    • El Dorado 4-0-1
    • Pulaski Academy 4-1-0
    • Heritage Hall 2-2-1
    • Cenla Christian 2-3-0
    • Dumas 2-3-0
    • Russellville 0-5-0
The full tournament results can be found here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hustlin' Hermit Shootout Results

The Warren Lumberjacks rolled through the competition at the innagural Hustlin' Hermit Shootout at Hermitage High School defeating DeWitt in the Championship game 51-42.  The Fordyce Redbugs finished the event in third place by defeating Searcy JV 27-19.  In losing to Warren, DeWitt finished as tournament runner-up.  Bearden and host Hermitage both struggled to 0-4 finishes on Tuesday night.
Pool A Results
Warren 27 - Bearden 9
Warren 24 - Smackover 6
Smackover 11 - Bearden 10
Warren 23 - Searcy JV 14
Searcy JV 13 - Bearden 4
Smackover 25 - Searcy 9
Pool A Standings 
1. Warren  3-0
2. Smackover 2-1
3. Searcy JV 1-2
4. Bearden 0-3
Pool B Results
Junction City 20 - Hermitage 2
DeWitt 26 - Fordyce 20
DeWitt 25 - Junction City 8
Fordyce 28 - Hermitage 2
Junction City 14 - Fordyce 13
DeWitt 20 - Hermitage 2
Pool B Standings 
1. DeWitt  3-0
2. Junction City 2-1
3. Fordyce 1-2
4. Hermitage 0-3
Tournament Results
#1 Warren 34 - #4 Hermitage 0
#1 DeWitt 22 - #4 Bearden 17
#3 Searcy 20 - #2 Junction City 18
#3 Fordyce 18 - #2 Smackover 16
#1 Warren 29 - #3 Searcy 11
#1 DeWitt 27 - #3 Fordyce 10
#3 Fordyce 27 - #3 Searcy 19 - 3rd Place
#1 Warren 51 - #1 DeWitt 42 - Championship

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hustlin' Hermit Shootout Preview

Hermitage High School will host its first ever 7-on-7 tournament on Tuesday, July 13th.  The Hustlin' Hermit Shootout will begin with pool play starting at 2:00 PM.  Following a 30 minute break, the single elimination tournament will begin at 5:00 PM.  Championship and 3rd Place games will be played at 7:20 PM.  All games will be held at Hermit Field.
The eight teams in the event will be split into pools of four.  Pool A will play all games on Field 1 (EAST), with Pool B playing on Field 2 (West). Those pools are set up as follows:
Pool A:  Hermitage, Fordyce, Junction City, DeWitt
Pool B:  Bearden, Searcy (JV), Smackover, Warren
2:00 PM - Hermitage vs. Junction City / Warren vs. Bearden
2:30 PM - Fordyce vs. DeWitt / Searcy JV vs. Smackover
3:00 PM - Junction City vs. DeWitt / Smackover vs. Bearden
3:30 PM - Hermitage vs. Fordyce / Searcy JV vs. Warren
4:00 PM - Fordyce vs. Junction City / Bearden vs. Searcy JV
4:30 PM - Hermitage vs. DeWitt / Smackover vs. Warren
All pool and bracket games will be played with 20 minute running clocks.  The Championship and 3rd Place games will be played with two 15 minute halves.  Admission to the event is $1 per person.  A concession stand will be available throughout the day.  All participants will be provided a t-shirt and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place squads will receive a plaque.
Sponsors for the Hustlin' Hermit Shootout include Warren Bank and Trust, First State Bank, The Mad Butcher, Hermitage Grocery, DMA Apparel, Clanton Farms, Harrod & Hensley Tomato Company, and Coca-Cola.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oldest Tournament turns 15 this Weekend

The Fountain Lake 7-on-7 tournament begins this Saturday at 9 a.m. with 14 teams competing for 2 championships.  There will be a small school division (2A-4A), and a large school division (4A-7A).  This tournament is the longest running tournament in Arkansas as this will mark its 15th year.  The tournament will be held at Cutter Morning Star as Fountain Lake is in the process of installing an artificial surface on their football field.

The large school division will feature Benton, Bryant, Lakeside, Lake Hamilton, Nashville, Pulaski Academy, and Fountain Lake JV. 

The small school division includes Centerpoint, Charleston, DeWitt, Fountain Lake, Mansfield, Perryville, and Smackover.

Both divisions look wide open, but Arkansas Football Bloggers predicts that it will be Bryant or Pulaski Academy hoisting the trophy in the large division, and Fountain Lake keeping the hardware safely in their field house in the small division.

The top 2 teams in each division will play at 6:00 for the championship.

Small School Large School
9:00  Centerpoint vs Perryville PA vs Fountain Lake JV
9:25  Fountain Lake vs Mansfield Nashville vs Lakeside
9:50  DeWitt vs Charleston Lake Hamilton vs Benton
10:15  Perryville vs Smackover Bryant vs Lakeside
10:40  Fountain Lake vs DeWitt PA vs Benton
11:05  Centerpoint vs Charleston Nashville vs Lake Hamilton
11:30  Mansfield vs DeWitt Fountain Lake JV vs Benton
11:55  Smackover vs Charleston Bryant vs Lake Hamilton
12:20  Fountain Lake vs Centerpoint PA vs Nashville
12:45  Perryville vs Charleston Lakeside vs Lake Hamilton
1:10  Mansfield vs Centerpoint Fountain Lake JV vs Nashville
1:35  Smackover vs Fountain Lake Bryant vs PA
2:00  DeWitt vs Centerpoint Benton vs Nashville
2:25  Perryville vs Fountain Lake Lakeside vs PA
2:50  Mansfield vs Smackover Fountain Lake JV vs Bryant
3:15  Charleston vs Fountain Lake Lake Hamilton vs PA
3:40  DeWitt vs Smackover Benton vs Bryant
4:05  Perryville vs Mansfield Lakeside vs Fountain Lake JV
4:30  Centerpoint vs Smackover Nashville vs Bryant
4:55  Charleston vs Mansfield Lake Hamilton vs Fountain Lake JV
5:20  DeWitt vs Perryville Benton vs Lakeside

Southwest Elite Begins Today

One of the top 7-on-7 tournaments begins today at Shiloh Christian with 15 teams vying for the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Championship.  This is one of the premiere tournaments in Arkansas and will pit some of the top 7-on-7 teams and players against one another.

Arkansas teams that will be competing will be Shiloh Christian, Bentonville, El Dorado, Fayetteville, CAC, Greene County Tech, Rogers Heritage, Mayflower, Springdale, and Arkansas Baptist.  Shiloh and Fayetteville are the likely favorites, followed closely by El Dorado and Rogers Heritage.  All four of those teams were in the top 8 at the Shootout of the South three weeks ago.

Out of state teams include Olive Branch (MS), Heritage Hall (OK City), McAlister (OK), Muskogee (OK), and Hillcrest (Springfield, MO).  Arkansas Football Bloggers can only speak about Heritage Hall as we are unfamiliar with the other out of state teams.  Heritage Hall boasts two great athletes in wide receiver Sterling Sheppard, who was one of the top receivers at the Shootout of the South, and cornerback Barry Sanders, Jr, son of former Detroit Lions running back, Barry Sanders.  Although they will be very good, we don't think they can run the table to defeat the top level teams like Fayetteville and Shiloh.

The 16 teams (Bentonville will have two teams) will divide into 2 pools of 8.  They will play 4 pool play games on Friday beginning at 2:00 with the last games slated for 5:30.  They will then return on Saturday to play 3 pool play games from 9:00 to noon, then breaking for lunch.  When they return, the single elimination tournament will begin at 1:15.

Here are the pools:

Arkansas Baptist
Shiloh Christian
Olive Branch
Heritage Hall

El Dorado
Bentonville 2

More information and schedules can be found on the tournaments website:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 Shootout of the South Preview

One of the Natural State’s biggest 7-on-7 tournaments begins Friday, June 18 with some of the best teams and most talented skill players from across the state.  The tournament will also feature teams and players from other states with none carrying a bigger name than Heritage Hall’s Barry Sanders, Jr.  Sanders is the son of the former Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, considered by many as the greatest NFL running back of all time.

The sixth annual Shootout of the South presented by Baptist Health will begin Friday at 11 am at the Mighty Bluebird Complex in Little Rock.  Twenty-four teams will compete in the tournament with 19 from Arkansas, three from Oklahoma, and one each from Texas and Louisiana.  Each team will play five pool play games on Friday with the guaranteed-two game format tournament beginning Saturday at 10 am.  The finals will begin at 4 pm on Saturday.  The tournament champion will qualify for the 7-on-7 National Championship in Hoover, Alabama in late July.

Making the trip across the state lines will be Afton, Stigler, and Heritage Hall from Oklahoma, Allen from Texas, and Cenla Christian Academy out of Pineville, Louisiana.  Allen won the tournament in 2006 and Heritage Hall defeated Allen for the 2007 Shootout Championship.

The in-state teams are Central Arkansas Christian, Conway, Dumas, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Fountain Lake, Greenbrier, Lake Hamilton, Lakeside (Hot Springs), Magnolia, Nashville, Parkview, Pulaski Academy, Rogers Heritage, Russellville, Shiloh Christian, Warren, and Watson Chapel.  Fayetteville is the defending champion and Lake Hamilton won the 2008 title.

Four of the state’s top quarterbacks will be on display.  Shiloh Christian star and Auburn commit Kiehl Frazier and Fayetteville’s signal caller and Arkansas commit Brandon Allen are the two most highly regarded. Allen won the Top Gun Award at last year’s shootout, given to the tournament’s top quarterback.  Taylor Reed of El Dorado is a talented lefty who holds an offer from Arkansas State, and Darion Griswold from Dumas is a 6’5” 240 pound signal caller who also stars in basketball.

The receiving group will be highlighted by Fayetteville’s Demetrius Dean and Allen’s Jonathan Lee.  Dean has committed to Arkansas, and Lee committed to Baylor while turning down offers from Arkansas, Nebraska, and several others.  Sterling Shepard, son of former Oklahoma Sooner and Dallas Cowboy receiver Derrick Shepard, will play receiver and free safety for Heritage Hall.  Watson Chapel will feature a pair of 6’2” receivers in Mitch Lane and Kyle Coleman.  Warren, who is known for producing great receivers, will display Allen Tatum who has an offer from Louisiana-Monroe and junior Jalen Cobb, who has an offer from Arkansas and Arkansas State.  Two of the state’s leaders in receptions from a year ago, Garrett Lamb and Zac Reyna, will be playing for Pulaski Academy.  Barry Sanders, Jr. from Heritage Hall and Dylan Hale from Fayetteville are two division one caliber running backs who will be splitting out and catching balls out of the backfield.  Sanders will also play cornerback.

Defensive backs usually carry all the hype in 7-on-7 defense, but linebackers may be stealing the show this year.   Michael Johnson of Little Rock Parkview, Marc Robinson of Heritage Hall, and Melvin Spears of Allen are all top prospects at linebacker.  At defensive back, two juniors may be the best in the state at their position in cornerback Ajalen Holley from Lakeside and free safety Aum’Arie Wallace of Pulaski Academy.

Mighty Bluebird Complex is off Highway 10 West on Pinnacle Valley Road.  Admission to the tournament is $5 per car each day.  Concessions will be available.

List of all 24 teams:
  • Afton HS (OK)
  • Allen HS (TX)
  • Cenla Christian Academy (Pineville, LA)
  • Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock)
  • Conway HS
  • Dumas HS
  • El Dorado HS
  • Fayetteville HS
  • Fountain Lake HS
  • Greenbrier HS
  • Hall HS (Little Rock)
  • Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City)
  • Heritage HS (Rogers)
  • Lake Hamilton HS (Pearcy)
  • Lakeside HS (Hot Springs)
  • Magnolia HS
  • Nashville HS
  • Parkview HS (Little Rock)
  • Pulaski Academy (Little Rock)
  • Russellville HS
  • Shiloh Christian (Springdale)
  • Stigler (OK)
  • Warren HS
  • Watson Chapel HS
The tournament is sponsored by Baptist Health Orthopedic Center, Chenal Heights Nursing and Rehab, Windstream Communications, SportStop, 2B Partners, LLC., Hatcher Insurance Agency, Nike, Gatorade, OneBanc,  and Roller Chenal Funeral Home.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 ASPC Summer Showdown

The 2010 Arkansas Sports Performance Center 7-on-7 Summer Showdown will be Thursday at Robinson High School in Little Rock.  Headlining this year's event will be the 2009 Showdown Champion, Bryant Hornets, and last weekend's Sonic Air Raid Champion, Pulaski Academy Bruins.  Making what we believe to be their first 7-on-7 tournament appearance ever are the Hope Bobcats and Mena Bearcats. 

Pool play will begin at 1:30 with each team playing four games in a single round-robin format against the teams in their pool.  The pool play results will seed the tournament which is a single-elimination format that will begin at 5:15.  The tournament finals will be at 7:30.

Puaski AcademyRobinson
JA FairHope

Jacksonvillevs.Pulaski AcademyPractice
Menavs.Pulaski AcademyEast
Jacksonvillevs.JA FairPractice
3:30Pulaski Academyvs.JA FairWest
Centralvs.JA FairEast
Centralvs.Pulaski AcademyEast
Menavs.JA FairPractice

5:45 West
5:15 West_________
6:50 West_________
6:15 West_________
7:30 West_________
5:45 East
5:15 East_________
6:50 East_________
6:15 East_________

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sonic Air Raid Results

Pulaski Academy won its second consecutive Air Raid championship on Saturday and third title in four years by finishing 7-0 and defeating Conway, 35-33 in the finals.  The Bruins held on in some very tight pool play games to earn the top seed from their pool that consisted of Lake Hamilton, Watson Chapel, and Greenbrier.  Lake Hamilton would advance to the finals of the winner's bracket before being downed by Pulaski Academy, then by Conway in the loser's bracket finals. 

Greenbrier defeated Watson Chapel for the consolation championship.  Those two teams hooked up four times on the day with Watson Chapel winning the first two, first in pool play, then in the finals of the winner's bracket.  Greenbrier then came out of the loser's bracket and defeated Watson Chapel twice for the consolation championship. 

Results and Standings
Pool A
Searcy 26, Conway 21
Harding Academy 17, Pine Bluff 12
Harding Academy 13, Searcy 8
Conway 36, Pine Bluff 9
Conway 23, Harding Academy 14
Searcy 14, Pine Bluff 2

Searcy (2-1), Conway (2-1), Harding Academy (2-1), Pine Bluff (0-3)

Pool B
Watson Chapel 28, Greenbrier 18
Pulaski Academy 21, Lake Hamilton 20
Lake Hamilton 14, Watson Chapel 10
Pulaski Academy 30, Greenbrier 20
Pulaski Academy 28, Watson Chapel 20
Lake Hamilton 36, Greenbrier 19

Pulaski Academy (3-0), Lake Hamilton (2-1), Watson Chapel (1-2), Greenbrier (0-3)

Pool C
Lonoke 12, Bald Knob 2
Pulaski Academy JV 15, Greene County Tech 12
Pulaski Academy JV 22, Bald Knob 14
Greene County Tech 27, Lonoke 12
Lonoke 28, Pulaski Academy JV 14
Greene County Tech 19, Bald Knob 12

Greene County Tech (2-1), Lonoke (2-1), Pulaski Academy JV (2-1), Bald Knob (0-3)

Pool D
Conway Christian 17, Rose Bud 8
DeWitt 22, Des Arc 14
Des Arc 25, Rose Bud 0
DeWitt 22, Conway Christian 8
DeWitt 23, Rose Bud 12
Des Arc 15, Conway Christian 14

DeWitt (3-0), Des Arc (2-1), Conway Christian (1-2), Rose Bud (0-3)

Consolation Bracket
1st Round
Greenbrier 21, Harding Academy 0
Rose Bud 24, Pulaski Academy JV 16
Watson Chapel 26, Pine Bluff 2
Bald Knob 35, Conway Christian 20

2nd Round (Winner's Bracket)
Greenbrier 37, Rose Bud 0
Watson Chapel 20, Bald Knob 14

Winner's Bracket Final
Watson Chapel 21, Greenbrier 16

1st Round (Loser's Bracket)
Harding Academy 24, Pulaski Academy JV 8
Conway Christian 6, Pine Bluff 2

2nd Round (Loser's Bracket)
Harding Academy 34, Bald Knob 24
Conway Christian 35, Rose Bud 14

3rd Round (Loser's Bracket)
Harding Academy 24, Conway Christian 14

Loser's Bracket Final
Greenbrier 21, Harding Academy 0

Tournament Finals
Greenbrier 18, Watson Chapel 13
(if necessary) Greenbrier 19, Watson Chapel 0

Championship Bracket
1st Round
Pulaski Academy 28, Searcy 8
Lonoke 28, DeWitt 20
Greene County Tech 19, Des Arc 6
Lake Hamilton 33, Conway 0

2nd Round (Winner's Bracket)
Pulaski Academy 34, Lonoke 20
Lake Hamilton 32, Greene County Tech 12

Winner's Bracket Final
Pulaski Academy 34, Lake Hamilton 14

1st Round (Loser's Bracket)
DeWitt defeated Searcy
Conway defeated Des Arc

2nd Round (Loser's Bracket)
Greene County Tech 27, DeWitt 22
Conway 16, Lonoke 8

3rd Round (Loser's Bracket)
Conway 20, Greene County Tech 8

Loser's Bracket Final
Conway 25, Lake Hamilton 14

Pulaski Academy 35, Conway 33

Fenter Physical Therapy Air Devil 7-on-7 Results

McGehee won the 4th Annual Fenter Physical Therapy Air Devil 7 on 7 by defeating host West Memphis, 20-12 in the finals.  Both McGehee and West Memphis were undefeated in their respective pools, earning them each a top seed on their side of the bracket.  McGehee used a strong defense all day to carry them to the finals as they relinquished an average of just one-and-a-half touchdowns per contest, and never allowed more than two in a game.  Below are the results.

Pool A Results and Standings
West Memphis 13, Forrest City 6,
Valley View 16, Nettleton 6
Nettleton 8, Forrest City 2
West Memphis 7, Valley View 4
Valley View 10, Forrest City 2
West Memphis 20, Nettleton 0

West Memphis (3-0), Valley View (2-1), Nettleton (1-2), Forrest City (0-3)
Pool B Results and Standings
Osceola 22, Clarendon 10
McGehee 17, Gosnell 14
Gosnell 10, Osceola 6
McGehee 16, Clarendon 2
McGehee 15, Osceola 12
Gosnell 17, Clarendon 0

McGehee (3-0), Gosnell (2-1), Osceola (1-2), Clarendon (0-3)
Tournament Results
First Round
(B1) McGehee 16, (A4) Forrest City 14
(A2) Valley View 16, (B3) Osceola 0
(A1) West Memphis 19, (B4) Clarendon 4
(A3) Nettleton 14, (B2) Gosnell 12

Second Round
(A1) West Memphis 27, (A3) Nettleton 0
(B1) McGehee 22, (A2) Valley View 6

(B1) McGehee 20, (A1) West Memphis 12

Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 7-on-7 Arkansas Schedule (Updated June 4)

We have been looking high and low for 7-on-7 events scheduled for this summer.  Here is our best guess at the schedule for Arkansas 7-on-7 in 2010.  We are pretty sure that we have missed a couple of events. So, if you know of one that is left out, please let us know.


June 2010
  • June 5: Sonic Air Raid 
    • Harding Academy in Searcy
  • June 5:  Air Devil 7-on-7 Tournament
    • West Memphis High School
  • June 9-11:  Steve Roberts Individual and Team Camps
    • Arkansas State University in Jonesboro 
  • June 10:  Arkansas Sports Performance Center Summer Showdown 
    • Pulaski Robinson
  • June 11-12:  Harding University 7 on 7 Team Camp
    • Harding University in Searcy
  • June 13:  Steve Roberts Junior/Senior Elite Camp
    •  Arkansas State University in Jonesboro
  • June 14-16:  Steve Roberts Youth Camp
    • Arkansas State University in Jonesboro
  • June 17:  Hoxie 7-on-7 Tournament
    • Hoxie High School
  • June 18-19:  Shootout of the South Presented by Baptist Health 
    • Mighty Bluebird Complex in Little Rock
Arkansas Activities Association Dead Period for 2010
  • June 20-July 3
July 2010
  • July 9-10:  Southwest Elite 7 on 7 Showcase Presented by Right Guard
    • Shiloh Christian School in Springdale
  • July 10:  Fountain Lake 7 on 7 Tournament
    • Fountain Lake High School 
      • This is the oldest tournament in the state.
  • July 13:  Hustlin' Hermit Shootout
    • Hermitage High School
  • July 15-16: Vype 7 on 7 Tournament
    • Held on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
  • July 17: Perryville 7 on 7 Tournament
    • Perryville High School
  • July 17: Arkansas - Missouri Border Battle 7 on 7 Camp
    • Harrison High School
  • July 17: DeWitt 7 on 7 Tournament
    • DeWitt High School
  • July 24:  Steve Roberts Junior/Senior Elite Camp
    •  Arkansas State University in Jonesboro

That's what we have for now.  We will try to get you participants and results of these events as soon as they are available.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

2010 Air Devil Preview

The 4th Annual Air Devil 7-on-7 tournament will be held this Saturday at West Memphis beginning at 9 a.m.  There will be a large school and small school division.

Large School Division:
  • Forrest City
  • Nettleton
  • Valley View
  • West Memphis
Small School Division
  • Gosnell
  • Rivercrest
  • Osceola
  • McGehee
  • Clarendon (if they have the numbers)
Each division will play a single round robin to seed the tournament.  They will then break for a one hour lunch and come back for the single elimination tournaments.

Previous tournament winners
  • 2007 White Station High School, Memphis, TN
  • 2008 Horn Lake High School, Horn Lake, MS
  • 2009 Desoto Central High School, Olive Branch, MS.
NOTE:  Tennessee schools are no longer allowed to participate in June 7 on 7 events.  They have a two-week dead period, and are not allowed to play 7 on 7 the other two weeks.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

2010 Sonic Air Raid Preview

Over the last few years, the Sonic Air Raid in Searcy (hosted at Harding Academy) as been the unofficial kick-off to the 7-on-7 season.  In fact, last year we named this tournament (the state's 3rd largest) the first leg of the Arkansas 7-on-7 Triple Crown. The Shootout of the South and Vype Select tournaments complete the state's triple crown competition.

Once again, this one day tournament on June 5 boasts a very impressive field.  The field is divided into 4 sections for Division or Pool Play.  The top 2 teams from each pool advance to the Land O' Frost Championship double elimination bracket.  The lower 2 teams from each division will participate in the Sonic Consolation double elimination bracket.

Here are the divisions for this Saturday:
  • Division A
    • Conway
    • Pulaski Academy Blue
    • Pine Bluff
    • Searcy
  • Division B
    • Greenbriar
    • Lake Hamilton
    • Pulaski Academy Gold
    • Watson Chapel
  • Division C
    • Bald Knob
    • Greene County Tech
    • Harding Academy
    • Lonoke
  • Division D
    • Conway Christian
    • Des Arc
    • Dewitt
    • Rose Bud
We look for a very competitive day of 7-on-7 football in Searcy with division games starting  at 10 am.  The double elimination bracket play will begin at 1:30 pm.  The bracket championship games are scheduled for 5:15 pm (with an "If Necessary" game at 6 pm).  We hope that you get a chance to take in the action on Saturday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

East Texas Baptist Tournament Date Set

Recently, we received a comment that let us know that East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, TX will be holding the 3rd annual East Texas Baptist University 7 on 7 Tournament on May 29, 2010.  Since there is such a short time frame involved, we encourage any teams interested in getting a jump on the Arkansas schedule that begins June 5 in Searcy and West Memphis to contact Coach Bryant ( for more information.

Coach Bryant is hoping to build on the tremendous success that they have seen in the past two years. ETBU is building another top notch field this year. For the Texas teams attending the tournament, it will be a good warm-up prior to the State Qualifying Tournaments (SQT's) in in Tyler, Lufkin, Dallas Area, and Ft. Bend. For teams planning to get ready for team camps, this tournament also precedes the East Texas Baptist University with Oklahoma State University 2010 Travel Camp (featuring the Oklahoma State University Football Staff) that will occur on June 16, 2010 starting at 8:30 am. 

Thanks to Coach Bryant.  Coaches please contact him for a spot in this tournament with our neighbors.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Arkansas State Announces Camp Dates

- From the Arkansas State University Sports Information Department -

Arkansas State head football coach Steve Roberts is gearing up for his 2010 individual and team camps that are set to take place during the upcoming summer months. ASU will host a youth camp as well.

Roberts will be hosting individual camp and team camps June 9-11 and a junior/senior elite camp June 13 and July 24. The youth camp will be held June 14-16.

"We are very excited to host these camps again this summer," said Roberts. "We're ready to work with these young players and help them to improve their football skills."

The individual and team camps are open to students grades 7-12, and check-in for both camps begins June 9 at 11:00 a.m. Players can choose to stay overnight during the camps, and camp rates will increase after pre-registration concludes June 1. Early registration individual camp rates at $195 overnight and $170 for day instruction only. Team camp rates vary by the number of players, and teams should register together.

Roberts' junior/senior elite camps are open to high school juniors and seniors. Registration will begin at 11:00 a.m. with instruction running through 6:00 p.m. both days. Tuition for each day is $25.

This year's youth camp is open to girls and boys ages 7-12 and will cost $85 for the three days with limited scholarships available. Fundamentals of football will be taught along with punting, passing and kicking being introduced to the campers. Campers will participate in a scrimmage, tour the ASU football facility, get a demonstration in the weight room and listen to daily speakers. For more information on the youth camp, contact Kyle Shipp or Jason Gregory at 870-972-2082.

Primary medical insurance is required for participation in the camps, and a $50 deposit is due with the registration form. Players should bring camp clothes, football cleats, a helmet and a mouthpiece each day. Individual and team campers should bring shoulder pads and a jersey as well. Students staying overnight should bring toiletries, pillow, sheets and a blanket.

For more information and registration forms, visit


The registration form can also be found in our "Camps" section in the lower right sidebar. -- AFB

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Playing "Cover 2"

A cover 2 scheme can be very effective for a defense because it allows more defenders to stay in the shorter passing lanes or pressure the passer. However, most high school defensive coordinators get into that cover 2 the same way every time: Simply dropping the free and strong safeties into a coverage that divides the deep "halves." This scheme is a textbook rotation into a cover 2 and is one of the more simple reads for a spread passing QB. Most offensive coaches will tell you that you will have a very long night on defense if you continue to show the same look and rotate into a coverage the same way. This is especially true for the pass only offenses that you see during a 7-on-7 tournament or camp.

So, as a defensive coach, how can you vary the coverage rotation so that you keep as many defenders as possible in the short zones while still playing a fundamentally sound cover 2 scheme? This article is intended to give a defensive coordinator some different ideas to confuse and frustrate a passing attack that usually feasts on cover 2.

In the video below, we first show a cover 2 base defense versus a "Doubles" formation. We then show different ways to rotate into that coverage beginning with a cover 3 base. Here is the order of the slides in the video.

1. Base Cover 2

2. Dropping the SS back to halves and rotating FS and LB's accordingly. As stated above, this is the most popular method to roll into cover 2.

3 & 4. Shift the LB's out to cover for a CB that will drop into deep halves. #3 is the same as #2, just going the opposite way.

5. Pull the FS down and drop the SS and OLB into deep halves.

6. This is not roll as much as a variation of cover 2. Cover 2 Buc (or Tampa 2) which is actually a hybrid cover 3 of sorts as the MLB drops into the deep middle while the two safeties can cover further outside the hash. This keeps teams from exploiting the deep middle -- the weakness of the cover 2 defense.

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but hopefully this will give you some ideas to work from. The reason this can be effective is that, when you are facing good teams where the quarterback is making pre-snap reads and the receivers are adjusting routes based on coverage, it can confuse either or both. This confusion will lead to positive plays for your 7-on-7 defense.

Friday, March 5, 2010

2010 Harding University 7-on-7 Team Camp

The Harding University Bisons coaching staff will be conducting a 7-on-7 Football camp June 11-12. Last year, the camp (held in Searcy, Arkansas) hosted about 25 Varsity teams from 8 states. This year, the staff is planning to host both Varsity and JV competitions between teams from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
Some highlights that we see in this camp:
  • Lots of football on Friday and Saturday
  • Admission is FREE for spectators
  • Teams can work on their passing game against other quality opponents from different states
  • Players get exposure to a college campus, a sample of dorm life, and contact with NCAA Division II Football Coaches
  • Teams get a chance to start working on chemistry by spending a weekend together
The cost of the camp is very reasonable. For a small additional fee, the Bison coaching staff can handle the overnight arrangements for your team. If you want more information, the brochure for the camp is located at the Harding University Athletics site (Sports Camps). Special thanks goes out to Coach Clay Beason for the information!

We are just starting to hear from coaches and players about the schedules for the 2010 7-on-7 Football season. As those dates firm up and we hear from organizers, we will get that information out to you. If you have information for us, leave a comment or email us at Also, check the sidebars for "Camps". We will put links to the camps that we hear about there.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

National Signing Day*

If you follow college football to any real degree, you know that the culmination of a recruiting season is just around the corner.  Next week, we have "National Signing Day" when high school players from across the country make their decision on where they will play college ball.  While I did live in Texas for a while (where there are just 2 seasons - Football and Recruiting), I never did buy into the hype surrounding the recruiting rankings.  Every year, Notre Dame finishes in the Top 5-10 in recruiting (they win the National Recruiting Championship every couple of years), but somehow, those blue chippers never seem to pan out.

I have several theories on why that recruiting high school players (or drafting college ones) is such an inexact science. First, with "top level" high school players, you never really get to see them compete against guys of comparable athletic ability.  Whether it is the best RB in Nebraska or the top LB in Minnesota, the talent around them and against them makes the evaluation process difficult.  I know that many states have started "recruiting combines" to allow prospects to perform against others in standardized tests of athletic ability. These combines don't get at the true football player, though.

Second, recruiting ranking services are in the business of making money.  They don't sell as many magazines or website subscriptions if they are telling Irish fans that the recruits the coach is bringing in are not as good as the recruits TCU or Boise State has.  It has been my experience that certain schools (e.g., Florida, Texas, Alabama, USC) showing interests in a kid brings up ratings while those same schools can drop a kid's rating by dropping out of the sweepstakes for his talent. While this is anecdotal, I don't know how to measure it any other way.

Finally, I am one that believes winning feeds itself.  Bowl teams get extra practices (15 or so) to develop those "blue chippers" that non-bowl teams don't get.  These extra practices allow the players at those schools to develop on a quicker schedule.  Thus, whether or not the recruiting rankings have any merit is nullified by the extra experience the top schools get during bowl practices.

In any case, I refuse to get disappointed over the whimsical choices of 17- and 18-year old boys.  I do hope the kids are choosing schools that fit them rather than who is the coach.  As we have seen recently, even the most secure coaches (Urban Meyer) aren't guaranteed to be there for graduation.  I know, that's old fashioned, but we are talking about COLLEGE football.


*Cross posted at 4th an 10.