This is the first season I haven't actively followed recruiting. For instance, I can't tell you, without looking it up, whether Akron's recruiting class is racking up its fair amount of "stars" on Rivals.com.
It's because I've become jaded. Honestly, if you told me we just reeled in a four-star running back, I'd yawn. I've been hearing about stud athletes coming to campus since I came to campus.
When you're winning, it is justifiable to get excited about a high school player, because that person can be a piece of the puzzle. When you're this bad, it takes a lot more than finding a David Harvey or Nate Robinson to make a difference.
So my point is, I want to see Rob Ianello's staff coach this team up in the next few weeks. Fans will not be patient for Ianello's own recruits to come to maturity. They want improvement.
I believe Ianello learned this lesson at Notre Dame when the roster most years had top-10 talent but probably wouldn't have won the MAC. Talent wasn't enough there. If the "master plan" is solely to load this roster with BCS-level talent, I don't buy it. Talent won't be enough here.
I take Buffalo as a great example. They couldn't recruit liberals to an Obama rally. But Turner Gill built the program through solid, hard-working kids. He was a fantastic coach who milked the most cognizance and effort out of every single player.
That leads me to this week's opponent, Temple. Not only does Al Golden get the most out of his guys, but he's also getting guys with the most talent in the first place. It's a scary combination to face for the Zips, who appear to be low on talent and effort.
But things can get better and fast. Football is weird that way. It wasn't too long ago that you looked for Temple on the schedule, because it's a winnable game. Now look at the Owls.
For those of you who want to live vicariously through another fan, here is how Dave Gerson, the blogger at The Owl's Nest, sees his football prosperity.
For the fourth or fifth season in a row, I can not describe how excited I've been as the season as progressed. This is now the second year in a row that I can officially claim that the Owls will be playing in a bowl game in December/January. Temple at this point in the season is finally through the roughest part of the schedule, playing teams like Central Michigan, Connecticut, Penn State, and Northern Illinois. Some quality wins have come out of that group. We've seen plenty of changes for the better as the season has continued, including the return of a healthy Bernard Pierce and a quarterback change. TU is currently 6-2, and fighting to stay atop the MAC East. Teams like Akron, Miami (OH), and Ohio will not make it easy to do so. I'm already sorry for how fast this year has flown by, but I won't deny that this has been an entertaining one yet again!
If I'm a Temple fan, I'd be feeling pretty confident about this game on Saturday. Obviously we cannot perform the way that we did against Bowling Green a few weeks back, but I don't think there's any real possibility of that happening (I can't picture it at this point!). I think that Temple wins big, similarly to the Buffalo game last week. It's time for this Owl squad to build up the production and head into the end of the year with a full head of steam. Temple wins 35-0.
He's right. All of it. Bernard Pierce is fantastic running back. It seems Temple has a quarterback to go along with him. Their defense has great athleticism and size. All things considered, I have held more hope in games against Ohio State than I do this Saturday.
It certainly can turn around for Akron, too. But it can't all happen on the recruiting trail. The Akron Zips, first and foremost, play football, not salesmanship. Ianello recently received a commitment in Firestone High's running back, Cody Grice, who was quoted as saying:
''My pops and I are not really worried about them not doing too good this year because we already know it is going to take a couple of years before Ianello's recruiting classes come in and make an impact. I think I can come in and contribute to their success.''
I understand that Ianello and Co. have a difficult task in trying to spin an 0-7 record to recruits. I just hope they realize fans won't be so patient for the "impact" that Ianello's classes will make.
We demand effort and improving results now.
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