The football and basketball seasons are over but recruiting never ends. Fans and alumni of Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and dozens of other major colleges from sea to shining sea are addicted to the Internet, keeping tabs on which athletes are interested in which schools.
Here are some questions being asked during what is often described as "Football's Second Season." The answers will make for compelling reading on college and recruiting websites from coast to coast in the next several months.
Will Illinois coach Ron Zook persuade that big offensive lineman in North Carolina to come to Champaign? Or will he opt for Notre Dame or choose to stay in the South? Is he as good as analyst Tom Lemming says he is?
Will Zook outrecruit Florida, Miami and Florida State for that quarterback in Tampa, the one who might be better than the kid from California who is rated as the No. 1 player in the class of 2009 and already is committed to USC?
Will Zook land East St. Louis wide receiver Kraig Appleton, who likely is the best prospect in downstate Illinois and could be even better than Arrelious Benn?
Will Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis sign another good freshman class and begin demonstrating to critics that, like Zook has done at Illinois, he is as good a coach as he is a recruiter?
How much of an effect will Rich Rodriguez, Michigan's new coach, have in the Chicago area? Will he make the city and suburbs a priority as Bo Schembechler once did? Will Rodriguez respond to Chicago's large alumni base, which is calling for a bigger Wolverine presence?
Will the Ann Arbor News' recent revelations about the apparent favored treatment given to Michigan athletes in the classroom, something former quarterback Jim Harbaugh once alleged, have a negative effect on Wolverine recruiting?
If the talent level in the Midwest is down this year, as many evaluators claim, which Big Ten schools will make a determined bid to recruit nationally? And which ones will be successful?
Is Northwestern on track to sign perhaps its best recruiting class since the hallowed era of Ara Parseghian? Is coach Pat Fitzgerald close to landing commitments from four of the best prospects in the Chicago area?