Did you see a coach on signing day who confessed that he and his staff had done an awful job of recruiting and had signed a class that probably will cost his job?
It sounded like all of them would be contending for the national championship in two or three years.
What did Illinois coach Ron Zook and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel have to smile about?
The truth is the rich (SEC) got richer, the also-rans (Big 10) continued to play catch-up and UCLA, California and Oregon showed signs that they are serious about challenging traditional power USC for dominance in the Pac-10.
It isn't a coincidence that the elite programs are stocked by blue chip players who are recruited by the most aggressive and highest paid coaches in the nation...Urban Meyer, Mack Brown, Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Bob Stoops, Rick Neuheisel...you know who they are.
And it isn't a coincidence that the SEC is the most dominant conference in college football. It annually recruits the best players--five SEC schools, led by to-ranked Florida, ranked among the top 10 recruiting classes for 2010--and they put an emphasis on big and fast defensive players, a concept the Big 10 hasn't begun to understand.
For example, Florida signed the best crop of defensive players that recruiting analyst Tom Lemming has seen in 31 years. The class included the two best defensive players in the country, Ronald Powell and Sharrif Floyd. Does it get any better than that?
Another negative sign for the Big 10 is some of the best players in the Midwest have chosen to go elsewhere. Some picked Big 10 schools, then de-committed and chose other schools. And the Midwest hasn't been producing a lot of talented high school players in recent years.
Ohio State lost offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson, the nation's No. 1 player, to USC. Illinois lost C.J. Fiedorowicz, the nation's top-rated tight end, to Iowa, wide receiver Matt Milton to Tennessee and defensive back Corey Cooper to Nebraska. Zook made last-minute pitches to wide receiver Kyle Prater and offensive lineman Zach Fulton, all to no avail.
Penn State lost wide receiver Adrian Coxson to Florida. Ohio State lost offensive lineman Matt James to Notre Dame and linebacker Jordan Hicks to Texas. Michigan lost defensive back Sean Parker to Washington.
When signing day had ended, according to Lemming, the Big 10 had signed the fewest number of impact players that he could ever remember. Defensive lineman William Gholston could be a factor at Michigan State and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hopes Fiedorowicz will become a freshman starter, as former Wheaton Warrenville South star Tony Meoaki once was.
In the meantime, several Chicago area high school coaches were left shaking their heads, wondering why their players hadn't been signed, some not even offered. It is an annual ritual in which the high school coaches are convinced they have players who are good enough to play for Division I schools and can't understand why it doesn't happen.
The list of players still looking for some love from Division I or even Division II schools includes All-Chicago Area linebacker Jake Stockman and offensive lineman Dan Foreman of Joliet Catholic, running back Evan Wright of Fremd, quarterback Tyler Warden of Glenbard West, defensive lineman Steve Laski of Providence, defensive lineman Austin Copley of Lincoln-Way East, All-Chicago Area center Hayden Baker of Cary-Grove, linebacker J.D. Barchard of Crystal Lake South and wide receiver Dan Piko of Marist.