This is the time of year that belongs to those paragons of overstatement— the College Sports Information Directors. In less than three weeks, these masters of mis-information will be somewhat shackled by actual game results, but for now, there is nothing holding them back.
It will be more difficult to promote the incoming quarterback—who transferred from some obscure community college— as a Heisman trophy candidate, after he throws four interceptions against whatever patsy is the opening day opponent. Not impossible, but more difficult.
Until the games begin Thursday, September 3, there is nothing to rein in the spin masters, and they can convince their fans that a 390 pound Somali, coming off a career as a pirate in the Indian Ocean, has always dreamed of playing at Ole Plantation U. One can understand the fans wanting to believe that the dude loves their school and probably has kicked his betel nut habit. Reporting that he runs the forty in 3.8 seconds, while carrying a manager under both arms, seems to makes perfect sense to fans in August.
All of this hype will require added effort come September 3, but the professional spin doctors will rise to the occasion. Strangely, there is a direct correlation to the level of hyperbole spewing forth from the SID’s office and the public image of the institution. This contributes to their recruiting efforts and their often grossly over rated poll positions.
In keeping with the old axiom that the rich tend to get richer, I have compiled a list of the top ten Sports Information Departments in the NCAA, and here they are in descending order.
- Washington State University – Just convincing anyone to believe that it’d be fun to spend four years in Pullman is enough to slip into the top ten.
- University of Southern California – These guys are tremendous. They can make Ed Ogeron look like a normal human being—well close anyway.
- Boston College – Selling quality college football in a town crazy for hockey, baseball and basketball is to be admired.
- Ole Miss – What is left to say? They can convince a black kid from Watts that he will just love picnicking in the Grove with Colonel Rebel. It don’t get any harder than that. Tobacco can be a strong mind bender.
- Kansas State University – Read #10 and substitute Manhattan, Kansas for Pullman, Washington. At least the wind stops blowing for a day or two in Pullman.
- Auburn University – The Tiger SID has to be included, if for nothing else than the ability to adjust to changing circumstances. To oversee the transformation of Tommy Tuberville to Gene Chizik to Gus Malzahn, and keep a straight face, set a high standard for the profession
- Florida State University – These guys managed to keep the wolves at bay long enough for a serial bad boy to graduate. The payoff for their work has set an all-time high, based on return on investment. They helped FSU win a National Championship and a Heisman Trophy.
- Boise State University – A blue football field? Really?
- Notre Dame University – These guys gave us the Gipper, the Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus, and in the process, made a small religious school in the boondocks of Indiana, the international image of what a football factory should be.
And finally my number one pick! Drum roll in the background:
- Georgia Tech University – I rank the SID at Tech number one for his ability to convince a tight fisted AD that he is needed. The Rambling Wreck talks on the football field, not in the press. They are the best coached team in the whole show, and they win games while playing within the rules. Being SID at Tech would be like being the Maytag repair man, and I hope my Mississippi State Bulldogs never have to face them again.
Well, there you are campers, something to kill time until Sept 3.