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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2007
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EDITORIAL

College recruiting fun to follow, but games won or lost on field

For most of us, intercollegiate athletics is a form of entertainment. Quite a few of us may be obsessed with Auburn or Alabama football, but we can keep at least a semblance of perspective.

The recent emergence of college football recruit rating services has added to our enjoyment of the game, giving Tiger and Tide fans something more to talk about in the cold winter months when the gridirons are empty and athletes at our favorite schools are competing indoors on the hardwood.

Recruiting high school athletes is highly speculative and hardly a science — many prized recruits turn out to be busts while other relatively unknown preps evolve into major stars once they reach Division I-A campuses. But ratings services like Rivals.com, SuperPrep and National Blue Chips have made household names of high school seniors like Tim Tebow (Florida) last year, and Joe Mc-Knight (Southern California) and Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame) this winter.

Logic would tell you that the school that wins the recruiting battle has the best shot at bringing home a conference or even national championship four or five years down the road. And while that is sometimes the case, it is not a certainty. Factors such as classroom success (or failure), injuries, early departure for the professional ranks and actual performance on the field can turn a top recruiting class into a mediocre team or a group that flew in under the radar into a real contender.

The games are won on the field in the fall.

But, in the cold days of winter, itís fun to follow the recruiting wars and speculate about what the future may hold.

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