JOHN L. PITTS: Happy holiday for fans

JOHN L. PITTS

JOHN L. PITTS

TUPELO

National signing day is like another holiday for college football fans, and it’s just about perfect.

Nobody really loses on signing day – every coach insists he’s signed the best and brightest.

Here’s a quote from a coach in 2012:

“It’s been a great day. We’re excited.”

You know who said that? Ellis Johnson at Southern Miss. Later that year, the Golden Eagles went 0-12 in his lone season.

So go to the kitchen right now and get the biggest grain of salt you can find. That’s the best antidote for much of what you’ll consume today, as everyone tries to tell you that their recruiting efforts were the best.

There’s no question that bringing in good players is part of the puzzle.

Yet, look where Florida State’s last five classes ranked nationally before winning the BCS title – 12th, 9th, 2nd, 3rd, 10th.

Over than same span of time, Alabama ranked ahead of FSU each year. And the Crimson Tide didn’t reach the national championship game.

Success on signing day is a start. But did your team’s coaching staff target its biggest needs? Did they create a logjam at some position that will leave a handful of great players unhappy? Is your coaching staff capable of making good players better by being great teachers, then handing them a great game plan?

That’s why no one can tell you who won the 2014 national signing day today. Check back in 2019 and we’ll have a much better handle on that.

Random thoughts

• One more reason signing day is the best holiday – if you forgot to get your significant other roses or chocolates today, there’s always Valentine’s Day.

Do NOT forget Valentine’s Day. Thank me later.

• Alert reader Charles Williams notes that Brad Johnson was the quarterback of Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl champion – not Trent Dilfer, who’d left for Baltimore. I botched that snap, Denver Broncos style, in Sunday’s column.

• Colleague: “Does anyone know where the atlas is?” Me, not knowing the answer: “Let me give you my atlas shrug.”

• A Super Bowl in New Jersey just had to open with a soprano, right?

John L. Pitts (john.pitts@ journalinc.com) is sports editor of the Daily Journal.