If you ever wonder why so many millions of college football fans follow national signing day so closely, surely some will tell you it’s for the drama. Really, it’s no different than The Real World — and this year, Roquan Smith and Byron Cowart are your proverbial Puck and C.T.
Byron Cowart committed to Auburn early on national signing day, giving new Tigers defensive coordinator Will Muschamp some much-needed boom on the defensive line.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) February 4, 2015
The only problem? Cowart has yet to send Auburn his national letter of intent.
Armwood HS coach tells ESPN Byron Cowart is “undecided” after announcing, and supposedly signing with Auburn.
— Justin Hokanson (@JHokanson) February 4, 2015
Worse yet, Byron Cowart reportedly has two different NLIs out there: one destined for Auburn, the other for Florida.
— Jamie Newberg (@JamieNewberg) February 4, 2015
It’s literally a race to the fax machine. Someone needs to get a camera on this ASAP. Maybe.
According to @CraigHaubert, Byron Cowart has only signed one LOI but has NOT faxed it in to Auburn. The suspense builds.
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) February 4, 2015
Either way, kudos to NBC Sports’ Kevin McGuire, who may have just pitched the SEC Network its best idea for original programming yet.
When Byron Cowart said “Thank God for the SEC Network…” earlier this morning, he was really teasing his commitment reality show.
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) February 4, 2015
As for linebacker Roquan Smith, should he honor his pledge to UCLA made earlier in the day, his flair for the dramatic should make him an immediate hit in Hollywood.
Smith donned UCLA gloves for his ESPNU announcement, but the Georgia native reportedly got cold feet on the way from the TV broadcast to the fax machine.
BREAKING: Despite announcing his commitment to #UCLA, 4* LB Roquan Smith tells me he has not reached final decision, has not signed LOI.
— Jake Reuse (@ReuseRecruiting) February 4, 2015
Anyone who questions the validity of national signing day as a TV product is sorely mistaken. This kind of drama is why viewers still tune into The Bachelor after 14 years, and The Real World an entire decade longer.
Of course, fights don’t hurt either. Peruse the timeline of USC-UCLA fans or Texas-Texas A&M fans interacting with one another and marvel at the invective been exchanged.
That’s to be expected between rival fan bases, but a coach dabbling in some national signing day smack-talk is the kind of stuff producers dream of for Sweeps Week. Hey, Sweeps are in February, after all.
That’s Wake Forest assistant Adam Scheier throwing serious shade at in-state foe North Carolina for the Tar Heels’ ugly and widely publicized academic scandal.
The Demon Deacons and Tar Heels did not play in 2014, Scheier’s first on staff with head coach Pete Clawson. But when the programs last met in 2012, Wake squeaked out a 28-27 win.
Perhaps the seeds of genuine rivalry are being planted on national signing day? Time to stop being nice and start being real.