Sports Illustrated came out with their top 100 players list for the 2017 college football season. Like most of you, the first thing I do is peruse the list for MAC players. I’ll save you the trouble, the only one on the list is Logan Woodside at 89. Like the majority of these type of lists, it’s mostly filled with P5 players, with the smattering of G5 guys. A big reason is because the national media can only watch so much football, and they are going to put the guys they know on the list.
In instances like this, the little guy snub can actually work in Logan Woodside’s favor. He almost certainly got noticed because he led the country in touchdown passes, and 89 seemed as good of a spot as any. I seriously doubt the SI staff spent hours breaking down his game tape, and decided upon much reflection that he was the 89th best player in college football.
Three quarterbacks are in the top 11, and there were handful of others throughout the list. Those three quarterbacks, along with several of the others, will have their game tape analyzed throughout the season, and it wont go well. They’ll make mistakes, and talking heads will love to show the nation all of their flaws for the duration of the college football season.
“You see, Bill, when he throws to the left side of the field, after 4 pm, on the road in October, the ball tends to sail on him. That could be a HUGE problem at the next level when everyone is a foot or two taller.”
All of these quarterbacks are going to make mistakes. And their stock is going to plummet. One of the best past examples of this trend is Jevan Snead. Going into the 2009 college season, many had Snead as one of the top quarterbacks, and a likely top 10 draft pick. His season didn’t go as planned, and he ended up not getting drafted.
The national media and how they now “report” things in this day and age reminds me of a scene in the Monte Python movie, “Life of Brian”.
Flying under the radar in this modern age is actually a good thing. There is such a thing as bad publicity. Baker Mayfield is in the top 10. He’ll likely be a “surefire” top 10 pick going into the season. If he has a bad game on the road against Ohio State, that could start the “Mayfield is trash” talk, and that negative momentum could carry into the draft.
Woodside isn’t facing that same kind of pressure to be perfect. He can have a couple of picks here and there, and rack up a few losses. If he is impressive statistically overall, the NFL will still take notice. A nice combine, and he will get drafted where he deserves to be drafted. The low ranking can also be a double edged sword. A lack of respect is always a great motivating tool on the football field. So while I was initially annoyed with the 89 ranking, and no mention of other MAC players, at least there is a positive side.