Ramblings of Dannelly: Small College Football Communications and General Gripes.

Over the last couple months I have been preparing the selections of the 2022 Rimington Award. This is a process I have done every year for roughly the last 15 years.

Watch games, gather names, look at stats, research the winners. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I really enjoy doing this every year. But there are a few things I’ve noticed over the last couple of years in the world of small college football that have really started to get to me. Things that really haven’t changed over those 15 years and need to. Or things that have changed that frankly didn’t need to. So here’s my list of gripes that I need to get off my chest.

  1. When did it become standard to give Sports Information Directors (SIDs) different titles? Athletic Communications Director, Athletic Marketing, etc. It’s honestly confusing as to who I should contact for the press releases and information. I understand the job has evolved and maybe SID isn’t as sexy as it used to be on a business card. But I would argue “Head Coach” is a lot more than just coaching and THAT title doesn’t do the position any justice. The change from SID to whatever is unnecessary. Last I checked the national professional organization they belong to is still COSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). Until they change it, someone at your school should be titled “SID”.
  2. Could the NAIA level please for the love of GOD start funding their sports information departments? Assistant coaches can’t do it. The administrative assistant to the Athletic Director can’t do it. Ever wonder why you don’t get any local publicity? You have no press releases and your web site is barely updated. It takes three days to get an answer on email from some schools. FCS and DII are pretty solid. DIII is 50/50. NAIA level is below that. Yet, in recruiting the NAIA say they are on par with DII and better than DIII. Make it so in your athletic departments.
  3. Why do we still list all offensive linemen as OL and not their actual positions? Yes, I understand for roster purposes this is easier. But in the actual stats file you can list the starting positions. The ones that do mostly list “OL”. Some don’t input the starters at all. Rarely does a school actually list the REAL position the athlete is playing on the offensive line. I understand injuries happen and guys get moved around. But at the start of the game the guy was playing Center or Guard or Tackle. Why not list it that way in the stat file?
  4. There is no regard for OL positions on All-Conference or All-American teams. This is silly. I’m not saying it should be two tackles, two guards and one center. But there are several conferences where the All Conference team is 5 tackles or 4 and a guard. So then the top center in the conference is second team or even honorable mention. Or the opposite happens and two centers make first team All-American. (I’m looking at you DIII AFCA Coaches). It doesn’t have to be perfect, but have some balance.
  5. Stop with posting how your offensive lineman graded out and any stats related to their position. These should be done by an independent scout to get the true numbers. “He graded out at 94% this game.” No he didn’t. You’re pumping those stats up to make him look good. Sure, you should grade them out for your own purposes but don’t go publishing those numbers like it’s something we should use to compare to other teams or offensive lines. I work with a couple different scouts that watch the same games and their opinions are always much different. I use both in the selection process but no one is getting fooled that there is not a rock solid method to grading these players out.

I’m sure someone who reads this will get mad. That’s okay. Maybe it’ll force a little change. Or. . .just keep doing what you are doing for the next 15 years. – JD

%d bloggers like this: