Different things are bad until proven good. White Claw is bad. But I have one in the fridge, and maybe after I drink it tonight, White Claw will be good. That’s how life works.
The college football transfer wire is also bad. Except, it’s proven to be good in select circles. Applied to Red Wolves football, the transfer wire has been bad: we’ve lost a great QB, a terrific linebacker, a solid wide receiver and a pretty good offensive lineman to transfer over the off season. Bad.
However, we’ve also acquired some intriguing talent as well. QB James Blackman from Florida State, WR Tevailance Hunt from TCU, DL WR Khyheem Waleed from Boise St., John Mincey from Tennessee and OL Robert Holmes from Austin Peay are intriguing gets. Good.
In essence, we’ve exchanged proven commodities for assets with tantalizing promise. The entertainment value associated with “tantalizing promise” is the elixir of season ticket pitches and offseason content like this. But tantalizing promise is also the mana of transforming a good football team into something special. Thus far, new Red Wolves head football coach Butch Jones has sipped deeply from this chalice.
There’s no great mystery to a new head coach dipping into his bag of resources and conscripting talent that mirrors his schemes. But Jones illustrates that the transfer wire did not sound the death bell for the Group of Five – at least not yet. The wire, it appears, runs both ways. Power Five programs will have an opportunity to pick and pluck unhappy G5 talent. But the Group of Five will also have that opportunity. After all, playing time remains a program’s most valuable coin. The transfer wire has only enhanced the value.
There will be losers. (You can’t have winners without them.) As I mentioned earlier, the Red Wolves lost some firepower to transfer. The air continues to leak for others G5s, as demonstrated by the Thundering Herd this week:
Reading the tea leaves, one wonders if the transfer wire will become a two-way highway, with the G5’s best moving in one direction, and the Power Five’s most troubled moving in the other. That would be bad, and would validate the transfer wire’s grouchy critics. However, I wouldn’t dismiss mankind’s uncanny ability to adjust.
Smart G5 programs will benefit from the transfer wire, even if it does become a lick log for the P5. Jones, who has never had a problem identifying talent, could very well make Arkansas State one of those “smart programs.” What’s different is bad until proven good.
And right now, the transfer wire is feel’n good.
PHOTO CREDIT: MINE