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Transfer-heavy Ole Miss earns elite ESPN ranking, might contend for SEC crown

SystemSystem Posts: 10,657 admin
edited May 20 in Article commenting
imageTransfer-heavy Ole Miss earns elite ESPN ranking, might contend for SEC crown

ATHENS — Lane Kiffin might be undefeated on Twitter, but when it comes to winning big games, the Ole Miss coach has struggled.

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    MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,882 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited May 20

    Every program will play this portal/retention game differently. I will say this - it's cheaper to retain players than to get them from the portal. Loyalty, team cohesion, and development are key factors for Kirby, and I agree it's better to build a team from retention & recruiting. However, every season is going to be different on how many players you are able to retain versus what holes you need to fill with the portal. Lane is probably 60% portal, because he knows Ole Miss just can't recruit as well as many elite programs. I think it is going to put Ole Miss in a better position going forward, and obviously it's already paying dividends.

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    brvhrtbrvhrt Posts: 334 ✭✭✭ Junior

    ”Absolutely they can win it all!” Peter Burns

    “But…if…But…if” Same Guy

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 695 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Excellent comment, Montana. Especially the point about a heavy reliance on transfers being effective for that particular school.

    Kiffin's approach has already made Mississippi more relevant than they've been in decades. They ended the season at a very high level. Even without Judkins, they could be stronger this year.

    I agree with you and everyone else about the limits of building by transfer. When they don't come up together as freshmen, they're not going to be as together as a team. Nobody really knows how a mix of guys who haven't played much with each other will play in the fall.

    But we don't go to Oxford until November. They could be well gelled by then!

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    1SICemDAWGS11SICemDAWGS1 Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If I'm not mistaken, Colorado raided the portal, and we know how Coach "Prime" fared. Kiffin is a much better coach, (as much as it pains me to type that), the results could still be similar though. Hard to build chemistry, and a Brotherhood with new coaches, teammates in less than a year. And that will show not only in the locker room, but on the field as well. An easier SEC schedule should help Ole Miss be competitive, there should be no excuses if ole miss doesn't win 10-11 games this season with that talent.

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    CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 695 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Interesting observations, SicEmDAWGS. To add to them:

    Prime is way over at one end on the continuum of "portal king." Dabo at the other. In between, just to take a few examples, you've got Kiffin, Norvell, Beamer, Lanning, Day and Kirby — in that order. (I'm not basing my ranking on pure numbers — throwing in a little subjectivity — and I'm also trying to exclude places like Washington & Arizona State, where there's an uptick because of coaching transitions.)

    But it's interesting to look at the variety of circumstances. Prime is in a bad cycle so he has to do it all with transfers, but part of that may be his impatience and bravado. Kiffin (to @MontanaDawg's point earlier) has a weak recruiting hand, so he's relying heavily on transfers. Norvell has been rebuilding but may move toward a (relatively) heavier reliance on recruiting now that he's reinvigorated the program. Beamer also doesn't have the recruiting base of the schools he competes with for high school players (perhaps he should dip a bit heavier into the portal?).

    Lanning's portal reliance is partly about rebuilding; also he's just a smart, young guy so he's probably not resistant to change. Day and Kirby sit at the top of the heap in recruiting so they can take what is still the preferred option (HS recruitment to build cohesion), but Day's feeling the pressure and had to fill some gaps so he hit the portal for marquee players. And, IMO, Dabo at the other end seems to have dug in his heals on based on hide-bound "principle."

    Point is that there's a rationale to each coach's approach. But some rationale's are better than others. Kiffin seems to be doing what's best for Ole Miss, as do Norvell, Lanning, Day and Kirby for their respective schools. You can't argue with the results in all five of those cases. They're being rational.

    But Prime and Dabo — at the extremes — may not be doing what's rational. It seems like they've staked out a preconceived position and sticking with it out … pride, maybe? We'll see how 2024 goes, but so far it doesn't seem to be going well for either of them.

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