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The Blue-Gray Sky Asks: "Hey man, have you seen Eric McClendon lately?"

One of the things we pride ourselves on here at Dawg Sports is our engagement in the larger Sports Blog World. I kid Kyle occasionally about being the John Barth of the sports blog world (because he is a master of blogging about blogging), but there is a kernel of admiration in that ribbing. We try to recognize the exceptional work done by other bloggers, and route you to other blogs which you'll find interesting, informative and downright entertaining. That's what sets the blogosphere apart from a lot of traditional media. Really, when was the last time somebody from the Washington Post encouraged you to head over to the New York Times sports page for a solid take on the Yankees? Yeah, that's my point.

One site that I frequently visit, and encourage you to check out is Notre Dame blog The Blue-Gray Sky. Pat at BGS is, for the third year in a row, breaking down past recruiting classes to determine which players lived up to expectations. In the process he isolates some interesting trends, and spotlights a veritable who's who of guys all recruitniks pined for in 2004 and couldn't pick out of a lineup now.

I won't go into Pat's proprietary system because it involves numbers, and numbers give me hives. Sorry. But he does use a sampling of recruiting service rankings to compile a composite "National Top 50". He's also generally kind to Georgia's 2004 signing class, labelling Charles Johnson and Thomas Brown success stories, while withholding judgment on Brandon Miller and noting that his pending status as a bust has something to do with high expectations from being the #6 overall recruit in the country coming out. He notes some trends which a lot of us probably recognized at a visceral level, but lacked any data to substantiate. For example:

Offensive linemen are hard to scout. You never know which ones are going to turn into Duke Robinson, and which ones will turn into James Lee. Especially if you happen to be named Neil Callaway. That makes it, like, double hard to tell. But I digress.

Tom Lemming is a shill, and even Domers know it. Pat gets extra points in my book by simply acknowledging that Tom Lemming's ranking of players interested in Notre Dame or originating in the state of Illinois are simply flat wrong, and declining to include Lemming's rankings in his composite. Well played, Pat. And finally,

The recruiting services ain't half bad. Pat notes that the number of top 50 guys who turn into solid all-conference level performers is pretty high, and that highly rated players are more likely to be knocked off track by bad grades, off-field mayhem and injury than on-field underperformance.

That's really just a thumbnail sketch though, you really should go read the whole article if you follow recruiting. And after that, go vote for Georgia swimmer (and Olympian) Kara Lynn Joyce for the ESPY in the category of best female college athlete. It's your duty as an American and as a citizen of Bulldog Nation. And if you're from Dodge County, you may even be able to find someone to pay you for it. I kid, I kid. Sorta. Until later . . .

Go Dawgs!!!