If Big 12 coaches have their way, the first Wednesday in February's status as an unofficial holiday for college football fans could change. At the league's annual meetings last month, football coaches generally favored the idea of an early signing period, which would mimic college basketball's structure.
There's no consensus on the date — some wanted June or July; more wanted December — or even on the idea. Although ACC coaches are in favor of the idea, coaches from the Pac-10 and SEC recently voted against it. But proponents say an early signing period would take the pressure off a recruiting cycle that has started earlier and earlier. "Everything has changed so much in recruiting,” Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione told the Rocky Mountain News. "It's a different world right now.” In recent years, schools have begun pushing for oral commitments earlier and earlier. In contrast to the past, some schools' scholarship lists are almost filled before the kids play their first high school game of their senior seasons. Penn State leads the way nationally. Regionally, Texas turned the early commitment into an art form (the Longhorns had 19 commitments through last weekend). And Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have joined the trend in the last couple of recruiting cycles. Through Monday, OU had 12 commitments.
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