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Review: Meat Market - Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting

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In "Meat Market - Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting", Bruce Feldman takes you inside the insanity that is college recruiting while simultaneously taking you inside crazy Cajun Ed Orgeron's head, whom you know from reading the EDSBS parodies.

Author Bruce Feldman spent a year with Ed Orgeron and his staff as they went through the recruiting season up to National Signing Day 2007. Feldman is the author of the bestselling book Cane Mutiny: How the Miami Hurricanes Overturned the Football Establishment. He is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, and has a college football blog. He's also tied for the lead   in the Pick 'Em game currently going on at In The Bleachers, where yours truly isn't doing so well.

The further along the book you go, the more you realize that Ed Orgeron is a stand-up guy. He represents what is good about college football coaches. He sets academic plans for his recruits. He tells his coaches that they are not to break any rules, even though tempted. He works with his compliance officer, and the number of times he states "We can't take a kid like that" make it clear that Orgeron, for all his bluster, has a fairly high standard for doing the right thing by his recruits.

For all of the nuttiness that's happened throughout the recruiting process (simply too much to name here) you think it can't get much worse. Then you get to Signing Day and you realize that the rest of the book is just a warm-up for complete madness.

At first I wondered why Feldman would have chosen such a nutball of a coach to follow through the recruiting process, but by the time you get through the entire book, you find yourself wondering whether Orgeron might well be the sanest part of it. The contradictions between the craziness of the coaches, the process, and the recruits why the book is worth reading, and a great read it is. I'd strongly recommend this book to any college football fan (with the possible exception of those who put complete faith in recruiting sites, maybe you're better off in your delusions).

More information about Feldman's book can be found in the review of "Football's Second Seasion - Scouting High School Game Breakers" by Tom Lemming and Taylor Bell.