The Memphis Tigers football team problem is clear and has been for quite a while now. This is now a second straight year of ineptitude. How does it happen? How do you lose to teams that you should consistently be able to beat? I once read a book where a coach said that he gave the same halftime speech at every game, and the speech always worked a lot better when his players were better than the opposing teams players. We can make excuses regarding recruiting, and some may absolutely be legitimate. I actually do think that there are some real obstacles and you can blame whoever you want to blame and could probably make a good argument. What I do know is that the problem is pretty easy to see. Rivals ranks every teams recruiting classes every year and maybe, just maybe, it gives you an indication of what kind of team you will have in the future.
Here are the Memphis class rankings for the last 4 years according to Rivals.com...
So you tell me. Why on earth would the Tigers be struggling? You can blame the administration, the coach, the fans, whoever. But the Memphis football team has a talent problem more than anything else. As they would say in West Memphis, it's not rocket surgery.
On a sidebar, you can get one great player and it can make a huge difference. That player has to be either a RB or a QB and there are no two ways about it. A star player at one of those two positions can disguise a talent problem. It happened at Ole Miss with Eli, NC State with Rivers, Quinn at ND, it is happening with Woodson at Kentucky, and it happened with Deangelo. Having one big time star that is touching the ball regularly can make up for a talent deficiency. The problem is what happens when that guy leaves. Look no further than the above list for a point of reference and think about what happened when those guys left. It exposed that one player was lifting up an entire team and masking a lack of real talent. It would have happened a year earlier at Memphis but Deangelo came back for his senior season and delayed it one year. You better get that player on campus quickly at Memphis and as of tonight, there are zero commitments. Here's hoping there is another Deangelo willing to come to play for the Tigers. There is a problem that needs some covering up.