Keeping the Elite 11 Sham Alive

ESPN Rise has this piece on the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp hosted by former USC graduate assistant Yogi Roth, who is best known among astute Trojan fans for his deft crisis management during USC’s 2007 loss to 41-point underdog Stanford.

What sticks out to me is this claim that the show is ‘scouring’ the country for the top 11 quarterbacks when everyone familiar with the camp knows that the selection process–at least in the past–has been largely political.  Has it changed now that ESPN has control of it? 

Not so sure.  As Tom Luginbill writes:

Keep in mind that in order to qualify for the final Elite 11 invitation, players needed to attend either an Elite 11 regional camp or a Nike Football Training Camp and many quality prospects in this class chose not to participate.

In other words, some quarterbacks–no matter how elite–were excluded because they didn’t play the camp game.  I’ve attended the Elite 11 before and it seemed to me more like a networking event than a real skills session. 

But hey, maybe I’m just being a curmudgeon.  It is kind of cool to see all these new segments on these rising talents and ESPN Rise looks like a great new venture. 

And above all, I’m looking forward to all the insights that Coach Roth has to offer.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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