Reed has the most difficult job in all of college football.
Why is that?
He is the only HBCU football coach in the country, whose teams plays in a predominantly white conference, the Ohio Valley Conference (The Tigers typically play two or three HBCU schools in non-conference each season).
Reed is fighting against the other OVC coaches with one hand behind his back. All the other OVC schools have the luxury of being able to recruit quality white and black players. Reed is, basically, left to recruit mostly African-American players, although he has been able to land a few white players.
There is no other coach in college football that has that issue. The other HBCU schools are only able to recruit mostly black players, but they all belong to all black conferences. The coaches at predominantly white schools all can recruit black and white players on a consistent basis.
Now, why is this important?
If one school can dip into two talent pools, and I can only dip into one talent pool, who has the advantage?
But Reed, who was once a smart, crafty linebacker for the Big Blue (the Tennessee Tigers) in the late ‘80s, has not made excuses. Instead, he has got out and worked his ass off, along with his staff, on the recruiting trail.
Recently, the BOXTOROW BLOG rated the Big Blue’s 2016 class the best in HBCU football. SWAC’s Prairie View State University was No. 2, followed by Norfolk State University out of the MEAC at No. 3. Bethune Cookman (MEAC) checked in at No. 4, and South Carolina State (MEAC) was No. 5.
That is a tribute to Reed, and his coaching staff.
It is really too bad the Big Blue Tigers don’t get to play many games against HBCU schools. I have never been a fan of their decision to go to the OVC, which join the conference in 1986.
Actually, the OVC has not been bad for the other sports, but it has not been good for football. If you polled TSU football fans, they would love to see the football team go back to playing an all, or at least mostly, HBCU schedule. Because of their OVC schedule, the Big Blue Tigers are limited in playing HBCU schools. Last year, they played three _ Alabama State, Jackson State and FAMU _ and won all three.
Reed is 36-33 in six seasons, which is really impressive when you consider the odds he is facing. He is also been able to take the Tigers to the FCS playoffs and win a game. The Big Blue had more players drafted in the 2015 NFL draft, than SEC teams Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
And while his record isn’t what TSU fans and alumni are accustomed to over the years (and I assure you it is not what Reed wants), it is better than it looks. If TSU played a full HBCU schedule, Reed’s win total would be significantly, higher.
Reed is determined to make the Big Blue Tigers a consistent national power in the FCS. It is an uphill battle. However, if he does it will be one of the greatest coaching jobs in the history of college football. Linked it the BOXTOROW BlOG top 10 recruiting classes for HBCU football.