There are few things that will hurt a college football program more than a losing streak, and right now the Auburn Tigers are really hurting.
They are a far cry from the team that beat the Oregon Ducks for the BCS National Championship with the electric Cam Newton at the helm, and now with an 0-2 start to 2012—with losses to Clemson and an unranked Mississippi State team—the Tigers fall from grace seems to be in full effect.
Just how much will this recent turn of events on the football field impact recruiting for Gene Chizik and his Auburn program?
Fortunately for Auburn fans, I don't see their on-field struggles hurting the program just yet.
The one thing about recruiting is that its main focus is on the future, and any smart recruiter knows how to keep that focus there if the present isn't necessarily looking too appealing.
The major pitch a recruiter has to make to a prospect is that sure, the team may not be doing well right now, but if he comes aboard, that can change everything. A great pitch makes a recruit feel that he is the key to the future success of the program. He is reason Auburn will turn things around and make a glorious return to the BCS National Championship.
A good recruiter will put the focus on hope for the future, and then attribute that hope to the player coming aboard.
That's how great programs have the opportunity to rebuild. One or two players can really make the difference, and the good recruiters let those players know just that.
As far as Chizik's 2013 class so far, it does look like Auburn fans should have hope for the future. The Tigers have commits from 17 players, including three 5-star recruits in stud linebacker Reuben Foster, and defensive ends Carl Lawson and Dee Liner.
For all intents and purposes that's a great class, so Chizik needs to make sure that they know that. He needs to assure them that even if the losing keeps up for his current team, once they, as in the 2013 class, hit the field, Auburn's fate will be completely different.
That's the trick of recruiting. You can only sell what you have, even if all you have is hope.
The 0-2 start may not look to good for the Tigers, but in the world of recruiting it's all about the future, and it's going to be a bright one for Auburn.