Roundtable: Release the hounds?

In the past 10 days we've already observed several major conference head coach firings. The ACC, in fact, has witnessed 20 percent of its head coaching talent get chopped.

And, as always, we can expect quite a few of the recruits signed with those programs to reconsider their options. Already, in light of James Johnson's departure, Virginia Tech recruit Justin Bibbs reportedly will consider other options.

That leads us to this week's question:

Without attempting to speculate on other specific players, do you think things mostly will settle down and people will remain with their first choice, or should we expect fireworks the next few weeks in terms of recruits seeking releases from their signed letters of intent?

Josh Gershon: I think that demand for spring signees is so great that college coaches will pressure the AAU and high school coaches of signed recruits to open up their recruitments. Spring recruiting is always crazy because of the high demand and low supply, but open jobs mean more potential prospects into the pool, and anything that rival coaches can do to give themselves more recruiting options, they will. I think we see a lot of kids get out of their LOIs, as always.

Evan Daniels: I think we should expect fireworks. Rarely does a kid pick a school because of the school itself. As much as fans want to believe that, most kids pick a school because of their head coach and the coaching staff as whole. Everything else, like facilities, academics, tradition, are usually secondary when it comes to these types of decisions. When there is coaching movement, it's usually followed by recruiting movement.

Brian Snow: As always, I expect kids to change school and open up their recruitment quite a bit. In the spring mid-major players magically get turned into high-major players, and mid-major plus players get turned into the second coming of Shaq or LeBron, so their options will be far greater than they were at the time of the original commitment.

Rob Harrington: I think there are a couple layers to it, and everything will stack to create more volatility among those prospects who might seek a release. There's always a temptation for a recruit to seek other options after his lifeline to a school — the coaching staff — turns over, but I think this spring will be even crazier than usual.

The reason for that is conference realignment. Schools that have moved or had their league's composition change significantly have a new lease on life. Athletic directors want to capture the excitement of a fresh start and thus are less patient with struggling coaches. That leads to more firings and more releases.

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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