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Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
"One of the most insightful books ever written about college football."
- The New York Times

"Easily among the best sports books of the new millennium."
- Paul Finebaum, columnist and radio host



In this unprecedented look at college football’s secret season, Bruce Feldman rips the cover off the game’s frenzied pursuit of raw talent, taking you deep inside the SEC war room o
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by ESPN (first published September 18th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike
Jan 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: College FB buffs, SEC fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jalen Townsend
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Meat Market: A Season Inside College Football’s No.1 Recruiting Machine by Bruce Feldman was a very good book for me. This was a good book for me because me being an athlete I was able to learn and find out things that could help me as a high school athlete in the book that I didn't know before I read it. I was able to not exactly relate to this book, but more use it as a learning experience for my future recruiting process. I liked the book because it gave me real examples of the recruiting ...more
H.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Meat Market, as the somewhat unseemly title suggests, is a book about the somewhat unseemly business of recruiting potentially great athletes to play college football. Specifically, it follows a Red Bull-fueled recruiting season with then Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. The fact that an entire book can be written about a single team’s recruiting tells you something about what college recruiting has become. Dave Cutcliffe was ignominiously ushered out of Oxford largely for recruiting failures. A ...more
Jose Avila
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any good book transcends its topic. In Bruce Feldman's "Meat Market" takes place in Ole Miss, a University in Mississippi. The book is about the football team there. The author mainly talks about what the coach did to get the team through the season. The coach which is also the main character, has one of the most unique personalities. What happens is that Ed Orgeron, the coach, sits in his office before dawn trying to get the best football players to go to Ole Miss. The coach has a very peculiar ...more
Mike
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-sport
As an avid fan of college football this was worth the read. You'll hear about the details and realities of recruiting. From transferring, committing/decommitting, and the issues that face uneducated poor families in the south, Meat Market is an eye opener for the college football fan. Even though we may know the outcome of what happens to the focal point Coach O, Feldman hits recruiting and the importance of it on the head with this inside look at Ole Miss.

This book is for really only the avid
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Sean
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Ole Miss fans
I thought it a good idea to combine two of my biggest hobbies, college football and reading. The results, were disappointing. First off, this isn't a review of Ed Orgeron the coach or recruiter, just this book about those things. Author, Bruce Feldman, who've I've read articles from in the past, pens the "inside" look at recruiting in the SEC. Sadly, its inside only one program and the "inside looks" aren't much more than what can be gleaned from a recruiting website. There were a few "heard it ...more
Inert1
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The material in the book was very good and informative. The author was given access to the recruiting activity of the Ole Miss football program, and shares some remarkable insights into major college football recruiting, as well as the state of high school education in the Deep South and elsewhere. The coach, Ed Orgeron, had a 3-year tenure at the school and is once again an assistant coach at USC. His ideas about recruiting, especially the level of activity and preparation are relevant to just ...more
Drew Eich
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book was a very good book about the inside information of college football recruiting. The book's main plot is about Ed Orgeron's recruiting process, in which he would know a lot about recruiting because he is now the head football coach at Ole Miss and before was an assistant coach for Pete Carroll where he recruited a lot of big time players. But, the books not just about the Ole Miss recruiting process though, it as about all the work that every college football team's sta ...more
Kyle Pennekamp
A very quick read. If you love college football, this is a great 2 or 3-day pick-up. It follows the recruiting of the 2007 Ole Miss class by Ed Orgeron and his coaching staff. The main sell of the book is Orgeron's huge, brash, hysterically funny personality. Most of the first half of the book concentrate's on that, and really outshines the latter half of the book, which is mostly a recitation of recruits and their decisions. It drives home just how hard it is to turn a program around, especiall ...more
Tom
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: college football fans
Though it does not cover college football recruiting in general as I expected it to (follows the recruiting of Ole Miss under former Coach, Ed Orgeron), it is still interesting as a college football fan to see how much goes into just recruiting. Though most of us fans already know they put so much work into it, just reading up on how a program that is not a bottom feeder, but not elite, tries to get top named recruits, while in the balance making sure they at least get enough guys they know they ...more
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
Despite not being the world's biggest Ed Orgeron fan (he's a bit too much Ryan brothers in my opinion) I really liked this inside look at his Ole Miss tenure. I had a dead tree copy some years ago that I somehow never ended up reading a few years back but this book was almost made more interesting with the hindsight of some of his "can't miss" players. While the death of TOny Fein was of course heartbreaking a few years ago, there have been some nice stories to come out of the kids he recruited ...more
Scott Martin
A book that discusses a key part of college football: recruiting. In particular, it centers on the Ole Miss College Football Team under Ed Orgeron. Orgeron is regarded as one of the best recruiters in the game, and the book gives insight into how he did recruiting at Ole Miss and in the brutal SEC. However, the interesting figure is Orgeron himself. A big Cajun man, he has quite a wild and driven side. He was such a character during his stint as defensive line coach at Miami in the early to mid ...more
Dale
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love college football and I'm an SEC fan. Go Gators! I found this book to be a real eye opener. The book chronicles the University of Mississippi football programs recruiting program for 2007. Head football coach Ed Orgeron granted author Bruce Feldman full access to the "war room" where the coaches evaluated high school football players. The book shows the reader what goes on behind the scenes, the competition for players, the interaction with the players coaches, family, friends, etc.
The 'Ol
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Anthony Taylor
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
I was very concerned that this book was going to become one dimensional after the first 30 pages or so, and for a while it did look that this was going to happen, but I was pleasantly surprised when the book started taking many different twists. I am a college football fan, and so have an element of bias, but this bias will not mean that I waste time reading a boring book. Feldman covered the recruiting subject matter with plenty of detail but not so much that the information became tedious. The ...more
Varoon
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to anyone who follows college football. Ed Orgeron and Ole Miss gave Feldman extensive access to their recruiting process (and other parts of the football program), and he really made the most of it.

Apart from the insights into how intense (and screwed up) the recruiting process really is, the book is worth reading just because Orgeron is so damn entertaining. I came away from it feeling more sympathy for him than I really should - and with a much better understandin
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Brett
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm blown away that Coach O would let a writer write this book about his recruiting process. First off, you're giving away trade secrets in telling people hoe you do what you do. But even more than that college football recruiting involves treating people very deliberately (and that's best case scenario, it may seem like you are treating them as commodities). And while being deliberate in how you treat people isn't wrong, it very rarely looks great either. There is just so little positive reprec ...more
Donna Halloran
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far this is only ok, I was told it was going to be about college football recruiting. I am about 1/4 of the way in and it is mostly about the coach of Ole Miss - who seems a bit crazy. Although he is supposed to be the case study, I am hoping the book quickly becomes more universal.

OK,I finished it. I enjoyed it. I'm glad I read it. It was definitely more about Ole Miss than recruting, but it was still about recruiting. I think there is so much to learn. I definitely believe this should be re
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Adam Gray
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
I was really looking forward to this book, and finished it feeling very indifferent about it. The book covers a recruiting season for then Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. The book quickly becomes a list of recruits with a little information on each. Orgeron comes across almost two dimensional, a Cajun boy who just yells and drinks lots of Red Bull. The book would have been a better concept if Feldman waited a year or two to see what happened to the staff and players. What happened? Orgeron was c ...more
Kyle
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at college recruiting for the causal fan as well as hardcore college football fanatics. By focusing on Coach Orgeron and his staff at Ole Miss, readers get a front row seat to the underworld of college recruiting. In today's internet and message board society, most fans think that they know all of the inner workings of coaching and recruiting, but this book proves that there is still more to be discovered. An updated version with Urban Meyer and/or Nick Saban with be extremely i ...more
Ann Marie
"it was ok"

+ Pros
An in-depth look at college recruiting as done by Ole Miss's head coach, Ed Orgeron.

- Cons
An in-depth look at college recruiting as done by Ole Miss's head coach, Ed Orgeron.

Just kidding - what I liked about the book was seeing how major sports programs are subject to the whim of ego-centric high school kids, parents, & coaches. But what I really didn't like was the plotting by programs to get kids eligible, specifically, sending them to junior colleges for their last semest
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Avi
May 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you're a old miss fan you will absolutely love this book. if you follow the college football recruiting process very closely you will love this book, too. If you fall into any other category, this book is just o.k. it gives interesting insight into how cut-throat the recruiting process is, but gets far too detailed regarding specific players and video tape analyzation. That said, I give it a solid 5 on a scale of 1-10.
Charlie S.
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book was very good. One thing that I liked about it was that I could stay connected with the book. I have learned a lot about college recruit but never really thought about how much players impact the revenue and value of a school. This book showed my how schools need to recruit very carefully, or else it can effect the school greatly. I also enjoyed the fact that the book was about Ole Miss. I like Ole Miss.
David Ward
Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting by Bruce Feldman (ESPN Books 2007)(796.33263). This volume follows Ole Miss Head Coach Ed Orgeron as he recruits for his football team. It's unnerving to see a grown man attempt to persuade black youth to move to Mississippi to play football for a team whose mascot is “Colonel Reb” and whose fight song is “Dixie.” My rating: 7/10, finished 2010.
David
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Feldman is an ESPN writer, and this book chronicles his journey with the Ole Miss football coaching staff in 2005 during the recruiting season. You can’t help but like then Head Coach Ed Orgeron (now an Assistant Head Coach at Tennessee), even if he appears crazy at times. It’s also fascinating to read this several years removed, since in 2008 (after Coach O was fired), the recruits followed ended up turning around Ole Miss football under Houston Nutt.
Greg
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best college football books I've read. Deals with Ole Miss back when they were straight awful. Then Ed 'Crazy' Orgeron comes to coach. Having just left USC, he is pumped to get his first head coaching job. All he does is act like a foot to get recruits and it works. Sure he bends the rules, but come on.

I remember players like Dexter McCluster, Joe McKnight, Michael Oher, and others.

For SEC & NCAA fans.
Greg
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, football
Great insights on college football recruiting, an aspect of the game that remains shrouded in mystery to even the expert fan. I had hoped this book would follow more than just one program and provide other perspectives on recruiting, but the Ole Miss case study was effective. However, I wish that more time was spent discussing shady recruiting practices, even in general terms.
Paul
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. Very insightful to the world of college football recruiting. I guess having all access to the Ole Miss program helped. Would have been good to see how other programs recruited, or how the players felt or how a program recruit if there's a possibility that the coach may be fired or may leave. Nevertheless, a good read and a definite for any college football fan.
Lahne
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love football. While I think the author had access many don't, I didn't think it was well written. In fact, the end was sloppy. It also only covered one team and I didn't think what I read here was anything spectacular related to recruiting other than the dirty business and gossip around this coaching staff in particular. It could have been better written. I didn't hate it, but didn't love it.
Jesse
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Blah. Should have been more exciting. Crazy new Ole Miss coach hits the recruiting trail, along with a bunch of assistants who sort of appear and disappear at surprising times. Players do not really appear as characters in their own right; nor do assistants. Lots of fake-dramatic short sentences strive for drama but fail to add it. Good thing I got it from the library.
David
Jun 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight into college football recruiting. Ed Orgeron (Ole Miss) seems to be full of himself and a real jerk...reminded me of Ron Zook. Hopefully this is not indicative of every major program.
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“Orgeron hates dead air. He feeds off energy. As in, energy is enthusiasm…enthusiasm breeds confidence…and confidence leads to winning. Silence, conversely, creates lulls, and lulls make people passive. And passivity? Absolutely, utterly forbidden in Ed Orgeron’s world.” 0 likes
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