2013 Shaping Up To Be Best SEC Recruiting Year Ever
It's looking like 2013 will be the best recruiting year in SEC football history.
For a conference that has had the most players drafted for seven consecutive years, that truly says something.
That sounds impressive, right?
For the nation, maybe, but not for the SEC.
Tennessee is the 26th best class in the nation, but it's the 12th best recruiting class in the SEC.
That's right, 11 SEC schools are ranked in the top 25 in both 247 and Rivals team rankings.
Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, Auburn, Missouri and Ole Miss are all in the top 15 for both 247 Sports and Rivals.
That's nine SEC schools in the top 15 in 247's rankings. (Rivals has nine in the top 17).
So it's a top heavy group too.
I haven't read much about the historical nature of this recruiting haul, but it's mind-boggling.
I'm thinking quite a bit about recruiting today because I spent the morning at 247's annual conference.
If you haven't been paying attention, 247 Sports is the newest recruiting business venture of former Rivals CEO Shannon Terry. You can read Terry's OKTC profile here. Listening to Terry speak to his 247 troops this morning something struck me, recruiting rankings are becoming better every year. There are lots of money in these services -- Terry sold Rivals to Yahoo for $100 million -- and with that money comes greater accuracy. It pays to be right.
Sure, diamond in the rough kids are missed, but if you go back and look at the class rankings and then compare them with the teams that win national championships, the rankings are eerily accurate.
Put simply, if you don't finish in the top ten of 247 Sports or Rivals recruiting rankings you aren't going to win a national title.
Coaches have come to see this. And with the new signing limitations of 25 players, classes are filling up faster and faster every year. And whose classes are filling up the fastest?
That means the SEC schools can be choosy coming down the stretch. Indeed, these classes are likely to get even better when, as now, only a few spots remain.
What's happened is simple, recruits have realized that the SEC is the best conference in football and those recruits are scrambling to ensure they play in the best conference.
Why do recruits believe the SEC is the best?
Those six consecutive national titles and all those first round picks.
If you're my age you might remember a time when the SEC wasn't dominant, but if you're a 16 or 17 year old kid, you probably don't.
Since you were nine or ten guess which conference has been bringing home the hardware and sending kids to the NFL?
Want to feel really old?
Tennessee, the 26th best class in the country, won a national title in 1998. Rising seniors in high school were three years old.
Do you really think that title has any impact right now?
Of course not.
Kids have short memories and the right coach makes all the difference. Witness Michigan, a school that was at death's doorstep under Rich Rodriguez and now has 21 commits for the class of 2013. 247 Sports has them with 17 four stars. That's insanity. So stop now with your arguments that these rankings are going to change a great deal between now and February. At the top they aren't, not very much.
Every single one of these SEC classes has at least nine players committed.
Some of these SEC classes -- Georgia has 19, Texas A&M has 18, South Carolina, LSU and Alabama have 17, and Florida has 16 players already committed -- are close to complete.
All of the top ten classes in both rankings have 13 or more commits, meaning they're at least half full with six months to go.
Yes, stop with the emails, I know we're six months from signing day but already the top classes of 2013 are pretty firm. You're not passing these schools if you aren't close to the top ten already.
In fact it's becoming clear that 2013 is going to be the best recruiting class in SEC history.
Twelve of the top 26 classes in the nation sounds amazing, but it's also a top heavy group, both Rivals and 247 Sports have the SEC with seven of the top ten classes in the nation. 247 has the SEC with nine of the top 15, Rivals has the SEC with nine of the top 17, both of them have the SEC with 12 of the top 26 classes.
No other conference is even close. The Big Ten has five schools in the top 26, the Pac 12 has one in the top 28, the Big 12 has four, the ACC has four, but none of those schools are higher than 15.
We're talking about absolute recruiting domination.
And a rising tide is lifting all SEC boats. Except for Kentucky. Sorry Wildcat fans, you're 71st in both services. Good luck with that.
Already, Missouri and Texas A&M are cashing in on the SEC brand, both schools are recruiting at historic levels.
Mizzou's Gary Pinkel told me today on 3HL that recruiting at Missouri has never been better. The same holds true at Texas A&M.
In college football the rich are getting richer.
And make no mistake about it, the SEC is rich as hell.
You thought six consecutive national titles was impressive?
Based on these 2013 recruiting classes, you ain't seen nothing yet.