Alabama Hauls in Another Stellar Class
If you are a college football fan who was excited to see the mighty SEC take it on the chin in the big bowls this past season, I have bad news. The SEC is not going away. Six of the Top Ten recruiting classes belong to the SEC. If you are an SEC fan and you were liking the fact that the Alabama Crimson Tide lost their last two games because this means they are beatable after all, we have bad news for you too. For the fourth year in a row, they have hauled in the top rated recruiting class according to Rivals.com.
Not only did the top teams in the SEC haul in most of the nation’s top talent, but apparently even bad SEC teams are where the top talent wants to play. the Tennessee Volunteers and Florida Gators both watched bowl season on TV last year, but that did not stop them from stocking up on talent.The Vols check in at # 6 while the Gators are ranked #8. Also in the top ten are the #2 LSU Tigers, the #6 Texas A&M Aggies, the #7 Georgia Bulldogs and the defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers at #9.
Also from the SEC, the Kentucky Wildcats, South Carolina Gamecocks and Ole Miss Rebels landed in the top 20 at 16,17,and 19 respectively. that’s ten SEC teams in the Top 20, none of whom won the SEC East a year ago. The Missouri Tigers check in at #35 behind the #29 Arkansas Razorbacks and ahead of only the Mississippi State Bulldogs at #41 and the Vanderbilt Commodores at #50.
It does not appear the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles are going away either after they hauled in the #4 rated class, just behind former SEC coach Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes at #3. The USC Trojans under new coach Steve Sarkisian rounded out the Top Ten at #10.
How powerful is the SEC? Consider that the off-season all everyone talked about was how great of a job the Texas Longhorns was.We kept hearing about how much money they had, how they had their own TV Network, and how great their facilities were, yet the Aggies, who used to be a doormat to the Longhorns when the two were in the same conference, is now whipping them on the recruiting trail. Texas finished #20. While it is true that the coaching change likely hurt the Longhorns, the Aggies have been better than Texas ever since joining the SEC. That can’t be a coincidence.
Evidently winning a major bowl does not automatically guarantee a Top Ten recruiting class either. The Orange Bowl Champion Clemson Tigers are in at #13, the Sugar Bowl Champion Oklahoma Sooners are #15, the Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State Spartans are in at #22 and the Fiesta Bowl Champion UCF Knights check in at #74.
So the more things change in college football, the more they stay the same.
Jim Folsom is a regular contributor to http://www.bettingsports.com