Article with Detail and Data - productivity in recruiting

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This has some good and bad news.

SEC schools have all started to recruit at a higher level which is evidenced by a 41st ranked class = 10th in the SEC…but a 23rd ranked class has recently been as low as 11th in the SEC rankings. The improvement in SEC recruiting after Saban moved to Bama is parallelled by the improved quality of play over all. It is a much tougher conference the last 7 years.

I’m of the opinion the SEC was at its best during the end of Nutt’s tenure and throughout the Petrino years. There were consistently three or four great teams each year during that span, which caused the level of play to rise from the teams in the middle of the pack.

The past several years LSU, Florida, Georgia and Auburn have all fallen away from Alabama and toward the rest of the league. Arkansas has taken a step back, Tennessee has never really rebounded, the Mississippi schools and Texas A&M have plateaued, etc. It was not a real strong conference last year, evidenced by the 11-14 record against other Power 5 teams.

What about the 3-4 year surge at Misstake, Ole Miss, A&M etc? They offset the declines in LSU, FL and AU.

Funny, I just edited what I wrote to include that. The Mississippi schools weren’t good last year and Texas A&M has fallen off at the end of the last three years. Mississippi State really had one great year and has been middle of the pack the rest of the time. Ole Miss hasn’t done well outside the conference.

A&M was highly ranked last year and has been almost every year since 2012. Ole Miss was highly ranked for most of the time the last few years and early last year. Misstake was quite good during a 3 year run of Dak Prescott but yes they weren’t much last year. Ole Miss hasn’t done well out of conference but they played Florida State last year and they have had issues in bowl games. Bama has been the one pulling away instead of everyone else falling away from the glass ceiling.

It doesn’t matter that Texas A&M was highly-ranked at some point in the season. It gets to that point on reputation and without beating quality teams. It has been the same for three years - start strong, finish poor. Arkansas was the No. 8 team in the poll in 2012 but that didn’t mean anything. The same goes for Ole Miss last year. It was top five and didn’t even make a bowl.

I’ve said for a long time that the polls are irrelevant until about mid-October. I wish the AP and coaches would do away with the preseason polls, but the networks need them to build interest in early-season games.

Obviously pollsters thought those teams were good at times last year. A&M was a very good team with Knight healthy and we played him early. I think they were ranked #7 or #10 at the time. Polls for ranking of team or recruiting always have errors but on average a team is pretty good if they are ranked even for a week or two. Per the site, the teams we played were ranked when we played them:
15 TCU
10 A&M
1 Bama
12 Ole Miss
21 AU
11 UF
24 LSU
22 VaTech

UGA and UF have been weaker in the east and we hardly play them. LSU is the main downward spiral in the SECW over the last 3 years. LSU has not had a QB for a long time but it has been terrible the last 3 years. During the last 5 years the SECW has been dominant with all of the teams being good to great. The SECW dominance has been documented in multiple spots so I am still not sure where you are coming from. In addition to playing well documented SEC W bloodbath, we had to play a rising UT team the last 2 years as well. We played UK, UF and Georgia the previous 3 years from the SEC E. UK was terrible in 2012. UF and UGA were both fairly good.

Ole Miss and TCU finished the year with losing records (TCU in the Big 12, no less), and Texas A&M finished the year unranked. There are dozens of teams that are ranked throughout the year but it doesn’t mean they all were good teams.

The SEC West was 5-7 last year in games against teams from other Power 5 conferences. Maybe that’s an outlier or maybe it’s an indication that it is not as strong as it used to be.

there is a big difference in pregame energy and pressure when you are playing a team when they are ranked #10 as opposed to judging it later after they implode because of losing the QB. I would have loved for us to play TCU later in the year for that matter alone. It is an interesting judgement from a writer. It’s not like the SEC had dropped down to the Big12 level of play. If that is your opinion fine but it makes me look at your articles differently.

Ole Miss and aTm were highly overrated based on their recruiting rankings and occasional success against Alabama.

Thank you for adding rational comments on the original post.

I agree but it wasn’t like we were playing Coastal Carolina.