…in CBB’s fourth season on the Hill.
- The cupboard was getting bare before Petrino crashed, got barer during the J.L. Smith season, and CBB coming in after that and trying to recruit was so-so.
2 The restocking of the cupboard has been strong at some positions and has been inconsistent at others.
QB - strong, last year we had the third best QB in the SEC & this year is about the same when healthy
RB - strong,
TE - strong,
WR - surprisingly strong with OK recruits playing better than their ratings
FB - weak for a while but getting better now,
OL-initially strong but has slipped and is now struggling to get back up to SEC caliber,
DL-just OK but this last freshmen class has some bright spots,
DE-better than the DL but not at SEC West level by a long shot,
LB - weak recruiting here but last year’s recruits have some promise
CB - very weak recruiting to date and a huge void coming soon if not turned around
Safeties - weak recruiting but scheme and coaching has helped but lack of speed has been exposed a lot this year
Special Teams - below average for the SEC with consistently weak kick coverage, never ending struggle to find a
consistent kicker for field goals and strong enough kicker to get touchbacks consistently.
Overall, the talent is better each year at a lot of the positions but we have recruited at about the 5th or 6th best level in the SEC West and that is where we hope to finish this year. It is obvious that we need more Agim’s and fewer project recruits if we hope to compete with the rest of the West. The needed facilities are in place. The connections in Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, and Texas are in place. It is time for our recruiting to take a big step up in quality.
We returned 9 starters on defense and they returned with the same athletic ability they had the year before. We are coaching against the best coaches in football and the opposing offensive coordinators have learned how to attack Rob Smith’s defense. No matter how good you scheme and call defenses, at some point your athlete has to make a play against their athlete one-on-one. When opponents scheme to create that situation, it has been a mismatch for us over and over this year. That is not bad coaching. It is a lack of talent that can only be compensated for so much before it is exposed.
If we win out, it was an OK year considering the weak defense and the rebuilding offense. Getting better starts with finishing strong on this year’s recruits and then doing better next year. Go Hogs.