One chart showing why the SEC domination of college football will continue


Signing day 2013 has come and gone, and the verdict is in: the SEC once again dominated.

If you watched the ESPNU coverage of National Signing Day, you may have gotten the impression that they were simply covering the SEC. Yes, college football’s center of gravity remains firmly planted in the Southeast. ESPNU knows it, and recruits know it.

…and Urban Meyer knows it:

“I don’t know enough about what goes on in the other programs. I know I have a lot of respect for the tradition and their historical success they’ve had,” Meyer said. “But we do need, as a conference, to keep pushing that envelope to be better.

“And I think all our conversations, we’re going to have a Big Ten meeting here in a week … and our whole conversation needs to be, ‘how do we recruit?’ When you see 11 of the SEC teams in the top 25 in recruiting, that is something we need to continue to work on and improve.”

In college football, success begets more success. The latest batch of youngsters entering the league were in 5th grade the last time a non-SEC team won the BCS Championship. Many of these kids don’t recall the dominant days of Miami or USC. For them, the SEC is where the big boys play, and big boys are what they want to be.

Looking at the actual data over the last decade, it’s clear that the SEC has dominated recruiting. The following chart shows the number of the top 100 recruits in the country that headed to SEC schools each year. Top 100 rankings are taken from 247Sports’ Composite Ranking which aims to average out the ratings from the major recruiting services.

As you can see the trend is accelerating. 2013 was the first year where over 40 of the top 100 recruits in the country headed to the SEC. Before you think it’s because the SEC added Missouri and Texas A&M, here’s the same chart if you take both of the new SEC members out of the equation:

The SEC is poised to continue its run of owning college football. Landing an increasing amount of the best talent in the country is a major factor.

Want to know which teams landed the best recruits at each position? Read here.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports



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  • It’s pretty simple. If the Big Ten restricts itself to only recruiting players from the states that have Big Ten schools and the SEC only recruits players from the states where SEC schools are located then the SEC will always be stronger than the Big Ten. There are better players in the South….or at least there are more of them. The Big Ten’s going to have to expand it’s recruiting base in order to catch up to the SEC.

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