EDITOR’S NOTE: Saturday Down South writer Brian McLaughlin ranks the SEC in terms of the schools’ “current recruiting situation”. Basically, what program has the best current situation for recruiting success based on in-state, homegrown talent, coaching stability, fan fickleness, on-the-field success and tradition. It’s a tricky formula, but we think we have it right. Repeat–this is not ranking the classes as they stand currently, but gives an idea of who should be winning the mythical recruiting titles to set up on-the-field titles.
Which SEC teams have the best current recruiting situations?
Let’s just get it out of the way early: Texas A&M has the best recruiting situation in the Southeastern Conference. Not the Crimson Tide and their three national titles in five years. Not the Gators in talent-rich Florida. Not the Georgia Bulldogs with all of the Peach State’s talent. We’re not saying Texas A&M has the best recruiting class so far, because Alabama currently does.
No, nobody has it better–in recruiting–than the Aggies right now. That could change if the Texas Longhorns get their act together and become a destination program once again, which is possible–but going to be tougher now that the Aggies have become the Lone Star State’s “sexy” program. Texas A&M–thanks to an entertaining two-year run in the SEC–has the pick of the litter in the nation’s top high school football factory/state. If the Aggies shore up the defense with their recent recruiting classes, Texas A&M should be a consistent national championship contender on the field, too.
See, Alabama has another powerhouse SEC program to deal with in-state and the ‘Tide couldn’t win national titles with just in-state talent even if they had it to themselves. Its recent success helps nationally, but the Crimson Tide don’t have the talent hotbed next door to pick from that Texas A&M has. They have to work very hard to nab talent in Georgia, Mississippi, on and on. The Gators are in an enormously talented state, but they have the defending national champions to recruit against just two hours north in Tallahassee, and at least a small recruiting thorn in their side in talent-rich south Florida when the Miami Hurricanes are decent. Georgia has a great situation as the lone SEC team in a vastly talented state, but its proximity to Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina and Clemson makes its situation tougher than Texas A&M’s.
So–Texas A&M wins. But here’s the thing … it’s nice to have the best recruiting situation in the SEC, but that also means you should probably have the best class in the nation and you should be competing for on-the-field national titles as a result. It’s really more of a pressure than anything–because it’s almost as if you don’t have an excuse for sub par play.
That’s what we’re saying.