SDS will break down all 14 SEC schools and the challenges they face in recruiting, and how they overcome them. At the end, we’ll rank them in terms of who is set up best for success–based on factors like in-state talent, recent success on the field, fan expectations and the coaching situation. We will also give the school a ‘situation’ grade (A, B, C, D, F) in each category. Some states have an A-level volume of talent, others don’t … that’s how it will work. At the end of the series we’ll do a final overall ranking.
HOME STATE TALENT: “C” – Only 8 of Mizzou’s 29 recruits in 2014 came from the “Show Me State”, and the Tigers did concede top in-state talent to Arkansas, Florida State, Nebraska and Iowa. This year, the Tigers are doing a better job of keeping the elite in-state talent close to home, but the bottom line is–Mizzou can’t compete in the SEC with just in-state talent.
RECENT SUCCESS: “A” – Mizzou opened SEC play with a 5-7 record in 2012, but then became extremely relevant in 2013 by capturing the SEC East and winning huge games. So bottom line? For in-state recruits and adjacent states and key areas (like East St. Louis, Illinois), Mizzou passed the sexy test last fall and that will help with recruiting.
FAN EXPECTATIONS: “A” – This is a huge plus for the Tigers. Mizzou fans are not spoiled like some SEC fan bases. They love their football, but they don’t get negative because of one bad year or a sub-10 win season. That allows the coaching staff to build a solid core … but at the same time, this group is supportive at games and will fill the stadium. This is a great situation and recruits will notice.
COACHING STABILITY: “A” – Gary Pinkel has been around for a long time, and don’t expect that to change any time soon. That helps a ton. This is one of the more stable coaching situations in the conference.
SUM IT UP: Mizzou does a lot with what they get, recruiting wise. Some people would call Pinkel the Bill Snyder of SEC recruiting–he does more with lesser ranked recruits than anybody else, especially with James Franklin out of Vandy. The Tigers have done an outstanding job already recruiting Georgia and Florida, too … that has a lot to do with their bump up in the recruiting rankings recently.
Editor’s note: Any reference to recruiting ratings in this series–team or individual–are to 247Sports.com’s industry composite ranking.