The SEC’s quietest finishers, because not every school needs the drama

Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban Interview

Not every program in the SEC is going to finish with a bang, and frankly … not every program in the SEC needs to finish with a bang. Several powers are already in very good shape going into national signing day.

Below is a look at the five SEC schools that can relax a bit on national signing day, and maybe start working a bit on 2015.

RELATED: On the flip side, here are five SEC programs that are going to go on a wild ride on Wednesday

RELATED: SEC passes the 80 mark when it comes to 2014 recruits parting ways with conference programs

  • 1. Alabama: We all know the Crimson Tide could pull something huge off (like flip a top recruit) at the last second, but when you consider who is scheduled to choose schools tomorrow, the Crimson Tide are likely to have one of their quieter signing days in recent memory. They’re in the mix for Rashaan Evans and Lorenzo Carter, but not considered leaders for either one. Like it matters, right? This class is already one of the best ones in recent years–and national signing day won’t change that unless there’s a strange mass exodus. Our guess is that Nick Saban and his staff will kick back and watch everybody else sweat on Wednesday … grinning the whole time.
  • 2. Tennessee: The Vols wish they could sign 70 or 80 players, at least it seems that way. They’ve hoarded quite a bit of elite talent this year and their class size is in the mid 30s with more than a dozen already on campus. One gets the feeling Butch Jones would love to be scrapping for another recruit or two on signing day, and he may end up landing one like former Vandy commit Michael Sawyers–but overall, the Vols are done and looking toward 2015. With smiles on their faces.
  • 3. Kentucky: Listen, it isn’t that Kentucky has no strong options for national signing day, it’s that the Wildcats are already so squared away for 2014–like no Kentucky class in recent memory. They have a group that may finish up in the top 20, and it is something to be proud of. Look for the Wildcats to pick up former Vandy and Penn State commit Lloyd Tubman (an in-state product), but that’s probably about it.
  • 4. Texas A&M: The Aggies actually have a few top targets still on the table, but most of them are probably not realistic. Also, target Steven Parker went with Oklahoma on Tuesday, ending the Aggies’ chance of landing him. There’s nothing wrong with a quiet day in College Station. This class is loaded. And frankly, so is the 2015 class–it is rated No. 1 ahead of Alabama already.
  • 5. Missouri: You know, Mizzou fans get ticked about the lack of respect their program gets. But they have nothing to be ashamed of this year. Yeah, they’ll finish near the bottom of the SEC recruiting rankings–but so would 90 percent of the rest of the country’s programs. It won’t matter if it’s a quiet day, this is a class to be proud of with 27 commitments. The staff’s work is done.

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COMMENTS

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  • Arkansas needed a bang and got a whiff. Coach Bielema and staff were too casual in their pursuit of the 2014 class, while the rest of the SEC (look at Kentucky) had a sense of urgency and made themselves known IMMEDIATELY!

    * No notable improvements to defense. Instead of building depth, signees (like Bijon Jackson replacing the loss of veterans Robert Thomas and Byran Jones) will be filling replacement positions.
    * No SEC speed – with defensive backs or wide receivers
    * Too many holes across the depth chart

    The University of Arkansas — The land where blue-chip linebackers do not exist. The Hogs have not landed a highly touted linebacker since Bush was in office…the First Bush.

    The lack of SEC CALIBER linebackers and defensive backs means no depth or speed on defense. So, all of those Hog fans who think 2-3 years will change the landscape of this Razorback team may want to give Coach B double the time they expected.

    This coaching staff is attacking 2015 the way they should have attacked 2014. Next year should be better, but typical of the Arkansas program (like always), it is always ‘next year.’

    • That’s interesting: two questions, 1. does Coach B. think he can win by milking the clock with a running game instead of hold the other team to low score with great line backers? 2. Why is 2015 looking different? ok 3 questions: What was Coach B’s recruiting trend(s) during the Wisconsin years?

  • Brian, you hit another one out of the park here. Some of Missouri’s class was made by the 2011 and even earlier program history, some of it was held back by the 2012 season, and some was made by the 2013 top 5 rankings. No single signing or whiff tells the whole story but if you look at the pace and timing of when kids committed, I think you see a coaching staff that worked with a timed plan. I think they planned that by a certain date they would have x number at position 1,3,6,9,11, and y number at position 2,5, etc. and they talked mutual commitments with the best young men willing to commit on those dates. There might have been a few weeks in that plan where they were a little behind or some weeks where the ratings people didn’t agree with their choices, but I think this staff is very confident about being developers and that changes the way a program can recruit. My hope is that they will close the few gaps on tactics and techniques they aren’t the best yet. After a decade of momentum building this program could have a golden age close at hand

    question: why do you think Kentucky and Tennessee started out so strong and finished so strong?, relative to Alabama, LSU, historical conference names?

  • I’m surprised that Bielema after all that success at Wisconsin is not making more headway in Arkansas. he seems to be a good coach maybe his personality doesn’t fit the SEC. who knows? you can’t really draw conclusions after 1 year. I love the fact that Gergia fans on other sites still think we need a better coach. that just cracks me up. the only difference between 5* and 3* recruits is 5 star recruits coming ready to play physically and generally leave early. 3 star recruits take a little more time to develop stay longer and graduate. we’ve played for 4 conference titles in the last 8 years . we’re not going to win this consistently is South Carolina

  • as south carolina or georgia but we are going to win more than our fair share. even in the SEC.

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COMMENTS

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  • Arkansas needed a bang and got a whiff. Coach Bielema and staff were too casual in their pursuit of the 2014 class, while the rest of the SEC (look at Kentucky) had a sense of urgency and made themselves known IMMEDIATELY!

    * No notable improvements to defense. Instead of building depth, signees (like Bijon Jackson replacing the loss of veterans Robert Thomas and Byran Jones) will be filling replacement positions.
    * No SEC speed – with defensive backs or wide receivers
    * Too many holes across the depth chart

    The University of Arkansas — The land where blue-chip linebackers do not exist. The Hogs have not landed a highly touted linebacker since Bush was in office…the First Bush.

    The lack of SEC CALIBER linebackers and defensive backs means no depth or speed on defense. So, all of those Hog fans who think 2-3 years will change the landscape of this Razorback team may want to give Coach B double the time they expected.

    This coaching staff is attacking 2015 the way they should have attacked 2014. Next year should be better, but typical of the Arkansas program (like always), it is always ‘next year.’

    • That’s interesting: two questions, 1. does Coach B. think he can win by milking the clock with a running game instead of hold the other team to low score with great line backers? 2. Why is 2015 looking different? ok 3 questions: What was Coach B’s recruiting trend(s) during the Wisconsin years?

  • Brian, you hit another one out of the park here. Some of Missouri’s class was made by the 2011 and even earlier program history, some of it was held back by the 2012 season, and some was made by the 2013 top 5 rankings. No single signing or whiff tells the whole story but if you look at the pace and timing of when kids committed, I think you see a coaching staff that worked with a timed plan. I think they planned that by a certain date they would have x number at position 1,3,6,9,11, and y number at position 2,5, etc. and they talked mutual commitments with the best young men willing to commit on those dates. There might have been a few weeks in that plan where they were a little behind or some weeks where the ratings people didn’t agree with their choices, but I think this staff is very confident about being developers and that changes the way a program can recruit. My hope is that they will close the few gaps on tactics and techniques they aren’t the best yet. After a decade of momentum building this program could have a golden age close at hand

    question: why do you think Kentucky and Tennessee started out so strong and finished so strong?, relative to Alabama, LSU, historical conference names?

  • I’m surprised that Bielema after all that success at Wisconsin is not making more headway in Arkansas. he seems to be a good coach maybe his personality doesn’t fit the SEC. who knows? you can’t really draw conclusions after 1 year. I love the fact that Gergia fans on other sites still think we need a better coach. that just cracks me up. the only difference between 5* and 3* recruits is 5 star recruits coming ready to play physically and generally leave early. 3 star recruits take a little more time to develop stay longer and graduate. we’ve played for 4 conference titles in the last 8 years . we’re not going to win this consistently is South Carolina

  • as south carolina or georgia but we are going to win more than our fair share. even in the SEC.