Kentucky’s in second place in this division, which says more about the division than it does about Kentucky. Onetime leader and national title contender Tennessee has collapsed on itself like a star. Top-10 recruiter Georgia is 4-4. Missouri isn’t even a dilapidated shell of what it was a few years ago, and Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.
So far this year, the West is 7-1 against the East, with the only win by Kentucky against Mississippi State.
Should the East lose out, including for an eighth consecutive year in the SEC title game, it would continue the trend of declining success against the West every season since expansion in 2012. That year, the East went 7-8 against the West, then 6-9 in 2013, 4-11 in 2014 and 2-13 last fall.
Hard to understand, too.
Still, the East should never be this bad.
The SEC East has a handful of the country’s top recruiters. Florida and Georgia regularly recruit at a national championship level, and Tennessee hasn’t been so far behind. The division’s footprint includes some of the country’s best recruiting areas, several of its members throw tons of money at football, and all seven teams have made fresh coaching hires in the last few years.
Based on that, here’s the sobering thought about our perception of Kirby’s master plan, recruiting über alles. What if he succeeds in bringing in better classes and it doesn’t make any difference?