It’s a good recruiting start. That’s all.

Before you get too irrationally exuberant about Georgia’s 2017 recruiting class — one of the best overall in the program’s history — make sure you first measure it in the context of the program Kirby Smart is chasing.

Beginning with the 2008 class, which was Saban’s first full recruiting cycle, Alabama has concluded National Signing Day with an average ranking of 1.7 in the 247Sports.com composite.

Since 2011, the Crimson Tide have finished with the nation’s top recruiting class every single season. In 2017 alone, Alabama signed six five-star recruits. To compare, Georgia has signed seven five-star prospects combined over the past three seasons…

… Of late, Smart has done the greatest job competing with Alabama on the recruiting trail. Smart helped Georgia finish with the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class this past February, although it was still roughly 20 points behind Alabama’s, according to the 247Sports.com formula.

You got it.  Over the last decade, Alabama’s average recruiting ranking is better than Georgia’s 2017 ranking.

That talent gap isn’t going to be erased overnight, peeps.

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48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

48 responses to “It’s a good recruiting start. That’s all.

  1. Otto

    Agreed it isn’t erased over night which is why I am not picking UGA to win the SEC this year or next.

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    • Ben

      I had a sinking feeling tonight at dinner that we may be 8-4 this year, but I’m not sold on where the 8 wins come from. I know I’m pessimistic, but I don’t see where Kirby gets his swagger from, and Richt recruited well, too. If the Dawgs screw up Chubb’s and Michel’s return, I don’t know how I make it past the UF game

      I hope I’m wrong, but I’m damn tired of optimism with this program.

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      • Stoopnagle

        4 losses with this schedule? Woof. That’d be a new low.

        I’ll grant UF and maybe Auburn. I guess a road game at UT and ND? Or the home game with Mississippi State. That one has let down written all over it.

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  2. You don’t have to be No. 1 in the national recruiting rankings to be in the mix year in and year out to win the SEC. You do have to consistently be in the top three in the conference in recruiting.

    That’s not something we’ve ever been able to do. CMR would finish 7th to 9th nationally but that was generally 4th to 6th in the conference. That wasn’t good enough to get through the sec grind and also match up with Alabama.

    That said, we’ve got an excellent shot at getting our first #1 class in 2019.

    Personally I look for the “McGarrity malaise” and the “nattering nabobs of negativism” to fade away from prominence over the course of this fall.

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    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Agree. If recruiting rankings were the sole answer, Clemson would not have won. That said, I am glad Kirby is as competitive as he is, and hope he can maintain, because without a fair number of blue chips and reasonably strong depth all the coaching in the world won’t make a difference.

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    • DawgPhan

      That’s not how the math works out w/r/t UGA’s conference rankings, but I know everyone wants it to be true.

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  3. MGW

    They can only send 11 players on the field at a time, so as we know they can be beaten if you have an “up” year. The difference is that they recruit such a high volume of blue chips that the recruiting misses don’t matter at all. They will never have a down year.

    Translation: Until the recruiting gap closes, you can never expect to beat Alabama, you can only expect to compete and maybe win, and only when your program is at a peak.

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    • They can only send 11 players on the field at a time, so as we know they can be beaten if you have an “up” year.

      They don’t win because their 1-22 is so much better than everyone else’s. They win because the 23-44 is.

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      • MGW

        The 2012 SEC Championship game was a perfect example of that. We had the better starting squad, but we couldn’t sub on D.

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        • That game has left a lasting impression on me. I was lucky enough to go, and I had access to the SEC media stuff the day before where both coaches sit and chat a bit. CBS played their opening montage that Friday for the audience and every time I hear “The Script” “Hall of Fame” song I want to cry and rage at the same time.

          What a brutal ending that was…

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          • MGW

            I was there, and I almost wish I wasn’t. There was confetti obscuring my view of the field before I could even process what had happened. But what a game? It would be remembered as one of the greatest ever played if it was anyone but Bama. Instead its but another footnote in the history of Saban’s run.

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            • We had field passes to the game and we walked out of the Dome via the tunnels. Bacarri Rambo was sobbing as he walked next to me. The next day I went to Kroger and found myself standing in the middle of an aisle staring into space. Dammit. That loss still burns. It was the best sporting event I’ve ever been to, though. So there’s that.

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              • MGW

                It was so, so bad. It wasn’t just 5 yards from the SEC championship or even a near sure win against a very bad Notre Dame in the National Championship. It was Richt’s entire career. 5 yards was the difference between Richt becoming a legend by bringing Georgia a national championship….. and a Citrus bowl. It could not have been a more crushing loss.

                Liked by 1 person

                • scars…I still have scars and an empty place in my heart.

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                  • Adding to my shame, I got a ticket to the game through an Miss State fan. We both went, and we decided to leave when Murray threw the pic. It was overturned as we left (and we didn’t know), and then watched the proceeding catch of doom through the TVs in the convention center. All I got is a commonality with Grizzard, who left the 1980 UGA UF game, but with much more bitter results.

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        • Uh…. That’s crazy. Every offensive starter for Alabama save one is still in the league and that exception is Barrett Jones, a unanimous All-American and Outland Trophy winner. All three of their TB’s are in the league.

          Andrews, Burnette, King, Conley, Lynch, Mitchell, Marshall and Gurley are current players in the league. Three of our OL never played a snap in the NFL.

          Our d vs. their d is a favorable comparison but our offensive talent wasn’t close, especially up front.

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          We only had 67 on scholly that year — or roughly the same number as USC who was under severe NCAA penalties then — due to gross roster management negligence. If we would have simply had a full roster, we win that game and MNC over ND that year.

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          • Macallanlover

            Why is everyone confused about this? We only had 67 scholarship players suited up for THAT particular game…primarily through attrition. Does anyone really think we left NSD with 18 available ships? Yes, some of that is The Georgia Way which handicaps us every year relative to other teams, but few factor in the discipline.

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        • JCDAWG83

          We had no depth because the good man had undersigned so badly the past year or two we were almost a full 22 man squad behind Bama in recruited scholarship players. Richt’s poor roster management haunted him his entire career at Georgia. Donnan probably did the best job of roster management of any coach since Dooley.

          It appears Kirby is doing a good job so far. Of course, he learned at the feet of the master. Let’s hope he can take the next step.

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    • We shouldn’t forget that there is a substantial gap between “beating bama” and “being bama.”

      A&M, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn have been able to win the game without being anything like Alabama. We were a few yards from it as well.

      Most important thing is that you show up with a QB and that QB must play well for 60 minutes. If you’ve got that and your defense can compete for 60 minutes you can win that game.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think people forget how good Watson had to be to win that game for Clemson. He played out of his mind and it still took everything they had all while Bama’s QB was a total disaster for around 52/60 minutes.

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      • MGW

        Big distinction. Beating them? Reasonable, achievable goal. Being them? Consider this as an answer: Saban has taken the entire sport of College Football to a place where “just” winning a National Championship isn’t even the pinnacle.

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  4. The gap in recruiting from Bama to the rest of the world is laughable. UGAs 2017 class was its highest ever in the website era, yet it wouldn’t top any of Bama’s last handful of classes. I was just bored and looked up some 247 Composite numbers (first tweet of a small thread below). Georgia’s 2017 class was the 9th highest raw score since 2013 (5 years’ worth of classes). Bama has the four highest raw scores, and the one year it didn’t have the highest score it still finished No. 1 in the nation.

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    • For whatever reason the 2016 class was low for everyone. Bama finished with 302.04 points, its lowest score in the 5-year timeframe.

      For comparison, UGAs 2017 class was 299.89. Bama’s average score over the 5-year period is 314.96.

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  5. MGW

    This isn’t funny anymore, NICK!

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  6. dawgfan

    How did Vandy and Tech do recruiting the past 4 years? What about Nichols State?

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    • I see this retort often, but what recruiting success gives you is a massive advantage over time. Sure, upsets happen. But recruit like Bama and then deal with them. Of course UGA should have won those games, but that doesn’t mean you throw out the importance of recruiting due to upsets.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Right — such nonsense is usually espoused by fans at other schools who just signed a mediocre at best class. Those types usually take to message boards with the tired “stars don’t matter!” or “I’ll take 3 star heart over 5 start talent every time!” BS.

        Only 2 schools have won a title in the past 20 years in which they signed less than 2 top 10 classes in the proceeding 4 years – AU and Clemson. Both just happened to feature all-time QB’s to get them over the hump.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Otto

          All time Dual threat QBs which helped mnot only get over the hump but an added threat when the OL would break down.

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  7. 3rdandGrantham

    The absolute key to the ’17 class was the unbelievable OL haul we had, which was leaps and bounds better than any of CMR’s previous classes. As someone else mentioned, CMR’s average SEC class ranking over his final 7-8 years was around #5-6, which simply isn’t going to get it done; particularly given we suffered greater attrition than other schools as well (see the ’13 class and others).

    Thus, when our rivals say that UGA always recruits well, and thus Smart shouldn’t be given any credit for his recruiting prowess, such nonsense is easily disproven but yet it’s the mantra seemingly everyone is sticking to as to how or why Smart has been so successful in recruiting.

    With that said, Bama has been a machine led by the coach who will go down as the greatest CFB coach of all-time. The fact that Smart was within close range of Bama is very impresssive, whereas UT and UF weren’t in the same stratosphere as Bama or us this year.

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    • Otto

      recruiting rankings only look at stars, it doesn’t look at filling needs. We have watched elite RBs regularly fighting to get past the line of scrimmage in more years than 1.

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    • charlottedawg

      Yeah except as of 2016 even with all that attrition from the 2013 class we still had the 6th most talented roster in the country.

      http://247sports.com/Season/2016-Football/CollegeTeamTalentComposite

      I get the statistic about needing top 5 classes to win a national championship. And yes, Bama’s talent is way above ours but it’s not like we were consistently getting to Atlanta then losing to Bama. Our more immediate problem and what we need to focus on is beating clearly less talented teams, particularly in the Eastern division. That and combined with our rather crappy draft results leads me to believe that the more immediate problem is developing talent more so than turning pretty good recruiting to elite/ national championship level recruiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. At the end of the day it all goes back to coaching: “…he can take his’n and beat your’n and then turn around and take your’n and beat his’n.” Bum Phillips on Bear Bryant( yes, I had to look it up) …December 2012 still haunts my dreams.

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    • While that game is one of the “oh, what could have been” moments of Georgia football, I’ve never been as proud in defeat as I was of that team. They deserved a better fate than the Capital One Bowl. Give the team credit. They’ve could have sulked and not shown up in Orlando, but they came out and played like that game meant something.

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      • Otto

        That team would have beat L’vilee in the Sugar and deserved to go. The National title game was played in Atlanta in December.

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  9. JCDAWG83

    Before we start to worrying about beating Bama, we need to focus on beating Florida. If we get to the point where we are consistently better than Florida the rest will fall into place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This in spades … Beat Florida.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’ll settle for winning the sec east title for a while, instead of seeing it go to fu or mizzou.

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    • Dawg19

      Bingo, JC.

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      • Rocketdawg

        Except for the fact that the two times we did win the SEC under Richt we didn’t beat Florida and the 4 times we did win we didn’t even win the SEC East.

        What we need to do is beat the teams we should and beat the “better” teams in our league 60-70% of the time.

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    • Mayor

      Yes, yes, yes!! To win the East with any degree of consistency we have to do whatever it takes to win that game on a regular basis–NO SACRED COWS!!

      Like