This explains plenty about the way the 2017 season is shaping up.
Over the past two recruiting cycles, 2016 and ’17, Saban has signed an amazing 41 prospects who were consensus four- or five-star talents. Compare that with the Tide’s SEC West rivals: LSU has signed 32, Auburn 23 and Texas A&M 16. Alabama simply has more top-ranked players than anyone else in the SEC West.
As for Georgia, second-year coach Kirby Smart has signed 32 four- or five-star prospects in the past two classes. Florida has signed 20 and Tennessee 15 in that same time frame.
Over the past four years, Alabama has signed 83 four- or five-star prospects, with LSU at 63, Georgia at 61, Auburn at 57, Tennessee at 47, Texas A&M at 43 and Florida at 33.
There’s a gap between Alabama and everybody. There’s a growing gap between Georgia and its primary rivals in the SEC East.
Sure, it doesn’t explain everything. Auburn imported Stidham to plug a major hole at the quarterback position, an upgrade that is outside those numbers. LSU would appear to be underperforming based on its recruiting results. And in general, it’s reasonable to expect that some of those highly regarded recruits in the last two classes take more time to develop than others.
Bottom line, though, is that in the SEC, those with the most toys generally win.