“… everyone knows a championship contender is the sum of its parts.”

And one more look at team recruiting rankings:

Some of this confirms what you, myself and every college football fan around knows intuitively: for the last half-decade, no one in the country has been as dominant on the recruiting trail as the power trio of Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

Now, true, that’s not the entire story.

The on-field success of Clemson and Oklahoma have shown that conference and national championships can be won without top-five recruiting classes, but they also each serve as examples for the disconnect between signing day and game day. The Tigers were able to close the talent gap with Alabama, in part, because Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Mitch Hyatt, Austin Bryant and other key pieces of the 2015 recruiting class chose to return to college for their senior seasons instead of going pro. If fellow 2015 signees Calvin Ridley, Da’Ron Payne or Minkah Fitzpatrick had chosen to do the same, then maybe that showdown in Santa Clara goes differently. Oklahoma, on the other hand, has done enough work on the recruiting trail to contend for Big 12 championships, but this average does not have a factor for the addition of Heisman Trophy-winning transfer quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.

But it’s a large part of the entire story.  Kirby’s recruiting has made Georgia relevant nationally and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change any time soon.  Whether it pays off with the ultimate reward, well… that’s why we’re along for the ride, ain’t it?

(As an aside, if you’re wondering why Athlon’s average for Georgia differs from CBS’, it’s because Athlon screwed up the 2015 rankings of Georgia and LSU.)


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Recruiting

23 responses to ““… everyone knows a championship contender is the sum of its parts.”

  1. Godawg

    “Whether it pays off with the ultimate reward, well…” we just have to keep writing the checks.


  2. Derek

    What people don’t seem to realize is that winning a natty out of the sec requires top 3 classes because of the difficulty of getting through the regular season schedule. You can recruit at Richt levels (6-8th on average) and get hot and maybe be the best team in the country at the end of the season, but you look back and there are losses that have crippled your chances. You don’t have to worry about that in the ACC or Big 12. At most you’re going to have a 2 game schedule. One big match up and the championship game. Win the right one(s) and you’re in.

    Besides depth another huge advantage in top 3 classes is not using your 20 hour work week adjusting to what other teams are doing but instead use it to do what you do better. When you reach a certain level of talent, the other team ceases to much matter. Just so what you do every week and after 60 minutes the truth will be revealed. (Which is another reason it pisses me off that we tried a 1st quarter fg fake on 4th and 9. Stupid and unnecessary.)


    • Joel Rusche

      Spot on imho, this is exactly why I have high levels of contempt for Clemson. It’s also why I’ve begun to not care much about the playoff exhibition.


    • Mayor

      You know Derek, I agree with what you say about football damn near 100% of the time.


    • ASEF

      You can also prep your season differently. For all the blather about Clemson playing so many guys so many snaps, none of that discussion addresses how Clemson can get away with it (massive talent differentials over its conference opponents) or why they do it (less chance of injuries to key starters).


  3. Bright Idea

    And that bunch of old guys we had in 17 who hung around made the difference. UGA may never have an old team again.


    • Derek

      Maybe not, but it won’t matter.

      3rd year qb. Bunch of experience on the back end of the defense. Best OL in the country. A shit ton of guys they can mix and match up front. Upgrades at ILB.

      I really like our chances in 2019.

      If we can play defense like I think we can and rtdb early and often behind that massive front, we may just blow people the fuck up.


      • Mayor

        We will have a really good team. We have a tough series of games at the end of the season though.


        • Derek

          We’ll see how good UF and Auburn really are. I’m not much sold on either of them. I see both as struggling to score points against good personnel.

          A&M scares me more than any game on the schedule as I sit here today. Jimbo is going show up with a plan to win.

          But if auburn and UF are good we could play 3 top 15 teams plus Missouri over 4 weeks.

          At least we get an easy win in our preview trip to ATL, right?


  4. Go Dawgs!

    I wish Ridley, Holyfield, Hardman, Naura, et al the greatest successes in the NFL that they could possibly achieve. I will never begrudge a kid going pro the second he is able. But that bit above about Clemson closing the gap with Alabama because their seniors stayed is an important point. I think we’ve certainly got the raw materials in place to replace the lost production at WR and RB thanks to bountiful signing days (I’m less certain about replacing Nauta’s productivity). But replacing that leadership is hard. We won the SEC and played for the national championship in 2017 because Chubb, Michel, Smith, and Carter came back. I wish we had more seniors for the upcoming year.


  5. Debby Balcer

    Anyone not in the SEc only has to play if the make the final four but for an SEC east team they have to beat them in the championship game and then probably again in the final.


  6. Mick Jagger

    Yes, Clemson and Oklahoma (and others in their respective leagues) have a MUCH easier row to hoe than UGA (and our SEC brethren).


    • Greg McGoofy ears

      We did just get out shit pushed in by a team that OU has in league play and maybe again in their Big12 Title game. Glass houses and all.


    • Clayton Davis

      OU (or any Big 12 team) has to beat their best opponent in conference twice – once in the regular season and once in the conference championship. In the first few years of the playoff era, they didn’t have the championship game, but TCU missed out on the playoff because of a 1-point road loss to a top ten team.


  7. FlyingPeakDawg

    I’m reading this as having a Heisman worthy QB can make up for not having top 3 recruiting classes. Stafford is the closest we’ve had to that. Jake’s great, but not that great and won’t be in our system unless Coley really decides to shake things up on offense which I can’t see happening. Yet the breakthrough over beating Bama seems to be Jake having a career game.


  8. GruvenDawg

    From a talent perspective LSU is the solid 3rd program in the SEC. Their Junior and Senior classes were more talented than us last year and it showed in the game. The gap between UGA and Auburn/Florida isn’t really closing with the new UGA recruiting standard. They will be solid 4th and 5th programs in the SEC. The talent difference between us and them is only widening each year. Auburn will continue to trend down as long as Gus is coach and Kirby keeps relegating him to scraps. UF should continue to trend up with with FSU and Miami regressing. Mullen’s cap looks to be around what he did with recruiting at MSU, compete for championships every 3-4 years. The comparisons between the years before Kirby got here and now is crazy. We went form the 3/4th team in the SEC to really challenging Bama from a talent perspective. This is the first time Kirby’s full recruiting cycle recruits (2017) are upperclassman and it should show, starting on the offensive line. I am a big believer in upperclassman leadership (See Sony, Chubb, Carter, Roquan, etc in 2017) and we will have it in spades this year.

    2015 247 Team talent composite
    AL 981.90
    LSU 889.37
    UGA 877.74
    AU 865.41
    UF 789.79

    2018 247 Team talent composite
    AL 978.54
    UGA 963.87
    LSU 890.95
    UF 835.84
    AU 828.42

    2019 – releases in August/September

    ref: https://247sports.com/Season/2018-Football/CollegeTeamTalentComposite/


  9. The Dawg abides

    Actually, Athlon had it wrong for ‘15 and ‘16 and the CBSsports piece has it wrong for ‘16. We finished with the number 6 class both years.