The recruiting rat race

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.

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21 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

He should know.

Aaron Murray thinks a lot of Mark Richt, his head coach.  Here’s his comparison of the program under Richt and under Kirby Smart:

“I think the main difference right now is the mentality that Kirby has brought,” Murray said. “It’s the mentality that Alabama has where they walk into every game and they know they are going to win.

“That’s already a `W’ in the win column in the mental state of the game, where they’re not walking in scared. They’re walking in going: ‘We know we’re better, we know we’re better-coached, we have better talent and there is no way you are going to beat us.’”

When he was at Georgia, Murray said the mentality was most any SEC game would be a tight battle.

“You kind of psych yourself out that it’s going to be close, that it is going to come down to the wire,” Murray said.

That Florida game is going to be an interesting test case, no?

60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A day without stat porn is like…

Group portrait —

Personal shot —

As I posted at the beginning of the week, now when these guys miss a tackle, it startles you.

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UPDATE:  There’s a chaser, too.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

There will always be a place in the SEC for hate… um, intense dislike.

I confess, the first thing that came to mind when I saw this header was this.

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Filed under SEC Football

When you’ve lost the bakery department…

Ouch.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“It’s a bad deal, man.”

Florida’s lost a starting defensive lineman for the rest of the season.

Missouri was successful probing Georgia’s defense with the long pass, which seems like something the Gators might want to emulate.  One problem with that, though.

I’ll say it again — the way the bye week is starting to play out makes me a little nervous.

34 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

“Your food’s coming, baby.”

If you don’t read anything else today, read this ESPN story on Waffle House.  Here’s a little taste (see what I did there?):

“Team sports kind of prepare you for the Waffle House,” said Greg Bright, Waffle House’s Director of People Operations and a former Georgia linebacker who is still second on the Bulldogs’ career tackles list. “It’s kind of scary a little bit, the parallels. On a daily basis, you’re coaching people and developing people.”

As part of his job, Bright helps recruit and retain employees, people such as Flowers and Smith. He isn’t surprised so many families have multiple members working at his restaurants.

“Is it any different from Kirby Smart?” Bright said, using the Georgia coach to explain growing into your parents’ profession. “I grew up playing rec sports against Kirby. His dad was the coach at Bainbridge High School, and Kirby was always around it. Kirby grew up with football all his life, so that’s what he gravitates toward.”

32 Comments

Filed under College Football