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SEC Commitment Comparator – 11/7/13

blue-chipIt’s been nearly a month since our last check of the MrSEC.com Big Board and there’s been plenty of shifting.  With less than 13 weeks until National Signing Day — yes, it’s that close — five SEC commitment classes are ranked in the top eight nationally by Rivals.com.  The usual leaders like Alabama and Georgia are enjoying success once more.  Programs like Tennessee and Kentucky continue to surprise.  While strong finishes will be needed to propel big-time schools like Florida and South Carolina to their usual high-brow status.

Below, we break things down in our own usual method.  We use Rivals.com’s star rankings because we’ve found them to be a bit more accurate in terms of predicting future team success.  We start by assigning a point for every Rivals’ star.  We’re generous so we go ahead and give 0-star commits a point, too.

Then we break down the SEC’s commitment classes into three categories considering quantity (total points), quality (average points per commit), and high-caliber recruits (the total number of 4- and 5-star difference-makers).  Finally, we assign points for each program’s finish in each of those three categories.  We tally them up.  And then we give you our own MrSEC.com recruiting rankings (the lower the point total the better).

Let’s get started by looking at quantity — the total number of points currently committed to join SEC programs next fall.  (In the far left column we show you how many points each schools has gained or lost since our last look back on October 10th.)

 

  School   Commits   5-stars   4-stars   3-stars   2-stars   1- & 0-stars   Total Points   Pts +/1
  Tennessee   29   1   16   10   2   0   103   +13
  Alabama   22   1   15   6   0   0   83   +4
  Kentucky   25   0   8   16   1   0   82   +3
  Missouri   25   0   1   15   9   0   67   +4
  Georgia   17   1   12   4   0   0   65   0
  Ole Miss   20   0   5   13   2   0   63   0
  Texas A&M   17   1   10   6   0   0   63   +8
  Vanderbilt   20   0   5   14   0   1   63   +4
  Auburn   16   2   6   7   1   0   57   +6
  LSU   15   0   9   5   1   0   53   0
  Florida   14   0   9   5   0   0   51   0
  Arkansas   16   0   2   12   2   0   48   +5
  Miss. State   18   0   2   8   8   0   48   +2
  S. Carolina   14   0   7   6   1   0   48   +6

 

As you can see, Tennessee continues to load up under new coach Butch Jones.  Texas A&M and Auburn are warming up as well.  But we suspect that Alabama, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and probably Florida will all close very, very fast.

Now let’s look at quality — the types of prospects SEC schools are coaxing into commitments.

 

  School   Commits   Avg. Pts/Commit
  Georgia   17   3.82
  Alabama   22   3.77
  Texas A&M   17   3.70
  Florida   14   3.64
  Auburn   16   3.56
  Tennessee   29   3.55
  LSU   15   3.53
  S. Carolina   14   3.42
  Kentucky   25   3.28
  Ole Miss   20   3.15
  Vanderbilt   20   3.15
  Arkansas   16   3.00
  Missouri   25   2.68
  Miss. State   18   2.66

 

More what you’d expect to see, right?  Georgia, Alabama, A&M and Florida all up top.  Auburn closing in fast.  Interestingly, LSU is a bit lower than normal, but we believe that will change by February.  Tennessee’s class is tops in quantity, sixth in quality.  But the Vols still have a 3.55 per-player average which — considering the class has already ballooned to 29 commits — is really kind of amazing.  The more commits you grab, the more your average per-player number should drop.

Take Kentucky’s class for example.  Mark Stoops needs all the bodies he can get and he’s doing a phenomenal job of selling kids on a vision, but the Cats’ 25-man class comes in with a 3.28 score in average points per player.  The same goes for Missouri.  The Tigers are stockpiling commits — good — but their average per player is quite low.  Of course, Gary Pinkel is proving this year that his system might put lower-rated players in a position to succeed.

Now we turn our attention to the high-caliber recruits — the 4- and 5-star blue-chippers most likely to develop into SEC stars.

 

  School   Commits   4- & 5-stars
  Tennessee   29   17
  Alabama   22   16
  Georgia   17   13
  Texas A&M   17   11
  Florida   14   9
  LSU   15   9
  Auburn   16   8
  Kentucky   25   8
  S. Carolina   14   7
  Ole Miss   20   5
  Vanderbilt   20   5
  Arkansas   16   2
  Miss. State   18   2
  Missouri   25   1

 

Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M are already into double-digits with high-caliber recruits.  That doesn’t mean all will turn into great football players, but the more high-star guys you get the better your odds of finding a diamond.

Arkansas, Mississippi State and Missouri are bringing up the rear.  We’ve already mentioned Pinkel’s system in terms of its ability to get maximum production from average players (not unlike Bobby Petrino’s success at Arkansas with low-star guys).  Mizzou’s recruiting classes were ranked 46th, 39th, 47th, and 33rd between 2004 and 2007.  Yet Pinkel’s ’07 team was ranked #1 in the nation and ticketed for the BCS title game before dropping the Big 12 Championship Game.  Pinkel is one of the few coaches — like Petrino — who can say, “We don’t worry about star rankings” and mean it.

But for Arkansas and MSU, it’s a different story.  Dan Mullen hasn’t necessarily done more with less since arriving in Starkville.  And Bret Bielema runs about as traditional system as you’ll see.  When it comes to our high-caliber players chart, we think Razorback and Bulldog fans have more reason to worry than Tiger fans.

Finally, let’s look at the official MrSEC.com recruiting rankings for November 7th.  Again, we give each program a point related to its finish in each of the three previous categories.  First place gets a point, second place gets two, etc.  The lower the overall tally the better.

 

  Rank   School   Quantity   Quality   High-Caliber   Total Points
  1   Alabama   2   2   2   6
  2   Tennessee   1   6   1   8
  3   Georgia   5   1   3   9
  4   Texas A&M   6   3   4   13
  5   Kentucky   3   9   7   19
  6   Florida   11   4   5   20
  7   Auburn   9   5   7   21
  8   LSU   10   7   5   22
  9t   Ole Miss   6   10   10   26
  9t   Vanderbilt   6   10   10   26
  11t   S. Carolina   12   8   9   29
  11t   Missouri   4   13   12   29
  13   Arkansas   12   12   12   36
  14   Miss. State   12   14   14   40

 


5 comments
NatanElias
NatanElias

So what about the 25-per-year limit?

pdaddyslammy
pdaddyslammy

Only Alabama tops Missouri in first round draft picks over the last 5 years.  Amazing.  MIZ

MO KOTBS77
MO KOTBS77

John, while I understand the philosophical approach for this comparison, it ignores red shirting a lot of those 2-3 star HS recruits, building them and placing in the system.  How does a red shirt 3 star compare to a true freshman 4 or 5 star?  I would like to see the comparison of number of 5th year starting players and the number of 4-5 star players that are gone in 2-3 years - The high recruits are great, but if they're gone in 2-years team chemistry is never fully established.  Look at Kentucky basketball last year.  This might explain the consistent success of a Gary Pinkel program

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@NatanElias 

That's a "soft cap" (as we've written many, many times including the day it was passed).  It really meant very little and was done for the sake of appearances.  By back-counting scholarships, SEC schools can still zip right by the 25-man limit if they have the room on their roster.

Thanks for reading the site,

John

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@MO KOTBS77 

Actually, if we were using this to predict the SEC standings, THEN it would ignore redshirting.  But we're simply ranking a recruiting class.  This year's class.  How they're coached, how they develop, injuries, academics, attitudes, team chemistry and, yes, redshirting will all factor in down the line, but this is simply an attempt to compare the new talent being lined up by each SEC school this year.

On a sidenote, whenever we post a lengthy list of numbers, grades, rankings or stats... someone will inevitably say, "What I'd like to see..."  Never, ever fails.  Ever.

Thanks for reading the site,

John

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