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MrSEC.com 2014 Signing Class Rankings

blue_poker_chipsNational Signing Day has come and gone though the final tallies aren’t quite final yet.  Yesterday was just the beginning of the signing period, and while most faxed in their letter of intent, a few stragglers are still out there waiting to be corralled.

Across the SEC, the official signing lists differed a bit from the Rivals.com listings, whose rankings we use as the basis for our own examination of the league’s signing classes.  Below are nine differences in those lists and what they mean for our scoring.

 

Alabama — Quarterback Jake Coker has transferred in from Florida State and Alabama counts him while Rivals (as of 11pm ET) did not.  We do.  He was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school and that’s how we’ve scored him in the rankings below.

Georgia — Offensive lineman Dyshon Sims isn’t on Rivals’ list but he is on UGA’s.  We count him and that’s another 4-star signee for the Dawgs.

Kentucky — Juco defensive back Michael Mathis committed to Kentucky in September.  Rivals lists him as an yet-to-sign commitment.  But late additions by the Wildcats have likely cost the young man a spot on Mark Stoops’ roster.  Welcome to the crappy side of college football recruiting.  UK doesn’t count the 2-star Mathis as a Cat, so we won’t either.

LSU — Linebacker Deondre Clark is expected by most to sign with with the Tigers on Thursday.  If he signs with Oklahoma instead, you can mentally remove his 4-star ranking from LSU’s score below.

Ole Miss — Athlete DJ Law out of Florida apparently signed with three different schools yesterday.  The Rebels announced his letter of intent first so it’s assumed he’ll wind up in Oxford.  If he does not, remove a 3-star player from the Rebs.  (UPDATE — Ole Miss has since decided to release DJ Law from his LOI and that is reflected in our rankings below.)

Ole Miss — Rivals doesn’t count former UCLA signee Christian Morris among the Mississippi signees, but the school does.  So the 4-star player makes our listing.

Tennessee — Defensive back Bryson Durden is the SEC’s only 0-star signee.  Rivals doesn’t list him as a Tennessee signee, but the school does.  As usual, we give 0-star guys one point in our scoring system.  Signing a 0-star prospect, however, hurts the Vols’ “quality” ranking in the chart below which in turn prevents them from holding the #2 overall ranking in our standings all by their lonesome.  (UPDATE — OK, Vol fans, we’ll change it.  As we stated last night, our plan was to use the official list of newcomers put out by each school as our guide.  Tennessee included Durden so even though he was a preferred walk-on, we included him as a UT add.  And we’ve since been slammed with emails screaming, “But he’s a preferred walk-on!”  So, we’ll bend our rule on this one occasion because technically Durden was not a signee.  And even though he’s on UT’s list of new players, we won’t count him.)

Tennessee — Rivals doesn’t count Dimarya Mixon as a Vol signee.  He signed with Nebraska last year, but is now in Knoxville.  Since UT counts him, we count the 3-star defensive end as well.

Texas A&M — Rivals does not count JJ Gustafson among the Aggie recruits though A&M lists him on their website.  We count him.  He’s a 3-star signee.

 

Clear as mud, right?  Now we can get to our rankings.  As always, we assign one point for every star that Rivals’ gurus award a prospect.  We also give 0-star prospects — there’s only one — a point because we’re swell guys.  From there we grade the league’s classes in three different categories: Quality (the total number of points brought in by each program), Quantity (the average points-per-player for each school’s class), and High-End Prospects (4- and 5-star commitments only).

After ranking each program in all three categories, we assign a point for each school’s position in each area.  The higher the standings (1st, for example), the fewer the points (1).  So the lower the score the better in our overall rankings.

Let’s start with the Quantity ranking and for kicks we’ll show you at the far right how many points each program picked up in the final week leading up to National Signing Day…

 

Quantity

  School   Signees   5-stars   4-stars   3-stars   2-stars   1- & 0-stars   Total Points   +/- Since 1/29
  Tennessee   32   2   16   14   0   0   116   0
  Alabama   27   6   13   7   1   0   105   +12
  Kentucky   28   0   10   17   1   0   93   +11
  Florida   24   1   12   11   0   0   86   +10
  Ole Miss   26   0   8   17   1   0   85   +8
  LSU   23   2   14   6   1   0   86   +18
  Auburn   23   3   11   7   2   0   84   +10
  Texas A&M   22   3   10   8   1   0   81   +2
  Missouri   28   0   2   18   8   0   78   +5
  Georgia   21   1   12   7   1   0   76   +10
  S. Carolina   21   0   10   11   0   0   73   +12
  Arkansas   24   0   3   17   4   0   71   +6
  Miss. State   23   0   2   14   7   0   64   +13
  Vanderbilt   22   0   3   11   8   0   61   +30

 

As you can see, there were five oversigners in the SEC this year: Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Missouri.  None of those schools are breaking any league rules.  They’re just stockpiling talent via back-counting and forward-counting.  But it’s still oversigning.

Now onto our Quality component…

 

Quality

  School   Signees   Avg. Pts/Commit   Avg. On 1/29
  Alabama   27   3.88   3.87
  LSU   23   3.73   3.77
  Texas A&M   22   3.68   3.76
  Auburn   23   3.65   3.70
  Tennessee   32   3.62   3.57
  Georgia   21   3.61   3.67
  Florida   24   3.58   3.61
  S. Carolina   21   3.47   3.38
  Kentucky   28   3.32   3.36
  Ole Miss   26   3.26   3.20
  Arkansas   24   2.95   2.95
  Miss. State   23   2.78   2.83
  Missouri   28   2.78   2.80
  Vanderbilt   22   2.77   2.95

 

The biggest point of interest here is that Tennessee would have jumped past Florida with an average points-per-signee of 3.62 had they not inked 0-star prospect Bryson Durden.  Jumping Florida would have given the Vols the #2 spots in our overall rankings all to themselves.  (UPDATE — Dropping Durden from the list vaults Tennessee past Florida and Georgia and that will lead to big changes in our overall rankings.)

And now to the high-end talent…

 

High-End Prospects

  School   Signees   4- & 5-stars   4- & 5-stars On 1/29
  Alabama   27   19   17
  Tennessee   33   18   17
  LSU   23   16   14
  Auburn   23   14   12
  Florida   24   13   12
  Georgia   21   13   11
  Texas A&M   22   13   14
  Kentucky   28   10   10
  S. Carolina   21   10   7
  Ole Miss   27   8   6
  Arkansas   24   3   3
  Vanderbilt   22   3   2
  Miss. State   23   2   2
  Missouri   28   2   2

 

Credit Alabama and Tennessee.  They already had 17 blue-chippers each before adding two more and one more respectively.  Impressive.  Just as impressive was South Carolina’s haul of three 4- and 5-star players over the last week.

And now, finally, we give you our official MrSEC.com 2014 Signing Class Rankings (barring any changes in the status of those players listed above).  Remember, each program gets a point for its finish in each of the three tables above.  The lower the score, the better the final ranking…

 

Official MrSEC.com 2014 Signing Class Rankings (UPDATED)

  MrSEC Rank   School   Quantity   Quality   High-End Prospects   Total Points
  1   Alabama   2   1   1   4
  2   Tennessee   1   5   2   8
  3   LSU   5   2   3   10
  4   Auburn   7   4   4   15
  5t   Texas A&M   8   3   5   16
  5t   Florida   4   7   5   16
  7   Kentucky   3   9   8   20
  8   Georgia   10   6   5   21
  9   Ole Miss   5   10   10   25
  10   S. Carolina   11   8   8   27
  11t   Arkansas   12   11   11   34
  11t   Missouri   9   12   13   34
  13   Miss. State   13   12   13   38
  14   Vanderbilt   14   14   11   39

 

 

 


3 comments
mercysakes
mercysakes

So based on your quality rankings, a school could sign one guy , Say a 4 star recruit, hence a 4 star ranking and that school would be ahead of the pack in the quality rankings. That's just plain stupid. 

BradHoward
BradHoward

Good to see Texas A&M recruiting so well.  In fact, their true average star rating is even higher than what you listed.  Why?  The Aggies signed a "mere" three star, Cedric Collins.  But there is the thing:  Cedric will never play a down of college football.  His senior season in high school, after he had committed, he developed a medical problem that prevents him from competing on the grid iron.  In a very classy move, Coach Sumlin said commitment runs both directions and he expended a scholarship on Collins knowing full well that he would never be able to make an on-the-field contribution on A&M's behalf.  You have to ask yourself:  how many schools would do that?  How incredibly generous of Texas A&M in making it possible for this young man to secure a college education.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

@mercysakes  


Which is why we also include quantity and high-end prospects.


Guess someone would have to be just plain stupid to not understand that.


John

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