Because its schools have won the last three BCS titles — first Florida, then LSU, then Florida again last month — a case of SEC fatigue may be developing in other regions throughout the country.
Looks like that won’t change.
If recruiting is the lifeblood of the programs, SEC schools on Wednesday all but assured that the conference will be alive and kickin’ for the next few years, at least.
In the Rivals.com rankings released near the end of Signing Day on Wednesday night, Alabama sat in the top spot, closely followed by LSU. Georgia and Florida closed out the top 10, and the rest of the top 25 was flooded with SEC schools — South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee doing the flooding.
And if those numbers don’t rock you, these should — of the Rivals top 100 players, 31 signed with SEC schools. So roughly a third of the nation’s top talent will migrate to what already is considered the nation’s toughest conference.
Some of those players did it with a certain flair. Running back Trent Richardson, the nation’s sixth-ranked player, donned a houndstooth hat in announcing that he had picked Alabama.
Linebacker Tana Patrick got a little more creative, placing a Nick Saban-like straw hat atop his head in picking the Crimson Tide.
Richardson’s announcement Wednesday afternoon sealed Rivals.com's recruiting national championship for the Tide. And part of his choice may have had to do with a commitment Saban received a while back. Tackle D.J. Fluker, who at 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds may often be confused for a mountain, looks to be the Tide’s left tackle of the future, and Richardson said Wednesday that he’s ready to step in and run behind him.
Over in Baton Rouge, the Tigers filled in nicely at No. 2 — No. 1 in some other scouting services — by landing Reuben Randle. Randle threw for nearly 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, but that’s not why Les Miles recruited him. Randle is ranked as the nation’s second-best player, and he’s the most coveted receiver in the land.
Getting the ball to Randle falls into the hands of Russell Shepard, the nation’s No. 7 player. The dual-threat quarterback committed to LSU last March, and Rivals says because he’s so good, he may get on the field early at another position.
At Georgia, which nudged out the Gators for the ninth spot, the highest-rated player was defensive back Branden Smith, who could also see some time on offense.
But Georgia’s class was aided by the signing of receiver Marlon Brown. What do you need to know about Brown? In his state championship game, he touched the ball 12 times. Four of them resulted in touchdowns as he amassed a rushing/receiving combination of 338 yards.
Outdone, ever so slightly, was national champ Florida. The Gators’ big news on Signing Day was the expected announcement of linebacker Jelani Jenkins.
"He didn’t ask how many linebackers we had," Urban Meyer said. "He just said, ‘I want to play.’"
So yes, despite a lot of SEC talent leaving for the NFL, Wednesday was (another) day of restocking and reloading.
Get used to it.
CFT: The University of Miami has come under scrutiny for alleged NCAA infractions, but one unnamed Hurricanes assistant coach says the SEC gets away with far more unreported violations.
CFT: Syracuse confirmed that former quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Don McPherson will have their respective jerseys raised to the Carrier Dome roof this year.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
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