Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Comings and goings (Not of the coaching variety)

Now that Tennessee has done its Dooley diligence and found itself a head coach, here's a quick look at early draft entries and recruits across the SEC.

In sum, Florida stands to lose -- and gain -- the most.

The Gators will be minus 5 players; SI's Stewart Mandel says tight end Aaron Hernandez and cornerback Joe Haden will be the hardest to replace. (Click here for a list of all underclassmen who have declared for the draft.)

Recruiting-wise, Florida is sitting pretty, with commitments from 5 of the dozen 5-star high schoolers. (ESPN's list of the top 150 is here.) The Gators are atop most every team ranking, including this one by Rivals.com. That list has Alabama at #3, Auburn at #4, LSU at #6, Georgia at #8 and Tennessee at #13. (The coaching swirl cost UT some top recruits; go here and here for more on how the Vols' class is shaping up.)


Anonymous said...

While the recruiting geeks are more often wrong than right (see Crompton, Jonathan), these rankings should answer any questions about why the SEC is, and always will be, the best conference.

And hey, look, both the Alabama schools ranked next to each other. I feel some classic Iron Bowls coming!

Michael said...

J, what's fascinating is how the SEC, and the Alabama schools in particular, are doing in the Carolinas.

Tide gets two of the top three prospects in North Carolina.

In Sandlapper land, we get Fulton; y'all lead for Lattimore and may steal Eric Mack (if you don't get Mack, Florida will).

The best kids are sending a message where they want to play, and that feeling often overrides lifelong allegiances to home-state schools.

Florida's haul is scary. Urban has done a good job convincing them that he'll be their coach.

Bud said...

It's all scary to me. UGA's recruiting class gets rated in the top 10 in the nation every year, but winds up as an also-ran in the SEC. I wonder if GA Tech would be interested in changing conferences with us for a few years until some degree of sanity is restored. Probably not.

Anonymous said...

Good points MG. I'm not holding my breath on Mack, but I'll be real happy if he comes. I think Florida will end up getting him.

I think the best part about having the Fightin' Chickens in the SEC is that their presence gives kids the chance to see real (read: SEC) football on a regular basis, and the quality of play helps squash any potential loyalties to ACC schools. That's an even better benefit than the Chickens' 4-4 SEC record every year.

Bigdawg - you wish. To Ga. Tech, Vandy is a peer on the gridiron. Can you imagine them playing Florida and Tennessee every year? Yikes!