Where SEC Recruiting Stands Today

We're a little under two weeks away from National Signing Day, so it's worth a look at where everyone stands. I'm including the two conference newbies here because they will be playing SEC football next fall. Makes sense, right Scout.com? (Oh well.)

Here are the rankings for the SEC schools on each of the four major recruiting services: Rivals, Scout, 247, and ESPN. Rivals only shows its top 50 and ESPN only shows its top 25, so some schools might not have rankings available for that reason.

In parenthesis, I've included each team's rank by average player rank. Some schools' commitment lists are bigger than others, which plays a role in where teams are ranked on the overall list. The main teams to pay attention to with that are Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Texas A&M as you'll see. Note that ESPN doesn't furnish average player rankings.

Team Rivals Scout 247 ESPN
Alabama 1 (6) 1 (7) 1 (1) 1
Arkansas 31 (31) 15 (21) 23 (24) -
Auburn 18 (8) 17 (9) 17 (8) 16
Florida 4 (3) 5 (3) 5 (3) 4
Georgia 17 (18) 18 (10) 11 (11) 5
Kentucky - 30 (48) 45 (47) -
LSU 12 (13) 13 (14) 13 (10) 13
Ole Miss 42 (27) 56 (37) 42 (35) -
Miss State 34 (40) 19 (25) 26 (34) -
Missouri 47 (34) 35 (30) 35 (28) -
South Carolina 11 (22) 9 (19) 12 (18) 15
Tennessee 13 (20) 23 (20) 15 (22) 20
Texas A&M 9 (16) 6 (16) 10 (12) 9
Vanderbilt 25 (25) 33 (34) 44 (38) 23

Alabama, South Carolina, and Texas A&M have notable discrepancies between their overall and average player rankings with the overall being higher. They currently have 27, 24, and 23 commitments, respectively. That is near, or over in Bama's case, the SEC's mandated 25-player cap (note: these sites haven't yet accounted for Justin Taylor's decommitment). Those schools are also all rated in the top 15 nationally. Other schools in the Rivals top 15 rankings include Florida (18 commits), Oklahoma (19), FSU (15), Notre Dame (17), Oregon (19), and Cal (17). Those schools will have the ability to move up at the Tide's, Gamecocks' and/or Aggies' expense simply by filling out their classes.

On the other hand, Auburn and Ole Miss have their average player rank noticeably higher than their overall ranks. Their classes currently have 16 and 14 commits, respectively. They had small senior classes and therefore don't have as much room as other schools do. This year's classes for them won't rank as highly as some recent past ones for lack of quantity, even though their quality (measured by average rank) will be comparable.

I've got two more things for you in this update.

First, let's look at where Missouri and Texas A&M stack up with their new conference peers over the past couple years. Here I'm using the Rivals rankings.

In the overall rankings, A&M averaged a rank of 20.5 from 2008-11. That is sandwiched neatly between South Carolina's 19 and Ole Miss's 21. In average player rank, A&M's 25.75 again falls between South Carolina's 23.5 and Ole Miss's 27.25. Those are two interesting teams to fall between. Carolina has soared over the past four years, while Ole Miss has crumbled.

In the overall rankings Missouri averaged a rank of 33.5 over the same span. That puts the new Tigers between Arkansas's 31.25 and Mississippi State's 37.75. In average player rank, Missouri's 31.5 passes up Arkansas's 32.25 and puts them right behind Ole Miss's 27.25. The Tigers have been more successful than the Mississippi schools over the same span, and they're basically even with Arkansas.

Second, it's worth pointing out again just how well Vanderbilt is doing. The Commodores rank 23rd according to Rivals, but it has never even cracked the top 50 since the Rivals database begins in 2002. It goes without saying then that this year is the first time they've cracked the ESPN top 25. Vandy has 20 commits at the moment, so it could move up in the rankings if it has more room under the 85 scholarship cap. James Franklin really is working wonders with recruiting.

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