College Football Nation: SEC Rules and SEC! SEC! SEC!

First off, it has been a busy week for me.  Not so much with National Signing Day (NSD) and paying attention to recruiting but more on the family aspect.  My wife and I welcomed our 2nd child on February 1st.  I know she will be a great child because she was born before the Super Bowl, allowing me to not miss any of the game!  Welcome to the world Taylor Lauren Hostetler.

Daddy's little football fan is here.

Jeff Hostetler

Daddy’s little football fan is here.

So — signing day has come and gone!  Many coaches’, fans’ and recruits’ dreams have been fulfilled or shattered all in one short day.  Signing day is the one time a year where the record of the past year does not matter, and it gives hope to a fan base about things to come in the fall.  You might be reading my title and go, “Oh boy, another SEC homer here tooting his horn!”

Well, YES!!!!! and no.  Our main focus of the week is to look back at NSD, and really, outside the SEC, what do we have to talk about . . . Southern California and their recruiting class?  The big day not only gives all teams hope for the upcoming season, but it also re-enforces the fact that the SEC gets it done.  7 out of the Top-10 teams were the SEC.  Alabama has once again gotten the No. 1 recruiting class for the hundredth time in a row . . . or so it seems.

Yes, the SEC lost the title game vs. FSU and has been “dethroned” in that aspect, but, come signing day, you would think every top recruit is required to go to an SEC school! So I am sure the comment board will blow up with that paragraph, but when another conference can even get 3 or 4 teams in the top-10 of the recruiting ranking . . . then you will have something to talk about.  Let’s get into some of the news and highlights from Signing Day.

1)  One surprise on signing day was at Texas A&M.  Yes, they landed a top class but that is not what I am talking about.  Cedric Collins was committed to Texas A&M and ready to go.  Unfortunately he had a career-ending injury and will never play football again.  Most coaches would move onto the next recruit and go from there.  If you can’t play then you can’t help the team.

Texas A&M coach, Kevin Sumlin, looked past that and is still honoring his scholarship.  I think that is great!  We all know the business of college football, but Sumlin was able to look past that and still do the right thing.  I enjoy seeing stories like this – it gives me hope that people still realize there is more to life than football.

2)  No matter who your team signs, there will always be winners and losers.  What really surprised me was Tennessee doing so well on the recruiting trail.  People forget that Tennessee has top-rated facilities, a huge fan base and a giant stadium to pack them all into.  Look for Tennessee to be on the uptick while other top schools that had way better seasons than Tennessee, did not do so well on NSD.  If Butch Jones can turn around Tennessee like he did Cincinnati, then look out Alabama.  He has proven he can get it done on the recruiting trail, so now it is time to prove it on the field!

3)  If you are a Florida State fan (I AM NOT) then rejoice this week.  Your school landed a Top-5 recruiting class, but more importantly got an even bigger commit when it was reported that Jameis Winston will NOT be headed to the NFL DRAFT first chance he gets but instead, play out all of his college years.  Looks like FSU fans can plan for great things for the next few years.  It always helps a coach rest at ease when he has a quarterback like Winston committing to him for the next couple years and can groom the predecessor properly.

Winston will be setting all sorts of records

Robert Hostetler

Winston will be getting all sorts of records — on and off the field. (Sorry, the last part comes from the snarky editor.)

So there you have it.  National Signing Day has proven the SEC still dominates, while the rest of the country plays catch up.  I would talk about Oregon and their recruiting class but will take care of that.

Really, is there anything to get excited for with Oregon’s recruiting class?  For a program doing as well as they are, the Ducks did not even crack the Top-20 or Top-25 . . . all depending on where you are looking from.  With all the resources made available to Oregon and all of the support they get, I expected more from them.  I am sure I will hear all about that last sentence.  Enjoy the off season and now it’s back to watching ESPN CLASSIC REPLAYS from this past season until spring ball gets here.

[Editor’s note: Jeff, congrats on the newly-minted Taylor Lauren! — but now – if you are going to make a big deal out of Winston coming back, throw in a few recruiting points for Marcus Mariota, Hroniss Grasu and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu for the Ducks, while you are at it! *wink*]


1. ACC wants a piece of the SEC

2. Oklahoma QB situation changing

3. Florida loses another

4. Nick Saban gets it done

5. Tennessee war room


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Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler may not have won a Super Bowl with the Giants ( though his uncle of the same name did). He has been an obsessed college football fan living in Florida ever since the Gators beat FSU in the Sugar Bowl to earn the UF's first national championship. Ever since Jeff has immersed himself in everything possible related to college football. He enjoys watching, writing, playing, and otherwise obsessing over all things football. A graduate of the University of Florida, he brings a perspective to FishDuck free of our extreme green & yellow homerism glasses to look at the current landscape of collegiate athletics.

  • David02

    Well lets see. Never mind the SEC recruits so well because every team is within a 4 hour drive of each other, making it much easier for kids to stay there. Its always been this way and it always will be. Yawn………….

  • Bama Pie Fur ’74

    You’re a loser, Jeff. Nobody understands why fish duck allows you to hate on the Ducks each week. The only reason I can think of is that he doesnt actually read your crap or recognize your passive aggressive swipes, or the aliases you use constantly to comment on the site. Either way, you are the one that has to live with being a fat ass coat tail hanger. You’re a troll. You should write for a Florida site, as you hate Oregon, but no other site would ever consider you. And for the record, I think its great that you are addicted to writing absolute crap intended to piss off the 15 readers here, and that nobody cares enough to call you out. You must roflyao every time you write one of these or leave your worthless comments about rugby formations or some other backhanded comparison to Oregon that nobody catches on to.

    If you ever come to Oregon Jeff, we’ll be waiting for you with brass knuckles, tazers, and bear mace. You are literally one of the ugliest and flabbyest people I have ever seen, and your baby is going to be just fine with uncle concussion once you get fired from the waffle house for taking all the recruiting rankings magazines onto the bathroom for 4 hours. So enjoy your recruiting class that moron homers like you have rated so high, and enjoy another losing season with no bowl game for your gators.

    • FishDuck

      Hello Bama Pie,

      We like having Jeff’s across-the-country look once a week at the teams, coaches and conferences. Since he does write every week, and has written a TON of articles…it will happen that he goes overboard once in awhile as we all do. I spoke with him about this and he agrees that celebrating the SEC recruiting to this extent and rubbing salt on Oregon is not good form. We do not intend to alienate the reader base of Oregon fans here.

      SEC fans do not understand that if Florida for example, only had TWO recruits to offer to in-state and got one…that it would be hard to build a team on that. Yet Oregon has the double-whammy of an enormous distance from prospects, and poor home grown talent to choose from. (I am publishing an article about that in the near future)

      He understands as both a Gator and Oregon fan that he sometimes has to hold it in check–and he will because I understand your concerns thus stated. Take note Bama,…I am in agreement with your concerns and have taken action. But do judge his work by the entire body of what he writes as we have had readers in the past get offended at pretty small things. This particular article was “over-the-top” with the SEC bias that we are weary of and we get enough of that from the national media without perpetuating it here.

      But Bama….your response was almost a hate crime. You actually PHYSICALLY threatened him because you didn’t like his opinion? We let people disagree on this site when they state their reasons why and hence have a civil discourse, but when you insult and threaten? That is WAY worse than anything he wrote, and something I would expect of SEC fans and not of Oregon fans. You really need to rethink your control of your emotions; that was not healthy.

      In fact I am leaving your response up as an example of what we DON’T want on this site. Insults and threats belong on the OTHER message boards, but not here. Our readership is older and professional and your response is an embarrassment to us all.

      • hokieduck

        Perfect response, Charles. Thank you. Bama’s response was an embarrassment that overshadowed Hostetler’s idiotic SEC-turbation.