Notes From Around the College Football Nation: Ole Miss on a Roll and a Recruiting Recap

Jeff Hostetler FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

Signing day has come and gone.  If you’re an Ole Miss fan, you likely think you just won a national championship, while other schools felt like they lost the big game.  Now it’s time to start speculating who will be the #1 team going into the preseason.

1. Ole Miss pulled off the recruiting heist of the century, landing the #1 defensive end, wide receiver, and offensive tackle.  Fans in Oxford can get excited, and should expect big things in two to three years once the players have developed to the speed of the college game in the SEC.  Hugh Freeze should be proud of his coaches for landing the mother lode of recruits, but now it’s back to the grind of the SEC.

2. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer was able to not only land a solid top-three recruiting class, but helped build its prestige from “borrowing” a few key players already committed to other schools, including former Oregon commit Dontre Wilson.  Meyer has won two national championships, and knows it is done through recruiting.  He was relentless about recruiting while at Florida and brings that same intensity to Ohio State.  He even called out the Big Ten coaches this week, saying to get with it or get left behind when it comes to recruiting.  The Buckeyes are going to be good for a very long time thanks to his recruiting efforts.  You can quote me on this…Ohio State will be one of the teams in a the final four playoffs in 2014.  Braxton Miller will be his “Tebow” and lead Ohio State to the promise land.

3. Another surprise is that Notre Dame finished with a top-five recruiting class. After watching them get beat down by Alabama, I am surprised anyone wants to even go there.  Notre Dame must still has that prestige factor working for them.  They’ll keep winning games as they begin moving away from Big Ten and national competition and start playing at least half their games against ACC foes.  Just join a conference already. 

4. A big shocker for recruiting comes down in the state of Texas. Usually Texas has a top ten class every year, given their ability to pick the best kids in the state and have them ready to go until signing day.  Now Texas is not even landing a top twenty class, and is coming in second to Texas A&M.  Texas A&M looks to be the big dog in the Lone Star State after doing so well in season one in the SEC.  Mack Brown will likely have to finish with at least ten or eleven wins next season to keep his job.  He has done a lot for the Texas football program, but in today’s college football world, programs operate on a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of attitude.  Just ask Mark Richt at Georgia.

5. Yes, recruiting day has come and gone, which can be exciting and give fans hope.  However, it all comes down to coaching.  Talent helps, but it can only take a team so far until someone knowing the X and O’s of the game is needed to keep everything rolling.  TCU and Boise State failed to finish in the top thirty of many recruiting reports, yet they still hang with the big dogs and get the job done.  Heck, Northwestern finished outside the top fifty and still managed nine wins in the Big Ten.  Teams like USC, who finished in the top fifteen, yet managed only seven wins last season.  Meanwhile, teams like Oregon are just barely in the top 25, but still win their conference year-in and year-out while dominating most teams they play.

Now we can go back to speculating how each recruit will make our favorite team better and how they will get us one step closer to a national championship.  It is nice to see my school (Florida for the unindoctrinated) in the top five for recruiting  class, but I really do not care what they do now, as it is all about what happens in the fall.  The Gators can keep signing top five recruiting classes, but if they aren’t competing for national title, who cares?  Just one more season to go until the playoffs kick in.  It’s still only a matter of time until they change if from four to six, then from six to eights teams in a playoff.  Give them time and they will make it happen.


1. College football mailbag

2. Selection committee for football’s final four determined

3. Penn State still in the headlines

4. Auburn gets defensive

5. Winners and Losers of Signing Day


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