September 2nd is quickly approaching, and that means the official start to college football season in the Bluegrass. It’s also just 25 weeks until National Signing Day when all the recruits for 2013 will ink their names to a school; fans around the country will drool over YouTube highlight reels and claim the Heisman winner for 2016.
To see how teams stack up against each other so far, John Pennington at MrSEC.com compiled the Rivals rankings of all the current committed players in the SEC into a table for a grade.
I added Louisville into the mix as an extra layer of comparison.
For each star a recruit has, it is worth one point. So a five-star recruit equals five points, a four-star recruit equals four points, and so on. One- and zero-star recruits are each worth one point. In the totals column you will see the total points a school earned for the most stars. Think of it as the absolute amount of talent being brought into the program.
In the next chart, the numbers are averaged to see what kind of specific players a program is reeling in. Obviously the first chart could be skewed if a team were to load up on two- and three-stars and rack up on total points, but still not be as valuable as a team which has fewer players but more talent in four- or five-stars. So the average chart on the left gives a better picture of where teams stack up. Think of this as “quality over quantity.”
And on the right simply shows the number of high-end recruits, those coveted four- and five-star guys that are committed to a school. You see LSU only ranks third on the quantity list, but overall quality is far and away the best in the conference so far.
Unfortunately for Kentucky, they don’t fare well in this comparison right now. The top dogs in conference will always be well ahead of anything Kentucky could accomplish. Competing with Nick Saban at Alabama or Les Miles at LSU just isn’t going to happen. But take a look at what James Franklin at Vanderbilt has done in just his second year as head coach. Thursday he picked up a commitment from his fourth four-star recruit, a defensive tackle from Georgia who also had UK on his final list. Whatever he has building down there must be pretty enticing.
Fortunately for Kentucky, there is still a lot of time to get kids signed on. The Cats are currently in the mix for a long list of players, including ten four-star recruits for 2013. The pressure is on, and what Franklin has going on down in Nashville is reason enough to expect more. Joker Phillips pulled in a solid class for 2012, so maybe he’s saving the best of this class for last.