It's a SEC thing

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere.

The supremacy of the SEC in college football has been well-documented and after seven straight national championships, there is no telling when the reign will end. However, it's pretty clear where the dominance begins: National Signing Day.

Last week's culmination of year-long recruiting wars showed exactly why the SEC sits firmly on the top of the college football mountain, and they don't look to be knocked off any time soon. It's pretty simple; they have the best players and nine times out of 10, the team with the best players wins.

This year, three teams from the SEC ranked in the top five of ESPN.com's recruiting class rankings. Alabama was No. 1 followed by Florida, and Ole Miss stole all the headlines coming in at No. 5.

Despite only finishing 13-24 for the past three seasons, the Rebels made the biggest splash on the recruiting front.

Their class is absolutely stacked at the top with the No.1 recruit in the country, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the top offensive lineman prospect in Laremy Tunsil, the top receiver in Lawuon Treadwell and the No. 2 safety in Antonio Conner.

I don't know what kind of magic second-year head coach Hugh Freeze is working to get so many blue-chippers to go to Ole Miss. But then again, in today's cut-throat world of college recruiting, maybe I don't want to know.

The Rebels' opportunistic run was just the tip of the iceberg for the SEC.

Seven of the top 11 recruiting classes belonged to SEC schools--including LSU at No. 7, Texas A&M at No. 8, Georgia at No. 10 and Auburn at No. 11.

Out of ESPN.com's top 10 recruits in the nation, six of them are headed to SEC schools. The closest another conference came to that number was the ACC with two.

Out of the top 50 recruits, nearly half of them are SEC-bound--21 to be exact. The next closest conference to that mark is the Big 10 with just seven, and five of those seven players are headed to one school in Ohio State.

Forty-three of the top 100 players in the country are now part of the fabric of the most dominant conference in America.

This year's SEC run prompted second-year Ohio State coach and former SEC head man Urban Meyer to challenged his fellow Big 10 coaches. The Buckeyes finished with the No. 3 recruiting class, but Meyer didn't think it was enough. He wants his fellow Big 10 coaches to keep pace and start winning some of the recruiting battles with the big, bad SEC.

The most amazing number of all when talking about National Signing Day is 14. That is the number of SEC teams that finished with a top-40 recruiting class. That means every single SEC school--even Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Missouri--had a recruiting class in the top third of the country.

The only conference remotely close to that was the Pac 12 with seven schools in the top 40. The ACC and the Big 10 each had six.

So, it's pretty cut and dry; if the rest of the country wants to catch up to the SEC and start winning on the field, they better start winning on the recruiting trail.