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NSD: A Statement Day for the SEC

We can argue about the results at the top each season. Could Oregon have competed with Alabama this year? Maybe so. Could Oklahoma State or Stanford have given LSU or Alabama a battle last year? Perhaps. But there’s one thing you can’t argue with. The talent gap between the SEC and every other conference is a sizable one, and it’s not getting any smaller.

The SEC's most surprising class is Ole Miss, which could end up in the top five after tomorrow.

The regular season ended with 5 SEC teams in the top 10, and signing day arrives with the same numbers. The SEC makes up half of the top ten, 8 of the top 20, and 10 of the top 25 schools in the country in 247Sports team recruiting rankings, and they aren’t done yet.

Six of the top 25 players in the nation remain uncommitted at the moment, and four of them are likely to choose SEC schools, that includes the nation’s number one player, Robert Nkemdiche.

Yes, there are challengers at the top of the board. Ohio State and Michigan are both recruiting well out of the Big 10, but the next Big Ten team on the list doesn’t come until 21st ranked Nebraska.

USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon out of the Pac 12 are putting together impressive classes, and all are ranked in the top 20. But another team doesn’t appear on the list until number 35 Arizona State, 12 of the SEC’s 14 teams are ranked higher than 35.

The ACC is similar, with Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech making top 20 appearances, and North Carolina narrowly missing at 21. Miami, at 26, is ranked behind ten SEC schools.

Then there’s the Big 12. The usual suspects, Oklahoma and Texas, aren’t as strong as usual, though both still come in at respectable rankings of 14 and 15. (Texas is signing a small class of just 15 players that hurts their overall numbers.) Oklahoma State is at 27, and Baylor is making a late push at 30. However, Baylor, at 4th in the Big 12, is behind 11 of the SEC’s teams.

The average rank of the Big 12 in 2013 currently? 37. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, perhaps it’s unfair to weigh down the Big 12 with the bottom half of the league, so leaving out Kansas (47), Kansas State (50), Texas Tech (54), Iowa State (60) and TCU (37), and averaging just Oklahoma (14), Texas (15), Oklahoma State (27), Baylor (30) and West Virginia (36), you get an average ranking of 24.

Doing that for the other conferences you get the following. The Pac 12 has an overall average of 37 and a top half average of 21. The Big 10 has an an average of 37 and a top half average of 19. The ACC has an average of 44 and a top half average of 21.

The SEC? How about an overall average of 19 with a top half average of eight. In other words, the average of all of the SEC’s 14 teams is as good as the average of the top half of the Big 10’s and better than the top half of every other conference.

And again, they aren’t finished yet. The SEC’s classes are only going to get stronger over the next 24 hours as players from across the Southeast make their commitments. By the time tomorrow is over, these numbers could be even more lopsided.

Now, of course recruiting isn’t a perfect science, and you could argue the merits of classes at the top each year and the teams at the top of the polls. But, when you look at the overall data, one thing is clear. The SEC is only getting better with the class of 2013, and everybody else has a lot of work to do to catch up.

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