4. It Really, Really Stinks To Be Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt
By any reasonable measure, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt had rock-solid recruiting seasons. They might not get the five-star of five-star talents, but they certainly got the types of prospects that fit what they do.
Even that whole “recruit-to-a-type” line is a bit insulting to the level of talent that these three programs were able to bring in. But in the arms race among the other 11 programs, it’s almost impossible for these three to keep up.
As is, there’s a ten-mile wide difference between a South Carolina being around 15-to-20, and an Auburn being around 10-to-15. And there’s a Grand Canyon between Auburn around 10ish and, say, Texas A&M at around five.
So for a program like Kentucky, its class – in terms of talent amassed, bulk for positions, and filling needs and holes – would’ve been ranked just in the upper half in the Big Ten and ACC, and it’s a distant afterthought in the SEC.
Missouri’s class would be a star in the ACC and Pac-12 this season, and Vanderbilt’s was hardly the worst of the Power Five programs.
But that’s life in the SEC, where …