1. The elite teams just got better
Ask any random sports fan on the street who got the best recruiting classes this year. Reflexively, the answer will be Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, just because those five are the biggest names in college football – with all due respect to Oklahoma.
And there’s your top five this year in some order.
Oh sure, we can all nitpick and quibble about which class is the best of the entire bunch, but horseshoes, hand grenades, and your Chick-fil-A drive-through order – just get it close, and you’re fine.
As long as you’re somewhere in the top ten in everyone’s recruiting rankings, you’ve done your job.
And that’s why it’s so maddening for most college football fans – it’s impossible for their teams to compete for the whole ball of wax.
Oklahoma has been phenomenal with Big 12 championship after Big 12 championship, along with three straight College Football Playoff appearances and four overall. It got to the top of the mountain, and then it couldn’t get that extra few feet to the summit because it didn’t have the players that Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and LSU had in the respective seasons.
Wisconsin has been amazing for the better part of the last 25 years. It’s played in and won Big Ten titles, it’s been able to go to Rose Bowls, and it’s been wildly successful in so many ways. But when it’s time to rise up, it hits a rock-hard ceiling because it doesn’t have the talent of, say, an Ohio State.
It sucks SO hard to be in the SEC.
You can have a top 20 recruiting class, and it doesn’t even register a blip because of what Georgia, Alabama and LSU are doing.
Seven of the top ten recruiting classes according to Rivals this year come from the SEC. The SEC also landed six of the top eight and 11 of the top 30 according to 24/7.
And don’t even start with the Group of Five programs when it comes to talent level and recruiting classes.
Of course it’s possible to have a great year without a top ten class – ask Minnesota and Baylor how much fun this year was. And sure it’s possible to get into the College Football Playoff without a slew of elite recruiting classes, but all that buys you is the right to be eaten alive.
So if you’re looking for a change, maybe a Texas A&M or a Texas could rise up into the national title picture after the recruiting classes they put together over the last few years, but realistically, your College Football Playoff for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 seasons …
Clemson, Ohio State, SEC Champion, and SEC team No. 2 unless it’s a random Power Five conference champ that will lose in the semi-final.