Now that the college football regular season is behind us, it's time to take a close look at the SEC recruiting race. Alabama and LSU should battle it out for the top spot.
Who will emerge between the Tide and Tigers? How high will the Gators surge? What's left for the two surprise teams – South Carolina and Arkansas?
The Dawgs are barking once again. Who's headed to Athens? To add to the intrigue you have coaching changes at Auburn, Tennessee and Mississippi State. If things weren't crazy enough…
We break it down in this week's recruiting mailbag.
Battle for talent
How do you see the SEC shaping up in recruiting? Who finishes with the top class?
-- Bobby in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The SEC is shaping up to have a great recruiting race to the end, as two teams – Alabama and LSU – could find themselves vying for the top spot in the land. The conference as a whole again is doing well, as there are eight SEC schools in the top 20.
Still, there are questions, most notably how staff changes will affect Florida's recruiting and how new coaches at Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee will fare.
How will things fall between now and Feb. 4 in the SEC? Let's take a closer look at the SEC teams currently in the top 20.
Currently No. 3 overall
Expected to sign: 25-plus (20 commitments)
LSU will have a battle on its hands for the nation's top prospect, wide receiver Rueben Randle, as Alabama, Miami and Oklahoma also are in the mix. Meanwhile, LSU continues to try and turn the nation's No. 2 running back, Trent Richardson, away from the Tide.
Currently No. 5
Expected to sign: 25-plus (19 commitments)
For the second consecutive recruiting season, Alabama is flat out killing it in recruiting. Last year, they finished with the top class in the nation, and they could be headed for the same finish this year. Running back Trent Richardson, offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, linebacker Nico Johnson, safety Rod Woodson and wide receiver Michael Bowman lead this class.
It appears Alabama will sign at least 25 prospects. The Tide is doing so well in recruiting that they actually will have to turn away some great players because they won't have enough room.
Currently No. 8
Expected to sign: 25-plus (24 commitments)
South Carolina is one of the big surprises in recruiting. The Gamecocks started making a big push about month or so ago and haven't looked back.
Why the sudden success? Steve Spurrier and his staff have taken advantage of the coaching changes at Clemson and Tennessee. This is Spurrier's fifth recruiting class at South Carolina, and his staff is making progress in-state.
Currently No. 10
Expected to sign: 20-21 (16 commitments)
Has any team recruited as consistently well as Georgia over the past decade? The Bulldogs always seem to be near the top, and this year is no different. Quarterback Aaron Murray is the gem, but there are other elite players headed to Athens, such as running back Washaun Ealey, defensive tackle Abry Jones, wide receiver Rantavious Wooten and defensive end Toby Jackson.
The Gators are getting ready to make a big run up the recruiting rankings. The question: How high will they climb? Certainly, playing for a national title helps. But the Gators will have some staff changes with offensive coordinator Dan Mullen heading to Mississippi State as coach.