Championship games, recruiting dominate college football
There is a direct correlation between winning on the field and winning off the field in college football. It’s no coincidence that the top-ranked teams who annually contest for the championship are also the teams that win the recruiting wars.
Top-ranked LSU will meet No. 2 Clemson for the NCAA football title Monday night. The other CFP teams, Ohio State and Oklahoma, are also two of the top recruiting winners. The same holds true for Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and a handful of powers who load their rosters with four- and five-star recruits each season. One reason the SEC dominates the AP top ten rankings each fall is they take very few three-star recruits that fill the ACC rosters. How important is loading your roster with these blue chippers? Georgia left 15 players at home, including six starters, two of whom made the All-America first team — when the Dawgs traveled to the Sugar Bowl. No problem since their back-ups, most of whom were four- and five-star recruits, just filled in — in the victory over No. 7 Baylor.
Keep in mind that 247 Sports only lists 28 five-star players in the USA, while there are 339 four-star players listed. The top teams get most of the four-star players ranked in the Top 100.
College football crazies follow recruiting like it’s life or death. Here is the latest 247 Sports list. Fearless will list in parentheses the number of five-star, four-star and three-star recruits for each school. For example, Clemson’s total is (6-11-6), meaning they have six five-star, 11 four-star and six three-star signees.
THE NATIONAL RECRUITING RANKINGS: 1. Clemson (6-11-6), 2. Alabama (3-19-4), 3. Georgia (4-14-3), 4. Ohio State (2-14-9), 5. LSU (2-14-6), 6. Texas A & M (1-13-9), 7. Florida (0-17-7), 8. Auburn (1-19-10), 9. Oklahoma (0-15-8), 10. Texas (1-12-4).
THE AREA RANKINGS IN THE TOP 75: 19. North Carolina (0-7-19), 21. Florida State (0-9-8), 25. Georgia Tech (0-6-18), 46. N. C. State (0-1-16), 50. Virginia (0-3-11), 53. Duke (0-0-17), 57. Wake Forest (0-0-17), 58. East Carolina (0-0-22), 61. Virginia Tech (0-1-14), 75. Appalachian (0-0-17). (Keep in mind these rankings can change at any time.)
After Clemson, the new recruiting star in the ACC is North Carolina. Here are the Tar Heels’ four-star recruits — their overall player rating among the top 300 is the first number noted. 32. Desmond Evans/Sanford Lee Co.: the No. 2 DE in the US; 122. Myles Murphy/Greensboro: the No. 6-rated DE in the country; 142. Kedrick Bingley-Jones/Charlotte Providence Day: the No. 13-rated DT; 160. Ja’Qurious Conley/Jacksonville,NC Northside: the No. 13 safety; 210. Josh Downs/Suwanee, Ga. WR: TOFF thinks he is underrated; 237. Cameron Roseman-Sinclair/Charlotte Myers Park safety; and 269. Jacolby Criswell/Morrilton, Ark dual.
The only other Tobacco Road school signing a four-star talent is N.C. State with 192. Porter Rooks/Charlotte Myers Park WR.
And now it’s time for Fearless to toss the magic darts and forecast this weekend’s two championship games.
FCS, Saturday: NORTH DAKOTA STATE (15-0) vs. JAMES MADISON (14-1): In the only year since 2013 that N.D. State didn’t win the FCS title, James Madison did. In the regular season, JMU lost just their opener at West Virginia, 20-13. The only time N.D. State had a close call was in their 23-16 win at San Diego State. History is with the Bison, but JMU will not go easily. North Dakota State 28, JMU 24.
CFP, Monday: 1. LSU (14-0) vs. 2. CLEMSON (14-0): LSU has been dominant; note the 63 points they rang up on Oklahoma in the semifinal. Heisman Trophy QB Joe Burrow tossed seven TD passes. Clemson hasn’t lost in two years, but has played a much weaker schedule in the ACC. However, they did escape Ohio State in the semifinals, 29-23, helped by a blown call when the Tiger receiver caught, then fumbled a pass reception that was scooped up and scored by a Buckeye. A game-changing miss. This one should be tight and exciting! The darts say....... LSU 34, Clemson 28.
TOFF TOP TEN: 1. LSU 2. Clemson 3. Ohio State 4. Georgia 5. Oklahoma 6. Florida 7. Oregon 8. Alabama 9. Baylor 10. Notre Dame.
Southeast Sports Syndicate, 2020