I hate signing day. Auburn almost always has a solid class, but not a top-tier class. The top 2 classes since 2002 came in 2002 and 2007, but not near our wonderful 2004 season. I always try to read things into the rankings that make me feel better. It isn’t helping much this year. Let’s take at look.
Auburn was ranked 20th by Rivals.com and 19th by ESPN. Even with a standard margin for error, that is pretty consistent. ESPN gave Auburn a B for a grade. However, that is FOURTH in the SEC West and Sixth in the SEC as a whole.
What’s in a Number?
Of course, class rankings aren’t everything. Just ask Rutgers. In 2006 they had one heck of a season, and I don’t remember them having a top recruiting class, ever. And then there is Notre Dame…but let’s not kick someone while they are down, unless it is Alabama.
Which reminds me, what really hurts though is Alabama’s rankings, first by Rivals.com and third by ESPN. So, how do I rationalize this to sleep at night? Simple. Alabama hasn’t had a full slate of recruits for a few years. They are coming off of some penalties so they are still working their way up to full scholarship strength, signing 31 players. They also went 7-6 including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe, making it an easy sell for Nick $aban to make to recruits, promising early playing time.
The Need for More
Auburn had two coordinators turn-over this year. That had to hurt some. I also think that the whole Tommy Tuberville’s contract issue in December helped with the negative recruiting.
Look, I love Tommy. He and his staff find great recruits that do well in school. I cannot recall the last time I heard of an ex-Auburn football player that played for Tommy get into any real trouble aside from the standard skipping class. It is a great change since Tommy Bowden.
I am concerned that we aren’t getting better year-to-year anymore. We need Tommy to take Auburn back to the top 10 in the AP the next year and the top 5 with a BCS bid the year after that.
I’ll cut him slack next year with the lack of experience at QB, but the year after, we need to take a step forward. If not, he will continue to lose coordinators to other coordinator jobs, and that just stings.