What’s happening in Stillwater – Part II…
Last week I made a point that OSU recruiting may be off a bit this year. This week I would like to offer some thoughts as to why this may be the case.
- Shelf life of head coaches…Gundy may have outlived his. Motivation is hard to come by when a person is guaranteed a life time contract that pays $5 million dollars. The Mullet man is a rock star in Stillwater with a Mount Rushmore size ego. It would be easy for anyone to rest on their laurels at this point.
- The arms race… Boone hit the start button on this one some ten years ago and it worked. OSU recruiting took off and this fact produced several ten win seasons. Unfortunately for the guys in the ugly helmets, the rest of the league has caught up.
- Every Big 12 team with the exception of Kansas has made major facilities improvements since that time. While the evidence can be seen everywhere, Iowa State may be the best example. Iowa State made major improvements at the beginning of the Matt Campbell era and the Cyclones are currently ranked 3rd in the Big 12 and #25 nationally in recruiting. I really thought hell would freeze over first…facilities and fan support does matter.
- Conference realignment…conference realignment appears to be cutting two ways for OSU, both of which are bad. First, competing in Texas, the primary recruiting ground for OSU means competing with the SEC. SEC teams have basically set up shop in Texas to entice players to leave the state for the SEC. It is hard enough for OU to overcome the mystique of the SEC; it is next to impossible for OSU to do it.
- Since Texas A&M’s move from the Big 12 to SEC, the Aggies have dominated Texas recruiting. Texas will always get its share of Texas high school talent due to its proximity to this talent.. Same goes for the other Texas Big 12 teams and OU. TCU is doing really well in the Dallas metro-plex area. Baylor with its location smack dab between the fertile Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston recruiting fields is cleaning up as well. Even Texas Tech and Houston are out recruiting OSU in Texas this year. This is not a good sign for Cowboy fans.
- According to Rivals here are the conferences and teams with commitments from the 37 five and/or four star recruits from Texas that have committed to teams so far.
- SEC (17) A&M (12), LSU (2), Arkansas (1), Ole Miss. (1), Vanderbilt (1).
- Big 12 (13) OU (6), Texas (4), Tech (1), Baylor (1), TCU (1).
- Other Texas teams – Houston (1).
- Other national programs (6) Ohio State, Arizona, Notre Dame (2), Illinois, and Stanford.
- National exposure…ESPN runs college football these days. While the Big 12 competes for fan attention during the day, SEC teams dominate prime time.
- Oklahoma high school talent…This one may be missed by many observers, but it is huge. Oklahoma does not produce a lot of big league talent. As a result, OU with its brand name focuses it attention nationally. In the past OSU has taken advantage of this situation by picking up its share of in-state talent. It appears that at least for this year that Arkansas with new coach Chad Morris may filling this void. This is the latest 2018 Oklahoma high school recruiting results.
- Five-star player – Daxon Hill – Michigan or Alabama.
- Four-star players – Arkansas (1) Texas (1)
- Three-star players – OU (1) Nebraska (1) TCU (1), OSU (1)
As I said before, Mike Gundy needs Hawaii transfer Dru Brown to become eligible to play this week. Gundy must then turn in his best coaching performance in years. Otherwise, next year’s recruiting class may end up looking like this one which will make Gundy really glad he signed a lifetime contract.