Class of 2015…
The bad news is that OU lost out on a few players at the end of the recruiting cycle that they would love to have had. More bad news is that the Sooners finished out of the top ten for the 5th year in a row. The good news is that the Sooners finished strong and ended up with the 14th ranked class in America by both Rivals and Scout.com.
Additional good news comes in the fact that according to Bob Stoops the Sooners got every player they really wanted…
As for the rest of us, we can take a more realistic approach to recruiting, but I must say that all things considered the Class of 2015 is a pretty good class. Combine this group with last year’s class and we have the makings of a group that can get the Sooners back on top.
Don’t get me wrong, I have not been hitting the signing day hard cider and I fully realize that OU will not return to national prominence without top five recruiting classes. At the same time it could have been a lot worse. Combine the 2014 and 2015 classes with the new coaches recruited by Bob Stoops and OU may have the foundation for a resurgence.
These two classes have a bunch of difference- makers. If the new batch of coaches can develop talent, the Sooners may be headed back to the top of the conference heap. From there the Sooners should be able to see the top of summit and hopefully make their way back to national prominence. This will not happen overnight, but I feel much better today than I did two months ago.
Here is the crazy part of this story. I see a silver lining in the strangest of places…While most OU fans will not appreciate this one; I believe it to be true. The good news for the Big 12 Conference and in time for the Sooners is the resurgence of Texas in recruiting.
This Texas class which ranked as the 7th best in the country by Scout.com was a good thing. Edging out Texas A&M for state supremacy will help Big 12 member schools compete against the SEC regionally and will help reestablish OU in Texas.
My theory here is this…With a stronger Texas comes a stronger conference… I hate Texas as much as the next guy, but since OU officials allowed the Pac 12 ship to set sail two years ago, a strong Texas football program has become a prerequisite for saving the conference.
As long as OU takes care of business, it can be a race between the Sooners and Horns at the top of the conference each year again. With these teams having the national branding necessary to impress selection committee members, both the winner and loser of the early season Red River Shootout will have a chance to impress the selection committee late in the year. Most importantly, I like Bob’s chances against a strong Texas team early in the year.
This recruiting season was proof positive that a Baylor and/or TCU cannot sustain themselves and make the conference stronger. Both teams just had the greatest seasons of their lives and only topped in at
#26 and #40 on the Scout.com recruiting list. This type of recruiting class will not create a legitimate power conference. Only OU and Texas can make this happen.
All is not lost with these teams however. We can have the best of both worlds. OU and Texas will be at the top of the conference and the middle of the road contenders that are good, but not great, can make us look good. The recruiting classes of TCU (27), Texas Tech (28), and West Virginia (30) will create teams that can compete nationally during the preseason. Then OU and Texas will beat up on these teams later in the year in a move that will propel the OU-Texas winner to a final four bid.
In closing, it is important in talking about this OU recruiting class to keep in mind that OU just endured the “season from hell”, not to mention the worst possible timing for coaching changes. In spite of all the negatives the Sooners still recruited a top fifteen class. All in all, the Class of 2015 was a huge success.
Scout.com Big 12 rankings (National rankings in parenthesis)
Texas Tech (28)
West Virginia (30)
Kansas State (52)
Iowa State (70)