Most ot us think of the college football season as the period of time from September through early December and, for those teams good enough and eligible for a postseason bowl game, perhaps extending out another month. And for the best of the best, a BCS bowl invite can extend the season into early January.
That may be the way it is for the fans, but f0r college football coaches and their staffs, college football is much more than just the games and the preparation during the season. It is almost a full calendar year endeavor that begins and ends with recruiting and bringing in new talent to fill important future position needs and replace departing players.
In less than two weeks, the college football recruiting season reaches its annual climax, when all 0f those verbal, nonbinding commitments that the nation’s college coaches have been competiting over and collecting to fill out their respective schools’ recruiting classes must be made official. It all comes to an exciting conclusion on National Signing Day, which this year falls on Feb. 6.
The Big 12 typically is among the big winners when it comes to football recruiting, with Texas and Oklahoma, almost always, at least over the past decade, finishing in the country’s top 10 when all is finally said and done. The different national recruiting research services, such as Rivals.com. Scout.com and ESPN.com, vary somewhat in where the various schools are ranked and in the order and weighting of the top prospects available, but the end results are remarkably comparable, given the inherent differences.
With National Signing Day fast approaching, it is an appropriate time to take a quick snapshot at where the schools in the Big 12 stand in assembling their 2013 football recruiting classes. Scout.com has five conference schools in the top 25 as of today, but no Big 12 teams in the top 10. Oklahoma leads the list at No. 16, follwed by Texas (17), Oklahoma State (19), West Virginia (24) and Baylor (25). Rivals.com has four Big 12 schools in the top 25 (Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma State), but has Baylor ranked 34th as of this week.
According to Rivals.com, nine of the 10 Big 12 recuiting classes rank in the nation’s top 50. Only Texas Tech, at No. 83 with only 12 commitments so far, falls outside of the top 50: Oklahoma (15), Texas (17), West Virginia (22), Oklahoma State (25), Baylor (34), Kansas (37), TCU (39), Kansas State (49) and Iowa State (50).
Rivals shows Texas with one five-star recruit (an offensive lineman) and nine four-star recruits among its 15 verbal commitments. Oklahoma has commitments from six four-star recruits thus far. No other Big 12 school has more than four four-star recruits in its incoming class.
Looking at the top recruiting classes by position, Oklahoma State ranks eighth in the wide-receiver category, according to Scout.com, with commitments from three four-star recruits. Oklahoma has commitments from three four-star offensive lineman and ranks No. 4 in that category. Texas is No. 4 with two offensive lineman who fall in the top 100 among all prospects, and West Virginia ranks fourth in the country for linebackers in the 2013 recruiting class.
A lot could change between now and Feb. 6, but it appears that the Big 12 is again feeding its insatiable football beast and should be among the nation’s elite football conferences for the immediate future.
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