Last week GoSooners wrote a great article on “How college football recruiting had determined our national champions” throughout the BCS era. He stated that only Auburn’s average adjusted college football recruiting ranking in the year they won the BCS title was outside the top 10.
Coincidentally during this 7 year BCS title run, SEC recruiting expenses have skyrocketed. Alabama for example has increased football recruiting expenses by 279 percent from 2006-07 to 2010-11, a period that marked Nick Saban’s arrival and the Crimson Tide’s consistent appearances atop the national recruiting rankings.
According to ESPN, only Tennessee ($1,479,099), spent more money for recruiting than Alabama ($980,883) in 2010-11.
Based on the ESPN report, four of the top five recruiting budgets among public schools (Private schools such Notre Dame, USC, Stanford and Vanderbilt did not report figures) were from the SEC.
1. Tennessee $1,479,099
2. Alabama $980,882
3. Auburn $950,378
4. Georgia Tech $883,430
5. Arkansas $666,419
6. Georgia $623,224
7. Texas Tech $611,910
8. Florida $602,929
9. Oregon $590,683
10. North Carolina $580,200
There are many factors and circumstances that determine a schools recruiting budget. Every school and situation is different.
For example, Texas Tech spent $611,910 on recruiting in 2011 while Texas, no. 1 in college football revenue, came in at $577,976.
“We are removed from major metropolitan areas, but we’re always going to try to compete for championships,” said Bobby Gleason, senior associate athletic director at Texas Tech. “There’s a lot of variables that come into play.”
According to rankings compiled by Rivals.com, heading into Wednesday’s national signing day, the SEC has 10 of the nation’s top 25 recruiting classes. This includes the top-ranked class, Florida’s, and five of the top 10 – Florida, No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 10 Georgia.
The recruiting process is complicated. Conference realignment, geography, new coaches and philosophies affect recruiting budgets. However, if anyone expects to beat the SEC on the field they’ll need to recruit at an SEC level, and in order to do that, they will need to keep up in the SEC recruiting arms race.