Saturday, August 13, 2011

Texas A&M's Impact On The Dawgs

The Senator poses the question this morning:
If Texas A&M does jump conferences, how much do you care about that move opening up the Texas recruiting market to Mark Richt and Georgia?
Much has been made about the fact that by adding Texas A&M, it would open up the Texas market to recruiting by the SEC schools.  However, I think it will only help the recruiting of a few SEC schools..........namely LSU, Arkansas, the Mississippi duo, and MAYBE the Alabama schools.

High School basketball players routinely commit to top schools that are long distances from where they live....but while that does happen some with HS football players, the more common occurrence is that they stay relatively close to home.  For example, while not all the top talent in Georgia stays in-state, they're usually at least going to one of the bordering states (SC, AL, TN, FL).  It's a relatively small percentage of big name players coming out of Georgia that do not end up either staying in state, or playing at one of the schools in these states.  For exactly that reason, I don't see UGA now being able to go out and grab a bunch of TX talent.  You'd have to figure if we're going all the way to Texas for a guy, he's a stud recruit, so everybody is going to want him.  So to get him to come, he'd have to choose us over top notch programs like the Texas schools, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, LSU, both the Alabama schools, Florida, and Tennessee.....all of whom are as close or closer to home than we would be.  Yes, Stafford came from TX, but that was a unique case due to his father's UGA connection.  But for the most part, top players in Texas aren't going to start coming to UGA just because the SEC now has a presence in the state.

The other point I've seen is that UGA could receive an indirect benefit by other schools turning more of their focus on recruiting the state of Texas and less emphasis on Georgia.  Again, for all the reasons stated above, I just don't see that happening.  The schools in our border states aren't going to all of a sudden put less emphasis on Georgia talent, because again speaking geographically, it's going to be much harder to pull talent out of Texas than it is to pull out of Georgia for those schools, too.  Arkansas and LSU will definitely turn up their recruiting efforts in Texas, but it's not like we lose a lot of top in-state talent to either of those schools (yes, there are exceptions, but neither of them has a strong recruiting foothold in GA).  If I were a fan of Arkansas or LSU, I'd be pretty excited about this potential development....but as a UGA fan, I'm pretty ambivalent.  If it happens, great, but if it doesn't, that's fine too.  I would be more interested in who is brought in along with A&M to balance the divisions, but that will be a post for another day.

Hope everyone has a dandy weekend.

-Rev

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