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Rival Views: Better recruiting going forward - LSU or Alabama?

Nick Saban
Nick Saban (AP Images) National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate whether Alabama or LSU will have better recruiting classes over the next decade, considering the Crimson Tide have dominated the last 10 years.

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It’s hard to predict which team will dominate or even be slightly better than the other for a full decade because there are so many factors in play. However, Alabama should remain a dominant recruiting program long after Nick Saban leaves because he’s setting them up for so much success. And the job will draw a big name and talented coach when the time comes to replace Saban. LSU has a great home-state recruiting advantage and that will never change and the Tigers will always be a force in recruiting, but give me Alabama in this one.




Saban has been so wildly successful at Alabama that many people believe the Crimson Tide will always and forever be a national power and an unstoppable recruiting force, but that was not the case before Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa.

In the 24 seasons between Bear Bryant and Saban, Alabama had only nine 10-win seasons. In 11 of Saban’s 13 seasons, the Crimson Tide have had at least 10 wins and they’re well on their way again this year. The success Saban has had at Alabama is simply unbelievable.

But let’s think about the next 10 years and whether Alabama can keep out-recruiting LSU like it has for the last decade. Saban is 68 and Ed Orgeron is 58. Presumably, there would be a coaching change at Alabama that it will have to navigate to keep up with LSU. Orgeron is not expected to go anywhere, since LSU has always been his dream job so recruiting stability shouldn’t be an issue.

If Clemson coach Dabo Swinney takes the Alabama job upon Saban’s eventual retirement, then Alabama could keep recruiting at its breakneck pace and the Crimson Tide will remain the country’s best program. But I do believe there is real danger that when Saban leaves, LSU could fill that void in recruiting for at least a few years while top prospects see if Alabama is still the Alabama of old.

It’s going to be really tough to beat Alabama in recruiting because of the insane success the program has had under Saban, even when he’s gone. But Orgeron can recruit with the best of them - the Tigers have the top-rated recruiting class this cycle - and that momentum could carry for at least the next few years, if not over the next decade.