Rivals Rankings Week: Predictions as team rankings race heats up
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK: UPDATED 2019 TEAM RANKINGS
With Rivals.com’s rankings release week winding down, we turn an eye to the team rankings and to the future. Below, Southeast Recruiting Rob Cassidy takes a look at the way things stand now and makes five predictions on how things may shake out come National Signing Day.
MORE: Top 10 players revealed |Five new five-stars | Farrell's Mind of Mike| Five schools that should be most pleased with new rankings | Rivals Rankings Podcast | Ask Farrell: Who will win team rankings?
1. USC will bounce back
The Trojans are not exactly off to a blazing start when it comes to assembling a 2019 class. Clay Helton’s team currently hovers well outside the top 25 of the recruiting rankings and has just one commitment from a four-star prospect. That said, it’s probably not time to panic just yet. All three of California’s five-star prospects remain uncommitted, and the Trojans still have a shot with a long list of four-star players in the state. USC has not finished outside the top 10 since 2013 and has done so just twice in the Rivals.com era. That’s all to say that both history and logic are on USC’s side. Odds are, things will be fine in Los Angeles.
2. Texas A&M and South Carolina will cough up their spots in the top five
Both South Carolina and Texas A&M currently rank in the top five of the recruiting rankings, but it seems unlikely that either will finish there when things are said and done. Miami, Georgia, Auburn and Ohio State have plenty of highly ranked targets left on the board and all four are likely to make a charge toward the top five as the cycle progresses. Texas may also be a player to oust one of the two should the stars align for the Longhorns this fall. Both the Gamecocks and Aggies will likely finish with solid classes, but top-five classes are probably a pipe dream.
3. K-State will post its best recruiting finish in recent years
Bill Snyder hasn’t changed his recruiting philosophy, but the Wildcats are armed with an influx of youth on the coaching staff and in the recruiting office, which seems to be having an effect. K-State will never set the world on fire when it comes to recruiting and still isn’t likely to finish inside the top 15, but the program has started to recruit new regions as of late and is attracting the attention of a higher level of prospect. It’s not out of the question that the Wildcats will pull a few recruits from the Southeast to supplement their work in Texas and the Midwest. If they can do that, Snyder could end up with its highest-ranked class in some time.
4. Miami will finish first in Florida for a second straight year
Florida State and Florida will likely get their share of stars from the Sunshine State, but it’s clear that Miami has reclaimed its spot on the marquee in South Florida. The Hurricanes staking claim to the three most talent-rich counties in the state will make it difficult for the Gators and Seminoles to topple them in the recruiting rankings. The forecast could change should Miami’s season go south while FSU or UF shine, but the status quo suggests that Coral Gables remains the premier destination for Florida talent. Mark Richt has momentum, which is a certified commodity in recruiting.
5. The SEC will once against stake claim to the top spot
The race for the 2019 recruiting title could very well mirror the race to secure last year’s national title. Both Georgia and Alabama seem likely to be in the mix until the end in a battle that could be close in the final month. The Bulldogs landed the nation’s No. 1 class a year ago, while Alabama has won the recruiting title in six of the last eight years. Oklahoma, Clemson and others are certainly threats to disrupt such a predication, but UGA and Alabama’s proximity to talent will provide an edge.
2019 RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK
Monday: Top 10 players revealed | Who was the hardest to rank? | Making the case for the top 10 | A closer look at who is No. 1 | Adam Gorney's Take Two | Stingley's rise to No. 1 | Godfather & Gorney Podcast
Wednesday: New Rivals250 released | Who did each analyst go to bat for the most? | Five schools that should be most pleased with new rankings | Rivals Rankings Podcast | Rivals250 by the numbers | Should Gunnell have dropped that far? | Take Two
Saturday: Team rankings breakdown