With little more than a week remaining before the Feb. 1 national signing day, the 247Sports’ 2012 team rankings race looks a lot like the second half of the BCS title game.
Safety Landon Collins, the nation's No. 3 prospect, is the highest-ranked player for Alabama in the 2012 class.
Alabama has built a safe margin, barring a change that doesn’t appear coming.
Texas trails the Crimson Tide by nearly 15 points in the 247Sports’ standings (781.28 to 766.87), representing the largest differential between two teams within the top 115 in the standings.
The Longhorns could make up substantial ground if they are able to rally to beat Arkansas or Missouri for the nation’s No. 2 prospect, receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. But even then, Texas’ best-case scenario remains finishing as the national bridesmaid.
Thereafter is where the jockeying figures to be interesting this final week.
Less than one ranking point separates third-place Ohio State from Florida, Florida State and Michigan.
The Buckeyes hold a tenuous lead after nabbing four commitments since Jan. 15, including a trio of four-stars in linebackers Camren Williams and David Perkins as well as offensive tackle Taylor Decker. Despite an apparent numbers crunch, it will be interesting to monitor what additions and subtractions are made to Ohio State’s remaining 16 pledges, early enrollees excluded.
In that regard, FSU arguably has the greatest ceiling as far as ranking improvement goes. Among other targets, the Seminoles are believed one of the last two standing for five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and one of three fighting for five-star corner Ronald Darby. Of course, it would also help if they fend off LSU to retain the nation’s No. 1 prospect, defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr.
Florida jumped from No. 6 to No. 4 with Monday afternoon’s commitment of three-star defensive end Alex McCalister. To that end, though, the Gators’ profile could be further enhanced if they secure receiver Stefon Diggs (who is apparently going to be the player that waits until after Signing Day this year) and beat FSU and others for Nelson Agholor.
Notre Dame and Oklahoma have scenarios by which they could ascend their spots at No. 7 and 8, respectively, too. As usual, No. 10 Georgia and No. 12 LSU are in the late mix for a handful of noteworthy prospects whose additions would significantly bolster their standing.
Twenty-one of the nation’s highest-ranked-100 prospects in the Top247 are uncommitted, promising to bring instability to the top 20 rankings as the next week unfolds.
In that regard, watch out for No. 18 Stanford, No. 20 Auburn, No. 21 Oregon and No. 28 USC – all of whom have sizeable room left in their classes and are making competitive runs at numerous coveted prospects.