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B(u)y the numbers: SEC speed

The theorized concept of “SEC speed” is among the most flammable topics for college football patrons and even has an entry in the online urban dictionary.

Headlined by 6-7 receiver pledge Derrick Griffin (above), new SEC member Texas A&M has the nation's No. 5 class via its 17 commitments.

We’re not going to touch that debate.

There can be no argument, however, that “SEC speed” has translated to the 2013 recruiting cycle, as evidenced in this week’s installment of our statistical shakedown:

10

Of the country’s 16 highest-ranked classes, per 247Sports, come from SEC schools.

Of course Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida are going to be in there.

But newbie Missouri comes in at No. 11. And Vanderbilt is at No. 16, one spot ahead of perennial top-five Florida State.

Now, there’s obviously a long way to go till National Signing Day, and some of these programs have more staying power than others.

The hook here, though, is that only …

Nine of the 14 SEC schools already have a quarterback commitment, including Georgia's Top247 pledge, Brice Ramsey.

4

Of the SEC schools don’t have double-digit commitments yet.

To repeat: 10 of the 14 SEC schools already own 10 or more commitments as the spring evaluation period comes to a close.

Here’s how the rest of the BCS conferences shake out:

ACC: 2
Big Ten: 3
Big 12: 1
Pac-12: 0
Big East: 0

So all told, 59 percent of the teams with 10+ commitments (10 of 17) are from the SEC.

Perhaps the more pressing issue, then, is why are Kentucky (1) and Mississippi State (2) dragging in the commitment rear to such a degree?

150

At No. 2, Alabama linebacker commit Reuben Foster is the nation's highest-ranked pledge.

Commitments for the SEC.

That’s more than half of the 289 pledges of the other five BCS conferences combined and 69 more than the next-closest competitor.

Big Ten: 81
ACC: 80
Big 12: 53
Pac-12: 50
Big East: 25

The ACC’s high volume … and Pac-12’s low volume … figures to reflect the scrutiny and intensity of the southeast relative to the rest of the country.

Simply put, colleges migrate south to compete and try for a piece of the pie in Florida and Georgia, specifically. Earlier evaluations/recruiting + the pressures of the process = earlier decisions, as we’ve documented, so it stands to reason the SEC would own a lopsided total.

As …

19.0

Percent of the Top247 is already committed to the SEC (47 prospects).

That doesn’t include the nation’s No. 1 prospect, Grayson (Ga.) DE Robert Nkemdiche, who is safely assumed an SEC projection.

Nkemdiche would give the SEC the No. 1-ranked prospect by 247Sports in three of the last four cycles.

Nine of the nation’s top 50 have pledged the SEC, and 20 of the top 100.

For comparison, the ACC’s top-ranked commitment doesn’t come till No. 50 and Virginia Tech quarterback pledge Bucky Hodges.

One can debate which came first – the SEC’s on-field success or recruiting differential. Regardless, it’s yielded a cyclical effect that’s behind the desperate realignment conjecture among the league’s competitors.

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