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Old 01-10-2019, 09:41 AM   #61
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

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Originally Posted by sandstorm2001 View Post
Being better than teams that are "down" isn't going to win us a championship. We just have to be the best and there aren't any shortcuts. The Gap is going to be closed a little bit at a time and there are going to be more times that it won't be pretty.
My point about your rivals being down has more to do with recruiting. Look at Oregon as an example, SoCal and UCLA have been down several years and suddenly the get the best player in the country and the best class in their history. Even as good as they have been, that didn’t happen until their rivals fell off.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #62
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

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Possible, yes, but Dabo and Richt werenÂ’t recruiting to the level those programs are now. Both programs are recruiting machines. The biggest hump Muschamp must get over is winning big games as an underdog. Getting Georgia, Clemson or Alabama next year would be huge regardless of what the final record is.
This is the key in today's CFB world. teams loaded with four and five stars will beat two and three stars nine out of ten times. I equate it to any professional sport team that spends a ton of money to bring in enough key players to win. While the players are not getting paid (lol yea right) not openly at least. They do all benefit from the perks a school can provide while attending.

Places like Alabama and Clemson have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create state of the art facilities with so many fancy things that appeal to the typical high school athlete's demographic. Not that we or others are not doing similar things. But they led the way and have a big advantage right now. Clemson is so far ahead of the rest of the ACC, they may not have any legitimate contender for the ACC title for years.

The competition in the SEC for top recruits is far more difficult than what Clemson has to deal with. There are far more quality SEC schools than ACC. Add to that, these kids that are top recruits want to go where they know they will win at the highest level. No five star QB is going to pick a .500 school to come play at if there are not other highly rated players around to allow him to compete.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #63
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

Most will agree that the 3-4 year run under Spurrier was about as good as it has ever been for USC. That is where the ‘top’ starts for me. How far away are we from getting back to that level of success (talent, coaching chops, attitude, etc)?

We are multiple recruiting classes away from theoretically having the same amount of talent as those teams under Spurrier. I do not know if we will ever be able to match SOS’s ability to game plan and call ‘ball plays’. Attitude reflects leadership. Saying the bowl game was a reward and we are not going to utilize all of the bowl practices because ‘practice is hard’ were colossal blunders by Muschamp.

Is short, we do not appear to be ready to consistently win 8, 9, or 10+ games a year...yet. If Hilinski or Joyner pan out at QB, that will be a huge lift to the offense (along with finding a running game). Also, we cannot continue to lose to UK & TAMU. If we are going to take the next step, ending those losing streaks is key.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:29 PM   #64
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

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Originally Posted by CockTail View Post
My point about your rivals being down has more to do with recruiting. Look at Oregon as an example, SoCal and UCLA have been down several years and suddenly the get the best player in the country and the best class in their history. Even as good as they have been, that didn’t happen until their rivals fell off.
Without looking at the history of those schools recruiting, I think it's more of chipping away at them than it is waiting for them to be down and suddenly there's a hole for us to fill to be the one that's "up". As an example, Signing Zach Pickens is us chipping away at Clemson. It's not going to make a difference next year so much, but assuming he lives up to the hype, that's a 1st round draft pick suiting up for us in 3-4 years and one less suiting up for them. Keep winning battles and at some point you take the lead. Them being "down" would be the result of us clawing our way "up".

Chicken or egg argument I guess. I subscribe to the idea that we have to climb over them, not wait for them to fall off the podium.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:32 PM   #65
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

Success for schools like Clemson and Georgia is a mixed bag for our recruiting.

The better those teams are, the better their recruiting will be. But it also increases the likelihood that a lot of their available scholarships will be taken up with OOS or out of region players. Clemson's current class has 27 recruits from 14 states, including players outside their Southeast footprint - Cali, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri and Connecticut. Meanwhile, they have one in-state recruit, a low 3* that we did not offer.

I know that it is counter-intuitive to say that we can close the gap with local talent when they are recruiting nationally, but we can bring in strong classes within our footprint and become the school of choice for the in-state talent, like we were under Spurrier. That started to happen this year, potentially landing two in-state 5* players (if Cameron Smith moves up from a high 4*).

And the local players are usually more motivated to beat the home state school that passed on them, in the case of Clemson and Georgia.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:46 PM   #66
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

I love the amount of top in-state guys we brought in this year. Look at the 2019 247 state rankings for S.C. We have the majority of top ranked talent in our state.
But what really bothers me is when I look at the 2020 ranked players from SC. Majority of the top are leaning Clemson :/ Will this be a huge set back?
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:29 PM   #67
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

It's going to come down to coaching for us. We are getting the best recruiting classes possible for a 6-8 win team. Spurrier had the same issues give or take. He was an excellent game day play caller. Is Will Muschamp?
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:37 PM   #68
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Default Re: How far from the top are we. And do we care?

We're crabs in a barrel at this point. There are a lot of comparable teams to us in the SEC and there are a lot of better teams than us.
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