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Big 12 Football: Recruiting Struggles May Portend A Downturn

Oklahoma football

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 is struggling on the recruiting trail for the class of 2015. Obviously there is a long way to go until signing day, but it is unusual to check out the recruiting rankings at any point in the year and not see the likes of the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners somewhere near the top.

But that is not the case at the moment, and considering the seismic shifts the college football world underwent during conference realignment, it may be an early indicator that Big 12 football is heading for a decline.

Different recruiting sites will offer different rankings, but when it comes to evaluating almost anything, the more data you have the better off you are. That is why 247 Sports’ composite rankings should be considered to be one of the most reliable recruiting services out there. They pull recruiting data from all of the major services and smooth it all out. And when you go to their composite rankings and look at the top 10 teams, you won’t find a single program from the Big 12.

At the moment, Texas has the highest-ranked recruiting class in the Big 12, at No. 21 in the nation. To this point, they have only secured 10 commitments. And Oklahoma? They’re ranked No. 44 right now, with only seven commitments.

To offer a bit of perspective on where things are right now, the three teams ranked just ahead of the Longhorns are the Northwestern Wildcats, Boston College Eagles and Duke Blue Devils, at 18 through 20, respectively.

Now, things can turn around quickly in recruiting. And while it’s surprising to see Oklahoma ranked so low, the Sooners have a chance to be one of the top teams in the nation on the field this year. Things could turn around if they play up to expectations and contend for a national championship. And Texas coach Charlie Strong could find some traction once recruits see the product he is going to put on the field.

Top recruiting classes tend to translate into top teams. And with the SEC and Big Ten both encroaching on the Big 12’s turf these days, the league’s struggle on the recruiting trail may be cause for some alarm.