What little ember of doubt remaining has officially been extinguished.
In what amounts to a nearly unprecedented move, Rivals.com announced at precisely 2:35 p.m. ET that Alabama has claimed the mythical 2014 recruiting national championship. Most years, the top-ranked team isn’t announced until very late on National Signing Day — or sometimes the morning after.
The reason behind the early declaration is simple: the Tide’s utter dominance on the recruiting trail leading into signing day.
Alabama signed a total of 26 recruits, with an average rating of 3.92 meaning that the Tide essentially had a class of four-star players across the board. Of the 33 five-star Rivals.com players, six of them signed with the Tide. With three each, Auburn, Florida State and Texas A&M and LSU and Virginia (?) with two apiece were the only other programs to sign more than one five-star recruit.
25 of the Tide’s 26 signees were either five-, four- (13) or three-star (six) players. The lone two-star recruit is tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith, who’s one of the top players at his position coming out of the JUCO ranks.
The Tide’s total of 3,263 points easily outdistances No. 2 LSU’s 2,844, a gap of 419 points. In winning the previous three recruiting titles, the Tide’s “margin of victory” was 263 (2013), 140 (2012) and 267 (2011). In 2010, the last year Alabama failed to claim Rivals.com team honors, USC eked out a slim 65-point “win” over Florida.