If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a big fan of Ivan Maisel over at ESPN.com and his 3-point stance quick hits column. Recently, in a long form article he discussed depth in the SEC. He then responded in 3-point stance to the overwhelming sentiment from outsiders that the SEC is just good because of oversigning. Tony Gerdeman offers up a clear example of the belief that oversigning has to be mentioned where depth is concerned.
I get it. Oversigning is terrible. We all remember the 30, 31 and 37 signee classes of Ole Miss in 2006, 2008 and 2009 respectively. Perhaps you'll point to the 28 man class at Bama in 2009 or the 29 man class at LSU in 2010.
If you think those seven extra players in two years, at two separate schools are what's doing it for the SEC then you haven't checked the transfers, dismissals and non-qualifiers in the same timeframe.
This isn't a defense of oversigning, it's a heinous practice that should most certainly be stopped. This is merely response to the tiresome rhetoric and excuse making by others when it comes to using oversigning as the reason for everything. As Maisel says:
1. The response to my story posted Thursday about how the SEC wins championships because of the depth of its best teams reminded me that non-SEC fans believe the league thrives on oversigning. They blame oversigning for everything short of global warming.
Oversigning is bad and if you're against oversigning for the sake of the kids then more power to you.
That said, oversigning isn't the reason the SEC is good. The league is solid because of their dedication to coaches and the talent pool from which they draw from. There's a reason everyone recruits in the southeast; and it isn't because it's easy. It's not easy. But just being able to pull a kid or two from Florida or Georgia or Louisiana can be the difference on someone's roster.
Don't believe the area is important? Look at how schools are recruiting and notice that they are all looking to dip into the pot that is the south.
The biggest factor in building depth is having quality players up and down the roster. That comes two ways; developing unpolished talent into players and recruiting talent.
When there are more of those better players to recruit you get a base for depth. When you have the best coaches, you get the development. Why is that so hard to stomach?