5-star running back Derrick Green has a top five that features two SEC teams in Tennessee and Auburn, but considering the current outlook of both programs, don't expect them to be the favorites for his commitment.
On paper, considering the dominance of the SEC on both the football field and the recruiting trail, that could seem a bit counter-intuitive, but this is not a normal season in the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama, Georgia and Florida are still amongst the most dominant teams in the country, and now you can add in the newly added Texas A&M. But for as good as those programs have been and will continue to be, Auburn and Tennessee find themselves on the other end of the spectrum.
Auburn is currently 3-8 (0-7 SEC).
Green confirmed that his top five is indeed Oregon, Michigan, Miami, Tennessee and Auburn, but while talking about his choices, he did say a coaching change at either school would be "real big" and that he'd have to talk about it with his family.
Perhaps he changed his tone, or maybe he's just honestly assessing the situation and facing the reality of both Auburn and Tennessee's programs.
A new coach means a new system in all likelihood, and it also means new ideas for how to use players and order the depth chart of the future. It means that Green would have to get to know another coach and try to make another good impression with him for the sake of his future as a football player.
Especially for a recruit so far into the process.
If this was any other situation I would give the SEC an advantage for Green, but with the coaching situation for both programs being up in the air, it's hard to consider them favorites, especially when pinned up against Oregon and Michigan.
Green will end up at:
If there is a favorite at this point, Michigan has to be feeling pretty good about what they can offer Green.
They're an elite nationally renowned program, they're transitioning to a pro-style offense—which fits his running style perfectly—and maybe most importantly, coach Brady Hoke appears to be a long-term guy for the Wolverines.
Uncertainty at the coaching position can be crippling in recruiting, and we're seeing a great example of that with Green.
The allure of the SEC would normally give their programs an upper-hand in recruiting, but in the cases of Tennessee and Auburn, they've lost that inside track.