Even though we live in an age when a plethora of college football programs have amazing facilities, a few teams tout the kind of physical resources that are sure to wow recruits on an entirely different level.
The truth of the matter is when you get down to the nitty-gritty of trying to lure in the top talent in the country, having jaw-dropping facilities simply can’t hurt.
The following slideshow takes on the daunting task of looking for the best among the best and pinpoints a mere six programs whose facilities are the easiest to sell to recruits.
Whether it’s the stadium, the weight room, the locker room or state-of-the-art technology, these athletic architectural achievements are worthy of the tag “wonders of the world.”
And they make it easy to see why a guy would be inclined to sign on the dotted line and fax in his letter of intent to the caretakers of these awesome facilities.
Tennessee’s football program moved into its newly built Football Training Center during the 2012 season and with over 145,000 square feet of wow- factor, recruits would be hard-pressed not to be bowled over.
The Vols' new football training home base includes state-of-the-art facilities for meetings, training, rehab, weight lifting, practice, dining and well, yes, entertainment.
After checking out the video link included above it’s difficult to make a solid argument that Tennessee does not have the best facilities in the entire nation.
As far as the latest gauge of the Center’s influence on recruits, Rivals.com currently has the Tennessee class of 2013 ranked at No. 32.
Though not a blazing number by any stretch of the imagination, the ranking is considerably more favorable when you keep in mind the very recent major coaching change and a 2012 season that pumped out only five wins.
Though you might expect Texas or Oklahoma to tout the best facilities in the Big 12, it’s Oklahoma State that has the edge in offering recruits palatial digs.
In fact, the Cowboys' facilities are so elite that they rival those at Tennessee and Oregon, which is no small accomplishment.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Oklahoma State enjoys the deep pockets of super-booster T. Boone Pickens, who continues to put his money where his mouth is in terms of the Cowboy football program.
The new Cowboys’ football facilities, located in the West End Zone of T. Boone Pickens Stadium, date back to 2009. Building resources to the program continue to evolve with the addition of an indoor practice facility due to open in early 2013 as a part of a more ambitious athletic village complex.
As far as the impact the new edifice has had on recruiting, as per historical team rankings provided by Rivals.com, Oklahoma State’s efforts have steadily improved as facilities have been added over time.
To illustrate, the Cowboys hauled in a No. 62-rated class back in 2004 and have slowly risen all the way to what is now ranked as the No. 26 group of 2013.
Officially open for business just before the start of the 2012 football season, USC’s John McKay center is home to Trojans football and much more.
Though a bunch of the included video clip is dedicated to excellent academic space for all USC athletes, the shots of the football weight room, locker room, etc. are stunning.
All in all, the McKay center weighs in with 110,000 square feet of space and came at a cost of 70 million dollars.
Though it’s difficult to imagine USC improving on recruiting numbers that per Rivals.com include the No. 4-, No. 1-, No. 4- and No. 8-rated classes from 2009-12 respectively, the Trojans' class of 2013 is currently ranked at No. 7, meaning that the Top 10 run is far from over.
Given a few more wins and another championship or two, it’s no stretch to say that the McKay center is likely to keep USC’s fax machine busy for many years to come.
Perhaps the most dazzling facilities in the college game, Oregon’s physical resources are nothing short of spectacular.
From the two-story locker room to the indoor practice field and the 5-star hotel-like amenities, the Ducks are living the dream in a very big way.
Of course it helps that the Casanova Center (originally completed in 1991), Autzen Stadium and the entire football program are generously financially supported by Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
Knight, like T. Boone Pickens at Oklahoma State, has put his money where his mouth is in terms of bankrolling among the best, if not the best, facilities in collegiate sport.
Oregon’s class of 2013, which now stands without former head coach Chip Kelly, is currently ranked at No. 22 by Rivals.com, a number that represents a bit of a dip from the Top 15-rated groups hauled in from 2010-12.
Kelly or not, the Ducks’ facilities are second to none and are sure to impress even the most hard-to-get recruit.
Note: At almost 13 minutes, the video for Oregon’s facilities is long but worth watching to get an idea of how remarkable they really are.
Though Nebraska’s facilities might not sparkle to the tune of Oregon and Oklahoma State, there is no doubt that the home of the Huskers is one of the most stunning in the nation.
It’s easy to see how recruits could catch a bad case of the “wows” after touring the Tom and Nancy Osborne Athletic Complex, an edifice completed in 2006.
As far as actually gauging the Huskers' facilities on potential signees, Nebraska hasn’t dropped below a No. 25 ranking in recruiting since 2010 and currently, as per Rivals.com, holds the No. 14 slot for the class of 2013.
This is obviously a program moving in the right direction, and state-of-the-art facilities certainly can’t hurt.
Before we go any further, it’s impossible to argue that Memphis’ facilities are in the same league with the other programs on our list or, for that matter, with a bunch of teams we haven’t listed.
That said and all disclaimers aside, Memphis’ new locker room facilities are flat-out impressive, especially given the size of the program and the fact that the Tigers haven’t posted a winning record since going 7-6 in 2007.
The locker room renovations at Memphis were completed prior to the 2012 season and were funded by Tiger alumnus RB DeAngelo Williams, who graduated in 2005 and currently plays for the Carolina Panthers.
If nothing else, the video gives us a good idea what kind of pride athletes take in their program’s facilities, a concept that translates well to how recruits are affected by a team’s physical resources.
To put everything in perspective, Memphis is currently ranked at No. 90 in the Rivals.com class of 2013 rankings.