Programs in especially competitive conferences have to view national signing day as an opportunity to replace the stars they may have lost and/or fill the voids that were exposed the season before.
When neither of those two goals is accomplished, NSD becomes more of a day of failure than a day of success.
Not every program got exactly what it wanted, but three stand out as the biggest losers after Wednesday's announcements.
Not landing potential stars Rashaan Evans (Alabama) and Malachi Dupre (LSU) stings, but the biggest misses for the Bruins were the recruits who chose Pac-12 rivals over the Blue and Gold.
Adoree' Jackson, a 5-star cornerback from Gardena, Calif., chose the USC Trojans over the Bruins and a host of other schools. It was a crucial in-state battle, and the Bruins came up short.
John Smith, a 5-star athlete from Long Beach, Calif., also chose the Trojans after a spirited recruiting attempt from UCLA.
USC wasn't the only Pac-12 program to best UCLA in key recruiting battles. Solomon Thomas, a 5-star defensive end from Coppell, Texas, picked the Stanford Cardinal over UCLA.
On the bright side, Jim Mora's staff did ink seven 4-star prospects Wednesday, including linebacker Zach Whitley from Houston.
UCLA has some company in Pac-12 recruiting disappointment. The Oregon Ducks weren't able to fill any of the holes they needed to fill in order to challenge Stanford. Over the last two seasons, Stanford has proved to be Oregon's biggest and most dangerous adversary.
A lack of bulk up front is what has troubled the Ducks.
On Wednesday, Oregon whiffed on every attempt to add size. The Ducks didn't sign one defensive or offensive lineman on Wednesday.
The 6'4" 370-pound Damien Mama chose USC. When the day was done, the Ducks were still feeling like lightweights in the trenches.
The national champion didn't come from the SEC in 2013, but the conference was no less competitive.
Last year, Ole Miss' recruiting class put them on a path to contend with Alabama, Georgia, Auburn and LSU. The 2014 class leaves a little to be desired.
The Rebels rank 16th on the 247Sports recruiting class list, but their misses on national signing day seem to ensure the class will be slapped with a tag of mediocrity. It appeared the Ole Miss coaching staff had an inside track on Isaiah McKenzie, but the game-breaking 4-star receiver/return man chose the Georgia Bulldogs.
Overall, the Rebels had no 5-star signings on Wednesday.
All signings, height, weight and star ratings per 247Sports.com
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