Three SEC football programs are in real trouble with 2025 class recruiting

It is not too early to conclude that three SEC football programs have major recruiting troubles in the 2025 class.
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The 2025 college football recruiting cycle is months short of conclusion. Much will change, but for three SEC football schools, a result can already be predicted.

There are no precise numbers for how high successive recruiting classes must be ranked for a team to be a CFB Playoff contender. In addition, for a growing number of teams, the Transfer Portal has become as important; even more important than the signing of high school players. Still, recruiting class rankings are a valuable measuring tool to predict future team success.

As a threshold point, I suggest successive recruiting classes ranked outside the top 35 in team rankings mean a team's roster will not be talented enough to contend for a Playoff slot. There will be few exceptions, other than the top-ranked 'other' conference champion.

2022, 2023 and 2024 Signing Classes

Let's compare four teams consistently mentioned as current, top Playoff contenders. Alabama Football is included though some will argue the Crimson Tide is outside a top group of contenders. Only Oregon has a class outside the top six.

Note: Teams Rankings source is the 247Sports Composite

  • Oregon Ducks - No. 13 2022 signing class; No, 9 with 2023 class and No. 3 with 2024 class
  • Ohio State Buckeyes - No. 4 class in 2022; No. 4 class in 2023 and No. 5 class in 2024
  • Texas Longhorns - No. 5 class in 2022; No. 2 in 2023 and No. 6 in 2024
  • Georgia Bulldogs - No. 3 class in 2022; No. 2 in 2023 and No. 1 in 2024
  • Alabama Crimson Tide - No. 2 class in 2022; No. 1 in 2023 and No. 2 in 2024

A deeper dive would calculate the transfer attrition for each program, but, for top programs, Portal additions bring more value than value lost by Portal exits.

How low should Team Rankings be to label a team unworthy of Playoff consideration? There is no precise answer. In the 2024 season, two teams considered contenders have much lower numbers. In the three most recent recruiting cycles, Florida State was No. 20, No. 19, and No. 12. The Missouri Tigers were No. 15, No. 34, and No. 20.

2025 Recruiting Trouble for SEC Football Programs

Based on the On3 Industry Rankings, 10 SEC football programs are in the top 17 2025 recruiting classes. The 247Sports Composite has eight SEC programs in its top 19, 2025 recruiting classes.

Three SEC programs are way behind. Behind almost to the point of predicting they will not catch up with even the mid-tier of SEC recruiting. The three are Florida, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

  • The Florida Gators 2025 class is ranked No. 71 by 247 and No. 61 by On3.
  • The Mississippi State Bulldogs 2025 class is ranked No. 62 by On3 and No. 47 by 247.
  • The Vanderbilt Commodores 2025 class is ranked No. 52 by 247 and No. 45 by On3.

In a new era when making the Playoffs is everything - and not being selected is close to total failure, the future looks bleak for the Gators, Bulldogs and Commodores. Vandy's perennial low expectations are a buffer the other two programs do not have.

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