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The SEC isn't the only place with big boys that can play.
For all the numbers and analysis, the common reason cited by the Anti-Irish factions when asked why ND will go down in crimson flames is the perception that the SEC will just out-athlete the Irish.
Everyone know that the SEC’s athletes are bigger, stronger, faster and have a mean streak.
It is no secret that Bama’s last 40 or so recruiting classes were in the top five, not to mention the remnants of 20 years of over-signing. Did I mention umpteen dozen JUCO players who were waiting for Bama to figure out how to get the NCAA to OK their admission after their pro football plans didn’t pan out?
“Dan, the SEC is the only conference that has the athletes to compete with Bama.”
Guess what, though? The Irish played a really sneaky trick on the SEC: They stole their athletes and made them go to class.
Massive DE Stephon Tuitt, ND’s 6’6” 303-pound defensive end? He had six offers from SEC schools, including Florida, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina. Space-eating nose guard Louis Nix III? A 6’3” and 326 pounds of Irish chocolate, he passed on the SEC, including Florida, LSU, SC and Ole Miss. Starting safety Zeke Motta? He was offered by Auburn and Florida.
OLB Kendall Moore? He rejected offers from Tennessee, Auburn, and South Carolina. Prince Shembo? Tennessee offered, but he wasn’t interested. LB Danny Spond said no to Arkansas. OLB Ishaq Williams? he was desperately courted by Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and everyone else in the civilized world.
Know why Notre Dame is playing like an SEC defense this year? Because Notre Dame has an SEC defense.
“But Dan, the SEC has all those skill-position players that are game-changers.” I know, I know. They’re so good and our guys came to South Bend fresh out of a recruiting war with Rutgers and Rhode Island.
Or did they?
Those offensive skill positions? Dual threat QB Everett Golson? He was offered by Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. WR T.J. Jones had offers from Bama and Georgia. WR Chris Brown was invited to play at Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Davaris Daniels skipped on Arkansas. Running back Cierre Wood? He said no to Florida and Auburn.
You know who the SEC recruiting braintrust didn’t offer? Manti Te’o. Tyler Eifert. Zach Martin. George Atkinson III. You really have to like the breadcrumbs.
Notre Dame can stop SEC-level athletes because they are SEC-level athletes.