SEC remains strong in recruiting rankings

There's still a ways to go to the finish line in February, but nine SEC schools remain in the top 20 nationally of ESPN's latest recruiting rankings for the 2014 class.

Alabama is No. 2 behind Michigan, which held onto the top spot. Other SEC schools in the top 10 are Texas A&M at No. 4, Tennessee at No. 6, LSU at No. 7 and Florida at No. 8.

Kentucky is No. 12 followed by Georgia at No. 13, Auburn at No. 16 and Ole Miss at No. 17. If you stretch it out to the top 30, Vanderbilt is No. 29.

It's especially interesting that Tennessee and Kentucky both have so much momentum. Both have first-year coaches -- Butch Jones with the Vols and Mark Stoops with the Wildcats -- and they've won just four SEC games between them over the past two seasons. Two of those four wins came against each other.

Granted, these rankings are based on non-binding commitments that can always change, but the success Tennessee and Kentucky are having on the recruiting trail debunks the myth that you have to win big to recruit big. What Jones and Stoops (as well as their staffs) have accomplished on the recruiting trail over the past few months is a testament to the importance of establishing the right relationships, demonstrating an unwavering work ethic and effectively selling your vision.