OU vs. Ohio State shows how recruiting still matters with elite teams

OU is trying to close the gap in recruiting with Ohio State, but it won't happen overnight.

For all the flack recruiting experts get about star ratings and all the so-called misses that occur on a yearly basis, sometimes it hits the nail on the head.

Sometimes you don’t have to look too far to figure out why Oklahoma was unable to stay on the same field as Ohio State in a 45-24 loss Saturday evening at Owen Field.

Sometimes the rankings really don’t lie.

This is a huge year for OU. The 2017 class, known as SoonerSquad17, could be a game-changer if it can stay intact heading to Norman on signing day.

OU has three commits right now from Scout 100 prospects and 14 overall Scout 300 recruits, earning a No. 3 ranking. A legitimate No. 3 ranking.

But OU is simply trying to catch up to Ohio State. On the field, on the trail. And despite OU’s success this year on the trail, it’s still trying to narrow the gap.

Ohio State has by far the best class in the nation. How good? The Buckeyes have 12 commits in the Scout 100 and five of them as five-star recruits. That’s how you do it.

And if you look back at previous years, you see why OU is in its uphill battle right now.

2016: Ohio State No. 2; OU No. 19.

2015: Ohio State No. 8; OU No. 14.

2014: Ohio State No. 5; OU No. 13.

2013: Ohio State No. 1; OU No. 15.

That’s not to say everybody has been a hit in Columbus and everybody has been a dud in Norman. But if you’re routinely hitting home runs like Urban Meyer and too often perhaps going to second or third options like Bob Stoops, there’s going to be a difference.

You can get everything you can out of certain guys and OU has done that repeatedly with three-star recruits like Jordan Evans, Ahmad Thomas for this year and guys like Charles Tapper, Eric Striker, Zack Sanchez in years prior.

But when push comes to shove and a high four-star or five-star recruit lives up to billing as the Buckeyes have been able to do so often, it shows.

OU’s dream of a national championship and spot in the college football playoff are gone. No doubt about that. OU had 12 commits on official visits this weekend and early returns say the guys are still pumped.

It will be key to make sure the SoonerSquad17 class that has shown so much bravado stays right where it is.

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