Tony Gerdeman touches on the competitive equality issue with Oversigning and gives you a game by game break down of the bowl games and the recruiting numbers, something that the ESPN OTL piece shied away from in their piece on oversigning this weekend instead electing to focus on the human element of the practice and how in the opinion of one attorney, Donald Jackson, the actions of some of the coaches that oversign are close to meeting the elements for common law fraud.
Clearly, the lives altered so that coaches and schools can prosper is the core issue here, however, you can not minimize the impact oversigning has on the playing field - it is an undeniable truth that the SEC has a huge advantage over the rest of college football due to the conference's reluctance to get serious about stopping oversigning. It's not the only reason for the SEC success, but it plays a major role in the depth and strength of the conference, not to mention the advantage being able to sign more than you have room for gives you in the Rivals and other recruiting rankings. For example, right now Alabama has 20 verbal commitments, when in actuality, under Big10 recruiting rules, they would only have room for somewhere around 12 recruits given they only have roughly 8 seniors on scholarship and don't anticipate more than 4 juniors going pro early. Therefore, if Alabama were bound to Big 10 recruiting rules they would have somewhere around 12-14 verbal commitments right now, not 20. Do you think they would have the second best recruiting class in the country with only 12-14 commitments? No, they wouldn't. However, given the fact that they are able to skirt recruiting rules Big 10 schools follow they are able to load up on recruits and lure more blue chip players to be a part of their #2 ranked class.
Not only does this help a school like Alabama, it keeps other schools who have legitimate room from getting those players.