Staying ahead of the pack

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It's the Cold War. There's an arms race going on in recruiting, and Alabama's leading the charge. Alabama coach Nick Saban's recent hires illustrate as much. Both vacant positions were filled with a recruiting purpose in mind.

It's not enough that Alabama won the No. 1 class ranking in the country two years in a row and maintained its streak as the only program to finish in the top three of the rankings every year since 2008. It's not enough because, with new NCAA rules coming into affect Aug. 1, the scale of recruiting is poised to grow exponentially. The NCAA has all but deregulated the recruiting process, allowing almost unlimited contact and permitting any member of the support staff the ability to actively recruit prospects.

If you thought the world of recruiting was haphazard before, wait until every domino touches down. Alabama, for its part, is getting ahead of the action.