The odds that Notre Dame overcomes the likes of Florida or Alabama to finish the 2013 cycle with the No. 1 overall recruiting class are incredibly low.
In fact, at this point I just don't see it as a legitimate possibly.
The Fighting Irish were riding a wave of momentum for all of a few days after they landed 5-star safety Max Redfield, and at least for the time being, Brian Kelly's class looked to be on top of the recruiting world.
How quickly things can change...
Since that commitment, Notre Dame has experienced somewhat of a bad week, and that's putting it lightly. The Fighting Irish lost to Alabama 42-14 in the National Championship game (an embarrassment to say the least), Kelly went on to interview with the Philadelphia Eagles and then 4-star outside linebacker and marquee recruit Alex Anzalone promptly flipped because of said interview and will now enroll early at Florida.
Just like that, all of Notre Dame's positive momentum built up through the course of the 2012 season and 2013 recruiting cycle was lost.
Before this week, I would have been the first to tell you that Notre Dame had a great chance to finish with the No. 1 overall class, but momentum is everything in college football recruiting, and now the Fighting Irish are going to have to do everything they can to get back to even, let alone finish the 2013 cycle on a strong note.
If anything, this class will stay about the same and we'll see the Fighting Irish finish in the top five, which is still very good. It's just not as good as it could have been.
As far as the best candidate to finish No.1? It looks like Alabama is positioned nicely to finish off this cycle on a high note.
The Crimson Tide are still in the running for multiple elite recruits, and I do see them landing at least a few of those recruits. Five-star safety Tony Conner has Alabama in his top two, as does 5-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, according to their respective 247sports interest lists.
Eddie Vanderdoes is another recruit that has Alabama in his top-five, and while Notre Dame has a chance at landing him as well, it looks like the Crimson Tide are already starting to make a late push for the 5-tar defensive tackle. This tweet from Vanderdoes would back that point up at least:
Good talk with Coach Rumph #ROLLTIDE— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 11, 2013
In the end, I expect Alabama to land at least three more 5-star recruits (Tunsil, Conner and Vanderdoes) and that very well should give the Crimson Tide the best class in the country. Florida is another program that could finish No. 1 as well, as the Gators are currently ranked No. 1 by Rivals after the Anzalone flip.
This doesn't mean that Notre Dame's 2013 class still doesn't have elite potential and the future of the program is still incredibly bright, it's just hard not to notice the huge loss of momentum that the program has experienced as a whole.
In fact, it seems as if Notre Dame has cooled off with a few other recruits on their board. The Fighting Irish are no longer listed as a top team for 5-star cornerback Priest Willis, and the same could be said for 4-star cornerback L.J. Moore.
There was a point where the Fighting Irish looked like they had a great chance to finish with the No. 1 overall class. Now, the odds of that happening are extremely small.