Even without the No. 1 class or Ric Flair, the SEC dominated signing day

SEC Signing Day wrap (2:35)

Recruiting reporter Derek Tyson breaks down No. 2 Alabama's strong close to the 2016 cycle and discusses how Mississippi State landed a surprise ESPN 300 signee. (2:35)

No, the SEC didn't have the luxury of parading celebrities like Migos and Ric Flair around. There was probably plenty of dabbing, but none of it matched Jim Leyland's up in Ann Arbor.

For the first time since 2011, the SEC (more specifically, Alabama) didn't have ESPN's No. 1-ranked recruiting class.

Sleepovers and sled rides didn't make recruiting agendas.

However, what the SEC lost in front-page news, it gained with more of the same deep, highly talented recruiting classes it's become accustomed to year after year after year. All that other stuff is cool. It's fun, and SEC schools will probably be willing to get in on the action of adding even more unnecessary glitz, glamour and razzle-dazzle to an already bloated national signing day.

But, honestly, the status quo is working just fine for the SEC, as it once again dominated the recruiting season with more top-40 classes than any other conference and more ESPN 300 signees than the next two conferences combined.

By night's end, 12 of the SEC's 14 programs were ranked in ESPN RecruitingNation's top 40 classes. Florida State claimed the No. 1 spot, but the SEC grabbed the next three places and put five teams in the top 10. Three more made it into the top 20.

While No. 2 Alabama led the way with 25 signees, including 16 in the ESPN 300, they were just ahead of No. 3 LSU (23 signees/19 in ESPN 300) and No. 4 Ole Miss (24/13). For the full breakdown, check our our class rankings and SEC class grades.

The SEC had four more schools ranked in the top 40 than any other conference (the ACC and Pac-12 both had eight). Michigan signed the nation's No. 1 player in defensive tackle Rashan Gary, but the Big Ten finished the day with just 50 ESPN 300 members. Just 50 might sound a little harsh, but if you were to add the ACC's 49 ESPN 300 members (the next-best nationally), your total of 99 players would still be 10 short of the SEC's total haul.

Yes, the SEC signed a whopping 109 ESPN 300 prospects Wednesday, with every school but Missouri signing at least one. Seventy-four of those players signed in the SEC West alone, 24 more than any other conference. Of the 53 ESPN 300 recruits to commit on national signing day, 23 signed with an SEC team, 13 more than any other conference.

The SEC has now secured at least one-third of the ESPN 300 recruits in each of the past five seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The conference also has the most such commitments in every cycle in the ESPN 300/150 era (since 2006).

Alabama continues to lead the way, signing the nation's No. 2 class (its ninth straight top-three class). The Crimson Tide jumped up seven spots on signing day after finishing with 16 ESPN 300 members, including the No. 1 running back (B.J. Emmons) and No. 1 inside linebacker (Ben Davis). LSU started the day at No. 1, but fell to third. Still, even with the almost-fired Les Miles at the helm after an underwhelming 2015 finish, the Tigers landed a nation-leading 19 ESPN 300 members.

Ole Miss, the only school to sign two five-star prospects, continued its dynamite recruiting efforts, securing a No. 4 class that might be even better than its historic 2013 class.

"We feel like it’s top to bottom the best class we’ve had, and we’ve had some good ones," coach Hugh Freeze said, "but that’s just potential."

It helps when you can almost immediately replace future first-round draft picks Laremy Tunsil and Robert Nkemdiche with five-star recruits Gregory Little and Benito Jones.

Georgia's Kirby Smart became the sixth first-year coach since 2006 to have a top-10 class in his first year. Auburn signed one of the best defensive line classes in a while and picked up the No. 2 and No. 5 wide receivers, along with the No. 1 junior college dual-threat quarterback.

Florida dropped six spots on a sluggish signing day, but the Gators signed 12 early enrollees to positions of need, including No. 5 pocket-passer QB Feleipe' Franks, and flipped No. 4 wideout Tyrie Cleveland from Houston on Wednesday.

Heck, even after a disastrous 2015, South Carolina made the top 30 with four ESPN 300 members and the No. 1 junior college cornerback, thanks to new coach Will Muschamp's bullish recruiting.

So while recruiting continues to evolve and change in just about every aspect, the SEC keeps piling up the talent. The conference said by many to be the best just continues to load up on the best.