ESPN's Outside The Lines did a segment on the over signing going on in college football and especially the SEC with a not too flattering spotlight on LSU and Les Miles.
The SEC is by far the biggest offender of this practice as the piece illustrates, but even schools like Georgia who have not over signed may be held back because their competition is. I know several Bulldog fans who think this is holding them back right now.
Simply speaking the more players you sign, the more chances you have to get it right.
Les Miles is not alone in this practice; he got unlucky that ESPN decided to shine the light more so on him. Ole Miss is also mentioned for their signing of 37 players on National Signing Day a few years back and Houston Nutt even mocked it in the press conference later that day.
The SEC is trying to curtail the practice by limiting schools to just 28 signees per year, even though you can still only enroll 25. The conference is readily admitted several signees per school (except Vandy) are not going to qualify each year.
Nick Saban has also been criticized for signing more than he had spots for but has successfully managed it thus far, if you ask him, though others disagree.
Sadly, over signing is not new in college athletics. You can go all the way back to 1963 when over signing caused a founding member of the SEC, Georgia Tech, to leave the conference.
I don't think this practice is going to stop and I don't see any top recruits being steered away from an LSU, Ole Miss, or Alabama because of this. Most of them think "it won't happen to me", just like most of them think they will play in the pros even though statistics show otherwise.
Oversigning.com has a lot of great info over the world of college recruiting