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Class Rankings vs End of Season Rankings

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Below is an article I lifted from ESPN Insider.

Recruiting rankings are never an exact science, but it does give a glimpse into the future talent a team will have, and potentially how well they will perform on the field in future seasons.

Because they are just projections, though, there are always deviations from the rankings and how a team is put together. Some coaches out-perform their recruiting rankings, some under-perform and some live up to the hype..

By averaging out the past four recruiting class rankings for each team and comparing those to the 2015 college football playoff rankings, we can get a picture for what teams have had success with the players they have recruited and who needs to do more..

In no surprise, Alabama has been very close to the class ranking and college football playoff ranking nearly landing the top class all four years. The big numbers that stick out among the top 10 are Oregon, Baylor, TCU, Mississippi State, Michigan State and Arizona. All of those programs outperformed their recruiting rankings by wide margins. Among the top 10, TCU was the biggest over achiever averaging a recruiting class ranking of 48 overall and finishing the season ranked at No. 6..

TCU also had the lowest recruiting class ranking average followed by Michigan State, Arizona, Mississippi State and Baylor. Those teams have done a tremendous job recruiting, finding the right players and developing them to maximize their potential..

On the opposite spectrum, Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State have done a tremendous job recruiting elite athletes and producing on the field..

The top five over-performers based on the difference in recruiting class rankings compared to playoff rankings:.

Georgia Tech: 42.5.

TCU: 42.

Kansas State: 41.75.

Boise State: 36.25.

Arizona State: 35.75.

Georgia Tech finished the season ranked No. 12 overall, TCU ranked No. 6, Kansas State at 11, Boise State at 20 and Arizona State at 15..

Over the past four classes, the Yellow Jackets never cracked the top 40 class rankings, but were able to play their way into a No. 12 ranking at the end of the regular season. Of these five teams, Arizona State is the only team to crack the top 40 class rankings, doing it once in the past four classes in 2011..

By the same comparison, the top underachievers are as follows:.

LSU: -14.75.

USC: -12.75.

Auburn: -9.25.

Clemson: -6.25.

Georgia: -5.5.

LSU was the biggest underperformer this season based off of the criteria, finishing at No. 23 in the playoff rankings. The Tigers landed the Nos. 2, 7, 14 and 10-ranked recruiting classes but finished near the bottom of the top 25 with an 8-4 record in 2014. USC was also a big under performer finishing the season ranked No. 24 overall despite having the Nos. 4, 13 and 14-ranked classes..

Those whose playoff ranking closely resembles their class ranking are as follows:.

Alabama: -0.25.

FSU: 0.75.

Ohio State: 1.75.

Georgia: -5.5.

Clemson: -6.25.

Alabama finished with the No. 1-ranked class three of the last four years, and had the second-best class the other year. The Crimson Tide have done an excellent job turning talent into production, an often overlooked part of the recruiting and development process. Not every highly ranked prospect turns into a great college player, but Alabama has ensured continued success including this past season..

Georgia is an interesting case because it lands on the under performer list and is still closest to the actual ranking. The Dawgs finished at No. 13 in the football rankings and had the Nos. 5, 6, 9 and 10-ranked recruiting classes..

Florida State and Ohio State are also two teams who have been very consistent in both areas, producing talent year after year. The Buckeyes have not had a class ranked outside the top 10 since hiring Urban Meyer and his coaching and recruiting efforts have been on display this past season..

The numbers aren't fool proof, but comparing and contrasting what each school has done with the talent they have recruited shows a pretty clear picture about what needs to happen going forward.

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