In these graphs we plot SRS and the recruiting ranking (based on star average on Scout). Note, the total points method for ranking classes is total bullshit. Also, you cannot compare a school’s star average over time because Scout has given out more 3 and 4 stars to recruits than in past years.
We already know that to win a national championship half of your players must be blue chip recruits (4 stars or better). With respect to rankings by star average, this comes in around top 16 or 17.
Note that we bumped up the recruiting classes by a year…so the 2017 class is the 2016 class on these charts.
Let’s start with Oregon who had a historic run from 2007 to 2014. In 7 of those 8 seasons they were top 6 in SRS. From 2010 to 2014 they were top 2 in four of those five years. Note how strong their recruiting was. Following the 2010 season, in which they lost the NC to Auburn, they brought in the #10 class and three of the previous four classes were top 15 or better. Heading into the 2012 season Oregon’s previous three classes were 12-10-13. The 2012-2014 seasons were exceptional for the Ducks and as you can see, recruiting played a strong role. The 2013 team may have been their most talented ever. Thank God Chip Kelly left or they probably win the NC in 2013 or 2014!
Dabo Swinney took over Clemson during the 2008 season. In 2012 they finished 11-2 and #11. The trailing recruiting classes they had ranked 8-29-18-15. Heading into the 2014 season the trailing classes ranked 18-16-15-18. The next class dipped to #20 but Clemson of course made the NC and after that they brought in the #10 class.
Heading into the 2017 season, we still have the classes that ranked #36 and #26. Those classes turned out fantastic as they contributed to a team that made the final 4 and won the conference. However, the point is Petersen’s most talented team could be during the 2019 season. It’s likely the current class will be in the top 16. If we make the playoff again the 2018 class (or even the 2017 class) could be closer to #10. (Oregon and Clemson both brought in the #10 class after losing the NC game).