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College Football Team Recruiting Rankings: Top 25 Consensus for 2013

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Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football. Without good players, winning championships is nearly impossible. But there is much debate as too just how much recruiting rankings matter.

Here is something for doubters to consider: Alabama has claimed the No. 1 class in the nation three of the last six years and their average national recruiting ranking of 1.8 (by Rivals) over the last five seasons prior tops the nation. The Tide has subsequently won three BCS titles in four years because, in large part, it has the best players in the nation. 

Related: Alabama claims the nation's top class in 2013

That said, not all scouts agree on how touted any given prospect or class should be. This is why Athlon Sports has taken the four major online recruiting websites and averaged their team rankings together to give the fans the truest and most accurate look at the best recruiting classes of 2013. 

Scout likes the Big Ten
Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN awarded Alabama as the national recruiting champion. Scout ranked Nick Saban's class No. 3 in the nation behind both Ohio State and Michigan. Scout has the highest opinion of Brady Hoke's haul and clearly doesn't appreciate the record 15 Athlon Consensus 100 signings by the Crimson Tide. Although the Wolverines and Buckeyes have elite classes with loads of talent, it is hard to argue with what Alabama did this year on the trial.

Everyone agrees on the Sooners, Big 12
Rivals and Scout have Oklahoma ranked as the 15th-best class in the nation while ESPN has the Sooners ranked 16th and 247Sports has OU at 13th. All four consider this the best class in the Big 12 but all agree that it isn't a top 10 group. Few teams have this much agreement across all websites. The only two teams to get a top 25 vote from any of the four recruiting sites are Texas and Oklahoma.

Nebraska's class is polarizing
Scout thinks Bo Pelini landed the No. 11-ranked class in the nation. Both 247Sports and ESPN, however, have the Huskers ranked outside of the top 20 at 21st and 23rd respectively. The composite rankings agree with Rivals, who has the Big Red ranked at No. 17. Few teams in the top 20 provided as much disagreement as Nebraska.

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Frank Beamer is in the same boat
Just like Pelini at Nebraska, the experts do not agree on Virginia Tech's class. Scout doesn't think nearly as high of the Hokies haul, ranking them 35th nationally. 247Sports, however, loves Tech's 18-man signing class ranking it 14th nationally. In fact, 247 likes this group so much that it ranked VT's group the No. 2 signing class in 2013 behind only Florida State.

USC's quality didn't matter
Based on sheer numbers, most sites agree that USC didn't belong in the top 10 nationally. However, with nine AC100 prospects in 13 total signees, it is hard to argue that the Trojans don't have the best quantity-to-quality ratio in the nation. Their nine top-100 recruits trails only Alabama and Michigan and likely means this group deserves to be a bit higher than 16th.

19th is about right for Texas
247Sports (18th) and ESPN (15th) ranked the Longhorns smallish 15-man class higher than Rivals and Scout, both of which rank Texas 23rd nationally. So Athlon's composite median ranking of 19th is just about right. It is a talented class with plenty of quality but the sheer size of the class keeps Mack Brown's haul outside of the top 15. And gives the Horns one of their worst overall national rankings in recent memory.

Where should the state of Tennessee rank?
James Franklin and the Commodores have one of the best classes in memory. But some (247Sports) don't believe it is a Top 25 class while others (Rivals, Scout) have the Dores inside of the top 20 nationally. There is disagreement with the Volunteers as well. Scout (32nd) and ESPN (29th) were not nearly as impressed with Butch Jones' class as Rivals (25th) apparently was. It appears that 247Sports got this one right.

Related: National Signing Day's 2013 Winners and Losers

Athlon Sports 2013 Composite Team Recruiting Rankings:

Rk

Team

AC100

Signees

Rivals

247

Scout

ESPN

1.

Alabama

15

25

1st

1st

3rd

1st

2.

Ohio State

10

24

2nd

5th

1st

3rd

3.

Notre Dame

5

24

3rd

3rd

4th

4th

4.

Florida

6

28

4th

4th

8th

2nd

5.

Michigan

5

27

5th

5th

2nd

6th

6.

Ole Miss

4

28

7th

2nd

10th

5th

7.

LSU

5

27

6th

7th

6th

7th

8.

Texas A&M

3

32

10th

7th

7th

8th

9.

UCLA

3

23

11th

11th

5th

12th

10.

Auburn

3

23

8th

10th

13th

11th

11.

Florida State

4

22

9th

9th

16th

9th

12.

Georgia

2

32

12th

12th

9th

10th

13.

Clemson

1

23

14th

15th

12th

13th

14.

Oklahoma

1

24

15th

13th

15th

16th

15.

Washington

1

22

18th

17th

14th

18th

16.

USC

9

13

13th

25th

18th

14th

17.

Nebraska

0

26

17th

21st

11th

23rd

18.

South Carolina

2

21

16th

20th

21st

17th

19.

Texas

2

15

23rd

18th

23rd

15th

20.

Oregon

1

19

21st

16th

17th

26th

21.

Virginia Tech

2

18

22nd

14th

35th

19th

22.

Mississippi State

1

20

25th

22nd

20th

25th

23.

Vanderbilt

0

26

19th

35th

19th

22nd

24.

Baylor

1

23

28th

24th

25th

28th

25.

Tennessee

1

21

20th

27th

32nd

29th

Best of the Rest:

26. Miami, Fla., 27. West Virginia, 28. North Carolina, 29. Arkansas, 30. Oklahoma State