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Ranking College Football's Rosters for 2015

Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama Crimson Tide

Recruiting rankings matter.

They are not a guarantee of future success but they are the foundation every national championship has been built upon. It takes great coaching, development and luck to win a title, but having better players is the only way to start.

In fact, the data backing up the value of recruiting rankings is impenetrable. For example, look at last year’s rosters. According to the rankings, three of the four best rosters in America belonged to Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State.

These rankings do not take into account attrition but that should be a constant for all teams and conferences equally. So strictly based on recruiting evaluations, here is how the rosters of the Power 5 conferences, American Athletic Conference, BYU and Boise State stack up against one another.

Ranking College Football's Rosters in 2015:

 

Team

'15

'14

'13

'12

'11

Rank

W/L

Conf.

1.

1

1

1

1

1

1.0

48-6

28-4

2.

3

4

10

3

2

4.4

48-7

28-4

3.

7

3

2

5

6

4.6

44-10

27-5

4.

5

2

6

14

7

6.8

41-12

23-9

5.

2

11

12

9

3

7.4

36-16

24-12

6.

6

8

11

8

5

7.6

40-14

25-7

7.

9

6

13

11

8

9.4

31-21

15-17

8.

21

9

3

4

11

9.6

29-21

17-15

9.

10

17

17

2

4

10.0

31-21

21-15

10.

13

10

5

18

9

11.0

37-15

--

11.

8

18

15

15

10

13.2

42-11

26-6

12.

4

7

24

20

14

13.8

22-27

7-25

13.

15

14

16

12

13

14.0

39-13

26-10

14.

11

5

9

16

35

15.2

35-17

17-16

15.

16

21

19

13

12

16.2

48-7

31-5

16.

19

16

20

17

16

17.6

40-12

21-11

17.

38

20

4

6

26

18.8

31-20

18-14

18.

27

12

14

10

33

19.2

28-22

16-16

19.

12

19

7

19

45

20.4

35-19

23-13

20.

17

15

8

46

20

21.2

26-25

11-21

21.

24

13

51

7

22

23.4

42-12

28-8

22.

23

30

23

28

21

25.0

25-25

10-22

23.

26

37

18

23

24

25.6

31-22

19-17

24.

29

27

21

21

36

26.8

33-20

19-13

25.

31

35

22

30

17

27.0

37-16

22-10

26.

18

38

25

22

34

27.4

32-20

15-17

27.

28

29

28

43

19

29.4

28-23

16-16

28.

14

24

30

48

31

29.4

30-20

18-14

29.

22

25

37

33

32

29.8

42-12

25-7

30.

40

28

32

32

25

31.4

35-17

22-14

31.

49

32

29

26

23

31.8

19-30

10-22

32.

37

26

27

27

46

32.6

40-12

26-10

33.

33

41

46

25

18

32.6

26-24

13-23

34.

35

48

39

34

15

34.2

16-33

9-27

35.

41

42

35

29

30

35.4

34-17

22-14

36.

39

22

34

50

37

36.4

14-34

4-28

37.

20

23

40

35

65

36.6

34-19

23-13

38.

36

36

31

36

49

37.6

28-23

16-18

39.

32

47

36

45

29

37.8

39-13

22-8

40.

25

39

43

31

57

39.0

36-17

21-12

41.

42

31

44

41

48

41.2

30-22

17-19

42.

34

33

38

65

39

41.8

39-16

23-9

43.

55

60

50

24

27

43.2

32-20

15-15

44.

47

45

26

47

56

44.2

27-24

11-21

45.

48

43

41

38

52

44.4

20-30

10-22

46.

44

63

47

37

40

46.2

27-23

14-22

47.

58

53

58

40

28

47.4

27-24

15-17

48.

62

44

33

42

58

47.8

25-27

14-16

49.

30

34

59

54

72

49.8

26-25

11-21

50.

51

51

42

56

55

51.0

14-34

6-26

51.

63

61

45

44

43

51.2

24-26

15-21

52.

45

70

49

64

38

53.2

19-31

6-26

53.

53

46

52

55

62

53.6

26-24

12-20

54.

43

54

76

52

44

53.8

33-21

21-11

55.

67

40

53

53

68

56.2

14-34

7-23

56.

54

49

61

74

51

57.8

38-14

27-9

57.

46

65

54

58

67

58.0

16-33

9-27

58.

56

67

55

60

53

58.2

43-10

28-5

59.

61

57

66

59

54

59.4

25-26

13-19

60.

69

68

63

51

47

59.6

37-14

23-7

61.

75

55

48

81

42

60.2

10-38

2-34

62.

50

58

70

62

63

60.6

28-24

15-17

63.

64

50

73

61

61

61.8

22-28

11-19

64.

60

52

87

71

41

62.2

20-30

12-20

65.

71

56

60

67

59

62.6

16-34

8-28

66.

68

76

68

39

64

63.0

10-39

4-32

67.

52

62

67

66

69

63.2

18-31

11-21

68.

65

72

62

49

75

64.6

17-33

8-24

69.

59

66

64

72

70

66.2

34-18

--

70.

90

74

56

57

73

70.0

34-18

23-10

71.

70

59

81

101

50

72.2

36-16

25-7

72.

79

78

71

68

66

72.4

21-29

15-17

73.

91

75

69

79

71

77.0

31-20

22-10

74.

73

71

85

73

83

77.0

22-26

12-19

75.

72

79

89

92

77

81.8

19-30

13-19

76.

98

105

65

70

80

83.6

15-33

9-21

77.

92

89

82

83

81

85.4

15-35

10-22

78.

112

80

79

89

79

87.8

24-27

18-14

Conference Breakdowns:

No. 1 and it’s not even close

Fans in other regions don’t want to hear it, but the best rosters are in the SEC. It doesn’t mean Ohio State, USC, Texas or Florida State aren’t loaded (because they are). But no league can match the depth of talent of the SEC. Five of the top eight most-talented teams in the nation are from the SEC. Eight of the top 16 and 11 of the top 26 hail from the SEC. Vanderbilt is the least-talented team in the SEC (14th), but would rank eighth in the ACC, Big 12 or Big Ten. No other league has more than five teams ranked in the top 26.

SEC's average class ranking: 19.6

Defending champs

Ohio State tops the Big Ten charts by a wide margin with a greater disparity than any other league. Michigan is second in the Big Ten at No. 17 nationally (or ninth in the SEC). The Buckeyes would have the best roster in the Pac-12 and Big 12 as well. The message to the rest of the Big Ten is clear: Join the Buckeyes' recruiting party or get left in the dust. There is a reason OSU will likely enter 2015 as the No. 1 team in the nation.

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Big Ten's average class ranking: 40.6

Pac-12 rising

The Pac-12 is the No. 2 league in the nation, closing the gap on the SEC over the last few seasons. It’s done so by hiring a great commissioner, adding a glut of great coaches and major financial investments in facilities and branding. It’s paid off on the field and on the trail. The Pac-12 trails only the SEC with five rosters ranked in the top 25. Additionally, three-fourths of the league is ranked 46th or higher — better than every other league not named the SEC.

Pac-12's average class ranking: 35.3

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Dichotomy in the Big 12

The lack of elite-level talent in the Big 12 should be concerning. The league boasts only two teams (Texas, Oklahoma) inside the top 30 and is signing fewer top-100 players than any other league. The good news is the middle of the conference is fantastically competitive. The Big 12 has five teams ranked between 30th (Oklahoma State) and 38th (West Virginia). While this league may be lacking in elite, five-star talent, the heart of this league is extremely competitive.

Big 12's average class ranking: 37.4

What to make of the ACC?

Florida State is stacked and a proven commodity. Clemson has long been the second-most talented roster in this league. Miami has elite upside but is still mired in scandal/rebuilding mode. Otherwise, the better recruiting teams in this league have wildly underachieved of late (Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia) and the last two Coastal Division champs have wildly overachieved based on talent (Duke, Georgia Tech). The middle tier of teams, which includes rising power Louisville, needs to elevate itself nationally if the ACC wants to regain national notoriety among its Power 5 brethren.

ACC's average class ranking: 40.1