Brian Fremeau at Football Outsiders took a look at some of the teams that have overachieved in recruiting over the last five years and five that have underachieved based on their recruiting class rankings.
Stanford and Oregon State find themselves in the overachiever column. Since 2007, Stanford has won 29 games with less-heralded recruits and Oregon State has won 24 games over that same span.
Fremeau on Stanford:
The Cardinal lead all teams in victories over the last five seasons in games in which they had a recruiting disadvantage. Of those 29 wins, 22 have come in the last three seasons with quarterback Andrew Luck at the helm. Luck was a highly touted quarterback coming out of high school (he ranked seventh among QBs nationally and 61st overall in the ESPNU 150), and he's the most significant reason for Stanford's meteoric rise over the last few years.
Stanford is on the verge of signing what is expected to be one of the best classes in school history.
Fremeau on Oregon State:
Coach Mike Riley is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the conference, and Corvallis has been a challenging place for more talented teams to visit. The Beavers may never ascend to the top of the Pac-12, but they should be able to consistently contend and thrive in their giant-killer role.
The Beavers aren't in the conversation for having a top-rated recruiting class with just one commit from the ESPNU 150 list. Though their one is a good one -- Isaac Seumalo -- one of the top offensive linemen in the country and No. 19 on the ESPNU 150 list.
Now, the flipside. UCLA checks in as one of the most underachieving teams in the last five years with 26 losses.
The Bruins have hit the reset button with new coach Jim Mora, Jr., and he's already making solid strides on the recruiting trail. But his predecessor Rick Neuheisel had success in recruiting as well, and it never materialized on the field.
UCLA hasn't beaten rival USC (a traditional recruiting powerhouse) since 2006 and has only scored 35 points combined in its last five games against the Trojans. 26 losses to teams with inferior talent has been bad enough, but the uncompetitive nature of many of those losses has been worse. 13 UCLA losses to teams with inferior talent came by at least 17 points.
If UCLA does recover some of its glory days success under Mora, it will have to start slow. If the wins don't come quickly, the Bruins have to keep themselves in those games. The talent is there to do so.
The Bruins check in with the No. 24 ranked recruiting class and Mora has been able to scramble, picking up a key player in Ellis McCarthy one of the top defensive ends in the country who ranks 43rd on the ESPNU 150.