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Studying the recruiting classes

Does finishing in the top 10 or even the top 25 in the final recruiting rankings equate to finishing in the top 10 or Top 25 of the final polls?

It's a question that's debated endlessly this time of year.

Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News did a study this week where he came up with the top 25 recruiting classes based on the last five years (from 2005-09). Of the top 15 classes he came up with, eight of those teams weren't ranked in the final Associated Press poll this season.

Here are those eight teams with their recruiting ranking in parentheses:

  • Georgia (No. 3)

  • Florida State (No. 5)

  • Oklahoma (No. 6)

  • Michigan (Tied for No. 9)

  • Auburn (No. 12)

  • Tennessee (No. 13)

  • Notre Dame (No. 14)

  • South Carolina (No. 15)

What's more, Boise State, TCU and Cincinnati never had a single year from 2005-09 where they were ranked in the top 45, according to the recruiting rankings Solomon studied.

Despite that, Boise State finished No. 4 this season in the final AP poll, while TCU was No. 6 and Cincinnati No. 8.

In fact, five of the teams that finished in the top 10 in the final AP poll this season (Boise State, TCU, Iowa, Cincinnati and Penn State) were not included among the top 20 recruiting classes over the last five years.