Champions of The Round Table

There are some programs that take lemons and make lemonade when it comes to recruiting and there are some that sweep up the cream of the crop and coach them to even greater heights.

History has shown that the teams the recruit the best are the best. Now of course there are exceptions like Iowa or Boise State, but the general rule of thumb is that it takes solid recruiting
classes year-in and year-out to maintain competition at the highest level.

That's why you saw Miami dominate the college football landscape in the 1980's, USC take over the game in 2003, then Florida, and now Alabama.

One thing they all had in common? They regularly placed among the
top programs in the country when it came to recruiting.

So which teams are not only positioned for success now, but built to stay that way and
continue to compete for a championship based on their recruiting hauls over the last few seasons?

These are the top 10 teams that are recruiting their way to the top. They've all recruited well, but also developed the talent at hand and gotten the most out of their talent in their quest for championships.

10. Nebraksa

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 28
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 22
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 14

Nebraska is somewhat of an exception to the rule as they haven't recruiting particularly strong over the last few years, but over the last couple of seasons have emerged as a contender in the Big 12.

After going 5-7 in 2007, the Cornhuskers went 9-4 in 2009 and 10-4 in 2009, nearly beating Texas in the Big 12 Championship.

They've got some holes to fill on defense, but Bo Pelini has proven he'll have that machine rolling on all cylinders. The offense is already looking strong, but their 2011 recruiting class should make for a lot of success down the road.

Nebraska has the chance to have a top 10 class next year with an especially strong haul on offense that includes two of the top 10 quarterbacks in the class and three top 10 offensive lineman at their position.

If they get 5-star running back Aaron Green as expected, the Cornhuskers could be dangerous.

9. Auburn

2009 Recruiting Class Rank:19
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 4
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 17

Auburn has struggled to keep up with the pack in the SEC the last couple of seasons, going 5-7 in 2008 and 8-5 in 2009, but they're on the comeback trail thanks to an extremely strong recruiting class last year and a quarterback by the name of Kiehl Frazier this year.

They had the No. 2 recruiting class in the SEC last season, nabbing 5-star studs Michael Dyer at running back, Trovon Reed at receiver and Corey Lemonier at defensive end.

Considering these additions cover some of the team's biggest losses this offseason, the smart money says the Tigers are in pretty good shape.

No one will have a bigger impact than Frazier though. He's a top five quarterback in the 2011 class, but all you need to know about him is this, Frazier is a winner. Plain and simple.

8. Georgia

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 6
2010 Recruiting Class Rank:15
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 6

After going 11-2 in 2007 and 10-3 in 2008, Georgia slipped to 8-5 last season and put themselves far removed from the National Championship picture.

But they finished the year strong with wins over Georgia Tech and Texas A&M and could be on their way to success with another strong recruiting class in the works this year.

The Bulldogs 2011 class is headlined by quarterback Christian LeMay, a 5-star prospect who's not only a general on the field, but a passer with an elite ceiling; he'll solve the team's biggest weakness in a hurry.

The defense that struggled last season should get a huge boast from Alec Ogletree, the 5-star linebacker and prize of their 2010 class, as well as top 15 ranked prospects at defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, safety, and cornerback.

7. LSU

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 2
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 6
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 7

Not many teams in the country can claim to have recruited better than LSU over the last few seasons. After putting up the No. 2 and No. 6 classes in 2009 and 2010, respectively, the Tigers are on their way to another top 10 class this season.

The problem is their record hasn't been very strong since winning the National Championship in 2007. They went 8-5 in 2008 and 9-4 in 2009, heading into this offseason with some major losses on both sides of the ball.

They're better than their record indicates and continue to bring in 4- and 5-star talent at nearly every single position. All they need to do now is find a way to make it work on the field.

That's up to Les Miles to figure out. And quickly, he's on the hotseat.

6. USC

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 4
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 1
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 10

If USC wasn't facing serious sanctions from the NCAA, they'd be much higher on their list because they're likely the top recruiting school in the history of college football. But considering they'll be out 30 scholarships over the next two years and won't be bowl eligible until 2012, it's hard to argue they'll recruit their way to the top right now.

Add in the fact that Seantrel Henderson, top prospect of their No. 1 ranked 2010 recruiting class, just jumped ship for Miami and there's a cloud of doubt forming.

USC brings in such high quality players each year and historically has had such good records that last season's 9-4 record is somewhat of a fluke.

They got two 5-star receivers, a 5-star tight end and a 4-star receiver to fix the passing game in 2010, but also have a real gem in 5-star running back/cornerback De'Anthony Thomas lined up for 2011.

5. Oklahoma

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 13
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 7
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 3

After an 11-3 record in 2007 and a 12-2 record in 2008, the Sooners lost Sam Bradford for the majority of the year in 2009 and fell to 8-5 to finish with arguably the most disappointing season since 2005.

They've been recruiting very strong the last couple of years though and should be especially proud of a 2011 class that should be one of the best two to three in the nation.

They're bringing in high quality and depth at nearly every position and that same strategy proved to equate to a top 10 class in 2010 as well .

Considering that this team is lead by sophomore quarterback Landry Jones on offense and has a lot of young and talented players ready to take over on defense, the only real issue is the offensive line; which is just average.

4. Florida

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 11
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 2
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 13

Florida should finish their 2011 recruiting campaign higher than they currently stand and are close to landing 5-star athlete James Wilder, one of the nation's top 10 overall prospects.

Add in the fact that they absolutely killed it recruiting last year and the loss of Tim Tebow, among several huge departures for the Gators, isn't looking so discouraging.

Last year Florida stacked up on defensive with a ton of talent and this year bring in Rivals No. 1 quarterback in Jeff Driskel.

That means if they have any problems with John Brantley at the helm, there's a highly-touted recruit waiting in the wings to prove himself.

3. Ohio State

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 3
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 25
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 2

Ohio State slipped up in 2010 after having one of the top recruiting classes in the country in 2009. That class was headlined by No. 1 quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the 2011 class that's shaping up to be one of the top 5 in the country is headlined by No. 1 quarterback Braxton Miller.

They're expected to compete for a National Championship this season, but have holes on defense that are only going to grow bigger in a year.

Luckily for the Buckeyes, they have a pair of top 10 defensive tackles, a pair of top 10 defensive ends, a top 10 safety, and a top 20 cornerback on the books for 2011.

Braxton Miller is the perfect heir-apparent for Pryor and should prevent the team from missing a beat after he's gone.

2. Texas

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 5
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 3
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 1

If Alabama wasn't coming off a championship season and Texas hadn't just lost the heart and soul of their offense in Colt McCoy, they'd be No. 1 on this list; and it's still a photo finish with these two programs.

Texas has been one of the most dominate recruiting teams in the country for years, but their 2011 class might go down as the crown jewel; it might be considered epic one day.

This team has recruited so well this year it's almost scary. If they land coveted 5-star running back Malcolm Brown as expected, they'll no doubt have the top recruiting class in the country,

Over the last three years this team have brought in top 10 talent around the board, nabbing not only the best players in Texas, but from the surrounding states as well. They're only concern really is at QB, but that's a big concern to have.

1. Alabama

2009 Recruiting Class Rank: 1
2010 Recruiting Class Rank: 5
Current 2011 Recruiting Class Rank: 5

Alabama is not only the defending national champion, they're one of the hottest recruiting teams in the country and have been racking in blue chip talent by the boatload ever since Nick Saban took over as head coach.

They took some heavy losses on defense this offseason and there are legitimate question marks there, but they've recruited so well it would be shocking if they couldn't find replacements.

Alabama has brought in the No. 2 MLB, the No. 5 CB and the No. 7 SLB in 2009, the No. 1 and No. 6 CBs, the No. 8 S, and the No. 15 OLB in 2010, and already have the No. 1 S, the No. 7 OLB, the No. 11 DE, and the No. 11 CB on the books in 2011.

That doesn't even take into account their hauls on the offensive side of the ball, which have been nearly as impressive. Alabama should be favored to win a second consecutive title.

Leave a Reply.

    By Michael Pinto

    From: Bleacher Report

    I would say it's clear who the
    #1 recruiting Conference is.
    The SEC holds 5 of the top 10
    spots. Tell me what you think.