LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff committee revealed its latest Love Letter to Florida football -- also known as its weekly ratings.
On Wednesday, the folks at 247Sports shared rankings that make middle-aged men hyperventilate over teenagers -- their college football recruiting class rankings.
You can make recruiting rankings into anything you want them to be.
If you want evidence the programs that sign the most talented players win the most important games, there is evidence of that.
According to 247Sports, Alabama is one of two programs to sign Top 10 classes every season from 2017-20, the freshman-through-senior groups on the current No. 1 Nick Saban squad.
Who was the other program?
There'[s a reason Kirby Smart is blushing in the corner. If you trust 247 data, Georgia's last four classes, ranked third, first, second and first, actually ranked higher than Alabama's.
According to 247, here are the programs that signed the best combined classes the last four years -- with their ranking in the College Football Playoff poll and notes on their seasons.
1. Georgia -- I shared the yearly rankings. The Dogs are a generous No. 8 with the playoff folks, considering their losses to Alabama and Florida were by a combined 33 points. For all that talent, Georgia ranks in the bottom half of the Southeastern Conference in passing.
2. Alabama -- Saban's last four classes were ranked first, fifth, first and second -- and the Crimson Tide have played like the team to beat all season.
3. Ohio State -- The Buckeyes lost little recruiting mojo shifting from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day. Their last four classes ranked second, second, 14th and fifth. Unbeaten but limited to five games by the novel corona virus, the Buckeyes should hold the fourth playoff by defeating Northwestern in the Big Ten title game Saturday.
4. LSU -- For the Tigers, the last four classes ranked 7, 15, 5 and 4. They won the national title with the best team in school history last season. They lost players to graduation, early NFL entry and COVID opt-outs. But Ed Orgeron can't keep losing to Mississippi State and Missouri with this kind of talent.
5. Oklahoma -- The Sooners' recruiting has been consistently good -- 8, 9, 6 and 12, easily the best in the Big 12. But Lincoln Riley is going to lose his genius card if he keeps losing to Kansas State and Iowa State?
6. Clemson -- I thought the Tigers would be higher on this list. Dabo Swinney's last four classes ranked 16, 7, 10 and 3. Considering Clemson has become a playoff staple, you can make the argument Swinney has overachieved.
7. Texas -- Paging Tom Herman. There is a reason the Longhorns talked to Urban Meyer about replacing Herman. The Longhorns last four classes ranked 25, 3, 3 and 8. At 6-3, Texas hasn't been in the national title discussion in years.
8. Auburn -- Recruiting was not Gus Malzahn's problem. The Tigers last four classes ranked 9, 12, 11 and 7. Beating Alabama and Georgia was his problem. Or used to be. Auburn decided to pay Malzahn $21 million to leave.
9. Texas A&M -- If Ohio State or Clemson falter Saturday in their league title games, Jimbo Fisher has the Aggies ready to roar into the conversation -- as long as the committee overlooks A&M's 28-point loss to Alabama. A&M's last four classes ranked 13, 17, 4 and 6.
10. Florida -- They say Florida produces as much talent as any state in America. Dan Mullen does not have it on lockdown the way Meyer did. But the Gators' last four classes ranked 11, 14, 9 and 9. But Alabama, A&M and (blush) LSU have better credentials than the Gators.
11. Penn State -- The Nittany Lions will try to finish their season on a four-game winning streak -- after opening with a five-game losing streak. Has anybody asked James Franklin how a program with classes ranked 15, 6, 12 and 15 lost to Indiana, Maryland and Nebraska? They should.
12. Michigan -- You didn't think I was going to stop at No. 11 when Jim Harbaugh was No. 12, did you? The $7.5 million man's last four classes ranked 5, 22, 8 and 14, third best in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are not the third-best team in the Big Ten. Heck, they're not one of the seven best.
Who are the biggest overachievers?
Six programs deserve special recognition:
Notre Dame -- As long as the Irish don't get trounced by Clemson in the ACC title game Saturday in Charlotte, the Irish should make the playoff. Their recruiting numbers suggest the Irish do not belong -- 10, 10, 15 and 18 the last four seasons.
Iowa State -- Matt Campbell has the Cyclones in the Big 12 title game against Oklahoma and he's yet to recruit a Top 40 class to Ames. His highest ranked class the last four seasons was 46th.
Cincinnati -- Under Luke Fickell, the Bearcats have delivered an 8-0 season this year after finishing 11-3 last season. Yes, they compete in the American Athletic Conference. But UC's last four recruiting classes ranked 63, 49, 66 and 41. Salute.
Indiana -- Tom Allen should be named Big Ten coach of the year Thursday. The reason? He's done a terrific job of identifying and developing talented players. Allen and the 6-1 Hoosiers beat Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland and Wisconsin -- five programs that collected better classes than the IU groups ranked 62, 50, 36 and 57.
Coastal Carolina -- In 2017, Coastal's class ranked No. 125 -- one spot behind Harvard and one ahead of Yale. The four-season numbers are 126, 114, 121 and 99. Another salute.
Northwestern -- Unlike Indiana, Northwestern has not been a one-season force in the Big Ten. Pat Fitzgerald has built a consistently formidable program in Evanston, a team that will play Ohio State for the Big Ten title Saturday in Indianapolis, even though the Wildcats' last four recruiting classes ranked 50, 58, 51 and 47.
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