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February 4, 2007

From the Boards: What do the rankings mean?

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Here's another chance for us to turn the spotlight on the fans at Rivals.com. In this space we'll take a look at some of the most interesting or entertaining threads on Rivals.com message boards this week.

With Signing Day less than a week away, posters were busy finding out what this year's signing classes might produce in the long run.

Which classes have the most depth? Where will this year's classes stack up with some of the best classes in recent years? How likely is it that top-flight prospects will become All-Americans?

The Rivals.com community helped answer these questions in this week's From the Boards.

Look beyond the five stars
Recruiting fans and the media often focus on the best of the best the five-star prospects and the top 50 or 100 recruits. However, poster GBRHusker95 took a look at the depth of teams' classes in the 2007 rankings.

In this post on the football recruiting board, GBRHusker95 examined where all the Rivals250 prospects committed, as of late Thursday evening.

Texas, the third-ranked class in 2007, had the most Rivals250 prospects with 17. Florida, which holds the top spot in the team rankings, was right behind at 16. Tennessee - the second-ranked team in the class of '07 - was tied for ninth with eight Rivals250 recruits.

More than a quarter of Rivals250 prospects committed to SEC schools, twice as many as the next highest conference (Big 12).

Here's a breakdown of where Rivals250 prospects have committed by team and by conference (as of Thursday night):
By team: By conference:
1. Texas 17 1. SEC 72
2. Florida 16 2. Big 12 36
3. LSU 13 3. ACC 34
3. USC 12 3. Big Ten 34
5. Notre Dame 11 5. Pac-10 33
6. Three tied with 9 6. Big East 6
Best class ever?
Poster NeoCoppola on the football recruiting board brought up USC's 2006 class as the highest-ranked class since 2002, based on point values in the Rivals rating.

That USC class is the only class to top 3,000 points since 2002. On Friday morning, Florida was 134 points shy of that mark.

With wide receivers Ronald Johnson, Terrance Toliver and Deonte Thompson and athlete Moses Jenkins still uncommitted, the Gators could join the 3,000-point club depending on how they close.

Here are the top five classes since 2002 according to Rivals rating:

1. USC, 2006 3,018 points
Highlights: LB Allen Bradford, ATH C.J. Gable, WR Vidal Hazelton, RB Stafon Johnson, ATH Taylor Mays
2. USC, 2004 2,908 points
Highlights: LB Keith Rivers, WR Dwayne Jarrett, DB Josh Pinkard, OL Taitusi Lutui
3. Florida, 2006 2,901 points
Highlights: WR Percy Harvin, OL Carl Johnson, OL Brandon Spikes, QB Tim Tebow, ATH Jarred Fayson
4. Florida, 2007* 2,884 points (*Through Friday at noon Eastern.)
Highlights: DT Torrey Davis, DE Carlos Dunlap, QB Cameron Newton, OL James Wilson, QB John Brantley
5. Texas, 2002 2,792 points
Highlights: QB Vince Young, OL Justin Blalock, DT Rod Wright, CB Aaron Ross, OL Kasey Studdard, RB Selvin Young

If you're looking for some of the top classes in recent years with regard to actual production, take a look at this:

In the 2007 Recruiting Yearbook, we looked back at the top recruiting classes of the Rivals.com era. Our pick was USC's 2003 class, which was third in the team rankings that year behind LSU and Florida.

1. USC, 2003
Highlights: RB Reggie Bush, RB LenDale White, QB John David Booty, OT Sam Baker, DE Lawrence Jackson, DT Sedrick Ellis
2. Miami, 1999
Highlights: RB Clinton Portis, WR Andre Johnson, QB Ken Dorsey, OL Vernon Carey, DB Phillip Buchanon, OL Bryant McKinnie
3. LSU, 2001
Highlights: RB Joseph Addai, DB Travis Daniels, DE Marcus Spears, WR Michael Clayton, OL Andrew Whitworth, DE Marquise Hill
4. Texas, 2002
Highlights: QB Vince Young, OL Justin Blalock, DT Rod Wright, CB Aaron Ross, OL Kasey Studdard, RB Selvin Young
5. Ohio State, 2002
Highlights: QB Troy Smith, LB A.J. Hawk, WR Santonio Holmes, LB Bobby Carpenter, RB Maurice Clarett, DT Quinn Pitcock
All-Americans and Rivals' rankings
Who is most likely to become an All-American?

In 2006, at least, it wasn't the five-star recruit. It was the four- and three-stars.

Poster iHEARTucf on the college football board, brought to our attention that only five of this year's AP first-team All-Americans were five-star recruits.

The first-team All-Americans were more likely to come from the four- or three-star ranks. Eleven first-team All-Americans were four-stars followed by seven three stars.

That said, it was also mentioned by several posters to the board that there are only about 25 players that receive 5-star ratings each year. Because of the increased numbers of four-star players, etc., the odds of them making All-America teams are obviously greater.

Two two-stars, Minnesota tight end Matt Spaeth and West Virginia center Dan Mozes, ended their college careers as first-team All-Americans.

Here is the complete list of first-team All-Americans and their star rankings:

Five stars: Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, Texas OG Justin Blalock, Cal AP DeSean Jackson, Michigan DE LaMarr Woodley.

Four stars: Ohio State QB Troy Smith, Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, USC WR Dwayne Jarrett, Michigan OT Jake Long, Wisconsin OT Joe Thomas, Boston College OG Josh Beekman, LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, Ohio State DT Quinn Pitcock, Michigan CB Leon Hall, LSU S LaRon Landry, Florida S Reggie Nelson.

Three stars: West Virginia RB Steve Slaton, UCLA K Justin Medlock, Clemson DE Gaines Adams, Penn State LB Paul Posluszny, Ole Miss LB Patrick Willis, Ohio State LB James Laurinaitis, Cal CB Daymeion Hughes.

Two stars: Minnesota TE Matt Spaeth, West Virginia center Dan Mozes.

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