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July 11, 2011
Here is the first part of our "Rivals at 10" package, where we look at the overall top 25 schools in recruiting rankings in Rivals.com's 10 recruiting cycles (2002-11).
To get the top 25, we simply added up where a school finished in the recruiting rankings each year from 2002-11; obviously, the lower the total, the better.
Some facts and figures first:
The only school to rank in the top 10 each year has been Georgia. USC has been in the top 10 nine times and Florida State eight times.
There have been nine college football national champions in that span, with two teams winning two titles each (Florida and LSU). Five of the national champs (Auburn, Florida, LSU, Texas and USC) are in the top eight in recruiting; the others are No. 12 Ohio State and No. 13 Alabama.
Six of the top 10 recruiting teams have at least played for the national title in that span. The quartet that has not: Florida State, Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee. In addition, the teams ranked 11th through 13th also have at least played for the title in that span.
Ten schools have at least played for the national title in that span. All but one
Coaching stability might be overrated. Yes, three of the top-10 schools and six of the top 25 have had just one coach. But 10 schools in the top 25 have had at least three coaches, including three in the top 10.
When it comes to which conferences recruit best, no one should be surprised by the league at the top. Nine SEC schools
Finally, good recruiting classes don't always pay off on the field (that's a nice way of saying "coaching matters") Two schools in the top 25
Here are the top 25 schools in recruiting, using the signing classes from 2002-11. The "top 10s" refers to the number of times finishing in the recruiting top 10.