Going strictly by recruiting rankings, Alabama and Ohio State will win their College Football Playoff semifinals Saturday and advance to the January 9 national championship game.
The Tide and the Buckeyes are the schools that have recruited the best among the semifinalists over the past five years. The Tide’s average recruiting ranking in that span is first, as they have had the No. 1 recruiting class nationally in each of the past six years. Ohio State’s average ranking is fourth.
To get the average ranking, we simply added up a school’s recruiting ranking in each of the five years, then divided that number by five to come up with an average national ranking over the five-year span. (We used the 247Sports.com composite rankings — basically, a consensus ranking — as our guide.)
The average recruiting ranking for the other two playoff participants is 14th for Clemson and 27th for Washington, which is the distinct outlier among the final four.
Alabama has signed 23 five-star recruits in the past five classes. The other three semifinalists have signed a combined 10; Clemson and Ohio State have signed five each and Washington none. In fact, Alabama has almost as many five-star signees as Washington does four-star signees (26) in the past five classes.
Ohio State has signed 80 four-star prospects in the past five years, with Alabama having signed 71 and Clemson 49.
Average ranking over past 5 recruiting classes: 1st.
The skinny: Nick Saban and his staff have reeled in six consecutive top-ranked classes.
5-star signees in past 5 classes: 23, far more than anyone else nationally. The Tide also has signed 71 four-star recruits in the past five classes.
Average ranking over past 5 recruiting classes: 4th.
The skinny: The 2016 class was the fourth time in five years that Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes had a top-five class; the one year they didn’t, they were seventh.
5-star signees in past 5 classes: Five. The Buckeyes also have signed 80 four-star prospects in that span.
Average ranking over past 5 recruiting classes: 14th.
The skinny: Clemson has had just one top-10 class in the past five years, and that was in 2015, when the Tigers were ninth. But the other four ranged from 11th to 18th, so all five have been in the top 20.
5-star signees in past 5 classes: Five. The Tigers also have 49 four-star signees in that span.
Average ranking over past 5 recruiting classes: 27th.
The skinny: The Huskies have had just one top-20 class in the past five years; that came in 2013, which was Steve Sarkisian’s final signing lass with the Huskies before he left 10 months later to take over at USC.
5-star signees in past 5 classes: None. Washington has signed 26 four-star recruits in the past five classes.
(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)
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