Year after year, followers of college football can be almost certain that SEC powerhouses Florida and LSU are going to bring in top-notch recruiting classes.
After all, if you can convince an elite prospect that he will possibly play for SEC and BCS titles, and perhaps eventually make it to the NFL, you have an easy sales pitch.
But, since schools like Florida and LSU can both make those claims to recruits, it is up to the coaching staffs to articulate positives unique to their respective programs.
So, lining up these two rivals side by side, who won the 2012 recruiting battle?
First, a look at each team's recent haul, followed by the verdict.
Class size: 23
Headliner (Offense): Rivals.com ranked offensive tackle D.J. Humphries first in the country at his position and No. 2 overall.
Headliner (Defense): Defensive end Jonathan Bullard was ranked as the nation's top strongside defensive end and No. 6 overall prospect by Rivals. However, he was ranked just second in the state of North Carolina. Who was first? D.J. Humphries.
Sleeper: North Marion High School wide receiver/safety (he will be a WR at Florida) Latroy Pittman is a talented athlete who committed to the Gators when Urban Meyer was still the coach. He has tremendous football instincts.
Breakdown: Florida signed eight offensive players, 14 defensive players and placekicker Austin Hardin.
Coach Will Muschamp said during ESPNU's national signing day telecast that Florida's primary goal this year was to get better and deeper on the offensive and defensive fronts.
By signing Humphries, Bullard, OG Jessamen Dunker, DE Dante Fowler Jr., DE Bryan Cox Jr., DE Quinteze Williams, DE Alex McCalister, DT Damien Jacobs, DT JaFar Mann and DT Dante Phillips, the Gators succeeded.
Class size: 21
Headliner (Offense): Rivals ranked wide receiver Avery Johnson, the brother of former LSU All-American Patrick Peterson, 42nd at his position and 247th overall.
Headliner (Defense): Hoping to add his name to a list of recent elite Tigers cornerbacks (Peterson, Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu), New Orleans product Dwayne Thomas heads to Baton Rouge as Rivals' No. 14 prospect at his position and 168th overall.
Sleeper: A 6'2", 235-pound center, Reid Ferguson is smaller than each of Alabama's starting linebackers last season. But that's okay, since Ferguson was brought in because he has a specific skill that can make him a four-year starter. He is an elite long snapper, and when you may not have to worry about that again until 2015 or 2016, you have filled a need.
Breakdown: The Tigers received signed national letters of intent from eight offensive prospects, 11 defensive prospects, Ferguson and 6'0", 220-pound, 4-star athlete Lamar Louis.
Additionally, LSU brought in a trio of impressive offensive linemen, headlined by prep All-American guard Vadal Alexander, as well as three wideouts and an intriguing quarterback prospect, Jeremy Liggins.
When Liggins sees his first game action, don't be surprised if analysts harken back to the name Jared Lorenzen because, like the former Kentucky quarterback, Liggins is a very big guy, standing 6'3" and weighing 270 pounds.
Both schools delivered enviable classes, but the winner here has to be Florida.
The Gators signed three 5-star and 11 4-star prospects, while the Tigers went "O-fer" on 5-stars and brought in only nine 4-star recruits.
Each team filled holes, with Florida improving a little bit more than LSU did.
And, the margin could grow further on Feb. 10 if 5-star wide receiver Stefon Diggs decides to sign with the Gators.