Most Overrated College Football Recruiting Classes of the 2000s

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 24, 2013

Most Overrated College Football Recruiting Classes of the 2000s

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    In the world of college football recruiting, we often times talk about potential, but what about the recruiting classes and players that don't live up to the potential?

    The fact of the matter is that rankings and star rankings are all hype, and it's up to the players and coaches to back that up with their play on the field.

    Sometimes the recruiting analysts simply thought too much of a specific class or team. Other times, the class doesn't live up to expectations.

    Either way, eventually, we run into what we would deem as an overrated college football class.

    Here are the 10 most overrated classes from the 2000s.

10. North Carolina: 2009

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    North Carolina is generally known as a basketball school. That's a very hard statement to argue.

    That's why it was awesome to see the Tar Heels in the top 10 of the recruiting rankings in 2009. Their 2009 class was ranked No. 9 overall by Rivals.com.

    It was a class that featured 5-star defensive end Donte Moss, 13 4-star recruits and nine 3-stars. For all intents and purposes, this looked to be an extremely strong class.

    It looked like perhaps North Carolina could start to build something and use this class as a springboard to success in the future. In reality, though, this class was nothing but average—nowhere near top-10 recruiting class production.

    Two 8-5 seasons, a 7-6 season and an 8-4 season won't cut it. The hype was there, but it obviously didn't pan out for the Tar Heels.

9. Notre Dame: 2008

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    Notre Dame's 2008 class came in with a ton of potential. Some of the players from the class went on to live up to their expectations, but as a whole, this class really underachieved.

    The individual success stories from that class include elite wideout Michael Floyd and tight end Kyle Rudolph, who were two of the best offensive players in the country.

    As a whole, though, this class went 7-6 in 2008, 6-6 in 2009 and 8-5 in 2010 and 2011. There was a steady increase, and they were the building blocks for last season's Notre Dame squad.

    Overall, though, those are some very average results from a class that was ranked No. 2 overall in 2008 by Rivals.com

8. Michigan: 2004

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    The expectations are always high at Michigan, and that's especially true for the mid-2000s. 

    The Wolverines were a powerhouse nationally and Lloyd Carr was their head coach. Michigan was a natural recruiting draw, and that came through in the rankings.

    Michigan's 2004 class was ranked No. 8 overall by Rivals.com. Quarterback Chad Henne was a 5-star recruit, and the class also featured star running back Mike Hart (3-star, according to Rivals). Both went on to have good careers, but this class as a whole experienced some disappointing results.

    The apex of their disappointment came in 2007 when the Wolverines started the season off with that historic loss to Appalachian State at the Big House. The Wolverines also lost two straight games to finish off 2006 (Ohio State and then to USC in the Rose Bowl), and they went 7-5 in 2005.

    The standards were high at Michigan. There was some individual success from this class, but it didn't live up to the lofty expectations.

7. Michigan: 2008

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    Rich Rodriguez's first class with Michigan came with a lot of hype. He was transitioning to a new system and needed to find the players to fit his scheme.

    Even in his first cycle as Michigan's head coach, Rodriguez brought in a top-10 recruiting class—ranked No. 10 overall by Rivals.com.

    This class featured 17 4-star recruits, including 4-star running back Sam McGuffie, who came in with a ton of hype himself.

    Many individuals in this class went on to have good careers with the Wolverines (defensive tackle Mike Martin in particular), but all in all, Michigan was a disappointment. The Wolverines went 3-9 in 2008, 5-7 in 2009 and 7-6 in 2010 before going 11-2 in 2011, Brady Hoke's first season.

    You can blame it on the coaching or the scheme. Either way, this class didn't produce the results many thought it would.

6. Notre Dame: 2006

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    Notre Dame put together a very impressive class in 2006. 

    The Fighting Irish's class featured 28 recruits, including 5-star running back James Aldridge and offensive lineman Sam Young. The class was ranked No. 8 overall by Rivals.com.

    The next four years featured a loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl, a 3-9 season in 2007, a 7-6 season in 2008 and a 6-6 season in 2009. 

    For a top-10 class, these are unacceptable results. 

5. Colorado: 2002

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    Things were looking up for Colorado football in 2002.

    The Buffaloes had actually secured a top-10 recruiting class (No. 10 overall, according to Rivals) that featured 31 recruits. Out of the 31, Colorado was able to land one 5-star recruit in defensive end Gabe Nyenhuis and seven other 4-star recruits.

    Four years later, the Buffaloes had accumulated a record of 29-23.

    Needless to say, the potential that the 2002 class possessed was not met.

4. Florida State: 2005

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    The Florida State Seminoles finished with the No. 2 overall class in 2005, according to Rivals.com. 

    They secured the commitment of 5-star wide receiver Fred Rouse, 5-star running back Antone Smith and 5-star defensive tackle Callahan Bright. The Seminoles also brought in 13 other 4-star recruits, so needless to say, this looked to be a dominant class.

    Florida State went 24-21 over the next four years, and that included a loss in the Orange Bowl and a loss to Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

    For as good as this class could have been, it will go down as a disappointment.

3. North Carolina State: 2003

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    North Carolina State had the No. 7 overall recruiting class in 2003, according to Rivals.com

    The Wolfpack brought in 28 recruits, including one 5-star recruit in offensive lineman Derek Morris. The class also featured six 4-star recruits and 17 3-star recruits.

    This was an incredibly impressive class, and the fact that the Wolfpack recruited a top-10 class was quite a big deal.

    Unfortunately, North Carolina State went 23-25 in the next four seasons, and any hype that this class created was essentially lost.

2. Tennessee: 2002

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    The Tennessee Volunteers' class of 2002 was ranked No. 2 overall by Rivals.com.

    It featured five 5-star recruits, according to Rivals, including running back Gerald Riggs, Jr., offensive guard Brandon Jefferies and strong-side defensive end Mondre Dickerson.

    The expectations surrounding this class were high, but it never really lived up to the potential.

    Tennessee went 8-5 in 2002, lost the Peach Bowl in 2003 to Clemson, had a three-loss season in 2004 (winning the Cotton Bowl) and had an abysmal 2005 season, finishing 5-6. 

    When you have the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the country, these results just won't cut it. 

1. Miami: 2008

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    Miami's 2008 class was ranked No. 5 overall by Rivals.com and No. 1 overall by ESPN.

    This class featured players like 5-star linebacker Arthur Brown, 5-star defensive tackle Marcus Forston, 4-star quarterback Jacory Harris, 4-star cornerback Brandon Harris and 4-star wideout Aldarius Johnson amongst many other talented recruits.

    Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post does a great job of recapping what this epic class was able to accomplish during its time:

    Heading into the home game against Boston College, the '08 recruiting class has a 29-21 overall record and is 17-14 in ACC games. It was 5-7 against ranked opponents and 0-2 in bowl games.

    This class didn't even come anywhere near its expectations. Its bowl game record is terrible, as is its record against ranked opponents. 

    For a class that looked like it had the potential to rebuild Miami into a legitimate contender, it will easily go down as the most overrated of the 2000s.

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