Recruiting fans love to focus on the national rankings, as bringing in a top-five, top-10 or top-25 class is deemed important. Yet, before a team can become a national juggernaut, it must first conquer its conference's recruiting rankings.
On the other end of the spectrum, some programs just can't get out of the recruiting basement of their conference. They don't consistently build classes to challenge for top recruiting honors in their league, which mostly leads to them failing to win any conference titles.
An ACC program coming off of a big win leads its conference in recruiting, while a Big 12 team's head coach has yet to make an impact on the recruiting trail. Also, the program with the best class in the Pac-12 will be a surprise to many around the country.
Best Class: Rutgers
Head coach Kyle Flood may be moving his program to the Big Ten next year, but he is making sure Rutgers leaves the American Athletic Conference on top of the recruiting mountain. The Scarlet Knights have 23 commitments, led by 4-star receiver Saeed Blacknall.
Defensively, 4-star safety/athlete Kiy Hester is the top prospect. Flood has assembled a talented class that will help Rutgers compete with physical Big Ten teams down the line.
Worst Class: Memphis
Memphis' class is small, with only eight commitments, and it has no 4-star prospects. Curtis Akins, a 3-star linebacker from Mississippi, leads the defense, while 3-star quarterback Clay Holgorsen is the offensive headliner. Do not expect the Tigers to make a significant jump up the AAC recruiting rankings.
Best Class: Miami
The Hurricanes have 25 commitments, and head coach Al Golden has some star power in his class. Kc McDermott, a 5-star offensive tackle, is one of the top players in the country at his position.
Joseph Yearby, a 4-star running back, is the most talented player in the class. He is a shifty running back with exceptional quickness. Travonte Valentine and Chad Thomas are 4-star defensive linemen who will start sooner rather than later, while 4-star quarterback Brad Kaaya is a talented passer.
Worst Class: Wake Forest
No one will confuse Wake Forest for a recruiting juggernaut, but the Demon Deacons need to get going soon. They have only 10 commitments and no 4-star recruits. Half of the class are in-state players, but the quality needs to be upgraded. The top commitment is 3-star athlete Lemar Harris.
Best Class: Texas
The Longhorns may have an awful defense, but they are still enjoying a great recruiting year. Texas has 24 commitments, and eight are 4-star prospects. Quarterback Jerrod Heard, a 4-star prospect, is the headliner of the class, but 4-star running back Donald Catalon shouldn't be overlooked.
Worst Class: Kansas
Head coach Charlie Weis was a solid recruiter at Notre Dame and Florida but has not worked much magic in Lawrence. Weis' class is the worst in the Big 12, as his seven commitments are a conference low.
Best Class: Ohio State
With 18 talented commitments, the Buckeyes have one of the best classes in the country. Elite 4-star recruits such as linebacker Dante Booker, athlete Curtis Samuel, offensive lineman Jamarco Jones, cornerback Damon Webb and running back/receiver Parris Campbell are just the tip of the iceberg.
Head coach Urban Meyer is building a class that will allow Ohio State to compete with SEC teams in future bowl games.
Worst Class: Minnesota
The Gophers having the worst class in the Big Ten is not their biggest problem. Keeping 4-star running back Jeff Jones committed is. With Minnesota lacking respect on the trail, Jones is going to hear from more prominent programs looking to change his commitment.
The six-man class not only needs more quantity, but also more quality.
Best Class: Arizona
Not USC. Not Oregon. Not Stanford. Not even Washington. Arizona has the best class in the Pac-12.
The Wildcats have 24 commitments, with six being 4-star prospects, headlined by athlete Cameron Denson. Running back Nick Wilson, another recruit, is a player to watch in the class. Marquis Ware and Jamardre Cobb are 4-star teammates at Bishop Mora Salesian in Los Angeles who will form a great linebacker tandem in the desert.
Worst Class: Oregon State
The Beavers have just nine commitments and also lack a 4-star recruit. Offensive guard Najee Toran, a 3-star blocker, is the top player in the class. Head coach Mike Riley has never been an elite recruiter, and that is not going to change this year.
Best Class: Alabama
This should be no surprise. Alabama routinely brings in recruiting classes that are elite both in the SEC and nationally. Head coach Nick Saban has 20 commitments, with 5-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson leading the way.
Alabama also has commitments from top-tier 4-star recruits such as quarterback David Cornwell, athlete Bo Scarbrough, cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent, guard Ross Pierschbacher and linebacker Christian Miller. This is another tremendous recruiting class for the Tide, which the people in Tuscaloosa have grown accustomed to.
Worst Class: Missouri
If the Tigers want to compete for SEC titles, they will need to increase their recruiting efforts. Missouri has the same number of commitments as Alabama, but all of them are only 3-star prospects. Players such as cornerback Logan Cheadle, tight end Kendall Blanton and receiver Lawrence Lee are notable commitments.