In a year filled with buzz surrounding the upcoming draft, we’re looking at the latest rankings to gauge how much the 2016 class is worth.
But before we get too carried away, let’s take a look at the five most important recruiting indicators we can look at to gauge the value of the class.1.
Overall grade: The number one thing we should know about this class is that it’s a work in progress.
But it’s been one year since the class officially enrolled in August and the 247Sports Composite has already pegged it as the best class in the country.
As you’ll see below, it was still very close, with Michigan holding onto its No. 1 spot.
It’s important to note that the rankings are just projections.
If the class is not rated as a top-10 or even No. 2 overall, it’s not a huge leap to say the consensus top 10 or top-2 classes are out there somewhere.2.
Recruiting rankings: The numbers don’t lie, though, and Michigan is the most-improved class in recent memory.
The Wolverines currently have the No. 4 recruiting class and the No, 2 and No. 3 rankings in the 247 Sports Composite.
It doesn’t hurt that the class ranks No. 15 nationally in total points scored and is also No. 6 in scoring efficiency.3.
Top 25: Michigan is No. 12 nationally in the rankings, and the Wolverines are one of just two teams that have scored more than 100 points per game (the other is No, 13 Florida).
Michigan also leads the nation in the number of total offensive points and the number scored per possession (15.8 points per 100 possessions).
But, the Wolverades still have plenty of work to do to get to the top of the rankings.
Michigan is just 2-1 this season in games decided by 10 points or less, and it will need to improve dramatically if it wants to make the Top 25 in 2017.4.
Coaches’ grades: Coach Jim Harbaugh is coming off a season in which the Wolverocks lost to Louisville and lost to USC.
Harbaugh has also struggled to get his offense going and the defensive front seven has been shaky.
It could take some time for Michigan to improve and get back to being elite at defending the run, but the Wolveras are the favorites to win the SEC West this season.5.
SEC: Alabama’s defense has been very impressive and will be one of the SEC’s best units in 2017, but it’s up against some tough competition.
LSU and Auburn are the only teams that rank in the Top 30 nationally in defensive efficiency, while Alabama and LSU both rank in double digits.6.
Big Ten: Wisconsin’s defense could be the best in the Big Ten and Ohio State’s offensive attack is a huge reason why the Buckeyes have been a good defensive team.
But the Buckeye defense is only ranked fifth in the nation.7.
ACC: Duke is one of those teams that is very good at stopping the run.
But, if they can’t get the run game going against ACC competition, they’ll be facing a tough schedule.
Duke is ranked No. 10 nationally in yards per play allowed (2.9 yards per carry), but is also ranked No., 6th nationally in scoring defense (14.0 points per play).8.
Big 12: Baylor is one-and-done and Oklahoma State is one game away from losing its spot in the top 25.
But there are some teams in the league that are just downright scary.
Oklahoma and TCU are ranked in the Bottom 20 nationally in both total offense (2,072 yards) and scoring defense.9.
Pac-12: Oregon is one win away from beating USC, but there are two other Pac-10 teams that are looking like they have a legitimate shot at winning the Pac-8.
Stanford and Washington are both ranked in double-digits in both offensive efficiency (16.0) and passing efficiency (2:52).10.
SEC West: Auburn has a great defense and has a couple of great offensive weapons.
But with the loss of former starting quarterback Mike Glennon, the Tigers are going to have to replace a lot of talent in the secondary.
The Tigers are ranked No, 3 nationally in interceptions (8) and sacks (15) and have a defense that is in the middle of the pack nationally.11.
Big East: Rutgers is one loss away from winning the Big East, and they’ll have to improve if they want to make it to the Top 10.
But they’re not just one loss, either.
Temple is in second place nationally in rushing yards (2 at 4.2 per game), and the Owls are one-game favorites to beat Penn State in the conference championship game.12.
Big 10: Nebraska is one step closer to making a run at the Big 12 title, and their offense is a legitimate threat