1. Alabama: The Tide’s talent level wasn’t where it needed to be last season, and Nick Saban and his staff hit the recruiting trail with a vengeance. They cleaned up in-state and also got top players from Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
2. Notre Dame: As with Alabama, the Irish needed an influx of young talent. Charlie Weis and his staff brought in players from all over, and look to have truly upgraded the Irish’s team speed.
3. Florida: The bulk of the Gators’ class came aboard in December and January, making for a rather uneventful final week. This is the third top-five class in a row for Florida.
4. Miami: Randy Shannon and his staff locked down the city of Miami, cherry-picked some prospects from other parts of the state and were able to reel in some top-level national guys, such as LB Arthur Brown of Wichita, Kan.
5. Oklahoma: The Sooners did their usual sterling job on the recruiting trail, cleaning up in-state and going into Texas for some of that state’s top players. OU also signed top-ranked players from Georgia, New Jersey and New Mexico.
6. Georgia: The Bulldogs were hot on the field late in the season, and that carried over in recruiting. They dominated in their home state, but the best signee may be South Carolina WR A.J. Green.
7. Florida State: The Seminoles didn’t close with their usual late flourish. Instead, most of the top signees, such as LB Nigel Bradham of Crawfordville, Fla., were on board early.
8. Ohio State: The Buckeyes may have signed the best group of offensive linemen in the nation, and they also signed a nice group of defensive players. They’re still in the running for QB Terrelle Pryor, the nation’s No. 1 prospect.
9. Michigan: Rich Rodriguez and his staff did yeoman work in the past month. The Wolverines signed good skill-position talent, and did well in Ohio. Michigan remains in the running for Terrell Pryor, too.
10. USC: This may not be the Trojans’ usual good-beyond-belief class, but there’s nothing wrong with it. They seemingly got the players they wanted in their area and also branched out to snag players from Georgia and Michigan.
11. LSU: The national-champion Tigers were another team that didn’t quite match up to some previous classes, but this still is a good group. As usual, LSU cleaned up in-state, and the Tigers signed an especially strong group of defensive backs.
12. Clemson: The Tigers will be one of the favorites in the ACC this fall, and there are players in this class who will help immediately. Clemson won the recruiting battle in-state against South Carolina and, as usual, signed some top players from Florida.
13. UCLA: New coach Rick Neuheisel and his staff were able to keep most of the Bruins’ top commitments, who had pledged before coach Karl Dorrell was fired. The defensive signees look especially good.
14. Texas: This is another school used to signing top-five classes, but this group still is solid. Mack Brown and his staff like guys to commit early, and this class was another example. For the first time in a while, though, there is no five-star signee.
15. Colorado: The Buffs are a big surprise. Coach Dan Hawkins and his staff know they need more playmakers, and in Darrell Scott, they signed the nation’s best running back. There also are some solid linemen to pave the way for Scott and a nice group of linebackers.
16. Texas A&M: New coach Mike Sherman and his staff brought in a nice group of linemen on both sides of ball and some needed star power in the likes of RB Cyrus Gray of DeSoto, Texas.
17. Minnesota: The Golden Gophers were awful on the field, but coach Tim Brewster and his staff were able to sell immediate paying time and it paid off to the tune of the Big Ten’s third-ranked class.
18. Virginia Tech: Frank Beamer and his staff usually do a great job of finding guys that fit the Hokies’ system, and that appears to be the case again. There are some nice skill-position athletes in this class.
19. Oregon: As usual, the Ducks did well in California. But they branched out this season and brought in some highly ranked players from Texas, Arizona and Kansas. And they’re still in it for Terrell Pryor, too.
20. Auburn: A solid class for Tommy Tuberville and the Tigers. But it pales in comparison to the class put together by hated foe Alabama.
21. Arizona State: Dennis Erickson and his staff followed up a surprisingly good season on the field with a solid recruiting class. They did well in-state and also pulled in some nice players from California. John Elway’s son, Jack, signed on, too.
22. South Carolina: A good class for the Gamecocks, but Steve Spurrier and his staff weren’t able to follow up on last year’s tremendous effort. In-state foe Clemson outrecruited the Gamecocks.
23. Ole Miss: Ed Orgeron could recruit, but a lack of on-field success led to his firing. Enter Houston Nutt, whose first class with the Rebels is a solid one highlighted by prep-school RB Enrique Davis.
24. Illinois: Ron Zook continued to work his recruiting magic with the Illini. He signed some top in-state prospects and also went to Florida, Washington, D.C., Ohio and Pennsylvania to get top players.
25. Washington: Ty Willingham needs on-field success this season, and there are some players in this signing class who can help out in the fall. The Huskies did especially well on both lines.
Full Team rankings:
BCS conference rankings
2. Florida State
4. Virginia Tech
5. NC State
7. Boston College
8. North Carolina
9. Georgia Tech
10. Wake Forest
1. Ohio State
6. Penn State
7. Michigan State
4. Texas A&M
6. Oklahoma State
7. Kansas State
10. Texas Tech
12. Iowa State
2. West Virginia
4. Arizona State
9. Oregon State
10. Washington State
6. South Carolina
7. Ole Miss
10. Mississippi State