Even with numerous services offering rankings, in-depth guides, and highlight reels, it’s still somewhat nonsensical to put a lot of trust in predictions about how schools’ recruiting classes will pan out. There are just too many factors — social, physical, mental, etc. — that can’t be accounted for, like how a prep star accustomed to starting every game will mentally handle having to battle for playing time for perhaps the first time in his career, or how a player with all the skill and talent in the world will cope with being hundreds, even thousands, of miles away from his hometown for the first time in his young life. The transition from high school to college can be a jarring one, and on-field ability, no matter how seemingly transcendent, doesn’t guarantee a player will make that transition smoothly and fulfill the potential he demonstrated as a high school player dominating his competition.
That said, even though all fans should be plenty aware of how recruiting rankings should be approached with caution and not taken as oracular indicators of future success, there’s still something undeniably appealing about analyzing your favorite team’s recruiting class, dreaming about how Linebacker Prospect A or Quarterback Prospect B will turn the program around. To look to the future is to provide yourself with an opportunity to hope, realistic expectations be damned. Do we finally have all the pieces of the puzzle? Will next year, or maybe two years from now, be The Year? Yes, of course, just look at our recruits! You have to think in these terms, extrapolating upward from every positive until future success seems almost guaranteed, because not doing so can be, frankly, rather depressing in a sobering way.
So to all you millions — or, you know, scores — of Pac-12 fans reading this, be excited about the Class of 2015 recruits already committed to your respective favorite programs. In a few years you’ll probably be cursing their names, wondering why your school opted to recruit some four-star chowderhead incapable of staying eligible over the one-star dynamo now tearing up the competition for your rival. But now? Now is the time to assume the best, to brag to your friends, to trash-talk on message boards, to pencil in a trip to Pasadena. It’s the only way to stay sane.
Anyway, here are the five Pac-12 schools currently leading the…pack…when it comes to 2015 recruiting. As always, this list was determined using high-level science, advanced metrics, and weeks worth of careful calculations, and was definitely not determined by personal biases in any way, shape, or form. So read on to see if your team made the cut.