Unfortunately, those "better recruits" were poorly coached by Rich Rodriguez. If you pair better recruits with good coaching, the Carr + Hoke years have been pretty successful. They're 6-6 this year and were 11-3 last year, bringing their record during Hoke's tenure to 17-9. Hoke is 19-6 in that time. I'm not saying Hoke is dominating the series or anything, but there's really nothing you can look at right now and say "MSU is the superior program." Recruiting, winning, etc. is all in Michigan's favor at the moment.
I thought that myself when I read that article that talked about a Data Scientist(tm)