Big Ten Recruiting Rankings 12-9-12

Submitted by Ace on December 9th, 2012 at 4:50 PM

This week's rankings include Ohio State passing Illinois and a good deal of movement in the bottom half of the big board. Changes since the last rankings:

12-2-12: Indiana picks up T.J. Simmons.
12-4-12: Illinois picks up Kyle Kragen.
12-5-12: Minnesota picks up Nate Andrews.
12-6-12: Danny Mattingly decommits from Notre Dame. Indiana picks up Marcus Oliver.
12-7-12: Ohio State picks up Gareon Conley. Nebraska picks up Antoine Miles.
12-8-12: Michigan State picks up Michael Geiger.
12-9-12: Notre Dame picks up Greg Bryant. Ohio State picks up Donovan Munger. Iowa picks up Damond Powell. Penn State picks up Zayd Issah, Anthony Smith, and Jonathan Walton.

Chart? Chart:

Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings
Rank School # Commits Rivals Avg Scout Avg 24/7 Avg ESPN Avg Avg Avg^ POINTS*
1 Notre Dame 22 3.77 3.86 3.82 3.86 3.83 84.25
2 Michigan 22 3.65 3.82 3.68 3.64 3.69 81.25
3 Ohio State 19 3.58 3.79 3.74 3.79 3.72 70.75
4 Illinois 24 2.79 2.75 2.67 2.88 2.77 66.50
5 Rutgers 20 2.85 2.85 2.80 3.05 2.89 57.75
6 Northwestern 20 2.80 2.90 2.75 2.95 2.85 57.00
7 Nebraska 16 3.19 3.35 3.31 3.13 3.23 51.75
T-8 Maryland 17 2.88 2.76 3.00 2.94 2.90 49.25
T-8 Wisconsin 16 3.13 3.00 3.00 3.19 3.08 49.25
10 Penn State 16 2.94 2.88 3.13 3.06 3.00 48.00
11 Michigan State 15 3.13 3.07 3.07 3.33 3.15 47.25
12 Iowa 16 2.94 2.75 3.06 2.94 2.92 46.75
13 Indiana 16 2.88 2.75 2.38 2.69 2.67 42.75
14 Minnesota 12 2.83 2.43 2.83 2.83 2.73 32.75
15 Purdue 11 2.82 2.45 2.55 2.91 2.68 29.50

^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.

*The product of number of Commits and Average Average

NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.

On to the full data after the jump.

 

#1 Notre Dame - 22 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Jaylon Smith LB IN 5 5 5 5
Greg Bryant RB FL 5 4 4 4
Alex Anzalone LB PA 4 4 4 4
Hunter Bivin OL KY 4 4 4 4
Steven Elmer OL MI 4 4 4 4
Mike Heuerman TE FL 4 4 4 4
Torii Hunter Jr. WR TX 4 4 4 4
Cole Luke CB AZ 4 4 4 4
Mike McGlinchey OL PA 4 4 4 4
Isaac Rochell DE GA 4 4 4 4
Malik Zaire QB OH 4 4 4 4
John Montelus OL MA 4 4 4 3
James Onwualu WR MN 4 4 3 4
William Fuller WR PA 4 4 3 3
Doug Randolph LB VA 4 3 4 4
Colin McGovern OL IL 3 4 4 4
Jacob Matuska DE OH 3 4 4 3
Jamel James RB TX 3 4 3 4
Corey Robinson WR TX 3 4 3 3
Rashad Kinlaw ATH NJ 3 3 4 4
Devin Butler CB DC 3 3 4 4
Michael Deeb LB FL 3 3 3 4

The Irish lose a commitment from WA TE Danny Mattingly but gain one from FL RB Greg Bryant. James Onwualu gets a fourth star from Rivals, Torii Hunter Jr. gets a fourth star from Scout, and Jamel James drops from four to three stars on 247.

#2 Michigan - 22 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Shane Morris QB MI 5 5 5 4
Patrick Kugler OL PA 4 5 4 4
Dymonte Thomas S OH 4 5 4 4
Kyle Bosch OL IL 4 4 4 4
Taco Charlton DE OH 4 4 4 4
Chris Fox OL CO 4 4 4 4
Ben Gedeon LB OH 4 4 4 4
Jourdan Lewis CB MI 4 4 4 4
Mike McCray LB OH 4 4 4 4
Henry Poggi DT MD 4 4 4 4
Logan Tuley-Tillman OL IL 4 4 4 4
Wyatt Shallman ATH MI 4 4 4 3
Jake Butt TE OH 4 4 3 4
Ross Douglas CB OH 4 3 4 4
DeVeon Smith RB OH 3 4 4 4
Maurice Hurst Jr. DT MA 3 4 4 3
Jaron Dukes WR OH 3 4 3 4
Khalid Hill TE MI 3 3 3 3
Da'Mario Jones WR MI 3 3 3 3
Channing Stribling CB NC 3 3 3 3
Csont'e York WR MI 3 3 3 3
Scott Sypniewski LS IL 2 2 2 2

Channing Stribling and Da'Mario Jones each earn three-star ratings from Rivals.

#3 Ohio State - 19 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Jalin Marshall ATH OH 4 5 4 4
Joey Bosa DE FL 4 5 4 4
Eli Woodard CB NJ 4 4 4 5
J.T. Barrett QB TX 4 4 4 4
Marcus Baugh TE CA 4 4 4 4
Cameron Burrows CB OH 4 4 4 4
Michael Hill DT SC 4 4 4 4
Evan Lisle OL OH 4 4 4 4
Billy Price DT OH 4 4 4 4
Ezekiel Elliott RB MO 4 4 4 4
Jayme Thompson S OH 4 4 4 4
Tyquan Lewis DE NC 4 3 4 3
Gareon Conley CB OH 3 4 4 4
Donovan Munger DT OH 3 4 4 4
Tim Gardner OL IN 3 3 4 3
Taivon Jacobs WR MD 3 3 3 4
Darron Lee ATH OH 3 3 3 3
Tracy Sprinkle DE OH 3 3 3 3
Johnny Townsend P FL 2 3 2 3

The Buckeyes land OH CB Gareon Conley and OH DT Donovan Munger. Tim Gardner is bumped to three stars on Scout and four on 247. As a result, Ohio State passes Illinois in the rankings. Hey, remember this?

Yes, Ohio State's class is better. No, I'm not changing the rankings. Remember, this isn't a projection, it's a snapshot, and it's almost a certainty that the rankings will correct themselves come signing day, when they actually matter.

Yep.

#4 Illinois - 24 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Aaron Bailey QB IL 4 4 4 4
Caleb Day CB OH 4 3 3 3
Darius Mosely CB IL 3 3 3 4
Jarrod Clements DE OH 3 3 3 3
Reon Dawson CB OH 3 3 3 3
Christian DiLauro TE OH 3 3 3 3
Merrick Jackson DT IL 3 3 3 3
Reggie Spearman LB IL 3 3 3 3
Abens Cajuste DT CA 3 3 3 JC
Dillan Cazley CB IL 3 3 2 3
Bryce Douglas DT IL 3 3 2 3
Kendrick Foster RB IL 3 3 2 3
Joshua Jones S MI 3 3 2 3
Darwyn Kelly S DC 3 2 3 3
Dawuane Smoot DE OH 3 2 2 3
Evan Panfil DE IL 3 2 NR 3
Kyle Kragen DE CA 3 NR 3 JC
Jesse Chadwell OL MI 2 3 3 3
Miguel Hermosillo ATH IL 2 3 3 3
Austin Schmidt OL OH 2 2 2 3
Martize Barr WR IA 2 2 2 JC
Tyler White TE MI 2 3 3 3
Zane Petty S CA 2 NR 3 JC
Eric Finney S CA 2 NR NR JC

The Illini continue to add JuCo prospects—this week it's CA DE Kyle Kragen, their fifth JuCo player in the '13 class. Miguel Hermosillo, Zane Petty, and Eric Finney each pick up two stars from Rivals; Jesse Chadwell and Hermosillo both get bumped to three stars on Scout.

#5 Rutgers - 20 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Nadir Barnwell CB NJ 4 4 4 4
Dorian Miller OL NJ 3 4 3 4
Myles Nash ATH NJ 3 3 3 4
Dontea Ayres RB DE 3 3 3 3
Nick Internicola DE FL 3 3 3 3
Lester Liston LB VA 3 3 3 3
Taylor Marini TE FL 3 3 3 3
Andre Patton WR DE 3 3 3 3
Eric Wiafe DT NJ 3 3 3 2
Delon Stephenson CB NY 3 3 3 JC
Chris Laviano QB NY 3 3 2 4
Anthony Cioffi S NJ 3 3 2 3
Justin Goodwin CB NJ 3 2 3 3
T.J. Taylor LB NJ 3 2 3 3
Bryant Gross S FL 3 2 2 3
Sebastian Joseph DT PA 3 2 2 3
Nick Arcidiacono TE PA 2 3 3 3
John Tsimis WR NJ 2 3 3 3
Josh Klecko DT NJ 2 3 2 3
Kemoko Turay DE NJ 2 2 3 NR

No change for the Scarlet Knights. Positions updated for several players—thanks to Jon from On the Banks for the corrections.

#6 Northwestern - 20 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Matt Alviti QB IL 4 4 4 4
Tyler Lancaster OL IL 3 3 4 3
Godwin Igwebuike ATH OH 3 3 3 4
Sam Coverdale OL OH 3 3 3 3
Matt Harris WR IL 3 3 3 3
Blake King OL IL 3 3 3 3
Xavier Menifield RB CA 3 3 3 3
Brad North OL TX 3 3 3 3
Kyle Queiro ATH NJ 3 3 3 3
Anthony Walker Jr. LB FL 3 3 3 3
Brett Walsh LB CA 3 3 3 3
Keith Watkins RB OH 3 3 3 3
Eric Joraskie DE PA 3 3 2 3
Warren Miles-Long RB CA 3 3 2 3
Macan Wilson WR TX 3 3 2 3
Jayme Taylor TE TX 2 3 3 3
Raymond Davison DE CA 2 3 NR 3
Tommy Fuessel ATH IL 2 2 2 2
Hunter Miswander K OH 2 2 2 2
Marcus McShepard CB OH NR 2 NR NR

Xavier Menifield is upgraded to three stars on Rivals, Macan Wilson gets three stars and Marcus McShepard two on Scout, and Raymond Davison gets three stars on ESPN.

#7 Nebraska - 16 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Marcus McWilson S OH 4 4 4 3
Josh Banderas LB NE 4 4 4 4
Marcus Newby LB MD 4 3 4 4
Randy Gregory DE AZ 4 3 4 JC
Johnny Stanton QB CA 3 4 4 4
Adam Taylor RB TX 3 4 3 4
A.J. Natter DE WI 3 4 3 3
Dan Samuelson OL IN 3 4 3 3
Courtney Love LB OH 3 3 4 4
Jonathan Cook CB AL 3 3 4 3
Nathan Gerry S SD 3 3 3 3
Kevin Gladney WR OH 3 3 3 3
Zach Hannon OL MO 3 3 3 3
Greg Hart TE OH 3 3 3 3
Antoine Miles DE OH 3 3 NR NR
Gabriel Miller LS IN 2 2 2 2

The Huskers pick up OH DE Antoine Miles.

T-#8 Maryland - 17 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Derwin Gray OL DC 4 4 4 4
Deon Long WR IA 4 3 4 JC
Andrew Isaacs TE CT 4 3 3 3
Shane Cockerille QB MD 3 3 3 4
Milan Collins S MD 3 3 3 3
Jajuan Dulaney OL GA 3 3 3 3
Moise Larose OL MD 3 3 3 3
Demetri McGill DT VA 3 3 3 3
Kingsley Opara DT FL 3 3 3 3
Jarrett Ross DE DE 3 3 3 3
Cavon Walker LB DC 3 3 3 3
Jermaine Carter LB DC 3 2 3 3
Derrick Hayward LB MD 2 3 3 3
Jalen Brooks LB GA 2 2 3 3
Malik Jones OL MD 2 2 3 2
Elvis Dennah S MD 2 2 2 3
DeAndre Lane ATH MD 2 2 2 2

Jermaine Carter is bumped to three stars on Rivals.

T-#8 Wisconsin - 16 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Corey Clement RB NJ 4 4 4 4
Tyler Foreman S CA 4 4 4 3
Chikwe Obasih DE WI 4 3 4 3
Keelon Brookins CB MN 4 3 3 3
Rob Wheelwright WR OH 3 4 3 3
Garret Dooley LB IL 3 3 3 4
Alec James DE WI 3 3 3 4
Jack Keeler OL IL 3 3 3 4
Sojourn Shelton CB FL 3 3 3 4
Marcus Ball ATH OH 3 3 3 3
Matt Miller OL OH 3 3 3 3
T.J. Watt ATH WI 3 3 3 3
Sam Raridon DT IA 3 3 2 3
Jazz Peavy WR WI 3 2 2 3
Tiquention Coleman CB GA 2 2 3 JC
Matt Hubley S WI 2 2 2 2

Corey Clement and Tyler Foreman jump to four stars on Rivals, bringing Wisconsin into a tie with Maryland for eighth place.

#10 Penn State - 16 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Adam Breneman TE PA 4 5 4 4
Christian Hackenberg QB VA 4 4 5 4
Garrett Sickels DE NJ 4 4 4 4
Brendan Mahon OL NJ 4 3 3 4
Zayd Issah LB PA 3 4 3 3
Andrew Nelson OL PA 3 3 3 4
Richy Anderson RB MD 3 3 3 3
Brandon Bell LB NJ 3 3 3 3
Curtis Cothran DE NJ 3 3 3 3
Neiko Robinson S FL 3 2 3 3
Parker Cothren DE AL 3 2 3 2
Tanner Hartman OL VA 2 2 3 2
Jonathan Walton LB AL 2 2 3 NR
Jordan Smith CB DC 2 2 NR 3
Kasey Gaines S GA NR 2 3 3
Anthony Smith CB PA NR NR NR NR

The Nittany Lions pick up a trio of commits in PA LB Zayd Issah, AL LB Jonathan Walton, and PA CB Anthony Smith. Penn State passes Michigan State and Iowa for tenth place.

#11 Michigan State - 15 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Jon Reschke LB MI 4 4 4 4
Shane Jones LB OH 4 3 3 4
Dennis Finley OL MI 3 4 3 4
Damion Terry QB PA 3 4 3 4
Darian Hicks CB OH 3 3 4 3
Jalyn Powell S OH 3 3 3 4
Delton Williams ATH PA 3 3 3 4
Demetrius Cooper DE IL 3 3 3 3
Gerald Holmes RB MI 3 3 3 3
Jay Harris WR PA 3 3 3 3
R.J. Shelton RB WI 3 3 3 3
Trey Kilgore WR OH 3 3 3 3
Devyn Salmon DT FL 3 3 2 3
Michael Geiger K OH 3 2 3 3
Dylan Chmura TE WI 3 2 2 NR

The Spartans add OH K Michael Geiger. Jay Harris is upgraded to three stars on Rivals. MSU passes Iowa, moving to 11th in the rankings.

#12 Iowa - 16 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Delano Hill S MI 4 3 4 3
Jon Wisnieski TE IA 3 3 3 4
Nathan Bazata DT NE 3 3 3 3
Colin Goebel OL IL 3 3 3 3
Brant Gressel DT OH 3 3 3 3
John Kenny LB IN 3 3 3 3
Derrick Mitchell Jr. S MO 3 3 3 3
Malik Rucker S MN 3 3 3 3
Nic Shimonek QB TX 3 3 3 3
Solomon Warfield S OH 3 3 3 3
Sean Welsh OL OH 3 3 3 3
Derrick Willies WR IL 3 3 3 3
Trevon Young LB IA 3 2 4 3
Ike Boettger TE IA 2 2 3 2
Andre Harris ATH MO 3 2 3 3
Damond Powell WR UT NR NR NR JC

The Hawkeyes pick up unranked JuCo receiver Damond Powell.

#13 Indiana - 16 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Darius Latham DT IN 4 4 4 4
Antonio Allen S IN 4 4 3 4
David Kenney DE IN 4 4 3 4
Rashard Fant ATH GA 4 3 2 4
Danny Friend TE IL 3 3 3 3
Chase Dutra S IN 3 3 3 2
Isaac Griffith WR IN 3 3 3 3
Evan Jansen TE OH 3 2 3 3
Patrick Dougherty DE OH 3 2 2 2
Clyde Newton LB FL 3 NR 2 3
Anthony Young WR OH 2 3 3 3
Jacobi Hunter DT TX 2 3 2 3
Myles Graham RB FL 2 2 3 2
T.J. Simmons LB FL 2 NR 2 3
Jordan Heiderman DT IA 2 2 2 JC
Marcus Oliver LB OH NR 2 NR NR

The Hoosiers land FL LB T.J. Simmons and OH LB Marcus Oliver. Clyde Newton gets three stars from Rivals, Isaac Griffith gets three from Scout, and Myles Graham gets three from 247.

#14 Minnesota - 12 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Nate Andrews WR AL 3 3 3 3
Berkley Edwards RB MI 3 3 3 3
Nate Godwin CB FL 3 3 3 3
Alex Mayes OL TX 3 3 3 3
Owen Salzwedel DE WI 3 3 3 3
Demaris Peppers DT TN 3 2 3 3
Hendrick Ekpe DE TX 3 2 3 2
Eric Carter WR FL 3 2 2 3
Jordan Hinojosa DT KS 3 2 2 JC
Chris Wipson LB MN 2 2 3 3
Chris Streveler QB IL 2 2 3 3
Jalen Myrick CB GA 2 2 3 3

The Gophers add AL WR Nate Andrews, moving past Purdue and out of the basement.

#15 Purdue - 11 Commits
Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Danny Etling QB IN 4 3 3 3
Keyante Green RB GA 3 3 3 4
Austin Logan S FL 3 3 2 3
Johnny Thompson DE GA 3 3 2 2
Dwayne Johnson OL IL 3 2 3 3
David Yancey RB IN 3 2 3 3
Jake Replogle DE OH 3 2 2 3
John Strauser DE IL 3 2 2 3
Danny Ezechukwu DE GA 2 3 2 3
Myles Norwood WR TX 2 NR 3 3
Ra-Zahn Howard DT GA NR NR 3 NR

:(

Comments

MichiganManOf1961

December 9th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

Interesting to note that Maryland has no recruits from Pennsylvania.  As much as Penn State poaches Maryland players, you would think they could do the same (albeit for lower caliber players) to Pennsylvania. 

~Herm

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

December 9th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^

MSU's class and soft recruiting on the heels of 2 11-win seasons and coaching stability. Almost ideal conditions for them.

The average quality of their list is comparable to the middle of the pack and they only had to focus on 16 commitments. It's headlined by a legacy kid, a LB that we turned away, and an OL that we delayed offering until these last couple weeks. We seriously might want only 1 or 2 in their whole class for our final 25.

Any evidence that guys like Reschke or Harris are questioning the poor supporting cast?

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

December 9th, 2012 at 6:42 PM ^

Rivals pegs the class at #37 so far this year after #41 last year.

There are only a couple of offers from top recruiting staffs (Finley from OSU, Cooper from ND, etc) beyond Reschke and the late UM offers.

No one selected for the Army or Under Armour games (obviously a little duplicative with the ranking services).

No sarcasm, I am shocked that Dantonio couldn't do better than 2 classes ranked ~40th with consecutive 11-win seasons.

bronxblue

December 9th, 2012 at 7:37 PM ^

I'm not saying that MSU has been recruiting particularly well, but they have always been an average big ten recruiter but, until this season, seemed able to compensate with player development.  Other than 2009 when they had a decent haul, they've always been a mid-30's/low-40's in terms of recruiting rankings.  Heck, #37 given the season they've had is not that bad, and could maybe grab one or two more kids before the season is out.

That said, the years of 11 wins are probably over, though 7-8-9 wins are always in the cards for them.  They'll be a slightly worse version of Iowa under Ferentz, which isn't the worst fate for a program.  

Farstate

December 9th, 2012 at 7:46 PM ^

The lack of quality recruiting after the Big Two is still disturbing. A top heavy conference is better than a deep conference (ex. SEC) but you need more than two nationally relevant teams to qualify as top heavy in the first place.

GOLBOGM

December 9th, 2012 at 8:51 PM ^

MSU, PSU, WISC, and NEB also have an avg of the avg of above 3- they just have smaller classes.  I think when your recruits are all on average a three star you have a shot of putting together solid top 25 teams.  

But I agree with what you are saying- it looks like OSU and UM may be the only two title contenders if things pan out similarly to how recruting rankings and general predicitions expect.  But 2 title contenders is not a bad thing.

PAC-12: Oregon, Stanford, and USC- three title contenders and the rest never too seriously fit that bill

Big East- Zero contenders

ACC- FSU, Clemson and not much else consistently

Big 12- Oklahoma, OKST, UT, and KSU- I think this is the only case where you can say a conference that the Big Ten should be better than has more contenders- but KSU doesn't quite hold up to UM and OSU long term in the same way

SEC- lots...

Plus, if it weren't for sanctions PSU would be in the discussion, and WISC three straight BCS bowls is nto a bad number three team- although it remains to be seen what direction they will go in the future.  

I don't think this is the biggest problem.  Plus, even if it is totally true- as long as the rest of the conference is solid enough that the Big Ten winner has a decent shot at the title evry year that's not too bad a thing since it means best of those two has a good shot- and as a UM or OSU fan that's not a bad thing...

Farstate

December 9th, 2012 at 7:50 PM ^

Is it normal for MSU to have more OH recruits and an equal number of PA ones, than MI recruits? Does that just speak to a lack of talent in MI this year or is Sparty just missing out on most of the secondary talent?

WingsonHelmets

December 10th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

Not just because it would put Michigan back on top of the list (a nice bonus), but wouldn't it make sense to remove ND from this list now?  It made sense to include them when we were playing them every year, but now they're the same as any random ACC team...

CalifExile

December 10th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

Ace's reply:

 

'After this year I'll probably remove them. For now, we still play them for two more years—meaning at least a few of the players in this class will have an impact against Michigan—plus they're good way to measure how well Michigan is recruiting in the Midwest.

"Also, it's free information. You are more than welcome to ignore it."

 

dahblue

December 10th, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

How many commits can Ohio take?  Seems like last year they went over the max, and I assume (given the reductions) that they'd max out at a low number this year.  All of the "they're cheaters" aside, anyone know the numbers?

lhglrkwg

December 10th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

What are your thoughts on doing maybe a monthly recruiting ranking for basketball? I found myself wondering how good Illinois was exactly when they were playing Gonzaga this weekend and I found out they've actually been doing really well on the recruiting trail. Just made me curious to know how the whole conference is doing.

UMaD

December 10th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

"rankings will correct themselves come signing day, when they actually matter"

If they don't matter, and you know they are incorrect, what is the point?  And why front-page them before they matter?

.

UMaD

December 11th, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

Why not just go ahead and make the change.

In the long-run Michigan is going to be more stable than most and therefore have smaller classes, with higher quality recruits.

It's silly rank a 28 person Purdue class laden with 3 stars above a 19 person Michigan class, but that is indeed what will happen.

One of these years Michigan will fill the class up more slowely than others and will be smaller than others.

When it does, enough people will complain and the methodology will change.

UMaD

December 10th, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

Who is outperforming their historical norm? Who is moving the needle?

Who has filled up their class with sub-standard recruits?  Who is struggling to improve?

Who is winning and losing the head-to-head battles within the conference?

etc.

Just giving a list that isn't much more than a count of total recruits, lightly weighted by quality, does indeed not tell you much other than who has most recruits at the moment - which will equalize, more or less, in the end, not to mention vary from year to year.