Re-grading the Big 12 classes of 2012

There's no better way to judge a recruiting class than waiting four years. Today, we're re-ranking the Big 12 classes of 2012. A few of these classes played key roles in Big 12 titles. A few helped cost head coaches their jobs. Here are our revised letter grades.

1. Baylor Bears

2012 grade: B-

2016 grade: A

Top signees: WR Corey Coleman, RB Shock Linwood, QB Seth Russell, LB Eddie Lackey, C Kyle Fuller

This group has won two Big 12 titles and 40 games. Not bad. Coleman became an All-American and a Biletnikoff Award winner. Linwood is 204 yards away from becoming Baylor’s all-time leading rusher. Lackey, a juco transfer, was a star on those title teams and one of four signees that started 20-plus games for Baylor’s defense. Russell and Fuller are back for another big year. Not many busts in this class, though it’s a shame DT Javonte Magee didn’t work out.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

2012 grade: B+

2016 grade: A

Top signees: WR Sterling Shepard, LB Eric Striker, CB Zack Sanchez, DE Charles Tapper, QB Trevor Knight

The leaders of the Sooners’ recent College Football Playoff and Big 12 title squad all came from this class. Striker, Sanchez and Tapper were three-stars who developed into studs, and Shepard is one of the Sooners’ all-time greats. There were many misses in this No. 11 ranked class -- 12 of the 28 signees did not qualify, transferred or left the program -- but those who stayed won big this year.

3. TCU Horned Frogs

2012 grade: B-

2016 grade: B+

Top signees: S Derrick Kindred, K Jaden Oberkrom, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, C Joey Hunt, DE Josh Carraway

The class Gary Patterson inked before heading to the Big 12 ended up being a quality one: 11 of the 24 signees were key starters on TCU’s conference title squad in 2014. The star of this class should’ve been Devonte Fields, the Big 12’s AP Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman, but his TCU career was over after 16 games. Kindred and Carraway were no-star recruits who became All-Big 12 talents, and B.J. Catalon and Kolby Listenbee emerged as quality offensive weapons.

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys

2012 grade: C+

2016 grade: B+

Top signees: DE Emmanuel Ogbah, DT Calvin Barnett, CB Kevin Peterson, CB Ashton Lampkin, LB Seth Jacobs

Solid class from top to bottom. Ogbah shared Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, Barnett won Newcomer of the Year in 2012 and both were two-time All-Big 12 players. Peterson was another all-conference stud, and more than a dozen signees developed into starters. The most newsworthy departure from this group, QB Wes Lunt, has been fairly average so far at Illinois.

5. Kansas State Wildcats

2012 grade: C-

2016 grade: B

Top signees: CB Morgan Burns, DT Travis Britz, FB Glenn Gronkowski, RB Charles Jones, LB Will Davis

K-State classes are never easy to grade with all the juco transfers, grayshirts and walk-ons, but this was a nice group. Burns became Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. Jones, Gronk, Joe Hubener and Deante Burton all came from this class. Juco transfers Tavon Rooks, Dylan Schellenberg and Alauna Finau became key pieces. You could throw former grayshirt Dante Barnett in this class, too, though we counted him toward 2011.

6. West Virginia Mountaineers

2012 grade: C+

2016 grade: B

Top signees: S Karl Joseph, C Tyler Orlosky, S K.J. Dillon, DE Noble Nwachukwu, OG Mark Glowinski

Like TCU, West Virginia brought on some quality talent in time for the move to the Big 12. Joseph, a four-year star who was on his way to an All-America senior season, was one of 10 future reliable starters in the class. Can’t forget ESPN 150 RB Rushel Shell, who signed with Pitt but ended up at WVU. A dozen WVU signees did leave the program, so maybe this class was a little hit-and-miss. But it was a good start for joining the league.

7. Texas Longhorns

2012 grade: A

2016 grade: C+

Top signees: DT Malcom Brown, DT Hassan Ridgeway, CB Duke Thomas, RB Johnathan Gray, LB Peter Jinkens

A No. 3-ranked class hailed as one of Mack Brown’s best didn’t live up to expectations. Malcom Brown was a dominant force and first-round pick, but one of only two All-Big 12 players in the 28-man class. Gray, the can’t-miss high school legend, might’ve been one if not for injuries. There might be a dozen multiyear starters in this class, but few became stars and their four-year record is 28-23.

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders

2012 grade: B-

2016 grade: D+

Top signees: C Jared Kaster, LB Micah Awe, LB Will Smith, S Keenon Ward, OT Reshod Fortenberry

Easy to figure out how Texas Tech went 4-8 a year ago when you review this group. Tommy Tuberville’s last class at Tech, ranked 20th nationally by ESPN, was a disaster. ESPN 150 signees Dominique Wheeler and Michael Starts were among the 13 busts in this 27-man class. Only a couple of Tuberville’s nine junior college transfers made a meaningful impact, and so far just four high school signees have become multiyear starters.

9. Iowa State Cyclones

2012 grade: C

2016 grade: D+

Top signees: DE Cory Morrissey, K Cole Netten, OG Daniel Burton, LB Luke Knott, WR Dondre Daley

Not many stars or multiyear starters to choose from in this class. Morrissey, a junior college transfer, had a quality senior season. Netten has been steady for three years. Burton started 19 games but left the program two weeks ago. Fair to say this group, with a record of 14-35 in four years, did not help Paul Rhoads’ chances.

10. Kansas Jayhawks

2012 grade: C-

2016 grade: D

Top signees: WR Tre' Parmalee, DT Keon Stowers, OT Jordan Shelley-Smith, DT Jordan Tavai, DB Tevin Shaw

Charlie Weis’ first class at Kansas might be remembered best for prized QB transfers Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps, but they weren’t the only ones who didn’t pan out in Lawrence. Hard to figure out where a few of these guys ended up -- they just disappear off the roster -- but there were a few solid contributors in this 23-man class. An overreliance on junior college transfers cost KU dearly years later.