Recruiting rankings are far from infallible, but there's certainly a correlation between winning and doing well in recruiting rankings.
The Pac-12 is no exception. The six teams that have averaged the most conference victories over the past five years also are the six teams that had the highest average recruiting ranking over the past five years.
Yet who does the most (wins) with the least (lowest recruiting rankings) and who does the least with the most? That is our question today.
The short answer, for you impatient sorts, is Oregon and Stanford leaping over the L.A. schools -- USC and UCLA -- as the winningest programs during the past five years while ranking Nos. 3 and 4 in recruiting. Utah also takes a two-step jump in the positive, ranking seventh in win average and ninth in recruiting average.
The worst? That would be California, which ranks 11th with an average of 2.6 Pac-12 wins in the past five seasons while ranking seventh in recruiting. The Bears' bagel in conference play in 2013 was a pretty big hit.
Joining Cal with negative numbers are USC and UCLA -- minus-2-- and Washington at minus-1. Colorado finished last in average wins and last in average recruiting ranking, thereby earning it an unhappy push.
Oregon State took a plus-2 jump, but going from 11th in the recruiting rankings -- just a few spots below Utah and Washington State -- to a tie with the Cougars for ninth in wins doesn't seem terribly consequential. Here's a guess it's not much comfort for Beavers fans, who surely aren't satisfied with an average of three conference victories over the past five years, considering they averaged 5.8 in the five years before, back in the Pac-10 days.
Of course, this methodology is far from exact. For one, the correlation between recruiting classes and concurrent winning isn't parallel. Further, with the advent of the 12-team conference in 2011, the round-robin conference schedule of the Pac-10 was lost and conference misses played a notable role in the difficulty of a team's conference schedule.
Still, most would agree that Oregon, Stanford and Utah have gotten the most from their talent in the past five years, while USC, UCLA, Washington and Cal underachieved.