Commentary

Five recruiting underachievers

Michigan, Notre Dame, FSU among the teams that fail to play up to their talent level

Updated: January 25, 2012, 3:43 PM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders
Denard RobinsonGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesUM won a BCS bowl in Brady Hoke's first season, but it struggled for several years before that.

Top 5 recruiting overachievers | Top 5 recruiting underachievers

As we wrote on Tuesday, the foundation for a college football program's success is recruiting. That isn't to say that some five-star prospects don't fail to meet expectations once they make it to college or that some lower-rated recruits don't develop into stars, but there is still a strong correlation between on-field success and success on the recruiting trail.

We first evaluated five programs that have overachieved on the field the past five seasons compared with their weighted recruiting rankings, and now we are going to do the opposite by looking at five programs that have failed to perform up to their talent level in the past five seasons.

Here are the top five recruiting underachievers:

Michigan Wolverines

Since 2007, 26 losses as the more talented team

Wolverines fans would love to forget about the Rich Rodriguez era altogether, and new coach Brady Hoke appears to have the reclamation project heading in the right direction. The first year on the field was strong, and Hoke has a top-10 class in the making, according to ESPN. But that's nothing new for Michigan, which has boasted one of the most consistently strong recruiting profiles for years (top-15 classes in ESPN's rankings 2007-2010).


To read more about Michigan and the other four teams that have failed to play up to their talent in recent seasons, sign up for Insider today.

Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com