Imho, the rankings for final rosters are usually pretty close to dead on. The recruit rankings can't tell the story of a recruit w/o factoring in his potential and/or WE. Take this DL.
Now...he was a monster to begin with, but he was only the #3 DL and #12 prospect in that class overall. By his Fr* season he's the 2nd best player in his class and by his So* year...he's the 16th best player period. He's the #2 player his Jr.* and #1 this year...and could easily start on any of my D1a teams! There are many other examples anyone can bring forward of even better growth etc.
However...if you look at his roster rankings year to year...at least in Stagg, he's pretty close to spot on.
The DII Title has run thru V. State...Virginia St. and gt_deuce's immovable force and Valdosta St. and my irresistible object since season 65. (Before 65...it simply ran thru gt_deuce!)
In 19 seasons, 12 of the titles were won by either of these teams, including last 7...each netting 6 NC's. Here are a few more fun facts...
Virg. St.- Has been ranked in the top 3 teams by GUESS ALL 19 SEASONS! 7 of those seasons he started as the #1 team. 16 of those 19 seasons they made Quarters or better, 14/19 Semi's or better, and 7 NC games with 6 wins. He had exactly ZERO #1 recruiting classes...
Valdosta- Since season 68 (1st full season of all my players) have had all teams ranked in top 5 and in top 3 for last 10 seasons. We were also ranked #1 for 7 seasons. 15 of 19 seasons were Quarters or better, 10/19 Semi's or better, and 7 NC games with 6 wins. In that time we had 3 classes ranked #1...
So as you can see...the class you start with according to GUESS isn't always the class you end up with.
Oh...and I am coming for my crown gt_deuce!!!!