Recent classes that will have impact in '14

Urban Meyer continues to bring stellar recruiting classes to Columbus. Greg Bartram/USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes came within roughly a quarter of making the BCS title game. Whether the Buckeyes deserved to be there, or however you’d like to argue that, is irrelevant. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs could have politicked through Christmas, but the fact remains that Ohio State would have played Florida State for the title.

The residual point, the one that matters for 2014: The Buckeyes, who return as much talent as anyone in the country, were that close.

The recruiting work Urban Meyer has done since arriving in Columbus has been as strong as anyone in the country. If Ohio State is to break through in the new playoff era, it will likely be as a result of the 2013 and 2014 classes -- and particularly the ’13 group, because it already has logged time in the program, some of them playing as freshmen.

"Alabama, FSU and Ohio State," one coach told me recently at the Senior Bowl, "they’re recruiting on another level."

Ohio State's 2013 haul leads off our look at recent recruiting classes that will make the biggest impacts this fall, followed by a representative class from each of the other four power conferences.

Big Ten

Ohio State Buckeyes, Class of 2013

Of those who played right away, Joey Bosa was the most disruptive true freshman lineman in the country -- and we had him rated the seventh-best prospect in OSU’s 2013 class.