Alabama earns top honors

While experience, knowledge, and intensive research, including countless hours of film study, can help predict how good a player may be, only time can truly tell who is the real deal and who is not.

The same can be said for recruiting classes.

Rewinding four years ago, the Miami Hurricanes landed the top class and while that was a very talented group, collectively they underachieved. Individual players from that 2008 Miami class did perform well -- linebacker Sean Spence, for example -- but as a group they were not worthy of the No. 1 slot. They ended up being more like a top 20 class than the nation's best class.