System vs. stars

Lane Kiffin and Chip Kelly have very different approaches to recruiting, with Kiffin focusing on the best players, while Kelly seeks the best fits for his system. Getty Images, Cal Sport Media via AP Images

A glance at final recruiting class rankings from recent years offers no explanation for the power shift that has shaken up the Pac-12.

If the accumulation of high-caliber talent is supposed to translate into on-field success, it hasn't exactly played out that way. Recruiting projections of years past certainly didn't provide clues or hint at what would unfold in the conference this season.

While USC is widely considered a nationally recognized college football brand -- a factor that undoubtedly contributes to unparalleled recruiting success in and out of California -- it is Oregon that has basked in the spotlight since the start of Chip Kelly's tenure in Eugene.