Oklahoma football: Where does OU’s roster rank talent-wise heading into 2023 season?

No one will dispute that recruiting is the lifeblood of sustainable success in college football program. In this day and age you must also add in the supplementary effect of the transfer portal.

Name, image and likeness also plays into all of this, and we’re just now starting to see the impact of how the money talks as part of the recruiting process.

There is good reason why the best teams in the country seemingly every season are also at the top of the recruiting rankings year after year.

The rich history, tradition and winning records of the Alabamas, the Georgias and the Ohio States of the college football world puts them at the head of the line when it come to luring and signing the best talent in the nation. And that infusion of elite talent every recruiting cycle is what puts them in position field a roster worthy of challenging for a national championship every year.

Steve Lassan of Athlon Sports recently did an analysis of teams from Power Five conferences and came up with a ranking of the teams with the best rosters. To do so, he took the average of every team’s last five signing classes (2019-2023) using 247Sports’ Composite Team Recruiting Rankings, and each team’s record over the past five seasons (2018-22).

Oklahoma lands in the top 10 at No. 8, which is the average of the Sooners’ recruiting class rankings nationally — 4th, 8th-10th-12th and 6th — over the past five cycles. Three teams that ranked ahead of OU — LSU, Texas A&M and Texas — had a worse composite record than the Sooners, but all three typically reel in highly ranked recruiting classes every year.

Lassan noted that in the last five years, every No. recruiting class came from the SEC. And if you count Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC in another year, “the SEC has six of the top-10 rosters in terms of talent going into 2023,” he wrote.

If there is any doubt whether the SEC is the best and most talented college football conference — and about to get stronger with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas — here’s some additional supporting evidence: Twelve of the current 14 members, according to Lassan’s analysis, rank in the top 25 in roster talent. Only Missouri and Vanderbilt fall outside of the top 25 at 27th and 49th, respectively.