People like to downplay the importance of recruiting rankings by citing any number of players who were wildly over-or-under estimated by the evaluators. Which is fine. Dispute away. But also be very clear that recruiting rankings matter. The number of consensus top 100 recruits on any roster is directly correlated with winning. There are plenty of other factors - experience, depth, coaching, commitment, fit, etc... - but talent is the the first place to look when trying to figure out which teams are going to be good next year.
I looked at all of last year's BCS conference teams. First, I tabulated how many consensus top 100 recruits were on their roster, and then I looked at their win-loss record in conference games. It turns out that there were 18 teams which had either zero or one top 100 recruit on their roster. Of these 18 teams, one - Kansas State - had a winning conference record. On the flip side, teams with eight or more top 100 recruits had an average conference record of 13-5, and none won fewer than 11 conference games.
This chart shows the percentage chance of having a winning conference record, based on the number of top 100 recruits on the roster. Recruiting rankings matter.
Kansas has eleven top 100 players, followed by three ACC teams, and - based on last year's data - it's safe to say that everyone from Memphis up is going to have a very solid team. And I certainly wouldn't vote against the next three either. All told there are 20 college basketaball teams that have at least six consensus top 100 players. Looking at the first chart, teams with six top 100 players had about a 2/3 chance of having a winning conference record. I wonder which of these teams (Stanford through NC State) will fail to reach that mark.