A combination of factors are considered when we sort through the teams and come up with our class rankings.
There is a formula that is used that takes into account our grades and position rankings to guide us when evaluating each program, but it is only part of the process. Working strictly off a mathematical formula can present a short-sighted view and our focus has always been on the program's big picture. Quantity doesn't always mean the same as quality because, simply put, having a big class does not always equate to a high ranking.
Similarly, having the same quantity of a prospects at a certain star range doesn't always equally compare. When looking at classes, we look at more than just how many stars a prospect might have and take into account their numerical grade as well. For example, a class with a group of three-stars who grade out at 78 and 79 is going to carry more weight than a class with an equal amount of three-stars but who are mainly in the 72-73 range.
While looking at commits and player rankings are key, there is a human element to the game of football and there is also a human element to the class rankings as well. In addition to utilizing a formula, we also place an important emphasis on roster examination as well. After looking at the rankings of players picked up, we also examine how a program addressed its needs, recruited in advance of early NFL departures and if it brought in players whose strengths found during film study fit the team's schemes and philosophies.
The key thing to remember is we won't truly be able to tell how good a class is for a few years, but in the here and now, we feel our approach is the only fair way to evaluate and immediately rate a class.