College football's 10 most talented teams this season


Take a look at recent College Football Playoff history and the trend jumps off the page — America's most talented teams compete for national championships and there's noticeable separation from the rest of the pack.

Programs situated inside the top 10 of the 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings every year win big, led by future NFL early-rounders who destroy the competition due to their talent level.

And there is a formula we use in determining who makes up the list of nation's scariest teams — in terms of roster quality — this season.

That’s where the 247Sports Team Talent Composite comes into play. It examines and ranks every FBS team — accounting for transfers, dismissals and other early departures — based on how their players ranked in high school. Note, the 2021 Team Talent Composite does not account for 247Sports' transfer rankings. It is purely based off high school rankings.

Get the fastest scores, stats, news, LIVE videos, and more. CLICK HERE to download the CBS Sports Mobile App and get the latest on your team today.

Which programs will experience a wealth of roster riches this fall following their recruiting success?

Here's a look at college football's 10 most talented teams, per our Team Talent Composite, entering the season:

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 1,004.4

The word: This should come as no surprise that Alabama is the nation's most-talented team this fall judging by the fact Nick Saban landed the highest-rated signing class ever for the 2021 cycle and handled most the recruiting virtually. Alabama welcomed the No. 1 class nationally per the 247Sports composite during the 2017 and 2019 cycles as well. The rich indeed get richer. The Crimson Tide's highest-rated player is none other than new starting quarterback Bryce Young, who played the second-team role to All-American Mac Jones last season. He is one of 14 former five-stars on this year's roster, the third-highest total of elite prospects nationally.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 1,001.7

The word: Nolan Smith is Georgia's highest-ranked player, coming in with a 247Sports Composite score of .9994 as the nation's top-ranked player in the 2019 cycle. But he's not the only No. 1 prospect at his position the Bulldogs have in their arsenal this season. In addition to landing top 247Sports transfer Arik Gilbert (LSU) and Derion Kendrick (Clemson), Georgia welcomes back former five-star and top ballcarrier Zamir White, who was slotted as the ninth-best player overall in the 2018 class. He leads a star-studded backfield for the Bulldogs. And we've barely touched the surface concerning the superstars on the other side of the football. The Bulldogs lead college football with 19 former five-star signees on roster this season.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 985.1

The word: Ryan Day is continuing Ohio State's recruiting locomotive full steam ahead since taking over for Urban Meyer a couple seasons ago. The next closest team in the Big Ten in terms of overall talent per our Team Talent Composite stats is Penn State (at No. 15 nationally). The Buckeyes have 15 five-stars and 51 former four-stars on their roster this season. To put the number in perspective, Ohio State has five times as many former five-stars than Michigan does heading into the 2021 campaign. That's part of the reason the Buckeyes have dominated the rivalry season for more than a decade and are the perennial favorite to win the Big Ten every year.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 935.1

The word: Dabo Swinney and the Tigers will be just fine without first-round picks Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne leaving the station during the spring. Clemson has recruited rock stars waiting in the wings at both of those positions and welcome back 10 starters on defense this fall — all of the elite variety. Clemson has 10 former Composite five-stars and 41 four-stars on its roster as the Tigers try and get back to the College Football Playoff and win their third title in Swinney's tenure. Their highest-rated player is pass rusher Bryan Bresee, the nation's No. 1 player overall from the 2020 cycle.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 903.5

The word: There are no excuses for another 5-5 campaign at LSU, not with the roster this program brings to the field in 2021. After going unbeaten en route to a national championship during the 2019 season, the Tigers fell flat with an elite group last fall and hope history does not repeat itself again. LSU has six former five-star signees on its roster and saw a seventh, Arik Gilbert, leave for Georgia during the offseason. The Tigers' top-ranked prospect is Derek Stingley Jr., a future first-round pick considered to be college football's top cover corner. 

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 893.7

The word: Lincoln Riley is getting it done in a big way at Oklahoma, but does not have a national championship to show for it ... yet. The Sooners lead the Big 12 with seven former five-star players, two more than Texas, including heralded quarterback Spencer Rattler and play-making wide receivers Theo Wease and Jadon Haselwood. Oklahoma's elite signing class for the 2021 cycle snapped the Longhorns' three-year reign atop the Big 12 for top billing on the recruiting trail. Oklahoma has done a much better job developing players in recent years, comparatively, judging by multiple trips to the Playoff.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 883.9

The word: Surprised by Dan Mullen's success early with the Gators? Don't be. The roster shows there's more talent than most consider there to be in Gainesville. Florida's abundance of talent ranks fourth-most in the SEC and includes 49 of the four-star variety. Six former five-star signees dot the roster, highlighted by Penn State transfer Justin Shorter at wide receiver, Clemson transfer Demarkcus Bowman in the backfield and former Georgia signee Brenton Cox Jr. at linebacker. Give Florida credit — Mullen is flat out getting it done via the NCAA transfer portal.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 888.83

The word: Jimbo Fisher's recruiting classes keep getting better in Aggieland as recruits have taken notice of his surging on-field product and Texas A&M has capitalized on being the Lone Star State's only SEC team — for now, at least. The Aggies have been killers on the recruiting trail especially on the defensive side of the football (three five-stars) as they look to replicate the Wrecking Crew of old.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 883.8

The word: There are two programs out West with enough talent to compete for a national championship this season and Oregon is one of those selections. Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of four former five-stars on roster and he is joined defensively by can't-miss linebackers Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe. That trio gives the Ducks a wealth of pass-rush might this fall as Oregon tries to win the Pac-12 Conference and then some. In total, Mario Cristobal has 43 former four-star players on roster this season, which is tops in the conference ahead of USC.

College football's 10 most talented teams this season

Team Talent Composite Point Total: 874.5

The word: USC was a recruiting mecca under Pete Carroll and Clay Helton hasn't caught up to that level of success yet. He does have two former five-stars and dozens of four-star players in his arsenal this season as the Trojans try and get back to the Pac-12 Championship Game for their potential rematch with Oregon.