FSU wound up with a top recruiting class out of the 2012 cycle. They're ranked as high as 2nd by ESPN and 247Sports, 6th by CBSSports, 8th by Rivals, and 10th by Scout. The large variation here is most likely due to quantity of recruits taken and a team's calculated "score;" the basic formula is the sum total of the quality of each recruit. ESPN and 247 attempt to balance the quality/quantity divide a bit. Needless to say, unless you're the crank hater down the hall who isn't satisfied until FSU gets 5* recruits every cycle at every position -- you've got to be thrilled with the continued elite recruiting performances with CJF at the helm, with 2012 being no exception.
Bama is touted by those sites as having the #1 class (#2 by Scout), and rightfully so. No team besides Texas amassed both quality and quantity this past recruiting cycle. With limited scholarships available, FSU had to reign in the total number of committable offers. Clearly, Alabama - coming off a record 14th national championship - had the upper-hand in recruiting gravitas.
Or did they?
See after the jump how FSU and Alabama went head-to-head in pursuing recruits offered by both schools.
The following prospects were ESPN150 members signed by FSU that had offers from Alabama.
Mario Edwards. Area recruit coordinator: Lawrence Dawsey.
Ronald Darby. Offered by Alabama. FSU signee. Area recruit coordinator: Odell Haggins.
Eddie Goldman. Even OV'd to Alabama back in November. Area recruit coordinator: Odell Haggins.
Mario Pender. Area recruit coordinator: Greg Hudson.
PJ Williams. Area recruit coordinator: DJ Eliot.
Marvin Bracy. Area recruit coordinator: Rick Trickett.
Chris Casher from Mobile, AL. FSU signee. Area recruit coordinator: Dameyune Craig.
Jameis Winston from Hueytown, AL. Area recruit coordinator: Dameyune Craig.
Justin Shanks from Prattville, AL. Area recruit coordinator: Dameyune Craig.
That makes a total of 9 signees to FSU with Bama offers, 3 of which could be considered Bama backyard steals.
Eddie Williams, Panama City.
Chris Black, Jacksonville.
Amari Cooper, Miami.
Alphonse Taylor. Though not a ESPN150 member, both teams highly valued him with Bama winning out.
So that makes 7 mutually-offered recruits that Bama would sign over FSU. The state of Florida is wide-open in terms of recruiting these days, but I think it's ok to say Bama came into Florida and took 3 kids that FSU wanted. Bama's final score: 7 signees to Bama that FSU offered, 3 of which could be considered backyard steals.
So you can see that FSU went toe-to-toe with Alabama and came up with more total mutually-recruited signees. That's impressive when you consider the near-unanimity of Alabama's #1 ranked recruiting class.
Sources: ESPN, Rivals