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Recruiting Expert Names The Only 16 College Football Teams That Can Win 2021 National Title

Alabama players tackling Georgia running back D'Andre Swift during the SEC college football championship game.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: D'Andre Swift #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs is tackled by the Alabama Crimson Tide defense in the first half during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

While college football recruiting is an inexact science, one thing rings true: signing more four and five-star recruits means you'll have a better chance to compete for titles. 247Sports' Bud Elliott has proven this correct for years.

Every summer, he publishes the "blue-chip ratio," which has held firm dating back to the start of online college football recruit ranking databases. Very simply: the only teams that have won national titles are those that have more blue-chip scholarship talent on the roster than not.

"Recruiting rankings are not perfect. But they are damn good, especially in the aggregate," Elliott writes. "Four- and five-star recruits are about 10 times more likely to be drafted in the first round than their two- and three-star counterparts. And five-stars are about 33 times more likely to be All-Americans as two-stars are. For every two-star who becomes a big success, there are multiples who will be going pro in something other than sports. "

This year, 16 programs reach the 50-percent threshold of blue-chip recruits across four recruiting classes. Alabama, which dominates on Signing Day more often than it does on national championship Monday, is an unsurprising top school at 84-percent. They're followed by five schools that have made noise in the College Football Playoff: Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson, LSU, and Oklahoma.

The names involved there are not overly surprising. It wouldn't be a shock if all four College Football Playoff teams came from this list, and the national champion almost certainly will.

Using ESPN's post-spring football Top 25, the teams in that top 16 that don't also hit the 50-percent Blue-Chip Ratio mark: 6 Iowa State, 8 North Carolina, 9 Cincinnati, 11 Indiana, 14 Iowa, 15 Washington, and 16 Louisiana. Those programs may well have very nice 2021 seasons, but per this rule, which has held very firm year-over-year, their national title aspirations are not super legitimate.

We'll see if the future adoption of a 12-team playoff will change things. Ultimately, talent wins out, so even with more opportunities, I imagine this will hold firm virtually every year.