In fact, the top ten programs took a slightly higher share of elite talent in the year 2000 than 2020. Granted, there was a smaller share of elite talent in that year, which throws off the metrics. However, since 2002, the share of elite talent going to top 10 teams has hovered around 45%. From 2001-2013, the top 10 programs signed 45.9% of the elite recruits. Compared to the CFP era 2014-2020, this same tier of programs signed 44.2% of elite recruits.
Which begs the question — is the 2021 class an outlier, or the clear demarcation of a trend? Someone raised a good point in the comments yesterday, that top recruits are looking for sure things right now, something that favors the big boys. Part of that has to be a result of what COVID hath wrought, namely the lack of opportunity for in-person visitation and evaluation. (To be fair, that sure thing cuts both ways.) And, with the news that the NCAA is leaning towards extending the recruiting dead period again, the uncertainty is going to remain, at least for a while.