As far as recruiting goes, you won't actually know who has the better class until they kids have been in school for about 3-4 years. If you look at LSU's classes, there have been some schools that have had as good or better classes during the past 4-5 years, but LSU has put more players in the NFL.
This was my follow-up to the 12k/24k comparison. I personally believe that recruiting classes should be judged based off of on the field performance and draft positioning. Although, player development varies from school to school. LSU has done more with its lower ranked classes than several teams have done with similar or better recruiting class rankings.