I have noticed something about recruiting that is mostly common sense, I suppose. Still, I managed to miss it for several seasons. I built a team from bad to decent, then got lucky and took over a NC-contending program. As a general rule, I did not battle for players when trying to move from the non-playoff to playoff level. I just moved on to my second or sometimes my third choice. Once I was in the playoffs, I still did pretty much the same thing, especially if I was competing for the same recruit with a Top Ten team.
It seems much of my problem keeping a team at NC-level is making the transition from a mindset of "I don't want to battle them" to one of "they don't want to battle me." Several times I have backed off a recruit that was considering another school, and offered a scholarship to my #2 guy...only to find out that the other team had done EXACTLY THE SAME THING, and the guy we both wanted reverted to undecided and later signed with a team that had the patience to wait for the smoke to clear before finalizing their scholarship offers.
Learning patience is a tough thing to do, for most of us anyway.