Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why Coaches Dislike Recruiting Rankings

National signing day is Wednesday, and if your team doesn't have a top 25 class, there's no need to worry. Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune took a look at rankings from Rivals and Scout for the past five seasons and the recruiting sites miss about 40% of the time. Nine teams that finished in the top 25 this past season never even were ranked in the final top 25 recruiting rankings during the previous five Februarys by Rivals or Scout. And four of the teams — Boise State, Louisville, Wisconsin and West Virginia — finished in the top 10. In other words, for every Reggie Bush, there's a Whitney Lewis, right, who never made an impact at USC and transferred last season to Division I-AA Northern Iowa. Some of the biggest critics of the sites are coaches, who feel added pressure after a recruiting class is ranked. "It certainly looks nice for your alumni when they rank your recruiting class first, second third or fourth, except for three years later when those recruits bomb out and the coach gets fired because those recruiting rankings don't pan out," said Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. But fans continue to flock to the sites, with subscribers paying $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year for access to premium areas. On Wednesday, Rivals expects 75 million page views. ... Thanks to Mary!


Anonymous said...

How much of that result is because most of the teams that finish in the top 25 compete against one another?

Boise State, Louisville, Wisconsin and West Virginia defeated how many teams last season that finished in the top 25 of more than one recruiting ranking over the last four seasons? Between them, I'd say two (Miami and Oklahoma), maybe three (not sure if Arkansas, in Wisconsin's case, has been ranked that high). If seven SEC schools are ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes, which is a conservative estimate, they can't all finish in the top 25 on the field because they're knocking one another off. Top-ranked classes at LSU, USC and Texas have all produced championships in the past five-six seasons, and Florida State's great classes consistently won or at least played for championships in the nineties. The same is true for players at these schools - Whitney Lewis was facing tremendous competition for playing time at USC. Would have transferred and been considered a bust if he had signed with Arizona?

Some of the rankings are flatly wrong, but it's not 40 percent. It is definitely better to finish high in those assessments.


Displaced Trojan said...


Your take is valid, although there is something to be said for having a recruiting class ranked in the top five or so, as the likes USC, Texas, Florida have recently proven on the recruiting trail and on the field.

As you say "for every Reggie Bush, there's a Whitney Lewis" ... so, obviously, a coach must hustle his ass off to bring in both -- which results in a top-five ranking from rivals, scout, etc. -- because you never know.

Anonymous said...

Good point. I have also struggled to see the value of those services. Top 10 everybody knows and they are the only real can't miss. After that it is much more of a guessing game than a science, and these services so skewed by what the big boy colleges are saying and doing.

Anonymous said...

There are 10 count'm 10 1-A College Coaches making $2MM+/year. Man the F--- UP!! For that kind of money there should be some pressure.These guys are millionaires and are set for life. Many have big time TV jobs waiting for them and they "do not like the added pressure" that these rankings provide???? Quit whining and win games like you and your athletes are paid to do.