Monday, February 04, 2008

Beware of the Snake Oil Salesmen

Here's the truth about recruiting rankings: It's all a bunch of horsecrap.

Everybody and their grandmother are consumed with them at the moment, but in this corner of cyberspace, we've never considered this exercise anything other than somebody trying to sell you something. Save your money, people! The so-called recruiting gurus miss more than 50% of the time.

Last season, Rivals had only 11 of the top 25 teams averaging a recruiting class of 25th or better from 2003 to 2007. Scout didn't do any better, also missing on 14 teams.

A year earlier, Rivals had 13 of the top 25 finishers with a top 25 class from 2002 to 2006. Scout had one fewer at 12.

There's more.

Florida State pulled in three top-five classes in the past four years, according to Rivals. The Seminoles barely sneaked into a bowl in 2006 and couldn't finish better than fourth in the ACC's Atlantic Division in 2007.

Miami has recruited 14th or better each of the past five years, according to Scout, yet the Hurricanes went 7-6 in 2006 and couldn't even crack .500 last season, finishing 5-7.

In 2003, Oklahoma was regarded to have one of the top recruiting classes in the land. Those projections couldn't have been more inaccurate. In fact, the class can be regarded as one of the worst of Bob Stoops' tenure.

We're just here to warn you. ...


Purdue Matt said...

The recruiting rankings measure how talented the recruits are, not how they will pan out. FSU having a talented roster is just one piece of the puzzle.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Purdue Matt. Just because the teams aren't as successful on the field doesn't mean that the recruiting was inaccurate.

At a minimum, you have to factor strength & conditioning programs, coaching, strength of schedule, etc.

I'm not (personally) a big fan of the recruiting race, but I do believe that both Scout and Rivals do a fairly good job of seperating the A/B players from the C/D players.

Anonymous said...

If you make a list of the teams who have been in the Rivals top ten of recruiting rankings over the last decade and you make a 2nd list of teams that have won a national title over the last 10 years, you will see it is the same list.

This was a silly, silly article.

Three N Out said...

I'm not saying that recruiting does have a huge impact... and I'm not saying it doesn't.

I think the fact that a team like Boise, Utah, or Wake Forrest having the success they had last few years we can discount recruiting somewhat.

On the other hand... Texas, LSU, Florida, OSU, Michigan, OU, USC, and the like seem to get serious talent year in and year out and are good. How much of that is coaching and how much of it is coaching looking good because of talent they recruited.

Anonymous said...

There are two articles by the Sunday Morning QB that totally own this post.

They actually do analysis across the board for all BCS conference teams (who'd think of that?), and their All-American analysis is rather damning to the star skeptic:

"The result is outstanding for the recruiting rankings at the top – five of the top seven in winning percentage were in Rivals’ top seven in the recruting averages, all of the recruiting top ten were in the top 20 on the field, and Rivals was exactly right or within a scant three positions of the on-field results of Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Michigan, California, Virginia, Oregon, Arizona State, Penn State, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Rutgers Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Indiana."

That's one great pile of horsecrap.