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February 09, 2009


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Der Schatten

RE: Alabama. Fran couldn't/didn't recruit; Shula couldn't coach. There was susbstantial turmoil in 2002-2003. What is the record with a proven coach to recruiting class?

2007 (18th) 7-6
2008 (1st) 12-2
2009 (1st) TBA

In sum, the analysis here is pretty glib (at least as far as UA is concerned).


Instead of cherry-picking a few of the most extreme examples and declaring that recruiting rankings don't matter, why not at least attempt to look at things on a larger, more unbiased scale?

There are two huge flaws in your line of thinking that make this post useless to anyone capable of looking with a critical eye:

1) You clearly selected only the largest outliers (in both directions) to try to "prove" your point. However, this way of thinking is obviously skewed to ignore teams like Florida, Georgia, LSU, USC, Ohio State, Texas, and many others who consistently rank near the top of the recruiting rankings. This is a pretty obvious example of trying to fit the data into an argument, instead of looking at the data as a whole and drawing your argument from that.

2) Your two examples of teams out-performing their recruiting rankings both come from conferences not represented by your other six teams. This is important, since in the Big East, no current member team except Pittsburgh in 2006 has even broken the top 25 of Rivals' rankings; in the Big Ten, only Ohio State and Michigan have consistently out-recruiting Iowa by any significant margin (of note, Iowa's record against those two since 2003: 2-5). Meanwhile, teams like Alabama, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Florida State, and Miami all consistently face teams with far more talent (per the ratings) and likewise have not racked up the same raw number of wins as those teams facing easier schedules.

You might find it a more balanced exercise to look at the recruiting rankings of members of individual conferences, and then compare their conference records, since that is the easiest way to have any sort of normalized comparison with college football's current landscape. If you do this, and actually approach it with any sort of open-mindedness, you'll probably find that while recruiting rankings are not an infallible predictor of a team's success, they certainly carry much more of a correlation than these skewed examples would suggest.

Carl Spackler

Over at CFN Pete Fiutak calls teams like Iowa, Wisconsin and West Virginia system schools where those teams are looking for talent, obviously, but looking a little more on the margin for players that fit their scheme well and will develop and in their 3rd, 4th and 5th seasons be just as good as the unseasoned 4 and 5 star. It's good rationale and coaching consistency makes this work.

BC is like those schools, too, but I think it's more in line there with the Patriots apparatus wherein they consistently recruit pretty smart kids from the catholic schools.


Der Schatten has it down to a science nuthin else needs said

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