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December 23, 2009


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Thank you, Wiz. This is further ammunition I can use to point out to people who get their shorts in a knot over whether a top recruit is coming to their school or not. You'll never truly know how good that particular player is going to be in college until the ball goes up in the air.


You lost me. 8.4% of 1,496 is 125.7. How were 125 players considered top-100 by Rivals?

Cheif Big Horn

Top 100 at one point in time. So say each college season has four classes of top 100 recruits. And the stats say 125 play in bowls, that leaves around 275 top 100 recruits to sit around and watch bowl games and consider which school they should transfer to, not realizing that they probably wouldn't even make the Travel roster for Boise st.


Sigh ... bad statistics ...

You have to look at the numbers differently. Rather than 126 out of 1496 starters, look at it as 126 actual starters out of 400 potential starters, or 31%. That means every Top 100 recruit has a 31% chance of being a starter for a bowl-quality team. That's actually pretty good odds, when compared to the odds of a non-Top 100 recruit.

Obviously this excludes things such as top players being blocked by other top players, or freshmen who need time to mature, or top recruits who want to go to rebuilding schools, or top recruits who get injured (which is probably more likely since they may have been more likely to have played in games), etc etc ... which all lowers the percentage you've quoted.

So when you look at it that way ... its even more important to get top recruits!

John Brandstater

This is another article which doesn't look at strength of schedule. I'll give Oregon credit, Chip Kelly took the speed he had and used it to create an awesome offense. That credit goes to the coach, not the players. But TCU, Boise State, Cincinnati, they're non top-100 recruit teams playing non top-100 recruit teams. Certainly, having a coach who knows how to create a cohesive system is crucial, however when you have two equal coaches playing each other, player talent comes into play. Additionally, you point out that Bama has 3 top-100s to Texas' 9 top-100... That's not to say that the top-100s on each team are are bad or poorly coached, moreover it speaks to the overall talent of those non top-100 talents on opposing teams. And i hate to be the douche to point this out, but Texas is the underdog because Bama had a good game against Florida and Texas looked sluggish against Nebraska. I'd hardly argue that those individual games represent a team's quality as a whole.


2005 - 2009 Rivals Top 100 Univ. of Alabama

*Rolando McClain - Butkus Award Winner
*Nico Johnson - Freshman All-SEC
*Mark Barron - 3rd team All-American/All-SEC
*Julio Jones - Freshman All-American 2008
*Barrett Jones - Freshman All-SEC
*Terry Grant - starting KR

Trent Richardson - Freshman All-SEC
Roy Upchurch
Earl Alexander
Kerry Murphy
Jerrell Harris
Dre Kirkpatrick

Rode the Pine:
Tyler Love
Brandon Gibson

Burton Scott
D.J. Fluker
Tana Patrick

No longer on the team:
Andre Smith - 6th pick 09 NFL Draft
Alonzo Lawrence - Transferred
Chris Keys - Dismissed from team

20 Rivals 100 from '05 - '09
5 starters - (not including special teams)
12 solid contributers
3 Redshirts
1 Top 10 NFL Draft pick
2 Transferred/Dismissed from the team

If I were a college program, I would take these results all day long. WSJ got some bad info saying Alabama only has 3 starters who were Rivals top 100.

Will Smithrock

Love this quote ..."...not realizing that they probably wouldn't make the travel roster for Boise St."

Boise St. would LOVE to get their hands on a 4 or 5 star recruit. It would begin to help legitimize a program that skates thru regular seasons on easy WAC opponents with only 1 BCS opponent. The only four years Boise played 2 BCS teams in regular season, they went 0-2 each season, 0-8 overall. Their all-time regular season record vs BCS teams is 5-16.


I'm pretty sure winning ball games legitimizes Boise's program. Any one in the SEC manning up to play them? Nope.

matty blue

geez, of COURSE tcu, boise and cincinnati made bcs games without top-100 talent. that's not because they're finding diamonds in the rough, it's because they're playing similarly-talented teams.

put any of those three in the sec / big 12 / pac 10 / big 10 and there's no goddamn way they're playing in bcs bowls. what a non-argument.


I've always liked bananas but lately I've been eating a lot of potato chips.


WSJ forgets to mention that Florida won the National Championship with 10 top 100 recruits last year.


This is so mind blowingly stupid I want to hit something. "Only" 8.4 percent? 126 out of 400 (not including kids who left early or redshirted). That's a pretty high percentage compared to the general population. Yet, you think the recruiting rankings mean nothing.

This is so dumb it actually makes me lose a little faith in America's education system.


I have to agree with the others that this is pretty dumb. To add to the others...there are 2000-3000 players that sign FBS scholarships every year. That means the top 100 players constitute just 3-5% of total players signing letters of intent. So if BCS bowl teams have 8.4% of their starters as top 100 recruits, it would seem that the analysis actually proves that it is better to recruit a high number of Top 100 recruits. In fact, if your team is in a BCS conference, the evidence has suggested time and again that the more "top recruits" you sign, the higher your chances of winning. The criticism of recruiting rankings seems to boil down to: "well, they aren't perfect." Yeah, so what? Nobody said they were.


This has been pointed out already in this post, but I will jump in. 4% of players in college football's signing classes ever year are "Top 100" recruits, but 8.4% are STARTERS on these bowl rosters. I think that's pretty damning evidence to the contrary rankings don't matter. If you are a Top 100 recruit, you are much more likely to be a starter on a bowl team than the other 2300 players that sign every year.

I'd be very interested to see what would happen if the research was expanded to the Rivals 250, which includes all the four stars.

The team rankings on the the whole the last few years.

09 - Texas, Alabama and OSU are all in the top five.
08 - Alabama, Florida and Miami are in the top five. The Hurricanes are a trendy pick for the top 10 for next year are they not?
07 - Florida, LSU, Texas make up 3 of the top 5, Alabama came in #10.
06 - The seniors and RS juniors on the teams this year- Florida and Texas both in the top five.

Brian D.

Apparently, when you say "recruiting rankings are a fraud" your definition of "fraud" means the exact opposite of the rest of the english speaking world. Because as pointed out, these stats actually PROVE that top 100 recruits are important and succeed at a higher level. How can someone not think when presented stats like these?


Jesus, Wiz, can you not do fucking math? There are roughly 3000 recruits a year. The top 100 would comprise roughly 3%. In other words - roughly 3% of people holding college scholarships are in the top 100. So 8.4% of the players starting in bowl games are top 100 players? Do you see how disproportionately high that is?

Unfortunately, this article does nothing to diminish the value of recruiting rankings, it merely proves that you can't do 5th grade arithmetic.


I read this twice and still can't figure how the word "fraudulent" would apply here. Think through the numbers a bit more closely, Wiz. That's an incredibly high number of starters both in bowl games, and in BCS games.

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