Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just how good is the 2007 Florida class?

Florida’s 2007 class may be not only the best ever at Florida, it may be one of the best ever period. The class is not only large it is deep, with talent from the top to the bottom.

When classes are ranked by services like and Rivals, they are given simple numerical orders rankings. However, these do not tell the whole story. Take the instance of the billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet was the “2nd richest man in the world” per Forbes in 2006, and Gates the first, but Gates total net worth was estimated at $53 billion, while Buffet’s was $46 billion. In other words, although Buffet is 2nd, Gates is 15% richer than Buffet with $8 billion more, a difference alone of 3 times the total estimate wealth of Donald Trump ($2.6 billion).

A similar situation can be found in the 2007 recruiting classes. While Rivals and Scout both rank Florida first, the drop off in classes between the Gators and the other top classes is most telling. Both Rivals and Scout use a point system to rank the total class, which like a billionaire’s dollars, can be used to separate the truly wealthy from the merely wealthy. First per Rivals –

The chart shows the ranking order of the teams per Rivals, with the total points in the 3rd column. The 4th column shows a percentage basis of that team’s class as compared to Florida’s. So while USC was second in Rivals, its class was 6.7% worse than Florida’s. The difference as we go down the chart becomes even more dramatic. The 20th class in Clemson (out of 115 classes), is 51.5% worse than Florida’s per Rivals. FSU, ranked 18th in Rivals (more on that later), had essentially half the class Florida did.

The situation is even more dramatic at –

In this case, 2nd ranked LSU has 19% less a class than Florida, and USC nearly 21% less.

Both services have team rankings back to 2002, but Scouts appears to have changed their point system this year, so comparing the totals with past years is impossible. For Rivals, however, this year’s Florida team at 2959 was the 2nd highest point total ever calculated, behind only the 2006 USC class that had 3018.

Naturally, all these rankings are subject to the inherent uncertainty of college football recruiting. That said, it appears Florida’s class this year was exceptional.

Finally, I would like to make a note regarding the rankings of our in-state competitor FSU. Rivals has, for many years, been accused of “over ranking” FSU teams, with specific allegations of bias. Last year, for instance, Rivals gave FSU the 3rd ranked recruiting class, while they were 12th on

This year the misranking appears even more questionable, as Rivals somehow managed to get FSU in the top 20 at 18th, while Scout saw them at 33rd, a difference of 15 spots. If you look at the top 25 teams on Scout and compare them to Rivals, only in FSU is there such a difference of opinion. The top 25 teams on Scouts are the same ones found in the top 25 teams on Rivals (with minor difference in rankings) with the exception of FSU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia.

The difference in rankings between Rivals and Scout on those teams are (Rival to Scout ranking)–

Virginia: 24 to 32
Virginia Tech: 29 to 24
Oklahoma State: 28 to 23
West Virginia: 36 to 25
FSU: 18 to 33

I don’t feel I am in a position to definitely determine an FSU bias at Rivals, but as they say, if it quacks like a duck…


Anonymous said...

I don't mind if Rivals continues to overrate Florida State's recruiting classes. This way, Seminole fans will have false hope that they are actually bringing in good players, and will have false hope that Bobby is still the same old Bobby and will turn it around.

It is ok with me if he stays there and continues to lose 6 games a year.

CTG8R said...

In the only other ranking I've seen, ESPN, who seems to assign point values based on where recruits rank in their "top 150", has FSU at 25 overall (USC #1, Gators #2).

Not sure of ESPN's exact methodology, I'll leave that to you "stat heads".

Regardless of the ranking service, FSU did close strong. I believe they jumped 20 spots on Scout in the final couple of days.

But even in the rosiest scenario, FSU's class only amounts to half of what the Gators are bringing in (.495, Rivals). I don't think that changes until Bobby retires. Right now, odds are he won't even be around for four more years. That, plus the pee stains he leaves on a potential recruits couch cushion after forgetting to put on his diaper is enough to turn anyone off.

Gator Duck said...

Somebody call?
Translation: WOW!

Bill (NoleCC) said...

A couple of things...

A) None of this matters. I'm sorry, but until they perform at the college level it doesn't matter. You think Boise State had a Top anything class 4-5 years ago? Wake Forest?

B) Rivals probably over ranks FSU because brings them a ton of money. How that happens, I don't know since Dot has to rely on random posters in the Tribal Council for his tips. ;-)

Henry Gomez said...

Bill I agree that that it's not just about recruiting players with a lot of stars next their names. Hell that's why I wrote a series of posts about how coaching players is necessary and that being a good recruiter is not enough (see Ron Zook) but as good as Boise State and Wake Forest were for one year how good would they be if they pulled in top 20 recruiting classes for 4 years in a row? Or 10 years?

A lot of times we get these "flash in the pan" type of programs because their coaches get lured away. Meyer is an example: from Bowling Green to Utah to Florida in 4 seasons.

To say that talent evaluation doesn't matter is a gross understatement. I don't think it's as sophisticated as it will be in 10 years and I think there will always be hits and misses but you have to try if you are in the business of football.

Henry Gomez said...

Oh and if rivals is doing something to make FSU look better in recruiting they are only hurting FSU and their own credibility in the long run. If FSU is thought to have top recruiting classes (or better recruiting classes than they actually do) people will look at the lack of success on the field and begin to think the program is broken. The people responsible will be looking in the wrong places for the problem.

jimcaserta said...

You have to admit that a lot of FSUs problems were on offense, and that, maybe, coaching had something to do with that. Jimbo Fisher will improve things quickly.

The delta in the scout ranking is almost unbelievable. I wonder if they used their old scoring system if it would have been the biggest margin ever.

One of the scout guys was interviewed on edsbs, you should see if you can get their opinion here.

For all my skepticism about the ranking process, I'm psyched about the class and the Gators in 2007!