Thursday, February 07, 2008

Recruiting – Four Year Trailing Numbers

The “Star” Averages

Using Rivals.com’s rankings we have now updated our 4 year trailing totals of the accumulated recruiting talent of 111 Division I teams (those teams with 4 total years of data), as well as our 4 year average “star” talent of the players recruited.

As before, the rich have gotten richer.

To keep this relatively short, in this post I will address the “star” ratings which show the average number of stars of all recruited players over the past 4 years. We will follow up with the total accumulated talent ratings in a later post.

The average “star” ratings for the top 20 teams for the past four years per Rivals.com is –

1 Southern Cal 4.01
2 Florida 3.75
3 LSU 3.70
4 Ohio State 3.67
5 Texas 3.64
6 Georgia 3.59
7 Oklahoma 3.59
8 Michigan 3.54
9 Notre Dame 3.54
10 Florida State 3.51
11 Miami-FL 3.43
12 Alabama 3.41
13 Tennessee 3.35
14 Auburn 3.29
15 Clemson 3.28
16 UCLA 3.26
17 Nebraska 3.22
18 Penn State 3.21
19 California 3.18
20 South Carolina 3.16

USC’s average of 4 “stars” is really impressive, coming in a full quarter point better than the second place Gators. In contrast, you have to go all the way from the 2nd place Gators to 10th place FSU to see a similar drop in average talent.

This top 20 perhaps tells us a great deal about what we have seen in conference competition over the past several years, and what to expect yet again next year. USC, despite a “down” season, managed to win the Pac Ten. When you look at the talent disparity between the Trojans and their conference mates, that outcome seems obvious. The only other Pac Ten teams in the top 20, UCLA and Cal, rank 23% and 26% worse talent-wise than USC, respectively.

Ohio State and Michigan, and to a lesser extent Penn State, rule the Big Ten talent-wise. And most of the competition in that conference over the past several seasons has been there.

When you look at the SEC, you have Florida, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn and South Carolina all in the top 20. Which pretty much accurately describes the annual conference bloodbath.

The Big 12? Well, Texas and Oklahoma rule that roost. And they usually do.

Lastly you have the confusion that is the ACC. According to both this year’s average, and last year’s, FSU and Miami are the most talent laden in the conference. Yet neither was very competitive. Reader explanations are solicited.

While USC’s average rating is impressive, they actually declined slightly from last year’s four year average, from 4.05. The teams marking the greatest improvements in average talent year-over-year were –

1 Notre Dame 0.28
2 Clemson 0.26
3 Pittsburgh 0.23
4 UCLA 0.23
5 Alabama 0.21
6 Minnesota 0.21
7 Colorado 0.18
8 Illinois 0.18
9 Kansas 0.17
10 Army 0.15
11 North Carolina 0.15
12 South Carolina 0.14
13 Arizona 0.14
14 Southern Miss. 0.14
15 UCF 0.14
16 Ohio State 0.14
17 Arizona State 0.13
18 Utah 0.12
19 Louisville 0.12
20 Georgia Tech 0.11

Increasing a four-year average by 0.28 (or anything over 0.20) is no small feat, and the talent at Notre Dame has undergone a serious upgrade, as has been widely observed. Likewise at Alabama. However upgrades at teams like Clemson, Pittsburgh, UCLA and Minnesota are a bit more surprising.

The statistics for declining talent are a bit less illuminating, as overall teams show very little decline in average recruited talent. The top 10 teams for declining talent are –

1 McNeese St. -0.37
2 Washington St. -0.10
3 San Diego St. -0.08
4 Florida State -0.06
5 Virginia -0.06
6 Michigan State -0.05
7 Purdue -0.05
8 Tennessee -0.05
9 Tulane -0.04
10 Southern Cal -0.04

McNeese State is more of a data anomaly (they had one decent year in 2005 with an average of 2.5, and fell off substantially later on). And while teams like FSU and Tennessee show a declining average talent, the number is very small.

In our next installment we will look at the overall four year trailing accumulated talent per Rivals.com. Or, if you prefer, we will take a look at next year’s potential mythical national champions. For in the past 4 years, the eventual MNC was someone in the top ten in accumulated talent every year (last year’s MNC LSU was 4th overall last year)

Next – Accumulated 4 Year Totals

4 comments:

DolFan 316 said...

"Lastly you have the confusion that is the ACC. According to both this year’s average, and last year’s, FSU and Miami are the most talent laden in the conference. Yet neither was very competitive. Reader explanations are solicited."

Bopwden's gone senile and "The U" only recruits thugs. There you go :-)

Andrew said...

I love it! I was gonna say the same thing about Bowden... I think FSU is hoping that since they named a successor, Bowden will hurry up and bow out. Miami needs to motivate and discipline their guys. They have a lot of "stars" but have trouble getting all that star power to focus on being a team.

http://ftftc.wordpress.com

Gator Boys said...

I've heard somebody say UM gets good players that leave early for the NFL a lot. Thats obviously not a big enough excuse and I dont even know if its true, I'm just repeating it.

Interesting: the top 5 have all played for a national championship in the last 3 years and are actually the ONLY teams to play for a championship the last 3 years.

Hobnail_Boot said...

The question begs to be asked here; which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or rather in this case, are the elite programs getting the most elite talent or are the commits to those schools garnering more attention due to the on-field success of those schools?