Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recruiting wins vs. actual wins

Here's the other interesting thing from the Sporting News, actually more compelling than the draft notes. SN's college football writer Matt Hayes, better known for smart-alecky quips designed to encourage hate mail than for actual in-depth research and analysis, did something cool. For all 66 BCS schools, he determined the average ranking of each school's recruiting classes from 2004-2008, the total number of wins from the past five seasons, and the difference.

The purpose: to see what teams do the most with the least, as it were. Turns out we're the best in the Big Ten at this.

Over the past five years, our average recruiting rank is 42nd, and we're ranked 11th in wins. That's a 31-poit spread, which is tied with Wake Forest for fourth-best overall, behind Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Louisville. Following us were Boston College, Texas Tech, UConn, Georgia Tech, and Oregon State.

Not bad company, and really the sort of programs we do resemble in terms of recruiting rankings and overall success. The rank of the rest of the Big Ten, in order:

14. Northwestern
18. Indiana
18. Iowa
22. Penn State
23. Minnesota
23. Ohio State
27. Purdue
49. Michigan State
53. Michigan
63. Illinois

So this implies that Michigan and Illinois do the least with the most? Sounds about right, too.

This study is an interesting answer to all the fans who complain that we're not bringing in enough talent. We have brouht in enough talent to win -- when the guys are properly developed. As has been discussed, that is the huge -- HUGE -- question mark surrounding Bret Bielema and his staff going forward, as the roster becomes completely full of their guys: can they develop the guys they bring in, from one-star recruit to starter, from three-star recruit to all-conference, from four- and five-star guy to All-American?

ADD: Thanks to Toohey for uncovering this link to the SN story.


Anonymous said...


Scott Tappa said...

Sorry, but looked for a few minutes the other day and couldn't find it on SN's website. It's notorious for that -- can't find anything on the site that's been in the print pub. I'll look again later.

Toohey said...

Here's a link to Hayes' story.