CPJ's Comment on no Top-10 Recruiting Classes at Tech

forensicbuzz

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Well, since I never went ahead and created a thread of it's own, I'll complain about the way the schools are ranked by the individual sites. My data is solely from Rivals and taken from 9/5 (so the numbers have changed slightly since then). These rankings reward total number of commits much higher than I think it should. In other words, if you bring in a mediocre recruiting class, but have 32 kids listed, you've got a chance to make the Top 25. I've only included the Top 60 schools, so there may be some schools that would slide onto or off this list if you included all schools in the calculations and then only reported the top 60.

The first column is the Rivals ranking based on their formula. The second column takes the total points for the given school divided by the total number of commits. The third column is sorted by average star rating, and the last column takes the average star rating and multiplies it by the number of commits. As you can see, even with their own data, depending on how you want to look at the teams can wildly swing the rankings.

For instance, Tennessee is only ranked second and Kentucky 7 because they have a ton of recruits. If you normalize their points over the number of recruits have, they fall dramatically. On the flip side, UVA, USCw and Oregon (all who have smaller classes right now) are ranked low right now, but will probably be ranked much higher as their classes grow.

I tend to like the second column because is takes the size of the class out of the equation. All that being said, I think the ranking of individual athletes by these services to be a total farce. It's better than it used to be (higher demand for better evaluations from the clients/fans), but it's still rather arbitrary.

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forensicbuzz

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At some point I will go back and look final rankings of previous classes to see which, if any, of these columns best matches the results on the field. But, with 5 kids and it being football season...you know.
 

dressedcheeseside

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Look out for the automatic tail wagging the dog argument "but why are most of the teams at the top of the rankings at the top of the polls?" I did an analysis of this very point a couple years ago and found out that only about half the teams who ranked in the top 20 for recruiting ended up in the top 20 final poll. So you have about a 50% chance of ending up ranked if your recruiting is ranked. But then again, you have the same chance if you don't.
 

forensicbuzz

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These kids that are ranked 4 and 5*'s are really good football players. So, it stands to reason that teams that have a preponderance of the kids will perform well. However, there are so many kids out there that mature later or are just missed, that lower ranked teams can perform well. I would say a recent example of this would Virginia Tech in the 2000's. Their recruiting rankings were never spectacular, but the averaged 10 wins a year. I would say we did more with less too, but averaging 7-6 with Gailey and the results of the last three years with CPJ, I'd say we've been slightly better than our recruiting rankings.
 

SoCal_GT_Fan

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To be in the top 25 would definitely be tough. First, we know the "factory" schools will always be in the top-25 so that eliminates a good number of spots.
Let's see,
ACC: FSU, Miami, Clemson
Big Ten: Ohio State, Michigan
Big 12: Oklahoma, Texas
Pac-12: USC, Oregon
SEC: Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida
Independent: Notre Dame

Ok, this is my little list of which schools I consider "factory" schools. There might be others that can be considered as well (or others that would be taken out of the list). But at any rate, that's 14 schools already that will year in and year out be in the top-25.

Now, then there's the next tier of schools which we will need to compete against to fill out the next 11 spots left in the top-25:
ACC: UNC, UVA, VaTech, Pitt, NC state
American Athletic: Rutgers, Louisville
Big Ten: MSU, Northwestern, Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin
Big 12: Ok St, West Virginia,
Pac-12: Stanford, Washington, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal
SEC: Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss, USC, Vandy, Texas A&M,

At this moment in time from this second tier group, I would consider Texas A&M, Stanford, South Carolina, Oklahoma State to be able to out recruit GT no matter what.

So in conclusion, it's very subjective I know but the point is, its going to be very difficult to get a top-25 recruiting class together.
 

CuseJacket

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Look out for the automatic tail wagging the dog argument "but why are most of the teams at the top of the rankings at the top of the polls?" I did an analysis of this very point a couple years ago and found out that only about half the teams who ranked in the top 20 for recruiting ended up in the top 20 final poll. So you have about a 50% chance of ending up ranked if your recruiting is ranked. But then again, you have the same chance if you don't.

The premise of your argument may still hold, but the last sentence isn't true. You'd have 90 teams or so competing for the remaining 10 spots in the top 20 of the polls. Even if you consider all teams equal that's far less than a 50% chance of making it in those other 10 spots.
 

Bruce Wayne

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SoCal,

I agree with your conclusion that it will always be difficult for Tech to be ranked in the Top 25 in recruiting but not so much due to any given list of who is a factory and who is not that we can make. I think the rankings themselves reward any school/team that can either allow oversigning, or handle a high rate of attrition or even both; maybe those who do both are the true factories?

This fact is not a complaint against the rankings or the recruiting services, I can see why they choose to do it that way and I also see why that method can roughly coincide with who the top teams are when the actual games are played. A school like Tech is just an oddity, an exception to the manner in which these recruiting rankings are determined.

That is why I am interested in how I as a Tech fan can attempt to evaluate the success or failure of our recruiting on a yearly basis? I think I have shown why the recruiting class rankings don't help me that much. I like something more like what ATL1 wrote where I say "ok, this year we want to take 17-20 commits, so if that number breaks down as 3-4 4/5-stars and the rest 3-stars then that is a good Tech class." So basically, it seems to me that we do not have any very objective way to try and compare our recruiting to most everyone else. And that is ok, even if frustrating. It just means I have to settle for a general "feel" and is also why I downplay recruiting overall when I evaluate a Tech head football coach. On that level I have more objective data/facts to base the evaluation on (wins losses, competitiveness, academic issues, etc.). So ultimately I am in part judging recruiting success when I judge a head coach by wins and losses on the field and secondarily the signs of health of the program (retention, graduation, character issues, etc).
 

dressedcheeseside

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The premise of your argument may still hold, but the last sentence isn't true. You'd have 90 teams or so competing for the remaining 10 spots in the top 20 of the polls. Even if you consider all teams equal that's far less than a 50% chance of making it in those other 10 spots.
OK. Ammend my original last sentence to read "But then again, you have the same chance if you recruit in the next 20."
 
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