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Monday, February 14, 2005

More On College Football Recruiting

Okay, gang, here are some more numbers on college football recruiting. Please remember that this is an exercise in where the top say 300 + recruits are going (and I confess to not the neatest methodology in charting this, so this is correct within plus or minus 1.5%), and it is not weighted as to who got the best recruits. So, for example, your favorite school might have gotten only 5 of these kids, but if they're the right five, your school might have fared better than the school who got 14 recruits, all of whom are in the 150-300 range. With that by way of introduction, here's the breakdown:

First, the Top 10 schools (in terms of the # of say Top 320 or so recruits):

1. Iowa -- 15
2. Oklahoma -- 15
2. Tennessee -- 15
4. USC -- 14
5. Florida State -- 13
5. Michigan -- 13
5. Nebraska -- 13
8. Florida -- 12
9. LSU -- 11
10. Miami -- 10
10. Texas -- 10.

A pretty august group, right? Note how Kirk Ferentz has really built a powerhouse at Iowa. Charlottesvillian chronicles Iowa's banner crop on the TigerHawk blog site very nicely. Watch out for Iowa and its QB Drew Tate in next year's Heisman Trophy derby. Nebraska might strike you as surprising given the Huskers' disappointing campaign last season, but it appears that Bill Callahan has wasted little time in bringing in top recruits, and this number doesn't include his juco crop (and reports indicate that this is a very strong group).

Here are my conference-by-conference breakdowns:

ACC (62 Top Recruits)

Boston College -- 3
Clemson -- 4
Duke -- 1
Florida State -- 13
Georgia Tech -- 1
Maryland -- 8
Miami -- 10
North Carolina -- 1
N.C. State -- 3
Virginia -- 8
Virginia Tech -- 9
Wake Forest -- 1

Big East (8)

Connecticut -- 2
Pittsburgh -- 3
Rutgers -- 1
Syracuse -- 1
West Virginia -- 1

Big Ten (60)

Illinois -- 1
Iowa -- 15
Michigan -- 13
Michigan State -- 4
Northwestern -- 3
Ohio State -- 9
Penn State -- 4
Purdue -- 6
Wisconsin -- 5

Big 12 (54)

Baylor -- 2
Colorado -- 2
Kansas State -- 1
Missouri -- 2
Nebraska -- 13
Oklahoma -- 15
Texas -- 10
Texas A&M -- 7
Texas Tech -- 2

Pac 10 (43)

Arizona -- 4
Arizona State -- 2
California -- 8
Oregon -- 2
Oregon State -- 1
Stanford -- 5
UCLA -- 5
USC -- 14
Washington -- 1
Washington State -- 1

SEC (74)

Alabama -- 6
Arkansas -- 4
Auburn -- 6
Florida -- 12
Georgia -- 9
LSU -- 11
Mississippi -- 4
Mississippi State --3
South Carolina -- 5
Tennessee -- 15

Others (19)

BYU -- 2
Eastern Michigan -- 1
Louisville -- 3
Marshall -- 1
Middle Tennessee -- 1
Northern Illinois -- 1
Notre Dame -- 7
Tulsa -- 1
UTEP -- 2

So what does this tell us:

Well, only 64 Division I-A teams recruited a Top-325 player (which means about half of the Division I-A teams did not). That's for starters. Second, the Big East is in trouble. Third, if you're in the Big 12 or SEC and didn't land one of these guys, you'll be in for several long years. Yes, that means you, Vanderbilt, Indiana and Minnesota. It means that Charlie Weis did okay despite holding two jobs at once. It means that Bobby Petrino's dalliances with other head coaching jobs probably hurt his recruiting yield at Louisville. It means that Nebraska is on the way back, that the SEC is very strong and that most of the teams in the Pac 10 are not.

I've always thought that the way a college football program excels is to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Heck, it's the way pro teams excel, what with how New England's offensive line put a force field around Tom Brady and then rushed Donovan McNabb rather well. In college, it's no secret that the top teams do just that, and then, with the attractive of peerless line play, they bring in the best skill position players. That's what the elite programs are doing here. And, like a lot of other things in life, a relatively small percentage of teams brings in a rather large percentage of the best talent.

If you're an Iowa fan, you have to be pumped, because it could well be that Kirk Ferentz brings a national championship to Iowa City. If you're a Tennessee fan, well, you re-loaded. If you're an Alabama, Colorado or Penn State fan, you have to wonder if and when the magic will return.

Take this chart for what it's worth, which, admittedly, isn't a whole lot. I enjoy the numbers and the breakdowns, and that's why I wrote this post. It's always interesting to see where the bluest chips end up and why. It's also interesting to see how they turn out after 4-5 years on a college campus (if that).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed Michigan with 13 for your top ten. Still behind those Hawkeyes, though.


3:49 PM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Got it. Fixed it. Thanks, TIGOBLUE, and I hope you have found some form of antidote for ice hockey withdrawal.

7:26 PM  

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