Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's Not A Big Deal, By Which I Mean It Is...

Every college football expert tells you that National Signing Day is not THAT big of a deal. We make too much out of 17 year old kids signing a letter of intent to play at a said program. ESPN posted a message for the unwitting followers: "Fans, please remember that rankings mean nothing now, but two to three years from now is when you will know a class' value." That's true, yet you always see sports specials and multiple websites dedicated solely to the purpose of college recruiting.

Recruiting is called the lifeblood of a college program, so it is important, but does it matter if you have what the "experts" consider a top 10 class?

Well, if it takes a few years to decide a class value, I will just have to go back and check out the old school recruiting classes of some of the top schools. Florida, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, and LSU have all been consistently good teams over the past few years, so let's take a look at where two major recruiting websites, and, ranked the classes:


Florida--Rank: 7.5 (Scout: 8th, Rivals 7th)
Ohio State--Rank: 10 (Scout 11th, Rivals 9th)
USC-- Rank: 1 (Scout 1st, Rivals 1st)

Oklahoma-- Rank: 7.5 (Scout 7th, Rivals 8th)
Rank 2 (Scout 2nd, Rivals 2nd)

Florida--Rank: 13
Ohio State--Rank: 9.5
USC--Rank: 3.5
Oklahoma--Rank: 4
-Rank: 20

Rank: 2
Ohio State--Rank: 12.5
USC--Rank: 1
Oklahoma-Rank: 8
LSU--Rank: 7

Florida-- Rank: 1
Ohio State-- Rank: 15.5
USC-- Rank: 2
Oklahoma-- Rank: 22
LSU-- Rank: 4.5

4 year rank average:
Florida-- Rank: 5.8
Ohio State-- Rank: 11.8
USC-- Rank: 1.8
Oklahoma-- Rank: 10.3
LSU-- Rank: 8.3

The top teams of the past 5 years or so all averaged a top 10 recruiting class, so a top class means success, right?

Uh, not exactly buddy.

see's four year average rank is: 9.8
Michigan's is 7.7
Florida State's is 10

All three schools averaged Top 10 recruiting classes over the years, but Tennessee and Michigan both fired the head coach and Florida State has been considered a team in decline.

Notre Dame has been bringing in top recruiting classes, but that team can't get past .500 even with Charlie Weiss and his Patriots magic.

Meanwhile a team like Virginia Tech barely cracks the top 25 in recruiting every year and yet somehow ends up in a major bowl game.

I know some conferences are better than others, but that's no excuse for the seasons Tennessee and Michgan have dropped on the fans. Meanwhile Florida State seems to dismiss half of the top recruits every year for disciplinary reasons.

So recruiting is definetely important to success, but a top 10 class doesn't mean anything if you don't get players that can fit in to your system.

If this 2009 recruiting class is any indication, you should expect to see LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, and USC all battling for championships over the next few years.

But it's all a gamble, so put your money down on the table and start rubbing the lucky rabbit's foot because you never know when a top recruiting class will end up folding.

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