NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > The meaning of Signing Day
February 1, 2012, 01:35 AM
Signing Day is finally upon us. So what? Is talent a forecast for success? Let???s take a look.

What follows does not pretend to be science, just a relative view of recruiting results side-by-side with the final 2011 rankings. I loosely measured recruiting by the average class ranking (ACR) of each school's last 5 classes as rated by the 3 major services (Scout, ESPN and Rivals).

I decided to go back 5 years after checking 3 rosters at random (USC, Texas, LSU) and found each school had starters last season from the 2007 recruiting class. However, if only four years had been used, Alabama would have clearly had the best ACR. Also, going forward USC should not be able to have a top-10 class for at least the next 3 years.

While some schools that didn???t make the list had a good year or two among the last 5, only the 31 schools on the list had at least 3 top-25 rankings or 5 top-50. Listed by ACRs in parentheses. NR=not ranked, followed by W-L record.

USC (4.7) AP#6
Alabama (5.4) #1
Texas (5.7) NR, 8-5
LSU (6.4) #2
Florida (7.6) NR, 7-6
Georgia (9.1) #20
Auburn (10.9) NR, 8-5
Ohio State (10.9) NR, 6-7
Florida State (11.3) #23
Notre Dame (11.9) NR, 8-5
Oklahoma (12.3) #15
Michigan (14.3) #9
Tennessee (14.7) NR, 5-7
Miami (16.3) NR, 6-6
South Carolina (17.5) #8
Oregon (18.5) #4
Clemson (18.7) #22
North Carolina (19.9) NR, 7-6
UCLA (22.0) NR, 6-8
Texas A&M (22.9) 7-6
Nebraska (23.0) #24
Ole Miss (24.0) NR, 2-10
California (24.9) NR, 7-6
Penn State (25.1) NR, 9-4
Virginia Tech (26.3) #17
Arkansas (27.3) #5
Oklahoma State (28.9) #3
Stanford (30.0) #7
Washington (32.3) NR, 7-6
Mississippi State (34.5) NR, 7-6
Pittsburgh (34.7) NR, 6-7
February 1, 2012  01:53 AM ET

At first look, I see no pattern that would suggest good recruiting guarantees a successful season. About half were ranked and half were not. Further, about 10 ranked teams were seldom if ever in the top-30 of the last 5 recruiting classes.

There is a bit of a pattern when grouping schools by conference. The top-30 teams come from the 5 major conferences with the SEC leading the way with 10. BE, WAC, and MWC have teams in the rankings, but their level of recruiting is below the majors. If you can believe the ranking services, recruiting closely follows perceptions about conference strength.

February 1, 2012  07:59 AM ET

I think this points to a couple of things...

1. the rankings of individual HS athletes is suspect at best.

2. And to the point that coaching is all important.

3. Making the move to a higher level (HS to CFB, CFB to Pro) is so much different that the skills shown at one level don't translate to the next

February 1, 2012  08:00 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I think this points to a couple of things...1. the rankings of individual HS athletes is suspect at best. 2. And to the point that coaching is all important. 3. Making the move to a higher level (HS to CFB, CFB to Pro) is so much different that the skills shown at one level don't translate to the next

4. First time away from parents, causes kids to do crazy things.

February 1, 2012  08:39 AM ET

Durron Neal just sent in his fax to OU at 7:01. Guess he was a little excited?

4* from St Louis...#10 WR

February 1, 2012  08:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Durron Neal just sent in his fax to OU at 7:01. Guess he was a little excited?4* from St Louis...#10 WR

11 official LOIs and EEs for UF

February 1, 2012  09:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I think this points to a couple of things...1. the rankings of individual HS athletes is suspect at best. 2. And to the point that coaching is all important. 3. Making the move to a higher level (HS to CFB, CFB to Pro) is so much different that the skills shown at one level don't translate to the next

I absolutely have to disagree. This has been studied at length and stars/recruiting rankings DO matter. A great class does not guarantee success but no program can recruit poorly and consistently do well. So coaching is not the paramount factor. See the articles linked at:

http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/1/31/1965917/recruiting-rankings-do-mat ter

February 1, 2012  09:05 AM ET

Or is this how you link?

<url>http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/1/31/1965917/recruiting-rank ings-do-matter</url>

February 1, 2012  09:06 AM ET

How do you link an article?

February 1, 2012  09:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

How do you link an article?

Try [] instead of <>. <> work in quotes.

February 1, 2012  09:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Try [] instead of <>. <> work in quotes.

Thanks. I will try that:

Read the links here to see why stars do matter:

http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/1/31/1965917/recruiting-rankings-d o-matter

February 1, 2012  09:26 AM ET

Okay. It still breaks the link up. Click on it and get rid of the space or the "%20" in between the "d" and the "o" of the word "do"

February 1, 2012  09:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/1/31/1965917/recruiting-rankings-d o-matter

FN is stupid. It inserts a space in long links, to it is usually better to use a site likt http://tinyurl.com to shorten it first.

http://tinyurl.com/7csq8rx

February 1, 2012  09:37 AM ET

try

[ulr=<put your url here and check for breaks>]<name it what you want[/url]

of course without the angle brackets

February 1, 2012  09:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I absolutely have to disagree. This has been studied at length and stars/recruiting rankings DO matter. A great class does not guarantee success but no program can recruit poorly and consistently do well. So coaching is not the paramount factor. See the articles linked at:http://www.tomahawknation.com/2011/1/31/1965917/recruiting-rankings-do- mat ter

Sorry...figured that was a no-brainer.

Of course coaching isn't the endall...you have to get quality players to be able to coach them.

But there are some programs who have had excellent recruiting classes according to Rival or Scouting, and did poorly (see Texas last two years). 4-5* players aren't going to guarantee success on the field. There are a LOT of what was considered can't miss players coming out of HS who never made it in the starting lineup....

February 1, 2012  09:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Sorry...figured that was a no-brainer. Of course coaching isn't the endall...you have to get quality players to be able to coach them.But there are some programs who have had excellent recruiting classes according to Rival or Scouting, and did poorly (see Texas last two years). 4-5* players aren't going to guarantee success on the field. There are a LOT of what was considered can't miss players coming out of HS who never made it in the starting lineup....

Its simply a numbers game, tho. The more 4-5 star recruits you get, the better the odds of finding those starters and NFL candidates. That's why oversigning was such an advantage. Numbers, percentages, and a slight edge, which correlates to rankings over time.

If you start digging down to the individual level there is tons of variations on busts and stars. But that's looking at a forest by examining each tree. You have to look at the numbers from a macro level - and recruiting does provide a measurable advantage.

February 1, 2012  09:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Its simply a numbers game, tho. The more 4-5 star recruits you get, the better the odds of finding those starters and NFL candidates. That's why oversigning was such an advantage. Numbers, percentages, and a slight edge, which correlates to rankings over time.If you start digging down to the individual level there is tons of variations on busts and stars. But that's looking at a forest by examining each tree. You have to look at the numbers from a macro level - and recruiting does provide a measurable advantage.

Not so much the coaching?

Then what happened at Texas couple of years back? Went 5-7 with consistent top 10 recruiting classes???

From what I heard they got a bunch of prima-donas and the coaches couldn't coach 'em....thus the mad coaches clean house the off season...

But yes...the more you sign the better the odds of getting that star.

But don't forget that Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford were both 3*....and above Sam were top picks such as Isiah Williams, Josh Freeman and Neal Caudle....can't remember how they did tho.....

February 1, 2012  10:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Not so much the coaching?Then what happened at Texas couple of years back? Went 5-7 with consistent top 10 recruiting classes???From what I heard they got a bunch of prima-donas and the coaches couldn't coach 'em....thus the mad coaches clean house the off season...But yes...the more you sign the better the odds of getting that star. But don't forget that Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford were both 3*....and above Sam were top picks such as Isiah Williams, Josh Freeman and Neal Caudle....can't remember how they did tho.....

Oh coaching definitely has a lot to do with it. See FSU during the Lost Decade. ;-)

A great class does not guarantee great on-field success, but it is one of the prerequisites for sustained success.

February 1, 2012  10:10 AM ET

We look upon the work TtT has done as de rigueur for many aspects of life. One wonders if the use of sports-related examples would benefit the teaching of the concepts, logic, and math skills required.

February 1, 2012  10:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Not so much the coaching?

Of course coaching. And chemistry. And conference. And sanctions. And luck. And...

But the results are correlated. Look at the graph above. ALL DAY LONG, you can point out little dots (like Texas or Sam Bradford) that don't quite fit the mold. But when you look at the big picture, every graph trends upwards. Every graph shows correlation between an increase in one and a resulting increase in the other.

Now that graph isn't recruiting rankings, but I guarantee it follows the same pattern.

 
February 1, 2012  11:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

FN is stupid. It inserts a space in long links, to it is usually better to use a site likt http://tinyurl.com to shorten it first.http://tinyurl.com/7csq8rx

I was not going to link to that site for him.

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