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SandhillshuskerW

Recruiting Classes vs Winning Percentage

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I am a high school math teacher and I had two of my stats kids do a project that focused on compiling data and using averages to make comparisons. They chose to use college football recruiting over the last 10 years, not counting this year since it's not done yet. They used 247 Sports and Rivals to average out the recruiting classes rank and then they figured out the winning percentage of all the teams over the last 10 years. They wanted to see if there was a correlation between the two. They ranked the 64 teams from the power 5 conferences and Notre Dame from 1-65 in recruiting and 1-65 in winning percentage. It was interesting to see which teams seem to be performing a lot higher than their recruiting rank and a lot lower. For the difference category, they put whether the team performed better or worse compared to their recruiting ranking. For example: Illinois ranked 55th in recruiting over the last ten years combined, but their winning percentage ranks 62nd so they are down 7 spots from where they should have been. Please let me know what you think of their findings and I will pass your comments on to them. Thanks

 

Team               Recruiting Avg.    Winning %    Recruiting Rank    Winning % Rank    Difference
Illinois                         53.1               34.96                      55                            62                 Down 7
Indiana                        51.8               36.89                      53                             61                Down 8
Iowa                            44.9               63.08                      47                         22/23             Up 24.5
Maryland                     36                 39.52                       34                            58                Down 24
Michigan                     16.7              63.28                       15                            21                Down 6
Michigan State           28.6             68.94                        27                            13                Up 14
Minnesota                   51.9             48.03                        54                            48                Up 6
Nebraska                     23.8             61.07                        22                           28                 Down 6
Northwestern              57.3             59.69                        62                           32                Up 30
Ohio State                    6.1                85.82                       2                              2                  Even
Penn State                   23                 67.44                       21                          15                   Up 6
Purdue                         57.8               34.38                       64                          63                  Up 1
Rutgers                         46.9              44.8                         48                       51-53               Down 4
Wisconsin                   42.8               75.5                         44                           6                   Up 38
                    
Alabama                       1.9                 90.71                       1                             1                   Even
Arkansas                      27.7               50.79                      26                          45                   Down 19
Auburn                           9.5                65.15                        7                           17                  Down 10
Florida                          10.2                64.84                       8                            18                 Down 10
Georgia                          7.9                 71.1                         6                            12                 Down 6
Kentucky                      36.7                44.8                        36                       51-53                Down 16
LSU                                 6.4                 75.19                       5                            7                   Down 2
Ole Miss                       20.7                52                            20                         42                   Down 22
Miss. State                   28.8                60.47                      28                      29-30                Down 1.5
Missouri                        36.5               60.47                       35                     29-30                 Down 6.5
South Carolina              17.8               62.31                      17                        24                    Down 7
Tennessee                     13.1              49.6                          12                        47                   Down 35
Texas A&M                    14.9               63.08                       13                     22-23                Down 9.5
Vanderbilt                       48.2              41.6                          50                       55                   Down 5
                    
Boston College             56.3               46.83                        59                       49                   Up 10
Clemson                         15.6              80.58                         14                        3                    Up 11
Duke                                54.8              49.61                         58                      46                   Up 12
Florida State                     6.2              72.93                          4                         9                   Down 5
Georgia Tech                  49.5              56.92                        51                       35                  Up 16
Louisville                         40.4              60.16                        40                       31                  Up 9
Miami                              16.7              56.2                           16                       37                  Down 21
NC State                          44.7             56.25                         46                       36                  Up 10
North Carolina                26.6             53.54                         25                       40                  Down 15
Pitt                                    42.6             54.62                         42                       38                  Up 4
Syracuse                          57                 45.97                        61                       50                  Up 11
Virginia                            42.8               37.4                          43                   59-60                Down 16.5
Virginia Tech                   24.9              64.66                        24                       19                  Up 5
Wake Forest                     59.2             41.13                        65                       56                  Up 9
                    
Arizona                             43.9             52.34                         45                       41                 Up 4
Arizona State                   33.9             53.91                         30                       39                 Down 9
California                          35.5             43.53                         33                       54                 Down 21
Colorado                           53.8             33.87                         56                       64                 Down 8
Oregon                              19.3              75                              19                         8                 Up 11
Oregon State                    49.8             37.4                           52                   59-60               Down 7.5
Stanford                            24.4             76.12                         23                         5                 Up 18
UCLA                                  18.3             51.94                        18                       43                  Down 25
USC                                      6.1              66.41                          3                       16                  Down 13
Utah                                   38.1              63.57                        39                       20                  Up 19
Washington                      29.6              62.12                        29                       25                   Up 4
Washington State            47.4              44.8                          49                  51-53                  Down 3
                    
Baylor                                 37.8              59.38                       38                         33                 Up 5
Iowa State                          56.6              40.8                         60                         57                 Up 3
Kansas                                53.8              19.16                      56                         65                 Down 9
Kansas State                     57.4               61.72                      63                   26-27                 Up 36.5
Oklahoma                           11.8               78.95                     10                           4                   Up 6
Oklahoma State                 34.3               72.31                     32                     10.5                  Up 22.5
TCU                                      34                  72.31                      31                     10.5                 Up 21.5
Texas                                   10.7               58.91                       9                          34                 Down 25
Texas Tech                         40.7               51.59                      41                         44                 Down 3
West Virginia                      37.2               61.72                      37                   26-27                  Up 10.5
                    
Notre Dame                         12.5               67.97                     11                        14                   Down 3
 

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There are definitely some teams that achieve at a much higher percentage than they should compared to their recruiting rank such as Wisconsin. I found it interesting that the SEC is all down, with the exception of Alabama.

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College Football Playoffs:

 

2014-15-

Oregon: Up 11 

Florida St: Down 5

Ohio St: Even

Alabama: Even

 

2015-16

Clemson: Up 11

Oklahoma: Up 6

Alabama: Even

Michigan St: Up 14

 

2016-17

Clemson: Up 11

Ohio St: Even

Alabama: Even

Washington: Up 4

 

2017-18

Georgia: Down 6

Oklahoma: Up 6

Alabama: Even

Clemson: Up 11

 

2018-19

Alabama: Even

Oklahoma: Up 6

Clemson: Up 11

Notre Dame: Down 3

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1 hour ago, SandhillshuskerW said:

There are definitely some teams that achieve at a much higher percentage than they should compared to their recruiting rank such as Wisconsin. I found it interesting that the SEC is all down, with the exception of Alabama.

 

SEC bias 

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They also concluded this about the conferences:

 

The Big 12 ranked #1 because they averaged being up 6.8 spots

The Big 10 ranked #2 by averaging being up 4.65 spots

The ACC ranked #3 by averaging being up 2.82 spots

The Pac-12 ranked #4 by averaging being down 2.5 spots

The SEC ranked #5 by averaging being down 10.71 spots

 

The Big 12 seems to get the most out of their recruits as a conference and the SEC seems to get the least out of their recruits by far as a conference. I don't know if it has to do with coaching, or if the recruit ranking system is flawed a little. Maybe a little bit of both.

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13 minutes ago, SandhillshuskerW said:

They also concluded this about the conferences:

 

The Big 12 ranked #1 because they averaged being up 6.8 spots

The Big 10 ranked #2 by averaging being up 4.65 spots

The ACC ranked #3 by averaging being up 2.82 spots

The Pac-12 ranked #4 by averaging being down 2.5 spots

The SEC ranked #5 by averaging being down 10.71 spots

 

The Big 12 seems to get the most out of their recruits as a conference and the SEC seems to get the least out of their recruits by far as a conference. I don't know if it has to do with coaching, or if the recruit ranking system is flawed a little. Maybe a little bit of both.

 

Great info.  Thanks for sharing.

 

However, I’m not sure the conference info is very useful.  The issue is that teams in the same conference play each other a lot so that is going to move the overall winning percentage towards .500 no matter how good or bad the team has done in recruiting.  Thus, since the SEC has usually been ranked higher in the recruiting rankings, they are bound to move down in winning percentage.  And since the Big XII has generally been relatively low in the recruiting rankings, that makes it easier for them to move up.

 

So I don’t think the conference data is very useful but the individual team info is very interesting.

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4 minutes ago, Mavric said:

 

Great info.  Thanks for sharing.

 

However, I’m not sure the conference info is very useful.  The issue is that teams in the same conference play each other a lot so that is going to move the overall winning percentage towards .500 no matter how good or bad the team has done in recruiting.  Thus, since the SEC has usually been ranked higher in the recruiting rankings, they are bound to move down in winning percentage.  And since the Big XII has generally been relatively low in the recruiting rankings, that makes it easier for them to move up.

 

So I don’t think the conference data is very useful but the individual team info is very interesting.

I told them that I thought it would be better if they could just use the non-conference games to see winning percentage vs recruiting rankings. However, you would also get in to how strong teams non-conference schedules are compared to other conferences.

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This might be more relevant, they also averaged each conferences recruiting ranking and winning % ranking out and concluded this:

 

                   Recruiting Ranking             Winning % Ranking

SEC             Avg. 19.14  (1st)                 Avg. 28.69  (1st)

Pac 12        Avg. 34  (2nd)                      Avg. 35.54  (4th)

Big 12         Avg. 37.25  (3rd)                 Avg. 31.1  (2nd)

Big 10         Avg. 38.29  (4th)                 Avg. 34.54  (3rd)

ACC            Avg. 39.29  (5th)                  Avg. 36.32  (5th)

 

This makes it look like the Pac 12 is the conference that is really not getting the maximum out of their recruits.

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Winning % is an objective value

Recruiting ranking is a subjective value

 

I don't pay much attention to recruiting - they have done nothing at the college level.  I might be inclined to look at quartiles only, giving an overall look.  

 

 

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Seems like strength of schedule is the biggest thing missing, since it only looks at pure win percentage.

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