While I'm still worried that the new schools will only add bottom feeders to the conference, the strength of Rutgers and Maryland in these rankings is really reassuring! Hopefully it'll translate into on the field success.
fair point that
Lots of changes in this week's rankings as we have a completely new order to the top four—one you may not like too much—as well as the debut of future B1G members Rutgers and Maryland. Changes since the last rankings:
11-4-12: Purdue picks up Ra-Zahn Howard.
11-13-12: Wisconsin picks up Tyler Foreman.
11-16-12: Illinois picks up Zane Petty.
11-17-12: Illinois picks up Evan Panfil. Nebraska picks up Adam Taylor.
11-18-12: Wisconsin picks up Marcus Ball and Tiquention Coleman.
11-21-12: Parker Cothren decommits from Purdue. Penn State picks up Parker Cothren.
11-25-12: Indiana picks up Darius Latham. Kyle Shortridge decommits from Purdue.
11-29-12: Gareon Conley decommits from Michigan. Minnesota picks up Berkley Edwards.
11-30-12: Minnesota picks up Hendrick Ekpe.
12-1-12: Northwestern picks up Tommy Fuessel.
12-2-12: Illinois picks up Eric Finney and Abens Cajuste. Northwestern picks up Marcus McShepard.
Also added all of the Rutgers and Maryland commits, obviously.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^||POINTS*|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
*The product of number of Commits and Average Average
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
|#1 Notre Dame - 22 Commits|
|Torii Hunter Jr.||WR||TX||4||3||4||4|
No change for the Irish. Notre Dame ascends to first place due to the decommitment of Gareon Conley.
|#2 Michigan - 22 Commits|
|Maurice Hurst Jr.||DT||MA||3||4||4||3|
Gareon Conley decommits from Michigan. For the first time since these rankings started for the 2013 class, the Wolverines drop from the top spot.
|#3 Illinois - 23 Commits|
The Illini pick up a trio of California JuCo recruits—DT Abens Cajuste, S Zane Petty, and S Eric Finney—as well as in-state DE Evan Panfil. As a result of sheer class size, Illinois passes Ohio State in the rankings. Yes, Ohio State's class is better. No, I'm not changing the rankings. Remember, this isn't a projection, it's a snapshot, and it's almost a certainty that the rankings will correct themselves come signing day, when they actually matter.
|#4 Ohio State - 17 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes.
|#5 Rutgers - 20 Commits|
The Scarlet Knights debut at #5 in the rankings on the strength of a deep in-state class.
|#6 Northwestern - 20 Commits|
|Anthony Walker Jr.||LB||FL||3||3||3||3|
The Wildcats land two-star IL ATH Tommy Fuessel and unranked OH CB Marcus McShepard.
|#7 Nebraska - 14 Commits|
The Huskers flip JuCo AZ DE Randy Gregory from Purdue, passing Iowa and Michigan State in the process.
|#8 Maryland - 17 Commits|
The Terrapins debut at #8, also in large part due to a strong in-state crop (especially so if you count Washington DC in that category).
|#9 Wisconsin - 16 Commits|
The Badgers pick up CA S Tyler Foreman, OH ATH Marcus Ball, and GA JuCo CB/NOTY candidate Tiquention Coleman. Wisconsin passes Iowa and Michigan State to move into ninth on the big board.
|#10 Iowa - 15 Commits|
|Derrick Mitchell Jr.||S||MO||3||3||3||3|
No change for the Hawkeyes.
|#11 Michigan State - 14 Commits|
No change for the Spartans.
|#12 Penn State - 13 Commits|
The Nittany Lions flips AL DE Parker Cothren from Purdue.
|#13 Indiana - 14 Commits|
The Hoosiers land four-star in-state DL Darius Latham, a former Wisconsin commit. Indiana now has four players ranked as a four-star on at least two sites, which is about four more than anyone expected.
|T-#14 Purdue - 13 Commits|
The Boilermakers lose commitments from Kyle Shortridge and Parker Cothren—the latter switching to Penn State—and gain one from GA DT Ra-Zahn Howard.
|T-#14 Minnesota - 11 Commits|
The Gophers pick up MI RB Berkley Edwards and TX DE Hendrick Ekpe. Minnesota moves into a tie for 14th with Purdue, which is almost like not being in last anymore!
While I'm still worried that the new schools will only add bottom feeders to the conference, the strength of Rutgers and Maryland in these rankings is really reassuring! Hopefully it'll translate into on the field success.
the relative strength of their rankings has less to do with them bringing in strong classes than with the rest of the Big 10 recruiting horribly. Which is an entirely separate reason to be concerned about the status of the Big 10 going forward.
I think I read Maryland would have had like the 4th or 5th best class last year too, marylands problem is randy edsall and the fact that they lost 4 qb's to season ending injury, imagine what michigans season would have looked like if denard got injured before the year started, gardner lasted 4 games, bellomy one and jack kennedy one. Tough to judge the talent level this year since the defense was playing well early before the offense couldn't do anything.
Thanks for the great work Ace, but can you really say with a straight face that Illinois has a better class than ohio? Perhaps this will inspire you to devise a rating system that makes more sense than just multiplying recruits times rating averages. How about something like average stars for a fixed number of recruits like the final Rivals ratings but with a touch more creativity. Maybe Nate Silver has some ideas...
The only real way to do it is to put more weight on the relative strength of the class while somehow incorporating the size as well. I'd do something where you gauge the actual ratings of the top ~40% of the class and then somehow add in a class size rating which doesn't count for too much.
Why not rank the teams according to average stars and still have to total points column at the end to reflect the (less important) number of commits. With no extra work you would have rankings that are more rational.
That would put Illinois behind Indiana, which is equally ridiculous as the Illini being ahead of Ohio State.
Again, wait until signing day, the only day these rankings actually matter. I guarantee the Buckeyes will be ahead of Illinois barring the relatively unfathomable; if they aren't, I promise I'll change the formula. Until then, you have all the information you could possibly need right here to rank the teams any way you desire.
Having Illinois ahead of OSU speaks to the absurdity of this ranking metric. OSU's recruits are, on average, rated almost a full star ahead of Illinois' recruits. It's hard to take rankings seriously when you can get that kind of result.
I still like these posts, since they aggregate a lot of information nicely. The rankings don't even come close to passing a sanity check, though.
(And yes, I read your comment about it.)
No matter what system ACE uses someone will complain.
This system is as transparent and unbiased as possible. Plus, its not hard to go through and rerank the list in the order you prefer most (average stars etc.).
The problem with recruiting rankings is always big classes vs. small classes- particularly in basketball. Is a class of 5 three starts better than one with a 5 star and a 4 star?
I like how this system is standardized as consistent. Always great to see these updates!
The possibility that someone will complain about every possible ranking system doesn't mean that all ranking systems are equally good. This one happens to be terrible. I agree with you that the big class vs. small class thing can be a problem, particularly in basketball. We're at the point, though, where these classes are pretty full. OSU already has 17 commits, which you sometimes see as a full class in the Big Ten. The rankings should make sense now, but they don't.
I've said this before, but I would trust Ace's subjective rankings much more than this ranking algorithm. I could also think of many objective rankings that would work much better than this (rankings that prefer higher-rated recruits to lower-rated recruits and larger classes to smaller classes but in a way that isn't so crude and distorting).
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter, but when your options are putting out reasonable rankings or unreasonable rankings, I'd opt for reasonable ones.
Put another way, there's no way that a class with say, Will Campbell as its only 5 star, is better than a class with Jake Ryan as its highest-ranked recruit. But we only know that four years later.
As anyone who has Never Forgotten, depth matters in recruiting classes. That's why you want a QB in every class even though most of the time that will be a dead spot in the rankings. Sheer size can trump star-ratings and often should, because 5-stars bust and 3-stars blow up. The more guys you reel in, the better off you are, and the more likely you are to catch Ryan Shazier.
I think you need to acknowledge opportunity cost. Every scholarship that's used is one fewer scholarship that could be used somewhere else.
If "depth" is always a good thing in a recruiting class, then Michigan's class would be better with the addition of me. That's not true. I'm a 3'4", 840-lb slot receiver who runs a 6.7 (minute) 40, has only one hand, hates blocking, and coordinates a major point shaving operation. If Hoke offers me a scholarship, I'll take it, and that will be bad for Michigan. With the ranking algorithm used here - and I think your logic, taken to the extreme - my committing to Michigan would be treated as a good thing.
Here's another way of thinking about it. The metric used here (total # of stars) suggests that a recruiting class of 21 four-stars is exactly as good as a class of 28 three-stars. Do you believe that? If Michigan were to get 21 four-stars and Ohio State were to get 28 three-stars for each the next few years, I'd be a happy, happy man.
Depth is a good thing, but it makes more sense to think about depth across recruiting classes than within a single one.
I don't have a problem with the way Ace presents it, here's an alternate ignoring current class size to get a sense of where Rutgers/Maryland stack up:
|Adj. Rank||School||Avg Avg^||Majority 4+ Stars|
that you remove Notre Dame from this list. They are so dead to us. Signed, the Guys and whatever Gals..
They are to be set adrift and forgotten!
After this year I'll probably remove them. For now, we still play them for two more years—meaning at least a few of the players in this class will have an impact against Michigan—plus they're good way to measure how well Michigan is recruiting in the Midwest.
Also, it's free information. You are more than welcome to ignore it.
Might as well save time and put a disclaimer in the actual blog entry- must get very annoying answering this in the questions every time...
ND has shown poor form, backing out of the agreement with us five minutes before kickoff this year. They are not part of the B1G. And if you just wanted to monitor just Midwest recruiting, then you would leave out Rutgers and MD.
Much as I despise ND we recruit against them. Both in the mid west and nationally. If we are interested in how Michigan recruiting measures up against key programs, we should continue to use ND as a measure.
are reasonable, the next year quite good. How do people who follow closely feel? I understand they graduate a lot of guys. And did I mention that they're dead to us?
Good god, this is a tired discussion...
Since the method is transparent, and all the numbers are there to see, I have no problem with the rankings. It's not hard to re-rank them any way you see fit.
simply because MSU is now 11th among the "B1G" group.
NATIONAL recruiting! Coach 'em up Corch Dantonio!!
(I know it is childish, but writing the above made my Sunday just a little bit better.)
What is OSU's likely class-size number for '13?
I think currently it's 19, though the general expectation is that it'll end up at 22 to 25.
Sparty drops due to new conference members...hilarity.
The fact that Rutgers has a better class than all but 3 teams in this conference, even going by Ace's metric, speaks to both the weakness of the conference and the relative value of the two teams joining.
That said, I'm not down with Illinois being that high. Yes they have more recruits, but nobody would trade OSU's class for Illinois's, and the score differential is just a shadow caused by multiplication, not a qualitative measurement of the two classes.
Recruiting in general seems to be a completely different animal than it was 20 years ago. I can't say for sure since I'm 33 years old and didn't know much about college football and recruiting before the mid 90's, but I can't imagine what it was like before the internet, popular recruiting rankings, fan sites, social media, etc. I have to assume that recruiting today and all the technology has given more power to the schools that have more resources. It has just created a larger gap from the haves and the havenots. If you look at the history of the B1G only a small percentage of them have had success in the modern era. It makes me wonder if the Indiana's, Minnesota's, Purdue's, & Northwestern's can ever really compete long term. I know some make runs for a 5-10 years, but can they sustain success? I don't know maybe no one can unless you live in a talent rich state like Ohio, FLA, TX, or CA. I mean the mid-west is already limited in the amount of talent when compared to the east, south, and west. And, there's only so much talent to go around. So if UM, OSU, ND, MSU, Neb, and PSU take much of it, what's left for the bottom half of the conference? They either have to do a lot to develop talent and/or do really well with marketing, filling their stadium, branding their name, etc, and pay for top notch coaches. I just don't see the lower half of the B1G ever doing all those things that they would likely have to in order to compete long term. I really think the conference is simply at a disadvantage. I'm not sure what it was like this pre-internet age (although scholarship changes have also changed things), but I don't see it changing anytime soon and Minnesota returning to a football powerhouse.
but I can't imagine what it was like before the internet, popular recruiting rankings, fan sites, social media, etc.
I have been following recruiting in basketball since the late 1970s and in football since the early 80s. I covered recruiting professionally during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Before the internet, you would call a coach and introduce yourself and get a prospect's number. You'd talk to the coach about the kid, who was looking at him, etc. You'd be as nice as you possibly could to the coach so he'd take your call in the future.
When you called the kid and told him why you were calling him, invariably you'd have to explain it twice. "Recruiting what? Huh?" The kids would give pretty frank, candid answers because they were unprepared for media questions. Most of the time, you would be the first media member to ever talk to them.
There weren't very many public pronouncements of verbal commitments. For the really big commitments, there might be a couple of reporters there, but for the most part, you broke commitments by doing a lot of grunt work.
The colleges in the region that I covered used to have areas where recruits would check in at the start of the visit. You could wander by and look at the list on Thursday or Friday and see who was visiting. I got to know recruiting coordinators and they wouldn't tell me who was committed, but they'd tell me how many commitments they had. I kept a little black notebook with me all the time and usually had 90 percent of the current commitments.
After a visit weekend, you'd call everyone back and see what changed, if anyone committed, etc.
Does anyone remember the name Damon Jones? He was a big TE from Evanston, IL who was originally committed to NC State. He ended up switching to Michigan. I was in the process of covering an all-american safety who was switching schools when that broke and I managed to get that story as well.
Jones went to Michigan, showed a LOT of promise, and then (IIRC) set off a pipe bomb in his dorm room. He got thrown out of school and ended up at S. Illinois before getting drafted by the Jaguars and having a nice pro career.
I'm sure plenty of you remember Tripp Welbourne. He was from Greensboro Page High School (where Haywood Jeffires and Danny Manning also went to school). There was a very nice elderly gentleman at Page who was very influential in determining where the best athletes went to school. He was a big fan of Dick Sheridan at NC State and helped steer a lot of kids that way. Welbourne was one that got away. But the man was very helpful to me in identifying talent and letting me know where the kids were going.
Hang out in the bleachers at basketball and baseball games and you could talk to the coaches, pick their brains, and develop contacts. They'd give you names and numbers to call and you could get the skinny pretty easily.
I was a Deadhead, so I'd build recruiting trips around the Grateful Dead's spring and fall tours. I'd put together a schedule and my publication (which eventually got bought by Prep Stars) would basically pay for me to go on tour. They'd cover mileage, film costs, and I got a per-interview fee. I'm in North Carolina, so I'd go up to the Tidewater region and get a dozen interviews and tips on kids for next year. Then I'd hit a couple of schools in DC. Then I'd go up to New Jersey and Philadelphia. New Jersey meant Newark, Patterson, Berlin, Princeton (The Hun School), and most importantly...Camden. Occassionally, there would be someone up at the New England prep schools. I went as far as Avon, CT once.
I'd do the interviews around Grateful Dead shows at the Cap Centre in Landover, MD, the Spectrum in Philly, Madison Square Garden runs in New York City, and the occassional Boston Garden show. In the spring, I'd do basketball and find out who the prospects were in football and hit a couple of shows at the Allman Brothers' run at the Beacon Theater in March.
These trips were taking place while I was in college. I was a journalism major, so I would even get class credit a couple of times. My professors were usually pretty understanding since I was actually churning out content that came with bylines. My car was an '88 Honda Accord and I basically lived out of it during these trips. You could fold the backseat down and basically sleep sort of in the trunk, sort of in the backseat.
One of the last times I did this was right before Thanksgiving in 1995. On the way home, I stopped at a rest stop somewhere on I-95 north of Maryland. I was exhausted and needed to catch an hour of sleep. Normally, I'd fall asleep and a cop or sheriff would come along and tell me to get up, stretch my legs, and then move along (you couldn't sleep overnight). This time, I woke up and realized something was different. It was *completely* quiet which was very unusual. I was very sore...meaning I'd slept a lot longer than usual. But it was still dark.
It turned out that a snow storm had rolled through and dropped a foot of snow on my car. I had to dig my way out to get back on the interstate.
Anyway....that's how you did it in "olden times."
Talk about an odd mix of passions....
But you should expand on this and turn it into a diary. Get into the services you offered and such. Did you do a newsletter to subscribers? Big signing day edition? How was it covered in the newspapers? Did they or things like The Wolverine (paper edition) contact you for reviews?
I think a lot of people around here think following recruiting started in 2003. And while it's around then that there are still records of the past things, guys like you and Tom Lemming have been doing it for a LONG time. Admittedly the the info was harder to find (a commit wasa that last pargraph header blurb at the end of the daily Michigan article in the paper), and not nearly as big or intense, but people did follow it. I remember doing so.
If there's interest, but time is a problem, you could do a series. Lay everything out in one post, then follow it with interesting recruiting trail stories/contacts in follow up chapters. But as I said, I don't know how busy you are. But it would interest me; and I think others.
Nothing's changed from 20 years ago—those programs will only sporadically challenge for the conference championship.
How many more scolly's does Ohio have to give out this class? I like how they currently only have two OL commits
Big Ten recruiting does not look good at this time. It looks like Nebraska would not even finish in the top 25. Only Michigan and OSU are recruiting at a level that allows national relevance.
I hope this is just a down year or this conference could be ugly for a while.
I agree with you on this, and if the recruiting sites are correct about the proportion of elite talent coming out of the Southeast, Texas, and California (as opposed to the Midwest and East Coast), the Big Ten has a serious long-term problem.
If Michigan, OSU, and Notre Dame scrape up whatever talent does come out of this area, the non-UM/OSU part of the conference will be operating with alarmingly little raw talent (especially relative to the SEC). Combine that with other disadvantages, like the Big Ten's tendency not to oversign or pay dudes, and we have a real issue on our hands.
How the hell did PSU flip a kid? Oh, it was from Purdue you say, kid probably figured he wouldn't be going to a bowl game there for 4 years either.
Mich- South Carolina in Outback bowl. Tampa. It's official.
Mich- South Carolina in Outback Bowl. Tampa. It's official.
So it's the Big Two and LIttle Twelve again. At this point, as long as M goes to either the Rose Bowl or makes the Football Four every year ... doesn't a slightly weaker B1G help us do that? Every year if Michigan and Ohio are dominant, one will go to the semifinals and one will go to the Rose Bowl as B1G runner up. Why would we want an equally strong Wisconsin or Nebraska to muck that up?
Just thinking stream of consciousness here. We seem to be through the looking glass now. Up is down. Wrong is right. Northern Illinois is in the Orange Bowl.
I think the next month of recruiting has 2 major implications if we do/don't snag Green/Treadwell/McQuay:
1. We have the key cogs to legitimately push for top 5 status in the next few years. Shore up weak roster spots AND add playmakers.
2. Prove UM has returned to elite recruiting status. Being 6-10 in national rankings is OK but problematic if OSU and ND get all the publicity as the hot choice for recruits.
A+ is within reach.
and the little
8 9 10 12 for the foreseeable future. As was pointed out above, nobody else in conference is pulling any classes that say "Nationally Relevant in 3-4 Year"
Is it too soon to include Georgia Tech in the rankings? Since Maryland and Rutgers are already included, it would be nice to see how Georgia Tech compares as well.
As hell to see Rutgers and Maryland ahead of MSU, I thought they were recruiting nationally? Granted, they seem to develop players well....but wow, the recruiting numbers outside of us and Ohio become more alarming every week. On a side note.....we need a HELLO post soon, going through withdrawals!
Thanks for all for the work you put into these Ace. I hope you'll continue to put ND in these rankings in the future. I think it's important to see where our neighbor is pulling recruits from, regardless of conference affiliation.
Michigan State is ranked below Maryland and Rutgers? LOLSparty.
I might do a diary if people are interested. I can summarize most of what I did pretty easily though: I smoked a lot of cigarettes and made a lot of phone calls and pretty much had no life.
Did I do a newsletter? No, I worked for a magazine that published every other month. We were primarily an east coast publication, but we tried to branch out a little into the midwest. Our big money was in a 900 # that cost $5.00 per call and $1.00 after the first five minutes. They wouldn't let me voice it because I talked too fast (even though I'm southern and have a bit of an accent).
Yes, we had a big signing day wrap-up. We did breakdowns on each class, top-20 classes, feature pieces (culled from the interviews) on the marquee players, and previews for the next year. We did this for basketball as well.
How was it covered in the papers? It depends. I mentioned a free safety switching schools...I broke that story and it got picked up and run by the big papers in the state at the top of the sports section. I was listed as "contributed to this story." That was a big deal because I was a freshman in college and it was my first big break.
I bought the paper before breakfast and went sprinting out of the dining hall to my academic advisor's office to show him. I had called my mom and dad the night before and told them to be on the lookout and they called my dorm and left a message for me offering their congratulations. That was fun.
Never talked to the Wolverine, but I did share information with those types of publications. If we ran into one another, we'd share notes. This caused a problem a couple of times. There is a guy who works for ESPN now who came onto the scene as I was leaving. He'd always want to know about this guy or that guy...but he never had information to share. I finally told him that he had to start doing his own homework.
Also...I was a reporter. I worked a beat and made the calls and physically travelled to cover this stuff. I went up and did a ton of work interviewing people once. I came back and filed. I had a bunch of stuff left over, so I transcribed my notes and gave them to a friend who ran a BBS (for you old schoolers). For you kids today, before there were Web browsers, if you got on the Internet, you had to dial into a server and then either telnet to a site (usually military or educational) or you had to call a site directly (a bulletin board service). I gave my transcriptions to my friend who ran the site and a national reporter pulled them and ran them as his own. When I confronted the reporter about this at the halftime of a basketball game, he refused to apologize, claimed that they were out there for anyone to use, and then got my credentials pulled.
Recruiting info was always a niche thing. My father used to get Street & Smith's and bring them home. He was also a subscriber to a quarterly publication that offered some basketball recruiting information. I was always fascinated with drafts. I was a latchkey kid and faked being sick to stay home alone to watch the NFL draft. ESPN finally put it on television and it happened during the day in the middle of the week. My parents never figured out what I was skipping school for so they just looked the other way. I was a Dolphins fan (living in NC, they were on TV a lot) and invariably HATED who we drafted. "Dan Marino?? We have David Woodley! Why do we need Dan Marino?" I also really got into following minor league baseball. I loved the Red Sox and the Braves and could tell you who all the top prospects in the organization were. Recruiting was a pretty natural thing for me to get into.
You mentioned Tom Lemming...we never crossed paths. But a guy who has been doing it even longer who was a *tremendous* help to me as a youngster....Bill Buchalter for the Orlando Sentinel. He knows everyone and everything in Florida. And he was always willing to help me out if I needed a rescue.
I just want to see the reaction of someone who has never lived in a world where the Internet didn't exist on pay call information services. I remember those. Can't say I actually called any of them, but there was something fun about how information was dispensed back in the day.
You'd call a number and the recording would say, "Hello. You've reached Southern Prep Stars. This is the SEC recruiting update for Dec. 3. It was a big weekend for the Georgia Bulldogs who hosted a number of high profile visitors this weekend. Topping the list is Warner Robbins All American linebacker L'Carpetron McDoogernought. He called the visit an epic event and said, 'Bring on the bitches! Can't wait to be a Dawg' (see what I did there?)"
We tried to put verbals up at the top of the list so people felt like they were getting their money's worth.
The average update would be 10-15 minutes long. We started doing that in 1991 and it ran until we were bought out in 1997 (I had left by then) and it was easily the most profitable serve we had.
The best part about it...I was working part time for two papers AND the recruiting magazine. They all paid on different schedules. So I got paychecks almost every week. I made around $600 a month. That might not sound like a lot now, but that was twenty years ago, it was while I was a full-time student in college and minimuim wage was still about $3.35 an hour. My parents were paying my tuition. I lived off-campus in a four-bedroom house that I rented with three other guys. My share of the rent and monthly bills was about $200 a month. I pretty much always had money in my pocket. Gas was about $1 a gallon. My car got about 25 mpg. I was getting paid to watch football, talk to players about something I was interested in, take photographs, and write.
What more could a person want? Besides...sex, glory, fame, and a reasonable grade-point average?