Big Ten Recruiting Rankings: ESPN 150 Edition
ESPN unveiled their top 150, as well as rankings for many other prospects, this afternoon. Since I was updating my handy rankings spreadsheet anyway, I figured I'd post a rankings update to see how they stack up with a fourth recruiting service in the mix. Brian's instincts appear to be correct; going through the rankings, it looks like ESPN is handing out more four-star ratings than the other sites at this point. The notable exception is for Michigan State commits, as you'll see below. Here are the changes since, er, yesterday:
4-16-12: Michigan State picks up Shane Jones and Damion Terry. Nebraska picks up A.J. Natter.
4-17-12: Ohio State picks up Tracy Sprinkle.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^|
^The average of the average rankings of the three recruiting services (aka the previous three columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as one-star players. This may be a bit unfair this early in the process, considering there are many unevaluated recruits out there at this stage, but that's life.
On to the full data after the jump.
|#1 Michigan - 17 Commits|
All but two Michigan commits—Wyatt Shallman and Khalid Hill—get four stars from ESPN, with 11 earning a spot in the ESPN 150. Hill is now the only commit who doesn't receive a four-star rating from at least one recruiting service, while 11 are consensus four-stars-or-better.
UPDATE: Thanks to Twitter follower chris_connon for pointing out that David Dawson, Jourdan Lewis, and Jaron Dukes all got upgraded to four stars on Scout. Michigan now has a Scout average over 4 and the highest combined average of any B1G school.
|#2 Ohio State - 9 Commits|
The Buckeyes got a commitment from in-state DE Tracy Sprinkle today, giving them their first non-four-star commit.
|#3 Notre Dame - 10 Commits|
The Irish are also putting together a very solid class, with only Corey Robinson not getting four stars from at least one service.
|#4 Penn State - 8 Commits|
The Nittany Lions add in-state lineman Andrew Nelson.
|#5 Michigan State - 7 Commits|
The Spartans add Shane Jones—who held a Michigan offer, but not a committable one post-McCray—and Damion Terry. Strangely, neither Jones nor Jon Reschke are ranked by ESPN.
|#6 Nebraska - 4 Commits|
The Huskers add A.J. Natter. Tre'vell Dixon gets three stars from Scout.
|#7 Iowa - 3 Commit|
Derrick Willies gets three stars from Scout.
|#8 Wisconsin - 3 Commits|
Austin Ramesh and T.J. Watt pick up three-star ratings from Scout.
|#9 Illinois - 4 Commits|
Christian DiLauro, Dillan Cazley, and Jesse Chadwell all get three stars from Scout.
|#10 Northwestern - 1 Commit|
Northwestern's lone commit, dual-threat Matt Alviti, is a four-star across the board.
|#11 Minnesota - 1 Commit|
Keelon Brookins gets three stars from Scout.
Indiana and Purdue still do not have a commit for the 2013 class.
I wonder if Sprinkle's commitment says anything about OSU's prospects with Poggi. Those two seem destined for the same position. On top of that, OSU has limited scholarships this year, brought in a bunch of D-linemen last year, and has other linemen in the plans for the 2013 class.
I want to call him Titty Sprinkles. I pray I get that opportunity someday.
the espn rankings really make it seem like it's Michigan/Nuts and everyone else. Not sure it is the case as the one thing both schools are going through is transition to get their style of players. Either way though, as long as both recruit like this the conference might have a legit shot at a national title in the next 5 or so years.
Tracy Sprinkle may be the least manly name I have ever heard. Hilarious that he plays football.
... We (OSU) are likely going to pick up a commitment from Courtney Love pretty soon. Don't mess with us.
I think the crackhead singer has taken some of the girliness off of that name
Possibly a former co-star of Robin Sparkles Scherbatsky?
Hmm, any relation to Robin Sparkles?
their names are spelled and pronounced differently
He probably plays football because his name is Tracy Sprinkle.
See: Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue."
Will Indiana or Purdue sign a 2013 recruiting class? The debate rages on.
and be grateful for that, dammit!
You should adjust your call on the 1 star thing for NR recruits. Especially if a kid has 3 stars from 3 of 4 sites. It just looks dishonest since all of Michigan's commits are rated everywhere.
Look at Kinlaw, 4 stars by two sites, 3 by one, you really think the 4th is going to give him one star?
Agreed. I was going to make a seperate post incorporating this system (like I did last year), but it makes more sense for Ace to just make a change himself. In my opinion, if a NR recruit is a 4-star to a site, the NR should count for 3 stars, and if he is a 3-star to a site, the NR should count for 2 stars. This takes into account the fact that the NR site probably doesn't like him as much, but is still realistic. I can't remember the last time we had a recruit who was a 4-star to one site but a 2-star to another, which is why the 1 star difference makes sense.
Most recruits will never get below a 3 star rating.
I have this discussion seemingly every week: there's a reason NRs are counted as one star. These aren't projections, but a snapshot of how the class looks at this moment. By signing day, most every prospect will be ranked, and many of them will be two-star players; there needs to be a way to differentiate between two-stars and NRs.
The full data with every rating is posted here—along with the methodology—so you can draw your own conclusions about the rankings. These are not gospel. Interpret them as you will.
You do this for a living right? If a kid goes 4*, 4*, 3*, and NR, what are the chances that NR turns into a 3*? 80%? 90%? What are the chances it turns into 1*? 5% tops?
Either make a projection or don't count them in the average.
Are there 1 stars? I've never seen anything lower than a 2 star.
There are one-stars. They're very rare—I'm pretty sure Scout is the only one that gives them out anymore—but they do exist.
Here, let me spell it out in larger letters for you: THESE AREN'T PROJECTIONS.
The whole point of gathering this data is to show how these players/classes are viewed—at that moment—across the four services. A player not being rated says something, whether it's about the player himself or who the services have evaluated at that moment. By the end of the class, it really says something. Again, there's a reason these are updated weekly, and that's so you all get to see the progression throughout the class.
By substituting 1 star for NR, you are projecting. It seems to me if a player is not rated by any of the services, it makes sense to substitute. But if a player is ranked by 2-3 of the services, it seems to make more sense to ignore the NR until a rating is published or else the data is corrupted by a false projection.
All the calculations for this are done via spreadsheet. It takes a good chunk of my day just to enter the data; to then go through and remove all the NRs from the calculations would double the amount of work, since I'd then be doing many of the calculations by hand.
I realize these aren't perfect, but recruiting is a pretty inexact science anyway. And again, by the end of the recruiting cycle, there are far fewer NR commits, and players who aren't ranked are usually two-star-or-fewer types.
If you want to simplify the calculations, you could use SUMIF and COUNTIF to ignore NR. You'd only have to do it once that way anyway.
Thanks—I'll consider doing that. There is another reason they're counted as one-stars: Tim did it that way, and I used the same method last year. If we ever want to go back, gather all the data, and do long-term analysis, it helps if the methodology is the same for all the data.
For now, I'm sticking to the one-star thing, because I still think it's meaningful that players aren't ranked for whatever reason (and all the reasons stated above). But I do appreciate the feedback.
If you guys all want it changed who is volunteering to go back and retrospectively change all the spreadsheets?
Why would you want to go back compare average star ratings at points in the recruiting cycle? For comparing past years, why not just compare final rankings?
And if it's a flawed method, you don't keep the status quo for the sake of having more data.
I love that we have this discussion on mgoblog. I just can't imagine threads of this nature on an Ohio or Alabama blog from the ones I've read. Irish blogs, yes, but they also throw in liberal sprinklings of imaginary data and mythology in their data so I can't really count them.
To be honest (and blunt), the reason that you have to have this conversation every week is that the current method isn't very good.
More generally, I think you're better at this than Tim was. I was puzzled by Tim's rankings much more often than I'm puzzled by your rankings. There's no real reason to let this annoying little feature of the old rankings live on.
More generally than that even, thanks for doing this. I look forward to these posts each week.
No evaluative feelings about Ace vs. Tim, but I agree with the first paragraph. You guys are producing this thing, and your consumers are repeatedly telling you a way to improve it qua thing they consume. So do it. Rabble rabble.
No recruiting site gives out a rating below 2 stars anymore. If anything, 2 stars should be substituted for NR. But in my opinion, you should ignore the NRs until they receive a rating from that service. ESPN has already said they have only evaluated 600 players so far with another 500 expected to be evaluated by June along with an updated ESPN150.
is that 1-star is no less of a projection than 3-star. Projecting NRs to 1 star is worse than projecting 3 stars, because Big10 level prospects, even unranked ones, are far more likely to eventually be 3 stars than 1 stars. Perhaps you might call them 2.5 stars and have your differentiation from NRs that way?
The point of the class rankings isn't to 'differentiate' ranked players from unranked players - it's to differentiate TEAMS via rank. You're biasing the team data by introducing artifically low (projected) 1-star rankings.
Just because a methodology is posted doesn't make it valid. You might as well say "I DO WHAT I WANT"...which is fine too. It's just a credibility issue. The Mgoblog community keeps bringing it up because it's a bad approach.
It makes to convert NRs to 1-star at the end of the year, when all the information is in. And if that's the methodology used before than continuing it makes sense. But this analysis gets posted weekly and most of them are 'snapshots in time', not a final product. Those snapshots could be better by not converting NRs to 1s.
ESPN only evaluated about 600 players. I think players like Shane Jones, Marcus McWilson, Jonny Reschke, and Tracy Sprinkle have not been evaluated yet. I don't expect them to make much of a difference in the ESPN150, but it is a reason I have tempered my enthusiasm about ESPN's initial 150 because it seems like they may still have a lot of other players to evaluate around the country. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of our commits are bumped off the ESPN150 once they complete evaluations over the summer although it seems like our lowest ranked 150 player has a decent buffer (#121).
JJ Watt, TJ Watt.......and Class of 2020's Ray-J Watt (yeah, he's adopted)
Northwestern's average average is higher than ours. FIRE HOKE! Dammit David Brandon, why couldn't you step it up and hire Pat Fitzgerald?
Northwestern says "Whoooo . . . suck it Big Ten!!"
Snap shot or not, I enjoy the fact that UMs average is 1.01 pts above Sparty's average. Its that last .01 that really does it...
I appreciate seeing all the ratings in one place, regardless of the debate around projection or not. Keep up the good work.
In the context of this example, Jones's offer was revoked, which is the same thing as saying it's no longer commitable.
This is different than saying "he doesn't hold an offer" because he was good enough to earn one at one point. However, at the time he committed, he did not have the ability to commit to Michigan, and maybe never did. But for the purposes of this discussion, saying one's offer has been revoked, or one's offer is no longer committable, are equivalent statements.
I think the student athlete has a lot of power. The recruit can change from one school to another at any point without consequence. This is especially true for the highly sought after recruits.
If Pharaoh Brown wants to commit to Michigan and hold his spot until something he likes better comes calling, he can do that. But Hoke can't just tell Brown to hit the road if a better TE shows interest (legally, he can, but this almost never happens). I'm not saying the recruit holds all the power, but they have a good spot in the process.
Michigan has the number one class on every site! Why did Scout give Taco a 3 star rating! Why is Shane not a 5 star on espn,37 at that! GO BLUE!!!
I don't mind the ESPN rankings, but their focus on their all-star game and the south just drives me crazy. I know that the SEC is the "top conference", but the sheer number of SEC commits that sprinkle their rankings seems silly to me given what we all know about college football.
The Under Armour biases are the worst. There have been times in the past where all other recruiting services will agree on a guy being number 1 at his position, but ESPN will bump him down in favor of a guy playing in the UA game. And it's not exactly subtle.
Anyone know when the class rankings debut across the board? We're obvs #1right now and could very well stay that way, but I'm just wondering.
These guys would look great on the All-Michigan Name Team:
Uriah "Heep" LeMay (a la Chris Berman)
Cole "Hand" Luke (ditto)
De'Niro Laster (you talkin' to me?)
Matt "Walk The" Plank (Berman again)
Feel free to embelish and add...
Based on some of the links here about the ranking services it seems that Rivals will eventually allocate about 1% of the class 5*s and about 9% of the class 4*s or about 30 5*s and 280 4*s. There has also been "grade inflation" among 3*s relative to 2*s.
For each service it would be interesting to know:
How many 5*s, and 4*s can be expected on signing day?
How many 5*s and 4*s are currently awarded?
How many 5*s and 4*s have committed?
I'd like to get a "relative value" for a ranking by each service. For example if ESPN awards 50 5*s and Rivals awards 30 5*s then in some sense the Rivals rank refects slightly more value.
The other questions are my attempt to get a sense of the residual value of the uncommited class.
One other thing that would be interesting for the table is the expected number of scholarships available at each school. I know from reading here that Ohio is expected to take perhaps 18 and from the Penn State blog that they are expected to take between 16 and 20. I'd be curious to see those numbers for the rest of the teams we follow here.
You are doing a great job with this info.
Thanks for all your efforts
I agree with the projected number of commits factoid. You could put it in the header of each school. Northwestern 1 commit / 14 (or whatever) projected.
Scout moved all of ND players up to 4-star except Devin Butler (who is a 3-star) and Rashad Kinlaw (unranked). This happened a few days ago.
This means that even Corey Robinson has a 4-star from one of the sites.
Thanks for your work on this.
This kid Shane Morris has an absolute cannon. I hope he gets playing time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjSc3-G4dWU&list=PL29D6CF0750833403&index... BR thinks he's the real deal.