OK. So when it comes to recruiting, Brian likes to qualify the guru rankings with the prospect's actual offer list. I think most of us are on board with this idea, including myself. If a prospect's rankings are meh-ish, but Ohio State and Florida have also extended offers, that's probably a guy we want.
But we like numbers also. You can crunch numbers and analyze them. With that in mind I've come up with the OfferScore (I've put some effort into this and that calls for a cheesy name, deal with it) to help quantify the value of a prospect's offer list. I had planned on deploying this on my own blog first with UVa's own prospects and then also doing a diary for Michigan's, but the idea needs at the very least some fine-tuning, so I turn to the audience of zillions as opposed to the audience of hundreds for assistance.
The basic methodology is this: Scout and Rivals have a mathematical formula for ranking each school's class from 1 to 120. So:
- I averaged each school's Rivals class ranking for the years 2005-2009 (five years worth).
- I did the same for Scout's, then took the two averages and averaged again for a final list. The result is a list from 1-120. Each school's "value" is their ranking.
- Then, for an individual player, I took their top five best offers and averaged them, leaving out the offer from the school they actually committed to. (The reason for this is because if you were to ever use this method to rank classes against one another, schools like USC would have an built-in advantage over the rest of the conference even if that particular year they did nothing but poach FIU's recruits. In other words if I didn't do that, a ranking would be heavily biased towards the already-highly-ranked schools.)
- Right now, the result for each player is a number between 1 and 120, with stars (because this is recruiting) semi-arbitrarily assigned as follows: ***** = 1-12, **** = 13-30, *** = 31-60, ** = 61-90, * = 91-120. This also means that offers from the top 12 schools (USC, Georgia, Florida, LSU, OSU, Alabama, Michigan, OU, Texas, FSU, Miami, Auburn) are considered "five-star offers" though that really has no bearing on the final product.
Sample: Tate Forcier had like 33 offers. "Top five" non-Michigan offers were Florida (3rd), LSU (4th), Auburn (12th), Tennessee (14th), and Texas A&M (16th). That averages out to 9.8, so that's his score, and it makes him a five-star recruit according to this.
I've done that for all the players in Michigan's 2009 (technically, 2009 should use the 2004-2008 classes to rank the schools, but I'm not going back and recalculating that) and 2010 recruiting classes. Here's how that shakes out:
William Campbell (6)
Denard Robinson (6.4)
Je'Ron Stokes (9.2)
Tate Forcier (9.8)Four stars:
Anthony LaLota (16.6)
Craig Roh (16.8)
Quinton Washington (18)
Taylor Lewan (22.8)
J.T. Turner (26.2)
Vlad Emelien (27.8)Three stars:
Michael Schofield (33.6)
Brandin Hawthorne (33.8)
Mike Jones (39.4)
Vincent Smith (44.6)
Jeremy Gallon (46)
Fitzgerald Toussaint (47.6)Two stars:
Isaiah Bell (68.67)
Cameron Gordon (73.4)
Adrian Witty (80.5)
Thomas Gordon (81.25)Null:
Teric Jones2010Five stars:
Marvin Robinson (3.2)Four stars:
Christian Pace (23.2)
Devin Gardner (25.4)
Kenny Wilkins (27.8)
Terry Talbot (29.4)Three stars:
Austin White (30.6)
Jeremy Jackson (32.2)
Ricardo Miller (33.2)
Stephen Hopkins (48.6)
Terrence Talbot (51.6)
Cornelius Jones (52.33)
Jordan Paskorz (54.75)
Courtney Avery (62.4)
Drew Dileo (67.5)Null:
As you can see, one of the major problems and something I'd like to find a way to work around is that guys who have no other offers don't get a score. As a corollary, it tends to bias against guys who committed early in the process. Another thing I've wondered is if that's the right way to display the results. It seems to work OK, but who knows.
Also, it's a smidge unfair to guys who have not a hell of a lot of offers, and one especially "low-ranked" offer. Best example in that list is Paskorz, who had four other offers: Minnesota, Pitt, UVA, and Bowling Green. Nobody would call BGSU a major factor in his recruiting - it was Pitt and UVA that Michigan beat. The BGSU offer is a major anchor - take it out and he goes from a very low three-star to a pretty high one. Then again, you could say that if he was a better prospect, he'd have earned another good offer somewhere.
Obviously there are advantages to this, though. It passes the smell test. It wouldn't stand well on its own, but then again, neither do any of the guru rankings, really. Ranking schools against each other like this would prevent things happening like Will Hagerup dragging someone's ranking down. Whoever gets him is going to be dinged in the Rivals/Scout rankings because he's a punter and therefore not highly ranked. I do think it's likely to be more predictive of college success than any individual guru site's ratings. And I think it'd be a better way to rack and stack schools against each other in recruiting rankings, because it's less based on subjective measurements. As a side bonus, it created a list of schools from most to least "valuable," which to me is worthwhile because it is purely reflective of the schools' relative attractiveness to recruits.
So, what I need is critique. Good idea/stupid idea? Where can it improve?