2013 Recruiting Analysis: Did the B1G Really Do So Poorly?

Submitted by MaizeNBlueInDC on February 11th, 2013 at 10:20 PM

I, like some other folks out there, took a bit of umbrage with Urban’s open criticism of the other B1G coaches for failing (at least in his eyes) in their recruiting because the SEC has almost all its schools in the Top 25 and apparently that is the only thing that matters.  So I wondered what a closer examination of the results might say about how the B1G did comparatively to other conferences when considering more than simply the total score that a site gives based on number of recruits and their number of stars.  I wanted to look at where the recruits come from and how much of an advantage certain schools may have because the easiest hunting is always in your back yard. 

For a bit of background, I went to Scout and compiled the 2013 recruits (home state and Scout ranking) who committed to schools in the ACC, B1G, Big East, Big XII, Independents (BYU and ND), PAC12 and SEC.  As it turns out, this was a major pain in the butt.  I was planning to include the other 3 services in this my first foray into sports “analysis”, but based on the amount of time Scout took and considering I wanted to at least get something out in a week, that was not going to happen with completing time demands from a job and girlfriend.  Anyway, now that I have my excuses out of the way, down to it!

In addition to the location and ranking of recruits, I divided the US into conference footprints to get an idea of where the talent lies.

Chart?  Chart. (I always wanted to say that!)

 

5*

4*

3*

2*

ACC

6

25

100

50

B1G

9

56

136

55

Big East

0

12

30

12

Big XII

6

51

128

54

Non US

0

0

3

2

PAC 12

6

57

169

86

SEC

15

117

267

103

Grand Total

42

318

833

362

As you can see, there is a hefty amount of talent in the SEC with over 1/3 of the 5*s coming from those states (BTW, I considered Texas as Big XII and Georgia/South Carolina as SEC although the SC designation could arguably be considered ACC country).  Here is the same chart with percentages which expresses the advantage more plainly. 

 Footprint

5*

4*

3*

2*

ACC

14%

8%

12%

14%

B1G

21%

18%

16%

15%

Big East

0%

4%

4%

3%

Big XII

14%

16%

15%

15%

PAC 12

14%

18%

20%

24%

SEC

36%

37%

32%

28%

Well that just confirms the obvious.  Next I looked at how the respective conferences performed in the final tally with recruit signings.

 Results

5*

4*

3*

2*

ACC

7%

12%

19%

23%

B1G

24%

18%

16%

16%

Big East

2%

2%

8%

15%

Big XII

7%

10%

15%

19%

PAC 12

17%

16%

18%

14%

SEC

38%

36%

22%

8%

As you can see the ACC…not so good and well Big East, but talk about stating the obvious.  This chart shows that the ACC only landed 7% of the 5*s in this class (according to Scout) whereas they had 14% of the 5*s in their conference footprint.  The other conferences pretty much performed close to where they should, save the Big XII 5*s .  But this still doesn’t tell the whole story since you can’t see if all the ACC’s 5* recruits came from the ACC footprint. 

Next I looked at how well conferences held on to home grown talent, let’s call it “retention”.  I’ll use the ACC as an example since this table is repeated for each major conference.

ACC Results 

5*

4*

3*

2*

ACC

1

11

64

33

B1G

0

4

20

12

Big East

0

4

7

1

Big XII

0

0

4

5

Non US

0

0

0

0

PAC 12

0

2

4

7

SEC

2

18

60

24

Grand Total

3

39

159

82

As you can see, of the 6 5*s in the ACC footprint (see first chart), only 1 signed with an ACC school (17%).  To prevent chart overload (is there such a thing?) I consolidated all the conferences results into one chart which is below.

Retention

5*

4*

3*

2*

ACC

17%

44%

64%

66%

B1G

56%

61%

62%

42%

Big East

0%

17%

47%

75%

Big XII

50%

45%

56%

59%

PAC 12

83%

70%

72%

43%

SEC

67%

67%

46%

22%

I was a little surprised that the PAC12 did REALLY well in retaining their talent with the SEC doing the next best.  So looks like Urbs might be right that the recruiting didn’t go so well for the conference and the B1G needs to step up the effort.  But there is another side to this coin and it is something I called “poaching”. 

I defined poaching as a recruit who commits to a school outside of his hometown’s conference footprint (ex. Green from ACC land going to Michigan).  Again, I’ll use the ACC as an example. 

ACC schools inked 2 5*s from outside of their footprint from an available pool of 36 5*s which is 6%.  Again, the consolidated chart.

Poaching

5*

4*

3*

2*

ACC

6%

10%

13%

16%

B1G

15%

8%

7%

12%

Big East

2%

1%

6%

13%

Big XII

0%

3%

7%

12%

PAC 12

6%

4%

5%

5%

SEC

22%

19%

11%

3%

This time the SEC is top dog but the B1G did a pretty good job of poaching talent from other areas compared to the other conferences.  Interesting that the PAC12 is very strong at retention but not so good at poaching, but if you don’t need to hunt in your neighbor’s yard, why bother?  

I am left with a couple take aways from this.  First, the SEC has an unparalleled advantage when it comes to quantity and quality of recruits.  Second, the PAC12 is awesome at keeping talent who are in their footprint.  Those two factors combined create an uphill battle for the other conferences that are not flush with recruiting riches.  Although there is some truth to Urb’s statement, I disagree with the rather dire assessment of the B1G’s recruiting performance.  The retention of talent could certainly increase which should be a focus (Hoke’s emphasis), but the schools aren’t slouches when competing for guys who are not in the B1G footprint and in fact are one of the better conferences at doing so.

For even more detail, I examined the schools in the B1G because I wanted to see how significant the Big 2 - Little 10 (soon to be 12) is developing in the recruiting realm but I don’t think anyone will be surprised with those results.  However, this post is already too long and that could give me a chance to make follow up post if folks felt this was worthwhile.   

Comments

turd ferguson

February 12th, 2013 at 1:04 AM ^

This is cool.  Thank you. 

Even if you dig into the question that you aren't trying to answer - whether the Big Ten recruits poorly relative to the other conferences - the answer is a little more complicated than "the Big Ten sucks."  It's really just that "the SEC is crazy."  Below, I listed 247's composite team rankings.  The first number listed under each conference is the ranking of that conference's top ranked school (e.g., OSU at #2), the second number listed is the second-ranked school (e.g., Michigan at #5), and so on.  I tried to do this based on how the conferences will supposedly look in 2014, but I might have messed that up a bit.  Basically, Maryland (#34) and Rutgers (#48) are in the Big Ten, while Pitt, Syracuse, and Louisville are in the ACC.

I looked at whether the SEC's dominance could be attributed to signing larger classes that produce inflated class rankings.  Not really.  The numbers in parentheses reflect where the SEC classes are ranked with respect to average prospect rating.

Basically, either the SEC is getting talent that is much, much better than everyone else or there's some kind of bias where the recruiting sites think too highly of Southern recruits.

ACC Big 10 Big 12 Pac 12 SEC
8 2 15 9 1 (2)
13 5 16 14 4 (6)
18 23 27 17 6 (8)
20 26 31 19 7 (11)
28 33 35 39 10 (12)
29 34 40 41 11 (14)
32 37 49 44 12 (15)
42 43 52 45 21 (17)
60 46 58 51 22 (24)
69 48 61 53 24 (27)
73 50   63 25 (28)
77 55   67 30 (32)
79 62     36 (36)
91 66     38 (37)

 

 

 

EGD

February 12th, 2013 at 12:38 AM ^

Really nice work.

What I find interesting is looking at the figures for the 4- and 3-star players.  The SEC had 22% of the 3-stars in their footprint but signed 32% of them.  Maybe what's really happening is that the SEC is out-recruiting other leagues based on quantity, not quality, to a degree?  

lilwolve4

February 12th, 2013 at 7:09 AM ^

The only thing that I would add to this is tallying up the total number of recruits for each conference and breaking down the percentages of signed recruits in each category. For example out of all the recruits the B1G signed this many players and __% were 5 stars __% were 4 stars and just compare what type of recruits each conference signed based on percentages. Although I know that'd probably be an entirely separate post. I really enjoy what you did though examining retention rates and footprints. Very interesting.
 

detrocks

February 12th, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

This is great stuff, thanks for putting it together.   I think that one important differentiation is in depth.   If you look at the SEC, there's a lot of distribution in the talent across the conference.   Sure, not everyone had a great class, but there were several great classes and a couple of good to very ones.  

In contrast, after you get past Michigan and Ohio, there's a definite dropoff to Nebraska and a huge dropoff after that.   Looking at the totals skews the fact that Michigan and Ohio carried the conference recruiting this year and pretty much everyone was else (save Nebraska) was mediocre.

bluebyyou

February 12th, 2013 at 7:09 PM ^

Very good work, much appreciated.

I'm not sure what conclusions one can draw from your data other than the SEC's domination, as a league, will continue in the foreseeable future as evidenced by the data in your first table.  Their domination in terms of 4 star and 5 star recruits is scary.

M-Dog

February 13th, 2013 at 12:04 AM ^

After a while, some of this becomes self-fufilling . . . a recruit from the SEC footprint will be ranked higher just because he is in the SEC footprint.

 

gwkrlghl

February 15th, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

Goes to show that no matter how ace of a recruiter you are, a lot of it still comes down to geography i.e. most of your class will come from your geographic footprint. The SEC footprint is loaded and the B1G is not. Purdue isn't going to magically start pulling 4 star guys from Alabama unless there is money involved.

Basically, the B1G is at an almost permanent disadvantage because the B1G area is more basketball & hockey than football (which is why B1G basketball is so good)

WolverineFanatic6

February 17th, 2013 at 2:09 AM ^

Cali, Texas, Florida, and ohio are the major 4 hot beds as far as recruiting goes. Taking those 4 states out of the equation I would, without a doubt, say that. The south has many more higher ranked prospects, which in turn clearly gives that conference a distinct advantage in keeping talent in their regional footprint. Michigan thankfully recruits nationally and generally gets done good athletes out of Detroit as well as stealing some from that state slightly southeast. Michigan is rummaging the Midwest for majority of their recruits. However I would really like to see us branch out and hit Cali, Texas, and Florida a little harder then we have been.