# Using Rivals Star Ratings: The SEC Comparison

USING RIVALS STAR RATINGS: THE SEC

In keeping with this for one more diary, I thought it might be interesting to take a look that conference to the south and run the SEC through a similar analysis. I will, however, compare this with some of the findings from the Big Ten analysis (full entry HERE)

As you may recall, the folks at Rivals rated 3,160 players from 2002 to 2013. As you may expect, the number is actually somewhat higher in the SEC; in fact, it is higher by slightly over 1,000 at 4,169. Here is what the overall distribution looks like:

Now, in the Big Ten analysis, 29% of players were rated as 2-stars, and only 19% were rated as 4-stars, so in these two ratings, there is a significant gap between the SEC and Big Ten ratings. The distribution of 3-stars is fairly similar (50% in the Big Ten to 49% here), but as this appears to be the rating around which averages hover, that is probably expected. The distribution of 5-stars (only 2% in the Big Ten) isn’t too far off, but it should be noted that the 4% above represents 149 players to the Big Ten’s 50 players.

The overall conference average for Rivals star ratings in the SEC turns out to be 3.16, compared to the average in the Big Ten, which was 2.93. I was actually impressed that the difference between the two numbers is only about 7%. Of course, there is also this (I included Missouri and Texas A&M in the SEC averages for giggles):

YEAR |
BIG TEN CONF. AVERAGE |
SEC CONF. AVERAGE |

2002 |
2.84 |
3.13 |

2003 |
2.88 |
3.07 |

2004 |
2.70 |
2.84 |

2005 |
2.91 |
3.01 |

2006 |
2.89 |
3.12 |

2007 |
2.99 |
3.17 |

2008 |
2.89 |
3.06 |

2009 |
3.01 |
3.32 |

2010 |
2.98 |
3.26 |

2011 |
3.01 |
3.29 |

2012 |
3.03 |
3.29 |

2013 |
3.05 |
3.36 |

With the exception of a few years, the gap year-to-year stays comfortably in the 7-9% range, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so shocked after all. Here is what the team averages look like on a cool bar graph:

One other thing I did here is highlight through the use of random colors the quartiles of recruiting in the SEC, as you can see in the tables below:

Orange represents the top quartile of SEC recruiting – if you did a similar analysis in the Big Ten, this would be where Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska would sit. Green is the second quartile, and you will note the presence of Alabama in this one, albeit at the top – that would be “The Shula Effect”, for the most part. In the Big Ten, this would translate to Penn State, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Blue is the third quartile, or basically teams that sit comfortably below historic conference averages, which in the Big Ten would be Iowa, Illinois and Purdue using the same criteria. Red indicates the straggler and cellar dwellers, of course, at east when it comes to average star ratings (not necessarily record, though there is some correlation). In the Big Ten, the lowest averages belonged to Indiana, Northwestern and Minnesota.

In the second table, you can see how the recruiting rank relates to the team win percentage in the 2002-2012 period. I included Texas A&M and Missouri here just to see if anything interesting would happen despite the fact that these teams have exactly one season of SEC tradition under their belts. Missouri had the 11^{th}highest average, but the 6^{th}best record, and on the other side of things, Tennessee has the 5^{th}highest average, but the 8^{th}best record. There are three teams – Alabama, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, where the rankings matched.

The third table is where the quartiles and the analysis seem to achieve an interesting consistency. What you see there is the number of five stars and the percent of the conference total, as well as the number of four star and the percent of the conference total. The last column shows you what percentage of the team’s total number of ranked recruits have either five or four star ratings. One thing that is interesting here is the relatively more even (relatively being key here) distribution you see when compared to the Big Ten. As you might recall from the Big Ten analysis 60% of all five star recruits in the Big Ten went to either Michigan or Ohio State, as well as 42% of the four star recruits. Here, it is expand roughly to four schools – LSU, Georgia, Florida and Alabama – getting more or less those percentages combined (more precisely, 58% of five-stars ended up at one of those four, as well as 48% of four-stars).

Unlike the Big Ten, I won’t put all the individual tracking here, but below are the four best and four worst compared to the conference average:

TL;DR CONCLUSION:

I really decided to do this companion diary to find differences in how conferences might get treated, so the SEC and all of its associated hype seemed a logical choice.

OBLIGATORY:

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