Recruiting class ranking & National Champ

Submitted by massblue on December 22nd, 2015 at 10:48 AM

Sorry for the link to FP. I saw this article on FP by Tim Sullivan and this quote jumped at me 

Even if Michigan's 2016 class isn't able to realistically finish No. 1 overall (and every national champion since 2003 has had at least one No. 1 class or multiple No. 2 overall classes), the fun seems to be just beginning for head coach Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor

Is this really true? I do not remember AUB finishing #1 or #2 before winning the national championship.



Edit: Tim Sullivan writes for



December 22nd, 2015 at 1:46 PM ^

I remember that post as well. It was for Jeremy Clark, and Tim was certainly not the nicest to Clark in his posts as he was for others. It seems like he crossed the line between reporting facts/doing your job to evaluate objectively, and throwing his snarky opinions into the mix.

And in case you're wondering if it was worse than other "Hello" posts, here is Clark's with other posts for comparison.

turd ferguson

December 22nd, 2015 at 11:40 AM ^

Well, it looks like someone didn't do it here... or did it in a weird way.  I assume that he's using the Rivals team rankings since he works for Rivals.  From what I can see:

  • OSU won the national title in 2014-15. Their 2013 class finished #2, but they didn't have any other top 2 finishes for that group.
  • FSU won the national title in 2013-14.  Their 2011 class finished #2, but they didn't have any other top 2 finishes for that group.
  • Auburn won the national title in 2010-11.  They didn't have any top 2 finishes for that group.

I stopped there.  His general point is right, though.  Teams that win national championships generally finish very high in the recruiting rankings.


December 22nd, 2015 at 10:55 AM ^

I'm confused as to how bumping our lowest players from the top 20 by replacing them with even higher regarded recruits will hurt us. Maybe I just didn't understand what they were trying to say.

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December 22nd, 2015 at 11:00 AM ^

They only use the top 20 commits for calculations.

So if we land a recruit (say, Rashan Gary), he obviously will count in the top 20, but also bump out whoever is currently number 20 from the calculations. If Ohio state were to land Gary (oh please God no, but this is just for the sake of this comparison), he would slot in at #1 but would not bump anyone out of calculations because they have less than 20 commits currently.

The point is that, currently, an equal-level commit would help OSU's ranking more because it wouldn't bump anyone out of calculations. Not that it really matters, just that's how they do it


December 22nd, 2015 at 12:11 PM ^

Other teams don't.  So we can't add to our total as much as they can.

Michigan can improve it's class ranking (using rivals system), but only incrementally.

Unless Michigan has a killer finish with some unexpected 5-stars, it's not likely this class will finish in the top 5 on signing day.  We are 11th in average star ranking and will likely go down when a bunch of 5-stars announce at all american games and signing day.

Nobody should be worked up about this though. A top 10 class is really good.  A top 3 class probably requires Michigan to win a Big Ten title, make the playoff, or win a major bowl.

Ali G Bomaye

December 22nd, 2015 at 11:06 AM ^

SB Nation has studied this pretty extensively.  First, they've tracked each school's four-year composite recruiting ranking, which is a pretty good indicator of the amount of talent currently on the team:

And they've also done research that indicates that every BCS/CFP champion since at least 2005 has recruited more 4*/5* players than 3* players during its previous four recruiting classes:

Since 2003, the top eleven teams in recruiting have combined for 22 appearances in the BCS/CFP championship game, compared to just two appearances by any other team (both by Oregon, which was not too far away).


December 22nd, 2015 at 10:59 AM ^

Even Hoke's best classes didn't have me excited like this one does. I honestly see this class stepping in their sophomore years ready to fill roles left by the departing seniors, with no drop off. Harbaugh player development is so far above and beyond Hoke and his staff.

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December 22nd, 2015 at 1:32 PM ^

In addition Hoke's recruiting class-rankings were also heavily bolstered by top Offensive-Line commits, who ened up either washing-out completely (an unbelieveable amount), or really under-performing.

It's unreal how highly regarded we were for our OL commits, and yet how they have easily been the weakest link on the team for the past few years.



December 22nd, 2015 at 11:19 AM ^

Even if this number is true, if you think about it, there hasn't been a big enough sample size for it to matter that much. Rivals has only been around since 2002.  That's about 3 or 4 total recruiting cycles. I believe fewer than ten programs have won national titles since then.  In 10 years I'm sure it will look much different.


December 22nd, 2015 at 11:23 AM ^

Who is 'they'?

If my understanding is correct, there is only 1 site that uses strictly top 20 recruits (recruit number 21 doesnt mean jack $hit, which i think is terrible).  There is one site that does not have a cap (recruit #44 means the same as recruit #1, which i also think is terrible), and 2 sites that use a 'weighted average', which i believe is the best way to approach ranking classes.


December 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 AM ^

but... I'd rather have player development. what's the point of getting 5 stars and 4 stars if you don't develop them (hoke's tenure).

whatever harbaugh and company do we all should just sit back and enjoy. we will be just fine.