How Texas A&M stacks up to the SEC West in Recruiting Strength

You, me and that dude over there love ourselves some college football stats.

We rode that gravy train to all kinds of explication in the last blog post, which delved into how Arkansas’ perpetual lack of recruiting punch (relative to the SEC champions) is crimping the Razorbacks’ style, especially when it comes to beating Nick Saban.

But there’s no reason to stop at merely one article, not when there’s soooo much more data upon which we can get our geek on.

You want to see how all the SEC West teams stack up when it comes to recruiting oomph?

Below you’ll see a balls-out breakdown of how many four and five star recruits each SEC West program (including likely future member Texas A&M) has snagged in the last nine years, and how that correlates to the number of wins their program had in the following four seasons.

The topmost graph shows the average number of wins each of these programs had in successive four-year spans. There are less years in the spans closer to the present, because the top recruits are still playing out  their eligibility (some play beyond four years, although redshirting is less likely with four and five-star players).

Just by looking at these numbers, it seems pretty obvious there’s a correlation between snagging top recruits (according to off the field and winning games on the field. But,  just because we’re stat-freaks here, looking pretty obvious isn’t good enough.

Here’s proof:

Ahhhh….. That’s a positive correlation if I’ve ever seen one.

So, it turns out talent really matters.

Not earth-shattering stuff, but certainly interesting to see the breakdowns on a team-by-team basis.

Hat tip to brother-in-law Kelly Sullivan, a veritable Sultan of Stats, for whipping up these graphs. 

Are you curious how much college coaches pay attention to the stars scouts give recruits? They care, but not too much, according to Hog assistant coach Tim Horton. Check out what the Razorback recruiting coordinator has to say about how coaches go about the recruiting process here.

You’ll have to zoom in and look at the section on the right side of the page.

Yeah, I love unhyperlinkable Web pages, too.

Here’s the rest of the in-depth article on the recruiting reporting business.

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  1. This really proves very little. You’ve put together some nice charts, but they don’t say much.

    The one correlation you can draw from them is that winning teams sign higher rated recruits, but that’s a given anyway, because the recruiting services are all known for adjusting their ratings according to who’s winning. The known exceptions are teams which only play 1-2 big games a year, so the’re far less affected by the injury bug.

  2. I think it’s also important to note where the writers for the national recruiting services are based.
    They tend to be clustered around the states with the highest density of football players, which happen to be Sun Belt states with higher populations than Arkansas.

    So, these national writers see more Californians, Texans, Alabamans, Floridians, etc. in person and naturally tend to esteem them higher.
    But, per capita, Arkansas produces some pretty good football talent (Dave Campbell’s has a great breakdown on the # of D1 players coming out of each state)

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