Sully's Big Blog! Commentary on College Football, Weekly Games, And Strange Statistics!

PAC 12’s Non-Conference (NC) Schedule

The PAC 12 enters 2018 coming off its worst Bowl showing in conference history, going 1-8,  (SC lost to Ohio State, 24-7, in the cotton Bowl, Arizona lost to Purdue, 38-35, in the Foster Farm Bowl, Arizona State lost to NC State, 52-31, in the Sun Bowl, UCLA lost the Cactus Bowl to Kansas State, 35-17, Washington lost the Fiesta Bowl to Penn State, 35-28, Stanford got beat by TCU, 39-37, in the Alamo Bowl, Oregon lost to Boise State, 38-28, in the Las Vegas Bowl & Washington State lost Michigan State, 42-17, in the Holiday Bowl) with Utah getting its sole win, 30-14 over West Virginia, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl!

The PAC 12 plays 9 conference games, same as the B-12 & B-10, 5 division games and schedule 4 of the 6 teams in the other division! That leaves 3 NC games for each team, equaling a conference total of 36 NC games per season! We will divide NC opponents into 3 categories, Power 5 (P5), Group of 5 (G5), & Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Alright, let’s see what we got in 2018!

South Division

  1. Arizona plays 1 P5, BYU. Independent (On Sully’s College Football Page, BYU & ND are treated as P5’s) at home, in Arizona Stadium, 1 G5, Houston, a team from the American Athletic Conference (AAC), in Houston, @ TDECU Stadium, and 1 FCS club, Southern Utah, Big Sky Conference (B-Sky) @ Home.
  2. Arizona State takes on 1 P5, Michigan State (B-10), @ Sun Devil Stadium and 2 G5 opponents, Texas San Antonio, Conference USA (C-USA) and San Diego State Mountain West Conference (MWC). The Devils do not plat an FCS team in 2018!
  3. Colorado lines up against 1 P5, Nebraska (B-10) in Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium! They also take in state rival Colorado State, a G5 team out of the MWC. This game is played annually (Rocky Mountain Showdown) at a neutral site, Denver’s Mile High Stadium. The Buffs finish off their NC against a FCS squad, New Hampshire, a team from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), a home tilt played @ Folsom Field!
  4. UCLA challenges 1 P5 team, Oklahoma (B-12), as the Bruins travel to Norman Ok in the 2nd week of the 2018 season! They then ‘lace em up’ against 2 G5 opponents, Cincinnati (AAC) & Fresno State (MWC), both of these games are in the Rose Bowl, as the Chip Kelly era begins!
  5. USC breaks the mold as the Trojans battle 2 P5’s, Texas (B-12) in Austin and ND, at home, in the LA Coliseum. SC also kicks it off against 1 G5 opponent, UNLV, in Los Angles. This is the best roster Southern Cal has fielded in several years!
  6. Utah plays 1 P5, in the “Holy War” vs BYU (IND) @ home, in Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utes tackle 1 G5 opponent, Northern Illinois, a team out of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and welcome Weber State (B-Sky), an FCS team, to Salt Lake City!

The South Division plays Seven P5 opponents (Two  from the B-12 , Two out of the B-10, & Three IND’s), The PAC 12 South play Eight G5’s teams (AAC 2, C-USA 1, MAC 1, MWC 4), & 3 FCS teams (Two B-Sky & One CAA) for a total of 18 NC games!

North Division

  1. California plays 2 P5’s North Carolina, a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) @ home in California Memorial Stadium and BYU (IND) in Provo, UT. The Bears also welcome 1 FCS to Berkeley, Idaho State (B-Sky) to round their NC schedule!
  2. Oregon does not play an P5 opponent in its NC schedule, rather they play 2 G5’s and a FCS Team! The welcome all 3 to Eugene, Bowling Green (MAC) & San Jose State (MWC), and the FCS club hails from the B-Sky, Portland State!
  3. Oregon State, unlike Oregon does play a P5 and does so in a big way, as the Beavers travel to the ‘Horse Shoe’ to take on Ohio State (B-10). OSU then lines it up against 1 G5, Nevada (MWC) in in Mackay Stadium, Reno and 1 FCS, Southern Utah (B-Sky), @ home, in Reser Stadium.
  4. Stanford challenges 1 P5, ND in South Bend, a team the Cardinal have beaten 7 of the last 9 times they have played, however the road team is 2-8 in the last 10! Stanford takes on 1 G5, San Diego State, a team that beat them a year ago in  SDCCU Stadium, 20-17, and 1 FCS, UC Davis, @ Stanford Stadium!
  5. Washington steps up big in its 2018 opener, they kick-off the 2018 season in Atlanta, against Auburn, a team that beat both CFP finalist a year ago, Georgia, 40-17 & the National Champion, Alabama, 26-14! They play BYU in Seattle, @ Husky Stadium and welcome North Dakota (B-Sky), who is in transition from the B-Sky to the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) beginning in 2019, to the great state of Washington!
  6. Washington State, a 2nd North Division that does not play a NC Power 5 team in 2018, the Cougars play 2 Group of Five and one Football Championship Subdivision team. WSU takes on Wyoming (MWC), in Laramie, @ War Memorial Stadium and San Jose State (MWC) at home, in Martin Stadium. The Cougars welcome 1 FCS to Cougar country, Eastern Washington (B-Sky) to finish up their 2018 schedule. It should be noted, Eastern Washington beat WSU, 45-42, in the 2016 season opener!

The North Division plays Six P5 opponents (1 from the ACC, 1 from the B-10, 1 out of the SEC, & Three IND’s), The PAC 12 North play six G5’s teams (MAC 1, MWC 5), & Six FCS teams (All from the B-Sky ) for a total of 18 NC games! The North Division has an even split of its 18 NC game schedule, playing 6 P5’s, 6 G5’s and 6 FCS opponents!

The PAC 12 overall, have 36 NC games (12 teams X 3 games each = 36) play P5 opponents 13 times, G5 Teams on 14 dates, and line it up on 9 occasions vs FCS teams!

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Big Ten vs NC P5’s, G5’s, & FCS

The B-10 plays 9 conference games and 3 NC games to reach its maximum allotment of 12 games (unless you play Hawai’i, @ Aloha Stadium, then you can schedule a 13th game to offset travel costs). The B-10, once going to the 9th conference game were directed by their Commissioner, Jim Delany, to avoid scheduling Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) who are limited to 63 scholarships vs the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), who can award 85 scholarships! He then asked B-10 teams to schedule at least 1, Non-Conference (NC) Power 5 (P5) or more and 1 or 2 Group of 5 (G5) teams per season … let’s see how well the universities complied?

B-10 East!

  1. Indiana plays 1 P5, Virginia, out of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), @ home, in Memorial Stadium & 2 G5’s, Florida International  Conference – USA (C-USA) in Miami, Fl and Ball State Mid-American Conference (MAC) @ home! The Hoosiers do not play a FCS opponent in 2018!
  2. Maryland takes on Texas, a P5 team from the Big-12, @ home in Maryland Stadium and then plays 2 G5’s, Bowling Green (MAC), on the road and then returns home to battle Temple, an American Athletic Conference (AAC) team! The Terrapins do not play an FCS team in the coming season!
  3. Michigan travels to South Bend (Please note; on Sully’s College Football Page (SCFP) we treat ND & BYU as Power 5 Teams) to avenge their 31-0 pounding by the Irish in 2014 and then host 2 G5’s, Western Michigan (MAC) and SMU (AAC) in the Big House! The Wolverines do not play a FCS team!
  4. Michigan State ‘laces em up’ against 1 P5, Arizona State (PAC-12) in Sun Devil Stadium and 2 G5’s, Utah State, Mountain West Conference (MWC) and Central Michigan (MAC) both games will be played in Spartan Stadium! The Spartans do not play an FCS opponent!
  5. Ohio State breaks the norm by taking on 2 P5’s, Oregon State (PAC-12) @ the ‘Shoe’ and TCU (Big 12), at a neutral site, Arlington Texas. The Bucks will play 1 G5 in 2018, Tulane (AAC) in Ohio Stadium! OSU does not play an FCS squad in 2018!
  6. Penn State lines up against in state rival, Pittsburgh, a P5 team from the ACC,  @ Heinz Field, Pitts home turf! The Lions also play 2 G5 in NC tilts, taking on Appalachian State, Sun Belt Conference (SBC) and Kent State (MAC), both of these game will be played @ Beaver Stadium, in State College, PA! PSU does not play a FCS opponent!
  7. Rutgers travels to Lawrence, Kansas,, in week three, to meet the Jayhawks @ Memorial Field. Kansas is a P5 program and member of the B-12 Conference! The Scarlet Knights play 2 G5 teams, Texas State (SBC) and Buffalo (MAC), both of the games are in New Brunswick, NJ @ High Point Solutions Stadium. The Knights do not play a FCS team in 2018!

The East Division of the Big Ten plays 8 P5 opponents (2 ACC, 3 B-12, 1 IND, 2 PAC 12), 13 G5 teams (3 AAC, 1 C-USA, 6 MAC, 1 MWC, & 2 SBC), & 0 FCS Opponents

B-10 West!

  1. Illinois does not play against a P5 opponent in 2018, they do compete against 2 G5’s, Kent State (MAC) & South Florida (AAC). The Illini do play a FCS squad, Western Illinois, a Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) team, in week two! All three of these NC games are in Urbana-Champaign, IL, at Memorial Stadium!
  2. Iowa will ‘kick it off’ against in-state rival, Iowa State, a P5 team from the B-12!  They also line up against 1 G5 team, Northern Illinois (MAC) and one FCS club, Northern Iowa (MVFC). All 3 NC games are in Iowa City, at Kinnick Stadium!
  3. Minnesota, like the Illini, do not play a P5 team in their NC schedule in 2018! They do play against 3 G5 opponents; New Mexico State (IND), Fresno State (MWC) & Miami OH (MAC). The 3 games will be played in Minneapolis MN @ TCF Bank Stadium! The Gophers do not play a FCS team!
  4. Nebraska welcomes one P5 NC opponent, Colorado, to Lincoln in 18’! Colorado is an old Big 12 opponent of the Huskers, when both teams were in that league, the Buffs are mow members of the PAC 12! The Cornhuskers play 2 G5’s, Akron (MAC) and Troy (SBC). All three games are @ Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium!
  5. Northwestern steps up and plays 2 P5 opponents! Duke (ACC) and ND (IND), both of the games are in Evanston, IL  at Ryan Field! The Cats challenge 1 G5 team, Akron (MAC), this contest is also @ Ryan Field!
  6. Purdue, like Northwestern, will take on 2 P5 teams, Missouri (SEC) & Boston College (ACC)! Both NC games are in West Lafayette, @ Ross-Ade Stadium! The Boilermakers are scheduled to play one G5 opponent, Eastern Michigan, also at Ross-Ade Stadium!
  7. Wisconsin plays 1 P5, BYU in Madison, @ Camp Randall in week 3 and 2 G5’s Western Kentucky (C-USA) & New Mexico (MWC) also played at Camp Randal! The Badgers do not play a FCS opponent in 18’! While UW’s NC slate is relatively easy, their Big 10 schedule is difficult, all 5 road games are against teams that had winning records a year ago (Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State, & Purdue)!

The West Division of the Big Ten plays 7 P5 opponents (2 ACC, 1 B-12, 2 IND, 1 PAC 12, & 1 SEC), 12 G5 teams ( 1 AAC,  1 C-USA, 1 IND 6 MAC, 2 MWC, & 1 SBC), 2 FCS teams (2 MVFC)

Big Ten plays 15 P5’s, 25 G5’s, & 2 FCS in the 2018 season!

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SEC Non Conference Tilts

For our purposes here, we will divide the teams into three categories; 1) Power Five (P5), Group of Five (G5), & 3) FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) opponents. It should be noted, that the P5 & G5 are not NCAA terms (FBS & FCS are the NCAA descriptors), but rather, constructs of of the CFP (College Football Playoffs), which is also, not, an NCAA championship! I will try to define all acronyms.

Let’s start with the Mighty SEC: West Division!

The SEC plays 8 conference games, 4 @ home, 4 on the road, and 4 NC games to reach the alloyed 12 game schedule

Alabama plays one P5, Non-Conference  (NC) team, Louisville (ACC), in Orlando, two G5’s, Arkansas State, from the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) and Louisiana (SBC), both games are at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The Tide also takes on one FCS (this category of team has 63 scholarships not 85 as an FBS roster), The Citadel, a team from the Southern Conference (SoCon)! To be Bowl eligible, a team must win 6 games, you may count one, and only one win against a FCS opponent toward the bowl requirement of 6 wins!

Arkansas does not play a P5, NC game in 2018! This is likely related to the fact, that they play in the SEC West Division and struggle to win games against the likes of, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State , not to mention Bama! The Razorbacks challenge, Colorado State from the Mountain West Conference (MWC), North Texas, Conference USA (C-USA), and Tulsa, who plats in the American Athletic Conference (AAC). The R-Backs also play one FCS school, Eastern Illinois, out of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). All of the games are in Fayetteville, with the lone exception of the CSU game, which is in Fort Collins, Colorado!

Auburn opens the season against one of the best teams in the country, Washington, a P5  PAC 12 team, at a neutral site, Atlanta, Georgia! This is the only game the Tigers play against a NC, P5 opponent, in 2018! That said, this game is one of the best match-ups on opening weekend, rivaling, if not surpassing, the Michigan-ND clash in South Bend! Auburn also takes on two G5 teams, one from C-USA, Southern Miss and Liberty, in transition from the FCS to the FBS and playing this season as an Independent. Both of these games are in Auburn! The Tigers also tangle with Alabama State, an FCS from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

LSU also adds to opening weekend excitement by lining up against the resurgent Miami Hurricanes, in Arlington Texas! This is the only time the Bengal Tigers take on a P5, in the 2018 season. They play two G5’s La Tech & Rice out of C-USA and an FCS opponent, SE Louisiana out of the Southland Conference (SLC). All these games are in Baton Rouge, @ Tiger Stadium! If LSU gets good QB play out of Joe Burrow or anyone  for that matter, they have the talent on their roster, to beat anyone, and I do mean, anyone!

Mississippi State travels to B-12 country to take on Kansas State, this will be their only NC game vs P5 opponent! They play two G5’s From Louisiana, La Tech (C-USA) and Louisiana (SBC), aka Louisiana Lafayette. Their final NC game is their opener vs an FCS team, Stephen F. Austin, from the SLC. All three of these games are in Starkville, MS @ Davis Wade Stadium!

Ole Miss also takes on the B-12 as they ‘lace en up’ against, Texas Tech, in Houston, Texas! The usual look for an SEC West Division team, 1 P5, 2 G5, & 1 FCS. The G5’s are Kent State, from the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Louisiana Monroe (SBC), both of these contests are in Oxford @ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Their FCS opponent is Southern Illinois, a team out of the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC), this game will also be played in Oxford!

Texas A&M has a Tiger by the tail as they welcome Clemson, to College Station and Kyle Field. Jimbo Fisher, A&M’s new coach, who is 4-4 in his Florida State years vs Clemson, can’t be over-joyed to be playing these guys, yet again, in his second game as the Aggies head man! A&M also follows SEC West suit with 2 G5 opponents and 1 game vs an FCS team! The Aggies take on Louisiana Monroe (SBC) & UAB (C-USA), both of these games are in College Station! Their FCS opponent is Northwestern State, a team from the SLC!

The SEC West Division takes on 6 P5 teams (3 ACC, 2 B-12, & 1 P-12), 15 G5 ( 5 SBC, 1 IND, 6 C-USA,  1 AAC,  1 MAC, & 1 MWC) and 7 FCS opponents;(3 SLC, 1 MVFC, 1 MEAC, 1 OVC, & 1 SoCon) for a total of 28 NC games!

Let’s continue with the, less than, Mighty SEC: East Division!

The SEC plays 8 conference games, 4 @ home, 4 on the road, and 4 NC games to reach the alloyed 12 game schedule.

Florida is the victim of a rather unusual event, Idaho has left the FBS, after being voted out of the SBC (along with New Mexico State, who has elected to stay part of the FBS as an Independent) and is headed for the FCS and the Big Sky Conference. As a result, Florida will play 2 FCS opponents in 2018 and only one of the probable wins can count toward the 6 wins needed to be bowl eligible. That said, the Gators do travel from Gainesville, take on Florida State in Tallahassee’s Doak Campbell Stadium and welcome one G5 opponent to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, from the MWC, Colorado State, led by HC, Mike Bobo, a former Georgia QB and Offensive Coordinator (OC)!

Georgia opens its season against an FCS team, Austin Peay, out of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Dawgs take on 2 G5 teams, Middle Tennessee (C-USA) and U-Mass, an Independent, both of these games are in Athens’ Sanford Stadium! Georgia ends it season, @ home, against in state rival, Georgia Tech (ACC)! While the Dawgs have a relatively easy NC schedule, their SEC crossover games include, Auburn & LSU!

Kentucky plays 1 P5, in state rival, Louisville (ACC) on the road in their season finale. They battle 2 G5, Central Michigan (MAC) and Middle Tennessee (C-USA) and 1 FCS opponent, Murray State (OVC) all 3 of these games are at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky! a consistent theme, 1 P5, 2 G5, & 1 FCS!

Missouri is the only SEC team that will take on a B-10 team in 2018, Purdue, in West Lafayette. The Tigers also play 2 G5 teams,  Wyoming (MWC) and Memphis (AAC), both of these games are in Columbia @ Memorial Stadium! Mizzou opens their 2018 season vs Tennessee Martin, a FCS team from the (OVC)!

South Carolina begins the their NC season at home vs 2 G5 teams, Coastal Carolina (SBC) and Marshall (C-USA). These games are the season opener and the Marshall game is played in week three, the issue is Georgia, who they play @ home in week two! If the Gamecocks are going to challenge for the East Division crown this is a great place to start! That said, no looking past, around, or through those early opponents. USC (the other USC) plays Chattanooga, a FCS (SoCon) team in week eleven and end their season against, in state rival, Clemson (ACC), who has beaten the Gamecocks four straight and badly the past 2 years (56-7 in 2016 & 34-10 in 17)!

Tennessee has a new coach and is hoping for a new beginning after what can best be described as some ‘peculiar goings on’ under the leadership of the last coach and AD! The Volunteers play the best opponent that the SEC East lines up against on opening weekend, West Virginia (B-12)! The game will be a neutral site affair, played in Charlotte, NC. UT will also ‘lace en up’ against 2 G5 teams UTEP (C-USA) & UNC Charlotte, both of these games are at Neyland Stadium, home of the Vols! The 4th NC game is against an FCS, in state opponent, East Tennessee (SoCon)!

Vanderbilt will travel a little further north in Indiana than Missouri, past West Lafayette to South Bend! The Commodores will play Notre Dame for the 1st time since 1995, the Irish jumped out to a 27-0 half time lead and never looked back! Vandy’s four NC games are played in the 1st five weeks on the season, with 3 of 4 played at home in Vanderbilt Stadium! Two G5 teams, Middle Tennessee (C-USA) and Nevada (MWC) & 1 FCS team, Tennessee State (OVC) will fill the NC slate for the 2018 season!

The SEC East Division takes on 7 P5 teams (4 ACC, 1 B-12, 1 B-10, & 1 IND), 13 G5  (1 SBC, 1 IND, 6 C-USA,  1 AAC, 1 MAC, &  3 MWC) and 8 FCS opponents;(1 BSC, 1 B-Sky, 4 OVC, & 2 SoCon) for a total of 28 NC games!

The SEC plays 13 P5 opponents (ACC 7, B-12 3, B-10 1, P-12 1 & IND 1) 28 G5 teams (AAC 2, C-USA 12, MAC 2, MWC 4, SBC 6, & IND 2) and 15 FCS squads (BSC 1, B-Sky 1, MEAC 1, MVFC 1, OVC 5, SLC 3, SoCon 3) to complete their NC schedule which involves 56 teams.

Finally, It should be noted that the SEC & ACC play 8 conference games while the B-12, B-10, P-12 play 9 … so fewer NC games needed by those conferences, especially with the B-10 & P-12, who like to play one another!



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A comparison between 2017 Final Poll & Where ARR Predicted

Now that we have reviewed Power Five Recruiting and taken a look at each of the P5 Conference, let’s take a look at the final top 25 for 2017 and where the ARR (Average Recruiting Rank (based on four years of data, 2015 through 2018, with the info coming from three sites, ESPN, 247 Sports, & Rivals) predicted where they should finish! Final Top 25 Rankings will be on the left and where their ARR speculated they should finish, will be on the right! If a team’s finish was 1 to 3 above of below their ARR predicted place finish (the number on the right noted before the team) they were identified as … slightly … above or below, 4 to 7 they were characterized as being overachievers or underachievers, 8 to 15 … Significantly … above or below, and 16 + I just made up stuff … Light speed Achievers and such! This is all for fun … Enjoy! Up Next: P5 vs P5 in the 2018 regular season!

AP Top 25  /   Average Recruiting Rank Predictor

  1. Alabama / 1. Alabama’s ARR 2.5 (According to Hoyle 1=1)
  2. Georgia / 3. Georgia’s ARR 4.5 (Slightly overachieved +1)
  3. Oklahoma / 11. OU’s ARR 12.7 (Significantly overachieved +8)
  4. Clemson / 6. Clemson’s ARR 6.8 (Slightly Overachieved +2)
  5. Ohio State / 2. OSU’s  ARR 3.9 (Slightly underachieved -3)
  6. UCF / NA. AAC Team (Group of 5 TBD) Not Assessed in P5 Rankings
  7. Wisconsin / 36. UW’s ARR 38.7 (Plaid Speed overachievers +29)
  8. Penn State / 12. PSU’s ARR 13.4 (Overachieved +4)
  9. TCU / 29. TCU’s ARR 29.9 (Light Speed overachievers +20)
  10. Auburn / 8. Auburn’s ARR 9.25 (Minis-cal underachievers -2)
  11. Notre Dame / 10. ND’s ARR 12.5 (Slightly underachieved -1)
  12. USC  / 5. USC’s ARR 6.5 (Underachieved -7)
  13. Miami / 17. Miami’s ARR 16.2 (Slightly overachieved +4)
  14. Ok St./35. Ok St’s ARR 38.1 (Ludicrous Speed overachieves +21)
  15. MSU / 26. MSU’s ARR  27.0 (Significantly overachieved +11)
  16. Washington / 22. UW’s ARR 24.0 (Significantly overachieved +8)
  17. Northwestern / 52. NW’s ARR 52.6 (left the Galaxy achievers +35)
  18.  LSU / 7. LSU’s ARR 8.5 (Significantly underachieved -11)
  19.  Miss State / 24. MSU’s ARR 24.9 (Overachieved +5)
  20.  Standard / 25. Stanford’s ARR 25.4 (Overachieved +5)
  21. USF / NA. AAC Team (Group of 5 TBD) Not Assessed in P5 Rankings
  22. Boise/NA. MWC Team (G5 TBD) Not Assessed in P5 Rankings
  23. NC State / 39. NC State’s ARR 39 (Light Speed Overachievers +16)
  24. Virginia Tech / 28. Virginia Tech’s ARR 29.6 (Overachievers +4)
  25. Memphis / NA. AAC Team (G5 TBD) Not Assessed in P5 Rankings
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ACC Recruiting & Past and Projected Division Standings

As you review these thoughts, remember this is based on how a program recruits and really nothing else, so my suggestion is … don’t wager the retirement on these numbers this fall! That said, I do believe that, Jimmy’s & Joe’s, with other elements (returning starters, coaching, schedule, injuries, & et alii / et cetera) being, relatively equal, can and often do, overcome other factors.

Ok, let’s take a look at how the ACC recruits, last year’s divisional standings, and what the rosters suggests will happen this year! The composite is a four year average (2015 / 2018) based on the review of three recruiting sites, ESPN, 247 Sports, & Rivals. While it should be noted, that the 2017 standings had the 2014 recruiting class in the mix and the 2018 will have (for the most part) lost that class, but will have added the 2018 class. That said, their ARR (Average Recruiting Rank) will still be relatively close even with 2014 factored out of the ARR & 2018 factored into the ARR! So one could speculate that the 2018 ARR would be an indicator of how a team should have preformed in 2017!

2017 Standing                            2018 Projections/ARR Composite 

Atlantic Division

  1. Clemson 7-1                      1. Florida State 5.1
  2. NC State 6-2                      2. Clemson 9.2
  3. Louisville 4-4                      3. Louisville 32.1
  4. Wake Forest 4-4                  4. NC State 40.2
  5. Boston College 4-4              5. Syracuse 57.0
  6. Florida State 3-5                 6. Wake Forest 58.5
  7. Syracuse 2-6                       7. Boston College 65.8
  • Florida State is the best recruiting program in the ACC with an ARR of 5.1! They are the 4th best in the nation, behind only, Bama, Ohio State, & Georgia! Their QB, Deondre Francois, was injured in their 1st game of the 2017 season against Alabama, a 24-7 loss; FSU never really recovered! Francois is back and let’s see!
  • Clemson has had a tremendous run the past three years, surpassed by only Alabama! The Tigers have played their way into the last 3 CFP, losing in the semi’s in 2017, 24-6 to the Tide, winning the championship in 2016, 35-31 vs Alabama & losing the championship game in 2015, 45-40 to Bama! Impressive!
  • Louisville’s ARR is 32.1 which suggest that 31 teams have a better roster across P5 conferences. They were somewhat of an enigma in 2017, beating FSU, 31-18, but losing to BC, 45-42 & WF, 42-32!
  • Syracuse with an ARR of 57.0 beat Clemson, 27-24 in 2017. They knocked out QB, Kelly Bryant and Clemson’s roster did not respond as their ARR #, 9.2, would indicate. The Orange had a perfectly upside down season. They lost to WF, 64-43 & BC42-14, two teams they recruit better than, yet found a way against Clemson and Pitt, 27-24, an identical score to their Clemson win!
  • Wake Forest overachieved in 2017, beating Louisville, 42-32 & NC State, 30-24. Both of these teams recruit better than WF! Their ARR numbers suggest the Demon Deacons should finish 6th in the Atlantic, in front of only BC!
  • Boston College hammered FSU, 35-3, outlscored Louisville, 45-42, & beat Syracuse, 42-14 & Virginia, 41-10. All four of these programs recruit better than the Eagles, who have an ARR of 65.8, better than only one P5 team, Kansas’ 67.8!

            2017 Standing             2018 Projections/ARR Composite

Coastal Division

  1. Miami 7-1                       1. Miami 16.2
  2. Virginia Tech 5-3             2. North Carolina 27.9
  3. Georgia Tech 4-4             3. Virginia Tech 29.6
  4. Pittsburgh 3-5                 4. Pittsburgh 41.1
  5. Virginia 3-5                     5. Duke 47.2
  6. Duke 3-5                        6. Georgia Tech 49.5
  7. North Carolina 1-7           7. Virginia 56.1
  • Usually the Coastal Division is a log jam with 3 teams at 5-3 and a clubs or two at 4-4, not in 2017! Miami separated itself from the pact, going 7-1 in the Coastal, losing to only Pitt, 24-14 in their season finale!
  • Virginia Tech was on a collision course with Miami to win the Coastal Division, but the ARR’s kicked in, the U @ 16.2 to the Hokies 29.6! The result in early November was a season changing loss for Va Tech, Miami 28 – VT 14!
  • Georgia Tech beat Pitt, 35-17, UNC, 33-7, & Va Tech, 28-22, 3 teams their ARR says they should not have beaten! The only team that they should have handled, that they did not, was Virginia, a 40-36 loss!
  • Pitt gave Miami its only divisional loss, 24-14, this was also the Canes, (11-0 at kick-off) 1st lost of the season. That said, Pitt lost to Syracuse, 27-24 & GT, 35-17, two teams their ARR # says they should have beat!
  • Virginia recruits better than 3 teams in the ACC, Syracuse, WF, & BC. the issue is all three of those teams are in the Atlantic Division! They  were scheduled to play a cross over game Boston College, however the Cavaliers got smacked by BC, 41-10 and they did not play Wake or Syracuse! In divisional play, they did beat UNC, 20-14, GT, 40-36, & Duke, 28-21, three teams who have a higher ARR!
  • Duke Duke is the 5th best recruiting program in the ACC Coastal and tied for 5th place in the division!
  • North Carolina in the 2017 season as indicated by their ARR # should have beaten, Duke, lost 27-17, GT, lost 33-7, Virginia, lost 20-14, VT, lost 59-7, & NC State, lost 33-21. They did manage to to beat Pitt, 34-31 for their only ACC and Coastal win in 2017!
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P-12 Recruiting & 2018 Projected Conference Standings

As you move through these thoughts and projections, … remember, … they are solely based on recruiting, factors like returning starters, coaching, home & away games, and other elements that impact a team’s season are put aside. For our purposes here, we are drawing our conclusions from the team’s ARR (Average Recruiting Rank)! The ARR was determined by averaging each teams recruiting rank on three different sites (ESPN, 247 Sports, & Rivals) and over a four year (2015 -2018) time frame!

Please note, I will often interchange the terms, roster, ARR, and recruiting and while one could infer distinctions among these terms, the intent here is to imply they carry the same meaning! Let’s take a look at the P-12, through recruiting only, both internally and how they compare to other Power 5 (P5) conferences. The P5 is made up of the following  conferences; ACC (14 Teams), B-10 (14 teams), B-12 (10 teams), SEC (14 teams), and the P-12 (12 teams)! We also include Notre Dame and BYU as P5 teams in this post. Meaning we have 66 teams, not 64 , in our count. That said, an ARR # is the average place finish out of the 66 P5 teams assessed in this post. So when reviewing the list below, one sees that Oregon is the best recruiting program in the North Division of the P-12 and the 20th best in the country!

North Division

P-12 final Standings 2017      /     Recruiting projected Standings for 2018

 P-12 Record in 2017                                P-12 ARR 2015 – 2018

  1. Stanford 7-2                                     1) Oregon ARR 20.0
  2. Washington 7-2                                 2) Washington ARR 24.0
  3. Washington State 6-3                        3) Stanford ARR 25.4
  4. Oregon 4-5                                       4) California ARR 46.4
  5. California 2-7                                    5) Washington St. ARR 49.3
  6. Oregon State 0-9                               6) Oregon State ARR 57.4


  • Stanford essentially overachieved in 2017, as their recruiting numbers suggest a 3rd place finish in 2018, with a 3-2 mark vs Divisional foes, not 1st place in the North Division the Cardinal achieved in 2017. The P-12 plays 9 conference games same as the B-12 & B-10, yet these conferences have a unique feel. The P-12 has 6 teams in their north/south divisions respectively, so they play 5 divisional games and 4 cross-over games; the B-10 has 7 teams in east/west divisions respectively and play only 3 Cross over games, and the B-12, with 10 total teams (no divisions), play a round robin schedule, meaning each team plays the other nine teams in the league. Stanford lost their Bowl Game to TCU, 39-37, a team that they have a better ARR then, the Cardinal ARR is 25.5 while TCU is 29.9!
  • Washington is the 2nd best recruiting program in the P-12’s North Division, with an ARR @ 24.0. Last year, the Huskies had an identical record to Stanford (7-2) but lost their head to head battle with Cardinal, 30-22, so were left out of the P-12 Championship Game! Washington lost the Fiesta Bowl to Penn State, 35-28, a team that has a better ARR that the Huskies; PSU 13.4 / Washington 24.0!
  • Washington State, by their ARR @ 49.3, equals 1-4 in divisional play and then depending on cross over games, the Cougars could be in for a long season! Yet they finished at 6-3 in 2017; surprising, since the Cougars only recruit better then 2 P-12 teams, Oregon State, in their division and Colorado, out of the South Division. The good news is they do draw Colorado in 2018 and OSU is an annual occurrence. That said, those two encounters will be the only P-12 games where WSU will have the better roster (vs Colorado & Oregon State). The remaining 7 conference opponents will have better rosters! WSU took on Michigan State (MSU ARR 27.0 to WSU 49.3) in the Holiday Bowl, a 42-17 loss to the Spartans!
  • Oregon has the best roster in the P-12 North Division and based on their ARR talent & cross over games, should win the division. Only 2 programs in the South Division (P-12) recruit better than the Ducks, USC with an ARR of 5.5 and UCLA at 15.8. Oregon only draws UCLA out of the south in 2018. That means when considering the respective rosters of their opponents, that the Ducks will be favored in 8 of their 9 contest in conference play! That, coupled with their non-conference schedule being somewhat of a joke ( Bowling Green, Portland State, & San Jose State} the Ducks should go 11-1 in the regular season and play for the P-12 Championship (vs USC) and have a punchers shot at the CFP! In 2017, Oregon lost the Las Vegas Bowl to Boise State, 38-28, a Group of 5 (G5) team that I will assign an ARR # in the next couple of weeks. That said, their is no doubt that Oregon will have a better (lower) ARR number than Boise!
  • California has the 4th best roster in the Noth Division of the P-12! Cal was pretty much according to Hoyle in 2017, they should have beaten Washington State, they did, 37-3 and Oregon State, they did, 37-23. They should have lost to Oregon, 45-24, Washington, 38-7, & Stanford, 17 14 … and they did! Their cross over games were against USC, 30-20, UCLA 30-27, Arizona, 45-44, their ARR number predicted these games would all be losses and that is exactly what happened! The only game that was outside the predictor was the Colorado game, the Golden Bears should have won that one, they did not, a 44-28 loss!
  • Oregon State is a mess, they are last in the P-12 in recruiting and recruit better than only 6 P5 programs nationally, Wake Forest (ACC), Purdue (B-10), Kansas State (B-12), BYU (IND), Boston College (ACC), & Kansas (B-12). From an ARR perspective, they were perfect in 2017, losing to all 9 P-12 teams and to 2 FBS opponents, Minnesota, 48-14 &  Colorado State, 58-27. The only game they did win was against a FCS team, Portland State (Big Sky Conference), 35-32, a game their roster predicted they would win! So … a perfect mess!

South Division

P-12 final Standings 2017      /     Recruiting projected Standings for 2018

 P-12 Record in 2017                             P-12 ARR 2015 – 2018

  1. USC 8-1                                        1) USC ARR 5.5
  2. Arizona State 6-3                           2) UCLA ARR 15.8
  3. Arizona 5-4                                   3) Utah ARR 39.1
  4. UCLA 4-5                                      4) Arizona State ARR 39.2
  5. Utah 3-6                                       5) Arizona ARR 46.2
  6. Colorado 0-9                                 6) Colorado ARR 56.0
  • Southern Cal did not play a team in 2017 regular season that their current ARR was not better than and with the lone exception of Notre Dame (yet still better than the Irish), the Trojan ARR was significantly superior to all of their other opponents. They lost one P-12 game in 2017, to Washington State, 30-27, that simply put, their roster should not have allowed. Injuries to their OL were a factor, but their superior ARR # should have carried the day. They won the South Division as their recruiting suggested they would and then beat the North Division champ, Stanford, 31-28, to claim the P-12 Championship. Their lost  to ND, 49-14, was to much to overcome, the CFP Committee seemed unable to get past that lop-sided performance and as a result, SC did not make the CFP in 2017. Instead, they were invited to the Cotton Bowl, where, they again, performed according Hoyle, losing to Ohio State (ARR 3.9), 24-7.  OSU was in a similar situation to SC, failing to overcome a blowout lost to Iowa, 55-24, which like USC’s one-sided loss to the Irish, resulted in the committee passing on the Bucks! Neither the P-12 or B-10 champ made the CFP!
  • UCLA, as measured by their roster, should have gone 8-1 in 2017, not 4-5, which in no small part, explains why their coach, Jim Mora, was fired!  One could say, I wouldn’t, but one could say that Mora recruited himself out of his job! The Bruins played 2 teams with a better ARR than themselves, Texas A&M (ARR 14.3 to UCLA 15.8), The Bruins won that game, 45-44 (2017’s best comeback?) and USC, a 28-23 loss! UCLA then lost to Kansas State, in the Cactus Bowl, 35-17, a team from the B-12, that has an ARR score of 63.8 compared to UCLA 15.8. Enter Chip Kelly!
  • Utah underachieved in 2017, but not by much, as they had roster that is/was inferior to USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, & Stanford, they were only able to overcome ARR #’s once, vs UCLA, a 48-17 win!  So by the numbers, they should have gone 4-5 in 17 not 3-6. The Utes win over UCLA was countered and then some, by losing to WSU, 33-25 & ASU, 30-10, games that their ARR says they should have won! Utah won the Heart of Dallas Bowl over West Virginia, 30-14, the P-12’s only win in the Bowl season. This was a ‘pick em’ game as Utah ARR 39.1 while WV’s is 40.4!
  • Life can be a funny old dog, just ask, Todd Graham, who was 46-32 @ ASU in 6 seasons, 5 bowls (2-3 in bowl games) and exceeded expectations according to ARR in 2017, by going 6-3, finishing 2nd in the South Division, and his Sun Devils beat Washington, 13-7 and Oregon, 37-35!  Graham was fired! Hard to figure … Enter Herm Edwards! This is going to be, I believe, one of, if not the #1 most scrutinized coaching changes of the 2018 season!
  • Arizona should have finished have finished 3-6, if one were to determine games just by roster, not the 5-4 record they earned in 2017! Rich Rodriguez was fired at the season’s end for on and off the field concerns. Arizona beat UCLA, 47-30 and Cal, 45-44, one program that recruits significantly better than the Wildcats and California, whose ARR is almost identical, Arizona @ 46.2 while Cal’s is 46.4! Enter, Kevin Sumlin, the former coach at Texas A&M!
  • Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre’s seat is getting hot, the Buffs were 2-7 last year  and they are the ranked 9 of 10 in P-12 recruiting, with an AAR of 56.0. They did slightly overachieve by going 2-7 as their roster suggested they should be 1-8, having ARR # better than only Oregon State in the P-12. The Buffs did not win a south division game, they beat Oregon State , 36-33 and upset California, 44-28. Both of these teams are from the north division.


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B-12 Recruiting & Predictinng

0If you like offense this is where you need to set the TV dial & VCR recorder. In the B-12. eight of the ten teams scored between 380 (31.6 PPG) to 632 (52.6 PPG) points last season, the remaining 2 teams, Baylor & Kansas, while struggling to score, had no issues allowing points, these teams gave up 952 points (39.6 PPG) in 2017 … so no D = O! Either way / any-which-way, in the B-12 it is always about offense!

The B-12 has not had divisions since their realignment in 2011 and until 2017, they had not played a championship game since 2010, when OU (South Division) beat Nebraska (North division), 23-20! The B-12 is the only Power 5 Conference where a round-robin (every team in the league plays every other team) is scheduled during the regular season and then the top two teams meet for a second time.

Let’s take a close look at B-12 recruiting and see its impact, in isolation (forget, for now, coaching, player development, returning starters, and other factors) on success on the field. Let’s take a look where B-12 teams rank over the past four years (2015 through 2018) in Average Recruiting Rank (ARR) and see where they finished in the 2017 standings and the relationship between those finishes and where the recruiting numbers predicted these teams should finish in 2018!

Conference Standings in 2017    /     Projected Standing based on ARR (listed after team)

  1. Oklahoma 8-1                                1. Texas (9)
  2. TCU 7-2                                         2. Oklahoma (11)
  3. Oklahoma State 6-3                       3. TCU (29)
  4. West Virginia 5-4                           4. Baylor (34)
  5. Texas 5-4                                      5. Oklahoma State (35)
  6. Kansas State 5-4                           6. West Virginia (41)
  7. Iowa State 5-4                              7. Texas Tech (48)
  8. Texas Tech 3-6                              8. Iowa State (55)
  9. Baylor 1-8                                     9. Kansas State (63)
  10. Kansas 0-9                                  10. Kansas (66)
  • Oklahoma slightly overachieved, the ARR states the Sooners should have finished 2nd in the B-12 behind Texas.
  • TCU finished 2nd in the B-12, losing twice to OU in 2017, regular season, 38-20 and in the B-12 Championship Game, 41-17. Please note to distance between the teams ARR OU 11 & TCU 29
  • Oklahoma State recruiting numbers suggested a 5th place finish in the B-12, yet the Cowpokes were 3rd. The ARR #’s suggested that Texas (ARR says the Horns should have won the B-12)  and Baylor, who won one game and finished 9th, should have won 6 and finished 4th!
  • West Virginia tied for 4th place, winning 5 games and sharing 4th with Texas, K-State, & Iowa State. A slight overachievement, as the ARR predicted a 4-5 record in the B-12 and a 6th place finish.
  • Texas is the #1 recruiting football team in the B-12 and one, if not, the number one underachieving program in the nation. A 4th place tie in the B-12 simply will not cut it in the Texas football community. Most preseason previews have the Longhorns 2nd to Oklahoma in the B-12 and given their respective ARR’s (Tx 9th & OU 11th) it should come to the Red River Rivalry outcome. Texas fans demand the B-12 Championship come down to the OU game and then, win it! The ARR number, say those Horn fans are right!
  • Kansas State’s Bill Synder has something in common with Budweiser … that is, the Budweiser Song … “When you Bud (in this case, when U say Bill) you’ve said it all!” The Wildcats by their ARR number should have been 1-8, not 5-4 as they were in 2017. Bill Synder … enough said!
  • Iowa State, according to their ARR status, the Cyclones should have gone 2-7 in B-12 play, not 5-4 as they did in 2017, and they certainly should not have beaten OU, 38-31 and TCU, 14-7. The challenge for Matty Campbell and his staff is how to turn these victories on the playing fields into wins in the living rooms! Jimmy’s & Joe’s over X’s & O’s
  • Texas Tech finished, 3-6,oo exactly as their ARR predicted, however, how they got their was not according Hoyle. They lost ISU, 31-13 & Kansas State, 42-35 in OT, by their respective ARR numbers, the Red Raiders should have won these games. That said, they beat Texas, 27-23 (probably saves Coach Kingsbury’s job) and Baylor, 38-24, two teams that should have beaten.
  • Baylor should have gone 6-3 based on their existing roster, yet, they won 1 game in 2017, beating only Kansas, 38-9, to finish 1-8 in B-12 play. Baylor’s Coach, Matty Rhule, inherited a mess, 2nd only to the Penn State disaster. A template exists for Rhule and his staff to repair the damage done in Waco! They need only look to what Bill O’Brian and James Franklin did @ PSU, in rebuilding the relationship between community and the program.
  • Kansas, like Texas Tech, played and won games as the ARR predicted, bad & one. The only team the Jayhawks beat in 2017, was SE Missouri, 38-16, an FCS program from the Ohio Valley Conference and a team that Kansas would have a better roster then, 85 scholarships in the FBS to 63 scholarship in the FCS! Kansas has the lowest ARR number of any P5 program, 66 0f 66, (remember ND & BYU are in our count) assessed by SCFP!
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By the Recruiting Numbers: who wins the Big Ten East, West and Outright

The Big Ten has 4 teams that recruit in the top 25, Ohio State 2, Penn State 12, Michigan 18, Nebraska 23, and with Michigan State just outside @ 26! That said, you have seven (Maryland is 33rd of the 66 programs assessed) B-10 programs that are in the lower half of the Power 5 recruiting wars. Wisconsin is at 36, followed by Iowa (43), Minnesota (51), Northwestern (52), Indiana (53), Rutgers (57), Illinois (58) and Purdue @ 62! It is no wonder that the NW Coach, Pat Fitzgerald, likes to say that the Northwestern football experience is developmental at its heart. They simply do not land the 4 and 5 star recruits that the SEC attracks year after year. In fact, the SEC has 10 teams in the top 25 (40%) and all but 2 teams ( Missouri at 41 and Vanderbilt @ 50) that are in the upper half, a 33 or better listing!

So let’s see what happened last year in the B-10 divisions and what the recruiting numbers predict for 2018! Remember these predictions are based on rosters, not starters!

2017 East Division Standings / What the Recruiting Numbers Foretell

  1. Ohio State 8-1 ……………………. 1. Ohio State
  2. Michigan State 7-2 ……………… 2. Penn State
  3. Penn State 7-2 ……………………. 3. Michigan
  4. Michigan 5-4 ……………………… 4. Michigan State
  5. Rutgers 3-6 ………………………… 5. Maryland
  6. Maryland 2-7 ……………………… 6. Indiana
  7. Indiana 2-7 …………………………. 7. Rutgers

Points of Interest … Remember these comments are based on recruiting only, Rosters!  …Not player development, coaching, returning starters, and other variables!

  • Ohio State did exactly what was predicted it would do based on its roster, 1st place in the East Division!
  • Michigan State, once again overachieved under Mark Dantonio, beating PSU, 27-24 and Michigan, 14-10.
  • PSU’s lost 2 close games, one to OSU, 39-38, the numbers say they should have lost and the second to MSU, 27-24, a game the Roster Wars say the should have won.
  • Michigan should have finished 7-2 in the B-10, not 5-4!  Their losses to MSU, 14-10 and Wisconsin 24-10 should not have happened, while losses to OSU and PSU were within the numbers!
  • Rutgers overachieved! What? That statement is true by the numbers, the Scarlet Knights should not have beaten Maryland, a 31-24 win, their wins over Illinois, 35-24 and Purdue, 14-12, were consistent with their respective rosters and the luck of the cross divisional draws! They should have been 2-7 not 3-6!
  • Maryland underachieved. They should have beaten, by their recruiting numbers, Wisconsin, lost 38-13, Northwestern, lost 37-21, & Rutgers, lost 24-31. Maryland, by their roster, should have been 5-4 in B-10 play … not 2-7!
  • Indiana slightly underachieved, they did exactly what their roster said they should have done, beating Illinois, 24-14 and Rutgers, 41-0. Their only miss step was @ Purdue, a 31-24 loss that their recruiting rank says they should have won!

 2017 East Division Standings / What the Recruiting Numbers Foretell

  1. Wisconsin 9-0 ……………………. 1. Nebraska
  2. Northwestern 7-2 ……………… 2. Wisconsin
  3. Iowa 4-5 …………………………… 3. Iowa
  4. Purdue 4-5 ………………………    4. Minnesota
  5. Nebraska 3-6 …………………….. 5. Northwestern
  6. Minnesota 2-7 …………………… 6. Illinois
  7. Illinois 0-9 …………………………. 7. Purdue

Points of Interest … Remember these comments are based on recruiting only, Rosters!  …Not player development, coaching, returning starters, and other variables

  • Wisconsin, per usual, overachieved, they are the 36 best recruiting program in the land, 7 best in their own conference (in the East Division of the B-10, 5 programs recruit better than the Badgers: OSU (2), PSU (12), Michigan (18), MSU (27) and Maryland (33) & in their own West Division, Nebraska recruits better @ 23) and yet Bucky was 6 points away (27-21 loss to the Bucks in the B-10 Championship Game) from a final 4 spot in the CFP! UW should have been, by their roster (recruiting rank) 6-3 (should have lost to Nebraska, won 38-17, to Michigan; won 24-10 & to Maryland; won 38-13)… not 9-0!
  • Northwestern another program that regularly overachieves. The ‘Cats’ finished 7-2 in B-10 play, their roster says they should have been 2-7! NW should have lost to Maryland, they won, 37-21; to Iowa, they won, 17-10 in OT; To MSU; they won, 39-31, in 3 OTs; to Nebraska, they won 31-24 in OT; & to Minnesota, they won, 39-0. The only teams that Northwestern played that they recruit better than, in conference play, were Illinois (won 42-7) & Purdue, (won 23-13). Impressive!
  • Iowa beat two teams in the B-10 that their Roster said they should not have beaten, OSU, 55-24, & Nebraska, 56-14 (and those scores?), and then lost to three, that their roster says the should have won, Wisconsin, 38-14; Northwestern, 17-10 in OT and Purdue, 24-15! After that, their season was according to Hoyle, beating beating Illinois & Minnesota and losing to PSU & MSU! Iowa finished with a 4-5 record, just as the recruiting predicted, yet how they got there, well, that was quite a different story!
  • Purdue, by the recruiting numbers should have finished their 2017 season at 0-9! Their 4-5 record, may have been the most unexpected result in B-10 play last year! The Boilers beat Minnesota, 31-17; Illinois, 29-10; Iowa, 24-15; & Indiana, 31-24. That said, they could have been 7-2, losing to Nebraska, 25-24, Rutgers, 14-12, & Wisconsin 17-9! What Purdue accomplished in 2017 rivaled Wisconsin achievements, when you consider where they started and how they finished!
  • Nebraska, by the recruiting numbers, should have won the West Division at 7-2, losing to only, OSU, which they  did, 56-14 & PSU, again, which they did, 56-44! The simple fact is they recruit better than very team in the West Division of the B-10! Enter Scott Frost!
  • Minnesota needs to pick up the pace on “rowing the Boat.” They beat one team that their roster said they would not beat, Nebraska, 54-21 and lost to two that that they should have beaten, Northwestern, 39-0 and Purdue, 31-17! The Gophers finished 2-7 in 2017, while their recruiting numbers said they should have finished 3-6!
  • Illinois underachieved while underachieving; their roster says they should have gone 1-8 in B-10 play and yet they managed to lose to the one team that they have a better roster than, Purdue, 29-10. The only bright spot for the Illini is they are recruiting better!

So it is OSU out of the East and the Badgers out of the West … By the Recruiting Numbers, it will Ohio State reigning as B-10 champs when the quiet returns!

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Past Results & Future Predictions based on Recruiting Rankings

In the last blog we ranked the 5 Power Five Conference and added ND & BYU into the mix. This included 66 of the 130 teams competing in the FBS in 2018. In this article, we will not be looking at player development, coaching, schedule, and other variables … rather just how the teams have recruited over the past 4 years as a predictor to where they will finish in their respective divisions & conference championship. To get reality back into the mix, we will first look at where they finished last in 2017 and compare that to what the recruiting numbers are saying about this year’s standings. We will start with the SEC West Division

2017 SEC West Division Standing / What should happen based on recruiting numbers in 2018

2017 Standings / 2018 Predictions

  1. Auburn ……. 1. Alabama
  2. Alabama …  2 LSU
  3. LSU ………… 3 Auburn
  4. Tx A&M ….  4 Tx A&M
  5. Miss St…….. 5 Ole Miss
  6. Ole Miss ….. 6 Miss St.
  7. Arkansas …. 7 Arkansas

A few points of interest

  • In 2017, Auburn and Alabama both finished 7-1 in Conference play … Since Auburn won the head to head meeting (@ Auburn, 27-14) they were awarded the division crown.
  • With Auburn being the 3rd best recruiting program in the SEC West, one could conclude that the Tigers overachieved in winning the Division.
  • LSU is the 6th best recruiting program in the nation and second best in the SEC West (3rd best overall in the SEC, behind Bama & Georgia).
  • Two factors to keep in mind, Re: LSU’s Recruiting: 1) they are only .75 better than Auburn (8.50 to 9.25) and 2) they need better performance under center … QB play has been and remains a concern for the LSU Tigers.
  • A&M finished 4th in the West, right where the recruiting data suggested they would finish.
  • While the Mississippi schools simply moved one spot from where the recruiting #’s predicted they would finish, it should be noted, the Rebels lost their coach, who was fired just as the season was about to begin … clearly a disruption.
  • Arkansas & A&M finished exactly where the numbers had them placed
  • Finally, it should be understood, that Arkansas is the 30th best recruiting program in the country (the Razorbacks recruit better than 100 teams in the FBS), yet dead last in the powerful SEC West Division.

2017 SEC East Division Standing / What should happen based on recruiting numbers in 201800

2017 Standings   /   2018 Predictions

  1. Georgia ……………1. Georgia
  2. South Carolina …2 Tennessee
  3. Kentucky …………3 Flordia
  4. Missouri …………. 4 South Carolina
  5. Florida ……………. 5 Kentucky
  6. Vanderbilt ………. 6 Missouri
  7. Tennessee ………. 7 Vanderbilt

A few points of interest

  • Georgia is on the ‘movin on up” recruiting train” since Kirby Smart arrived in Athens, the Dawgs have had the #3 (2017) and #1 (2018) recruiting classes.
  • The best way to describe Tennessee these days is … They’re a Mess! Butch Joses recruited well, yet led the team poorly both on and off the field. Jones was fired and AD, John Currie was also dismissed, after leading what can best be thought of as a “bazaar” search for a coach to replace Jones.
  • Enter Phillip Fulmer as the new AD and new HC, Jeremy Pruitt (Alabama DC the past couple of years) to get the Volunteers back to where their talent level indicates they should be performing!
  • Tennessee has the 2nd best roster, not starters, but roster, in the SEC East!
  • Florida fired Jim McElwain (now at Michigan) and hired Danny Mullen (former Mississippi State coach) Florida is the 3rd best recruiting program in the East and should be able to finish there with with their current roster and 19 starters returning.
  • South Carolina overachieved last year, they have the 4th best roster, yet finished 2nd in the East and gave the B-10 their only blemish in the Bowl Season, beating Michigan, 26-19, in the Outback Bowl.
  • Kentucky is the 35 best recruiting program in college football and the 5th best in the SEC East. Their 3rd place place finish a year ago is related to other factors not being considered here … by the recruiting numbers, the Wildcats should be 5th in the SEC East.
  • Vanderbilt is the weakest recruiting team in the SEC, that said, it should be mentioned, they are far and away the best Academic University in the SEC (Florida is very good … but not a Vandy) and therefore more difficult for the Commodores to get academically challenged students into the University. That said, the fact that they have beaten Tennessee the past 2 years (45-34 & 42-24) is outside the recruiting logic being used here, to predict future standings, by quite a bit … and then some!
  • Finally Missouri, another overachiever, finished 4th in the East, while the recruiting numbers say they have the 6th best roster in the SEC East Division.

So by the Numbers

In the West its Alabama and out of the East it will be Georgia

SEC Champion will again …  by the recruiting numbers … will be Alabama!


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College Football Recruiting Team Rankings 2015/2018

The rankings presented here are a composite of ESPN, 247 Sports, & Rivals. I first tracked each of the 64 Power Five (P5’s are ACC, B-10, B-12, P-12, & SEC)) teams and included 2 Independents, ND & BYU for a total of 66 teams. Then I compiled the Average Recruiting Ranking (ARR) of each Power 5 Team on a spread sheet to get a composite rank from the 3 sites (ESPN, 247, & Rivals) over a four year time-frame (2015-2018). Please find below, a ranked list of the school, conference, their ARR, & a comment or 2 about their 2017 season

That said, please note; Alabama is the best recruiting college football program, a member of the SEC’s, and their ARR (3 sites over 4 years) is 2.5. Best in the land … See where your team falls and as always check out  for more info on the coming season!

  • Team, Conference, Composite Rank, & 2017 Result
  1. Alabama, SEC, ARR 2.5, /2nd in Division but won National Championship
  2. Ohio State, B-10, ARR 3.9 /Won Division & B-10/ won Cotton Bowl beat SC, 24-7
  3. Georgia, SEC, ARR 4.5 / Won Division & SEC, Won CFP semi 54-48 over OU in 2 OTs / lost in CFP Final to Bama 26-23 in OT
  4. Florida State, ACC, ARR 5.1 / 6-6 last year, lost QB in 1st game, struggled in 2017
  5. USC, P-12, ARR 6.5 / Won division & conference / lost Cotton Bowl to Ohio State
  6. Clemson, ACC, ARR 6.8 /Won Division & Conference / lost in CFP to Bama, 24-6
  7. LSU, SEC, ARR 8.5 /9-4 in 2017, 3rd West Division / lost to ND, 21-17, in Citrus
  8. Auburn, SEC, ARR 9.25 /Won West Division, lost SEC Championship to Georgia 28-7 & Bowl Game to Central Florida, 34-27
  9. Texas, B-12, ARR 12.4 /7-6 in 17, 6th in B-12/won Texas Bowl, 33-16, beat Mizzou
  10. Notre Dame, IND, ARR 12.5 / 10-3 in 2017 & won Citrus Bowl over LSU, 21-17
  11. Oklahoma, B-12, ARR 12.7 /Won B-12, lost CFP Semis to Georgia, 54-48, 2 OTs
  12. Penn State, B-10, ARR 13.4 / 11-2 in 17, 2nd in B-10 East, Won Fiesta Bowl, 35-28, over Washington
  13. Texas A&M, SEC, ARR 14.3 / 7-6 in 17, 4th West Division, Lost Belk Bowl to Wake Forest, 55-52
  14. Tennessee, SEC, ARR 14.7 / 4-8 in 17, 0-8 in East Division / Coach fired
  15. Florida, SEC, ARR 15.0 / 4th place in East Division, 3-5 / Coach fired
  16. UCLA, P-12, ARR 15.8 / 6-7 in 17, won Bowl Game over WV, 30-14 / Coach fired
  17. Miami, ACC, ARR 16.2 /Won Coastal Division, lost ACC Championship & Bowl
  18. Michigan, B-10, ARR 18.8 / 8-4 in 17/only B-10 team to lose bowl game in 2017
  19. Oregon, P-12, ARR 20.0 /4th in North Division, lost Bowl to Boise State, 38-28
  20. South Carolina, SEC, ARR 20.9 /9-4 in 17, 2nd in Division/beat Michigan in Bowl
  21. Ole Miss, SEC, ARR 22.5 / 6th in West Division /bowl banned in 2017 and 2018
  22. Washington, P-12, ARR 24.0/Tied for North Division/Lost to Penn State in Fiesta, 35-28
  23. Nebraska, B-10, ARR 24.7 / 4-8 in 17, 5th in West Division / Coach fired
  24. Mississippi State, SEC, ARR 24.9/9-4 2017, 5th West Division/won Bowl, 31-27
  25. Stanford, P-12, ARR 25.4 / Tied North Division, lost Alamo Bowl to TCU, 39-37
  26. Michigan State, B-10, ARR 27.0 /10-3 in 17, 3rd East Division, won Holiday Bowl
  27. North Carolina, ACC, ARR 27.9 /Last Coastal Division @ 1-7/3-9 overall in 2017
  28. Virginia Tech, ACC, ARR 29.6 /2nd in Coastal/Lost Camping World, Ok St. 30-21
  29. TCU, B-12, ARR 29.9 /11-3 in 2017, 2nd B-12/Beat Stanford in Alamo Bowl, 39-37
  30. Arkansas, SEC, ARR 30.8 /4-8 in 2017, last in the West Division 1-7 / Coach fired
  31. Louisville, ACC, ARR 32.1 /3rd in Division/8-5 overall, lost bowl to Miss St, 31-27
  32. Kentucky, SEC, ARR 33.5 /3rd in East @ 4-4 & 7-6 overall, lost Bowl to N-western
  33. Maryland, B-10, ARR 34.5 / 4-8 in 2017, last in the East Division @ 2-7
  34. Baylor, B-12, ARR 35.4 / 9/10 in B-12 ahead of only Kansas @ 1-8 & 1-11 in 2017
  35. Oklahoma State, B-12, ARR 38.1/3rd in B-12 @ 6-3 & 10-3 in 17, won Bowl, 30-21
  36. Wisconsin, B-10, ARR 38.7/13-1 in 17, lost B-10 Championship/won Orange Bowl
  37. Utah, P-12, ARR 39.1 / 7-6 in 17, won Heart of Dallas Bowl, 30-14 0ver WV,30-14
  38. Arizona State, P-12, ARR 39.2/2nd South Division @ 6-3/ 7-6 overall/Coach fired
  39. NC State, ACC, ARR 40.2 / 2nd Atlantic Division 6-2/ 9-4 overall, won Sun Bowl
  40. West Virginia, B-12, ARR 40.0/ 7-6 in 17/4th in B-12, lost to Utah in Bowl Game
  41. Missouri, SEC, ARR 40.7/ 4th in East Division 4-4, 7-6 overall, lost Bowl Game
  42. Pittsburgh, ACC, ARR 41.1/ 4th in Coastal @ 3-5/5-7 in 17, did not make a Bowl
  43. Iowa, B-10, ARR 44.8/ 3rd in West Division @ 3-5, 8-5 overall, won Bowl Game
  44. Arizona, P-12, ARR 46.2 / 3rd in Division @ 5-4, overall 7-6 / Coach fired
  45. California, P-12, ARR 46.4 / 5th North Division, 5-7 overall/did not make a Bowl
  46. Duke, ACC, ARR 47.2 / 6th in Coastal Division, 7-6 in 17, beat N Ill in Bowl
  47. Washington State, P-12, ARR 49.3 / 3rd in North Division @ 6-3, lost Bowl Game
  48. Texas Tech, B-12, ARR 49.4 /8th in B-12 @ 3-6, 6-7 overall, lost Bowl Game
  49. Georgia Tech, ACC, ARR 49.5 / 5-6 in 2017/ 3rd in Coastal/ did not make a Bowl
  50. Vanderbilt, SEC, ARR 50.3 / 6th in East Division @ 1-7/5-7 in 17, No Bowl Game
  51. Minnesota, B-10, ARR 51.4 /6th in West Division/Did not Qualify for Bowl Game
  52. Northwestern, B-10, ARR 52.6 /won 10 games, 2nd West Division, won Bowl
  53. Indiana. B-10, ARR 52.7 / 5-7 overall, 2-7 in East Division, Did not earn Bowl
  54. Colorado, P-12, ARR 56.0 / Last in South Division, 5-7 in 2017, No Bowl Game
  55. Iowa State, B-12, ARR 56.0 / Beat OU, 38-31 & TCU, 14-7, won Bowl Game
  56. Virginia, ACC, ARR 56.1 / 5th in Coastal @ 3-5, lost to Navy in Bowl, 49-7
  57. Rutgers, B-10, ARR 56.8 / 5th in East Division 3-6/ Did not qualify for Bowl
  58. Illinois, B-10, ARR 57.0 / 2-10 in 17 & 0-9 in Big Ten / Beat Ball St & WKU
  59. Syracuse, ACC, ARR 57.0 /Last in Atlantic, Beat Clemson, 27-24/No Bowl Game
  60. Oregon State, P-12, ARR 57.4 / 1-11 in 2017, 0-9 in P-12/ Only win vs FCS Team
  61. Wake Forest, ACC, ARR 58.5 /8-5 in 17/4th Atlantic Division/Beat A&M in Bowl
  62. Purdue, B-10, ARR 62.8 / 7-6 in 2017, won Bowl Game over Arizona, 38-35
  63. Kansas State, B-12, ARR 63.8 / 5th in B-12 @ 5-4 & 8-5 overall / won Bowl Game
  64. BYU, IND, ARR 64.7 / 4-9 overall / Did not qualify for a Bowl Game in 2017
  65. Boston College, ACC, ARR 65.8 / 5th in Atlantic Division/ 7-6 overall, Lost Bowl
  66. Kansas, B-12, ARR 67.8 /Weakest recruiting P5/Only win in 17 vs an FCS Team


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