Hello Auburn fans!!! I hope your day went well. Mine did!!!! It was Christmas in February!!! With that all said, now comes the second most critical phase of being a coach at the collegiate level. That is the job of coaching up the recruits (not to mention the rest of the team). But from all appearances it seems that Gus Malzahn and his staff have stabilized and exceeded (at least this year) Auburn’s football recruiting expectations. I hope this means good things for the regular season…
The purpose of my entry today is to better understand the differences in recruiting philosophy when it comes to the quantity of scholarships offered at the University level and the differences of the recruiting services. I realize a book can be written about this. And truth be told, I always get confused during recruiting season. But I was hoping to get some frank discussions that would put into laymens terms with general answers to the questions I pose.
My thinking in writing this piece is that we can stimulate great discussion among the true intellectuals of the site and get them to elaborate and clarify “the big picture” when it comes to recruiting!
My intrigue at the program level is simple. It’s always feast of famine when it comes to recruiting. Some schools go from one extreme to the other in just a few years. I think we can all recall the mess that was left for Gene Chizik in 2009 and the fact that AU’s bench was near empty. Yet, AU took a conservative approach in solving its problems.
This season demonstrated some schools that recruited in the 30s with the number of scholarships they offered recruits. But others programs recruited in the teens or low20s. Why the difference? And we aren’t talking about no name teams here. We are talking about SEC schools that had as many as SIX teams in the top ten regardless of the recruiting service.
Here is a great example of the inequity. Let’s look at Scouts recruiting service. According to it the SEC had a tie in recruiting this year: Texas A&M and LSU are tied for #6 in the nation.
Looking at the raw numbers that the service crunches LSU pulled in 27 recruits and Texas A&M nabbed 34. First and foremost how can Kevin Sumerlin and A&M get away with spending 34 scholarships? Next, how can it be that the quality of A&M’s recruits is equal to LSUs? There is no way you can compare the numbers in my opinion.
Not trying to get too far off topic (and again, in an attempt to reinforce the idea of managing scholarships) look at UGA. They recruited 31 players according to scouts. But in rivals and ESPN the Dogs recruited 32. So you can’t say that A&M is the only rogue team in the SEC when it comes to managing its numbers. UGA has the senior coach in the league… and yet they too are following this strategy. How? But more importantly WHY??
COMPARING APPLES to APPLES (right?)
Now, let’s take a closer look at the raw numbers that Scouts developed:
LSU had 4465 total points for the class with 4 top 100 recruits, 1 five star recruit, 17 four star recruits, and 9 three star recruits. Each of their recruit had an average score of 3.70.
Texas A&M had 4465 total points too. They also had 4 top 100 recruits, 1 five star recruit, 16 four star recruits, and a whopping 15 three star recruits. Now when averaging their recruits they had a score of 3.56.
So again how is that tied?
Now, to demonstrate the disparities or similarities of the two services lets switch over to Rivals:
Rivals ranked LSU at #6. They got a total of 26 recruits. They had 2 five stars, 15 four stars, 9 three stars and scored out an average of 3.73 per recruit with 2643 total points achieved using rivals scale.
But A&M ranked at #8. They got according to rivals 33 recruits. They also had 0 five stars, 16 four stars, 16 three stars, and scored out an average of 3.45 per recruit with 2424 total points achieved using the rivals scale.
But that is where the likeness ends. Look no further than the top five to illustrate this:
Ohio State (5206) Alabama (3166)
Michigan (5113) Ohio State (2903)
Alabama (4865) Notre Dame (2893)
UCLA (4769) Florida (2792)
Notre Dame (4508) Michigan (2661)
Why the difference??????
About Auburn University:
Again, I think AU did wonderful today. I am interested to know if any of you think AU will take a few more folks. Do we have anyone targeted? I think if I read the service correctly we nabbed nearly everyone we wanted. There was only a few that walked away to other schools.
The AU Comparison:
Scouts: AU ranked #13 (3284)
Rivals: AU ranked #10 (2384)
ESPN: AU ranked #11
All in all, pretty dang good for a first year coach and his untested Staff!! I think this outstanding performance bodes well for AUBURN!
I realize that I am all over the map here but I would love to get your input! Let’s discuss!!!