The consolidation of power in college football recruiting since 2005

Since 2005, it appears as if a few teams have become recruiting super powers. Of course, there were good recruiters and power house teams before that. But it seems as if many of the top recruits have been ending up at the same ‘ol schools – Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia. In looking at this, some noticeable trends emerged.

I took all the teams that had an average composite recruit rating of at least 1 standard deviation above the Power 5 mean and separated them out from the rest of college football. The full list is at the bottom of the page. There were 14 teams. I then counted up how many recruits each of these teams had each year back to 2005 that were rated at least 0.9300. It is this rating that I have found to be a sort of ‘cutoff’ to probability for getting drafted by an NFL team. Players rated over 0.9300 are more likely to be drafted than those under.

Below we can see the proportion of how these teams powered up.

So, over time we can see how the concentration of recruiting power has moved from the bottom left to the top right. We can also see how good UF was under Meyer and how bad we were under Mac. Furthermore, it shows that LSU, Alabama, and Georgia are soaking up a ton of talent in the SEC, making the task of winning the conference (if you’re not one of those teams) probably much harder.

The data:

Teamoverall avgrankStandardized5-stars4-stars3-starsConf.
USC0.921412.1774815499Pac-12
Ohio State0.920122.1333218882Big Ten
Alabama0.916932.02152202126SEC
Texas0.912641.86624204116Big 12
Georgia0.910251.78342174135SEC
Florida0.909161.74430177132SEC
LSU0.908171.71027192133SEC
Florida State0.903681.54936152153ACC
Notre Dame0.902391.50413180142Ind
Oklahoma0.8982101.35915162152Big 12
Michigan0.8939111.20812173167Big Ten
Clemson0.8895121.05225125168ACC
Miami0.8894131.04913131175ACC
Auburn0.8886141.02113155178SEC
The above graph shows the recruiting classes for each SEC team from 2005-2020

The above graph shows each SEC team’s recruiting as it correlates with with percentage

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