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College Hotline - Pac-12 football: The Hotline’s annual National Signing Day anti-anxiety,...

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Feb 3, 2016.

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    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    As I prepare to publish this, a top recruit somewhere is announcing his National Signing Day intentions. You’re thrilled, you’re crushed, or maybe you’re (gasp!) indifferent. And just think: Only 12 more hours to go.

    The Hotline’s anti-anxiety post might be familiar to some readers; it’s a topic I explore on this day every year.

    I don’t think the recruiting ratings and star system are meaningless. They’re not. But they don’t mean everything — nuance! complexity! say it ain’t so! — and on this day, in particular, we tend to get lost in the breathless wave of news.

    If your team loses a 4-star left tackle to your rival … if your team’s class is ranked 19th instead of 9th nationally … of sixth instead of third in the conference … relax.

    Stewart Mandel over at Fox Sports added some context to the discussion. Among the numerous insights was this: His research showed that Power 5 programs that consistently recruited in the top 20 (per recruiting services) had a 60 percent chance of becoming a top-20 team (per AP poll) and a 35 percent chance of being a top-10 team.

    Hence the importance of the recruiting ratings.

    Of course, it also means there’s a 40 percent chance of the top-20 recruiters not being top-20 teams — hence, the “ratings aren’t everything” piece of the equation.

    Why the 40 percent miss rate? The evaluation process is difficult — so difficult it doesn’t meet the threshold of inexact science because it’s nowhere close to a science.

    But a far greater issue, in my opinion … the source of both the 60 and the 40 in Mandel’s research … is the triad of coach, system and fit:

    Does Coach X consistently sign players who can thrive in an established system? And are those players coached effectively in that system?

    As Stanford and Oregon have shown for the past half-dozen years in the Pac-12, an established system … an IDENTITY that permeates every facet of the program … is paramount for sustained success.

    Now, a few nuggets to chew on throughout this anxious day:

    (Note: The ’15 classes were not included because they had so little impact on the team’s success last fall.)

    *** Number of combined top-10 recruiting classes (Rivals) for Clemson, Oklahoma and Michigan State from 2011-14: One.

    That’s right: Three semifinalists combined for one top-10 recruiting class over that four-year period.

    One top-10 spot out of 12 available.

    *** Michigan State’s position (2011-14) in the Rivals rankings: 30, 31, 41, 40

    *** Rankings in the Rivals 100 from the HS class of 2011:

    No. 42 Todd Gurley
    No. 45: Amari Cooper
    No. 53: Leonard Williams

    (All three players were rated as 4-star prospects.)

    *** Oregon’s position (2009-14) in the Rivals rankings: 32, 13, 9, 16, 22, 26

    *** Recruiting ranking within the Pac-12 (per Rivals)

    2008: Oregon 3rd, Stanford 8th (class included Luck, Martin, DeCastro and Thomas)
    2009: Stanford 3rd, Oregon 5th
    2010: Oregon 4th, Stanford 5th
    2011: Oregon 2nd, Stanford 4th
    2012: Stanford 1st, Oregon 4th (class included Addison, Armstead, Brown, Buckner, Balducci, Stanford)
    2013: Oregon 4th, Stanford 11th
    2014: Stanford 2nd, Oregon 5th

    That hardly constitutes a domination of conference recruiting the way the two teams have dominated on the field. (Again: Identity, system, fit.)

    *** On the other end of the spectrum, we have UCLA — the conference leader in underachieving on the field relative to performance in the recruiting rankings.

    Consider where the Bruins’ 2008-15 recruiting classes were ranked within the conference: 2, 2, 2, 7, 3, 1, 1, 2.

    Yep, over eight years, UCLA was either first or second six times and outside the top three once.

    In that span the Bruins have zero conference titles, one division title and no season in which they were better than 6-3 in league play.

    You could make the case that USC has underachieved relative to recruiting rankings, and it’s a strong case.

    But the NCAA sanctions undermined the depth to such an extent that I tend to cut the Trojans a bit of slack.

    *** The all-conference compilation.

    The Hotline annually publishes the number of recruiting stars assigned to players who became first-team all-conference performers, and I’ve added the ’15 team below. Draw you own conclusions. In my view, the information helps inform the public discussion:

    2013 ALL-PAC-12 TEAM

    QB: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota: 3 stars
    TB: Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey: 3.5 stars
    TB: Washington’s Bishop Sankey: 4 stars
    TE: ASU’s Chris Coyle: 3 stars
    WR: Oregon State’s Brandon Cooks: 3.5 stars
    WR: Colorado’s Paul Richardson: 4 stars
    OL: ASU’s Evan Finkenberg: 2.5 stars
    OL: USC’s Marcus martin: 3 stars
    OL: Oregon’s Hroniss Grasu: 3 stars
    OL: UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo: 4 stars
    OL: Stanford’s David Yankey: 3 stars

    DL: USC’s Leonard Williams: 4 stars
    DL: ASU’s Will Sutton: 3 stars
    DL: Stanford’s Ben Gardner: 2 stars
    DL: Utah’s Trevor Reilly: 2.5 stars
    LB: Stanford’s Shayne Skov: 4.5 stars
    LB: UCLA’s Anthony Barr: 4 stars
    LB: Stanford’s Trent Murphy: 3 stars
    DB: ASU’s Alden Darby: 2 stars
    DB: Stanford’s Ed Reynolds: 2.5 stars
    DB: Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: 4 stars
    DB: ASU’s Robert Nelson: 2 stars
    DB: WSU’s Deone Bucannon: 3 stars

    *** 2014 ALL-PAC-12 TEAM:

    QB: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota: 3 stars
    RB: USC’s Buck Allen: 3
    RB: Utah’s Devontae Booker: 3
    WR: USC’s Nelson Agholor: 5
    WR: ASU’s Jaelen Strong 3
    TE: Oregon’s Pharaoh Brown 4
    OL: ASU’s Jamil Douglas 3
    OL: Oregon’s Jake Fisher 3
    OL: Oregon’s Hroniss Grasu 3
    OL: Stanford’s Andrus Peat 5
    OL: USC’s Max Tuerk 4

    DL: Stanford’s Henry Anderson: 3 stars
    DL: Utah’s Nate Orchard 3
    DL: Washington’s Danny Shelton 4
    DL: USC’s Leonard Williams 4
    LB: Washington’s Hau’oli Kikaha: 3
    LB: Washington’s Shaq Thompson: 5
    LB: Arizona’s Scooby Wright: 2
    DB: UCLA’s Ishmael Adams: 4
    DB: USC’s Su’a Cravens: 5
    DB: Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: 4
    DB: ASU’s Damarious Randall: 3
    DB: Stanford’s Jordan Richards: 3

    2015 ALL-PAC-12 TEAM

    QB: Jared Goff 4
    QB: Luke Falk 2
    RB: Christian McCaffrey 4
    RB: Royce Freeman 4
    WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster 5
    WR: Gabe Marks 4
    WR: Kenny Lawler 4
    TE: Austin Hooper 3 (as a DE)
    OL: Zach Banner 5
    OL: Joe Dahl 2 (Scout)
    OL: Joshua Garnett 4
    OL: Tyler Johnstone 4
    OL: Kyle Murphy 5

    DL: DeForest Buckner 4
    DL: Lowell Lotulelei 3
    DL: Kenny Clark 4
    DL: Aziz ****tu 5
    LB: Su’a Cravens 5
    LB: Blake Martinez 3
    LB: Gionni Paul 3
    DB: Budda Baker 4
    DB: Adoree Jackson 5
    DB: Marcus Williams 3
    DB: Sidney Jones 3


    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    * My e-book, “Andrew Luck: Inside the Making of a No. 1 Pick,” is available for $2.99 on Amazon for Kindles and for other devices (PCs, iPads and iPhones) with the free Kindle app.

    * Download the Bay Area News Group’s new iPad app for more college sports and other news, or check out college sports coverage on MercuryNews.com.

    The post Pac-12 football: The Hotline’s annual National Signing Day anti-anxiety, back-away-from-the-ledge report appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner

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