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CU@Game CU At The Game: Ranking the Rankings

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    CU Recruiting Class of 2016 – Ranking the Rankings

    History will show that the University of Colorado Recruiting Class of 2016 was ranked 64th nationally by Rivals.com, nestled between No. 63 Wake Forest and No. 65 Western Michigan.

    Amongst teams in the Pac-12, Colorado came in 12th – again – well behind the No. 11 team on the rivals list, No. 53 Washington State.

    Over at Scout, the story was similar … Colorado ranked 66th nationally; 12th in the Pac-12 (closest to the Buffs: No. 55 Oregon State).

    247 Sports? … Colorado 68th nationally; 12th in the Pac-12 (Washington State: No. 55).

    ESPN? … Colorado outside of the top 75; 12th in the Pac-12 (Washington State: No. 56).

    The national experts were able to reach a consensus about the latest Buffs: nice list of prospects for a mid-level Mountain West team (CU finished behind Colorado State in three of the four rankings), but certainly not worthy of a contender in the Pac-12.

    So why did 77% of you give the CU Recruiting Class either an “A” or a “B” in a CU at the Game poll the day after the Class was announced?

    Because that is the acclaim this Class deserves.

    Let’s start with how the ranking services derive their rankings

    On Signing Day, CU head coach Mike MacIntyre introduced 18 new signees to the Buff Nation.

    If you check out the Rivals rankings, however, only 17 players are listed.

    At 247 Sports, there are only 16.

    How is that possible?

    Well, at Rivals, quarterback Davis Webb – arguably the most important recruit of this Class – is not considered since he is a senior transfer. Meanwhile, at 247 Sports, neither Webb nor junior college linebacker Drew Lewis are listed

    (Not listing senior transfer Davis Webb is understandable, but why would 247 Sports list not list Drew Lewis? After all, 247 Sports did list wide receiver Juwann Winfree – a teammate of Lewis at Coffeyville Community College).

    So the recruiting services can’t even agree on how many players signed with Colorado.

    Then there is the discrepancy in the number of recruits signed by each school in a given year.

    The final rankings are based upon accumulated points for the players who are signed. Colorado, according to Rivals, had a total of 1,099 points for its 17 recruits. UCLA, meanwhile signed 29 recruits.

    In order to help taking into account for the discrepancy in the number of signees, Rivals only counts the 20 highest-ranked players for each team.

    While this does help to level the numbers somewhat, it still skews the final results.

    Of its 29 signees, UCLA got to count its one five-star prospect and all ten of its four-star prospects, while dropping from consideration its six lowest rated three-star prospects … and all three of its two-star recruits. Colorado, though, only had 17 players – including six two-star prospects – to offer up for consideration.

    (The next two Signing Days – 2017 and 2018 – Colorado will benefit from the 20-player rule, as the Buffs will be signing full Classes both years).

    But, in 2016 … the Buffs were not on a level playing field when the ranking scores were tallied.

    How about just looking at points per recruit?

    Colorado’s recruits had an average of 2.76 stars, according to Rivals, making the Buffs 11th in the Pac-12, and 49th out of the 65 Power-Five conference schools.

    At Scout, the numbers: 2.83 average stars … 10th in the Pac-12, ahead of both Washington State and Oregon State, and just behind Cal (2.88).

    According to 247 Sports, the average score for the CU recruits was 83.86 … 10th in the Pac-12, ahead of both Washington State and Oregon State, and just behind Arizona (84.03).

    This is a better measurement of value of a Class than just adding up total points, and it does show CU’s improvement.

    True enough, the Buff Nation will not be happy with finishing 10th in the Pac-12 recruiting rankings … but it beats finishing 12th.

    By this matrix … the Buffs are getting closer to other teams in the Pac-12 in terms of the quality of recruit.

    Even better … looking at the list of offers

    Recruiting is by definition subjective.

    After all, we are talking about judging the value and potential of 17-year olds.

    Factor in the needs for each team’s roster in a given recruiting cycle, the style of play of the team and how it relates to the recruit’s talent, injuries, the player’s academic potential …

    There is simply no good way to project how a player is going to pan out over the next four to five years.

    Perhaps the best way for an average fan to judge the potential of how a recruit is viewed by the coaches who (should) know best is to look at how other teams view their team’s recruits.

    By that measure, things are looking up for the Buff Nation.

    In the Class of 2016, almost half – eight out of the 18 – had at least four Power-Five conference offers. Six of those recruits – Beau Bisharat, Ronnie Blackmon, Johnny Huntley, Tony Julmisse, Pookie Maka, and Juwann Winfree – had at least seven offers from other schools with which Colorado normally competes.

    Compare the Class of 2013, Mike MacIntyre’s first Recruiting Class.

    There were 21 recruits in that Class, and only one – Devin Ross – had as many as four offers from Power Five conference schools. Of the remaining 20 players, three had two Power-Five offers, eight had one other Power Five offers besides that of Colorado, and nine – almost half of the Class – had no other offers from Power-Five schools.

    Or, put another way …

    The CU Recruiting Class of 2016, with 18 members, had a total of 78 Power-Five offers.

    The CU Recruiting Class of 2013, with 21 members … had a grand total of 18 Power-Five offers.

    That, my friends, is progress.

    And all of the above doesn’t take into account the signing of quarterback Davis Webb

    The above numbers do not count perhaps the most important signee this spring, senior transfer quarterback Davis Webb.

    A graduating senior at Texas Tech, Webb was a three-star recruit from that Class of 2013 (he would have been up there with Devin Ross with the most Power-Five offers had he signed with CU back then). Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has said the 20-year-old senior-to-be has the tools to be a top-five overall NFL Draft pick because of his size, arm strength and mind. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder Webb has 46 touchdowns against 22 interceptions in his career.

    The former Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP (Webb had 403 passing yards and four touchdowns, leading Texas Tech to a 37-23 romp over No. 14 Arizona State … a team CU has never beaten), Webb could be the difference between Colorado making a bowl game and sitting home yet again.

    Bottom Line

    Would it be nice to see Colorado once again post a nationally recognized top 25 Recruiting Class?

    Would it be nice to see Colorado regularly compete – and beat out – other Pac-12 schools for quality recruits?


    And with Jim Leavitt and Darrin Chiaverini leading the charge, Colorado recruiting is again becoming a force to be reckoned with.

    Even if the national recruiting services are not yet ready to agree.


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