Rivals Class Rankings: Thanks For The Help; Explanation/Results if Interested [warning: Math]; Edited 12-13-12

Newly Edited: 12-13-11

So, last night, tOSU flipped two 4* recruits named Schutt and Pittman. Rivals now ranks us at #12 with a total of 1496 points.

Let's run numbers.

Schutt is rated by Rivals as #5 @ his position (that is worth 18 "n" points) and #52 nationally (worth 5 "n" points).

Pittman is #8 at his position (worth 8 "n" points) and 81st nationally (worth 2 "n" points).

tOSU average star ranking has also gone up from 3.36 to 3.44; that is an increase of 8 "n" points.

So, tOSU now has an "n" of 176. 18 recruits; 8 four stars; 10 three stars.

H = (8 x 140) + (10 x 75) =1870

L = (8 x 12) + (10 x 8) = 176

m = 50

n = 176

So (1870 x 176/226) + (176 x 50/226) = 1495 (close enough)

Comments: Note below the example of adding a 5* to the class. In that example, a 5* added about 220 points all by himself. Here a pair of pretty highly ranked four stars "only" adds about 300 points. Just another example of how Rivals really magnifies the "value" of five stars.

Another interesting point: Schutt alone takes tOSU to total points of 1368. So, Schutt is "worth" 164 points. By contrast, Pittman is "worth" 127 points. That is a function of the high value Rivals places on being top 5 in your position. Schutt comes in at #5 while Pittman comes in at #8 (that's a swing of 10 "n' points).

Again note how self-reflecting and self-reinforcing the Rivals system is. Rivals ranks these players on their top 100 list and ranks them by position (all subjective). Then Rivals "rewards" being ranked on their lists. That's a lot of "me me me."

[Edited portion here at top (12-8-11); previous post below]

Okay, so uber-poster/commentor br27 sent me in the correct direction. (See his link in the comments below). Thank you very much br27.

According to the link (an Auburn Board), Rivals uses the following formula:

H * (n / n+m) + L * (m / n+m).

I have no idea why this formula, but it seems to be correct if you run the numbers. NOTE: only the top 20 recruits for each school are used for Rivals class rankings.

Three of these variables are easy to calculate.

m = 50.

H = the highest possible number based on number of stars. Each 5* = 250, each 4*= 140 and 3* = 75, etc. If you have 10 recruits, each at 4*, your "H" equals 10 x 140 = 1400.

L = the lowest possible number based on number of stars. Each 5* = 18, 4* = 12 and 3* = 8, etc.

The tricky variable is "n".

Let's run the numbers for tOSU's current class. Rivals has given the class 1204 total points. I come close with the formula. For now, "n = 135" (I'll show my math below).

tOSU has 16 recruits, 6 at 4* and 10 at 3*.

H = (6 x 140) + (10 x 75) = 1590

L = (6 x 12) + (10 x 8) = 152

m = 50

n = 135

So (1590 x 135/185) + (152 x 50/185) = 1201. Close enough; I am not going to worry about the three points.

Calculating "n":

"n" is a combination of bonus points awarded for each player that shows up on Rivals top 100 list and /or is ranked high by Rivals at his position. Example: Adolphus Washington is given 7 "n" points for being ranked #36 on Rivals top 100 list and is given another 18 "n" points for being ranked by Rivals as the #3 DE. tOSU has 9 other recruits "worth" 8 "n" points each. An additional bonus is given based on the entire class' average star rating if above 3.00. How ever many 100ths of a point above 3.00 is multiplied by 100 to get a whole number. In tOSU's case, the average is 3.36. .36 x 100 = 36 "n" points. These all add up to 135 "n" points for tOSU.

Note how Rivals' formula magnifies the impact of four and five star recruits. tOSU would gain 240 points if tOSU successfully regained 5* OLine recruit Kyle Kalis back from Michigan. Kalis is #4 at his position; that equals 18 "n" points. He is ranked #21 overall; that is worth 8 "n" points. So (1840 x 161/211) + (170 x 50/211) = 1444.

[Previous Post below:]
I have been studying Rivals list of class rankings for the last few years, and I am still baffled at how Rivals computes/tabulates its Rankings.

As far as I can tell, Rivals (and the other services) base their class rankings on total points awarded.

As far as I can tell, each recruit is given a score, the scores are added and the team/school with the highest total is "the number 1 ranked incoming class."

The criteria for points awarded is inexplicable to me.

I'll use Ohio State recruits to start. Recently, tOSU added a WR recruit named Southward. Southward just "added" 106 points to tOSU's total points on Rivals. A couple of days ago, tOSU's incoming class had 1098 points and was ranked #19. Today, the total is 1204 and we are ranked #16.

I have no idea why Southward is "worth" 106 points to Rivals. None of the math works.

If a 3* recruit with a rating of 5.7 (Southward) equals 106 points, then each tOSU recruit should also be "worth" 106 points (because, with only two exceptions, all of our recruits are rated 5.7 or above). Further, each 4* and 5* should be worth more.

But for ease of argument, say every player is "worth" 106 points for Rivals. At 16 players, tOSU total points should be at least 16 x 106 = 1696. However, Rivals has tOSU at 1204 points. No clue how Rivals arrives at 1204 points.

Further, Kentucky currently has 487 points, is ranked #50 and has 22 recruits of mostly 3* recruits rated at 5.5. So, by that math, those 3 star players are "worth" 20-25 points to Rivals.

No clue how Rivals gives Southward 106 points, but all of Kentucky's three star players are 20-25 each.

But even then, the math for tOSU does not work. Assume a 5.5 rated recruit is "worth" 20 points to Rivals. tOSU has two such recruits; remainder 5.7 or above. By that math, tOSU should have (14 x 106) + (2 x 20) = 1524. Again, no idea how Rivals arrives at 1204 points for tOSU.

In yet another example, currently 'Bama has 1,898 points and Michigan has 1,872. However, UM has 3 more 3* recruits than 'Bama. By that logic and math, UM has three recruits that are "worth" negative points.

No clue how that can be.

Compare Purdue's class with Kentucky's. Purdue has 21 recruits (one fewer recruit han Kentucky) mostly 3* recruits rated at 5.5 (like Kentucky's), but Purdue has 800 points and is ranked #32. So, by this math, Purdue's 3* recruits are "worth" 35-40 points each). I have no clue what Rivals is doing.

Another example is Michigan State vs. Oklahoma State.

MSU has 794 points and 15 recruits (three 4* and twelve 3*).

OkSt has 802 points and 14 recruits (three 4* and eleven 3*).

If you break it down by ratings, you get:

MSU has two recruits rated at 5.9, one at 5.8, four at 5.7, five at 5.6 and three at 5.5

OkSt has three recruits rated at 5.8, four at 5.7, five at 5.6 and two at 5.5.

MSU looks like the better class to me, but has fewer points than OkState.

I have no idea how Rivals is computing its rankings.

Bottom line: I am coming to the conclusion that "class rankings" are meaningless and arbitrary. It seems that every point in the process is completely subjective. How many stars to award is subjective. What rating to give is subjective. And, finally, how many points to assign to each recruit (regardless of stars and ranking) is, apparently arbitrary and subjective.

The whole thing is baffling.

Can anyone provide some insight?

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