FanPost

Head-to-Head Recruiting Results, 2013

As I've said previously, I am skeptical of the ability of independent recruiting scouts and websites. If they were that good at determining the athletic capacity of a 17-year old, some coaching staff or another would have hired them long ago. Therefore, I have a different way of evaluating classes. Instead of trying to evaluate the recruits themselves, I go by the opinion of those who do that for a living: college coaches. By looking at who gave an offer to a recruit, I get a better idea of their quality than any star rankings.

In this system, if Northwestern gets a recruit with an MSU offer, Northwestern gets a win over MSU (and MSU gets a loss to Northwestern). Repeat this over every recruit to sign with a Big Ten school, and out comes the head-to-head "records" of the Big Ten teams for 2013:

Teams Illinois Indiana Iowa Maryland Michigan Michigan State Minnesota Nebraska Northwestern Notre Dame Ohio State Penn State Purdue Rutgers Wisconsin
Illinois X 5-4 3-6 0-2 0-12 1-5 1-1 2-6 3-5 1-9 2-12 0-3 5-4 2-1 1-7
Indiana 4-5 X 3-8 0-1 1-7 2-3 5-1 1-5 2-2 1-7 0-5 0-0 7-2 0-1 1-4
Iowa 6-3 8-3 X 0-1 0-9 1-3 5-1 2-6 1-1 0-8 0-5 1-1 3-2 0-1 1-3
Maryland 2-0 1-0 1-0 X 2-5 2-0 0-1 4-3 0-1 2-3 3-3 2-8 4-2 6-2 1-0
Michigan 12-0 7-1 9-0 5-2 X 9-3 5-0 6-1 4-0 6-13 10-7 5-2 12-0 2-1 6-1
Michigan State 5-1 3-2 3-1 0-2 3-9 X 3-0 2-5 0-1 1-8 1-5 3-2 5-0 1-1 2-4
Minnesota 1-1 1-5 1-5 1-0 0-5 0-3 X 1-5 1-5 0-4 0-3 1-1 3-0 0-1 0-6
Nebraska 6-2 5-1 6-2 3-4 1-6 5-2 5-1 X 3-2 1-14 2-10 1-2 10-0 2-0 5-4
Northwestern 5-3 2-2 1-1 1-0 0-4 1-0 5-1 2-3 X 1-5 0-4 1-3 4-1 2-1 2-0
Notre Dame 9-1 7-1 8-0 3-2 13-6 8-1 4-0 14-1 5-1 X 8-13 7-2 8-0 7-1 7-2
Ohio State 12-2 5-0 5-0 3-3 7-10 5-1 3-0 10-2 4-0 13-8 X 6-2 6-1 2-0 4-1
Penn State 3-0 0-0 1-1 8-2 2-5 2-3 1-1 2-1 3-1 2-7 2-6 X 6-1 8-1 1-1
Purdue 4-5 2-7 2-3 2-4 0-12 0-5 0-3 0-10 1-4 0-8 1-6 1-6 X 0-3 0-5
Rutgers 1-2 1-0 1-0 2-6 1-2 1-1 1-0 0-2 1-2 1-7 0-2 1-8 3-0 X 0-1
Wisconsin 7-1 4-1 3-1 0-1 1-6 4-2 6-0 4-5 0-2 2-7 1-4 1-1 5-0 1-0 X

A few observations:

Michigan beat Ohio State. That's a remarkable change from the last few years.

Purdue got beat up pretty good.

Indiana did much better than last year. They're still losing more than they win, but they went 7-2 against Purdue (compared to 3-4 last year) and got a number of recruits with other B1G offers.

The new guys (Rutgers and Maryland) don't go up against current Big Ten teams very often. It'll be interesting if that changes.

From those records (and each school's record against the rest of the FBS), I can apply a computer ranking system (Elo) to determine each school's relative desirability on a "generic" recruit. Elo is the system most often chosen for games such as chess and go. It also forms the basis for the Sagarin rankings.

2013 Rank Team Rating Record
6 Ohio State 7.05 337-118
7 Notre Dame 6.94 380-143
9 Michigan 6.88 301-102
22 Penn State 5.81 143-89
29 Maryland 5.24 130-109
30 Nebraska 5.19 250-202
31 Wisconsin 4.98 104-88
34 Northwestern 4.89 115-68
46 Michigan State 4.5 106-112
47 Iowa 4.5 128-93
52 Rutgers 3.93 98-135
54 Indiana 3.74 128-162
60 Minnesota 3.55 110-141
61 Illinois 3.49 125-222
75 Purdue 2.84 114-298

I also ran the stuff for the 2009-2013 classes combined (i.e. all recruits who might be on the field this fall).

5 Year Rank Team Rating Record
3 Ohio State 7.11 1116-315
7 Notre Dame 6.67 1237-519
13 Penn State 6.27 676-296
18 Michigan 5.97 1068-594
31 Rutgers 5.21 669-504
32 Michigan State 5.17 599-420
35 Northwestern 5.13 505-299
37 Nebraska 5.08 810-773
38 Iowa 4.95 613-444
41 Wisconsin 4.84 527-449
46 Maryland 4.46 472-621
63 Purdue 3.72 509-822
64 Illinois 3.63 610-972
69 Minnesota 3.55 443-675
71 Indiana 3.39 440-607

My thoughts:

Talent-wise, Iowa shouldn't be at a deficit to the middle-of-the-pack. Of course, the same thing could have been said last year.

Indiana's ranking last year is almost 20 places higher than their 5 year.

Michigan and Maryland are also trending up.

Purdue, Penn State, and Michigan State are all trending down.

Caveats: This system is class size neutral, so while a larger class plays a major role in other rankings (and on the field), it has no effect here. Also, it is possible to game this system by only giving offers to athletes guaranteed to accept, but I've found no evidence of that happening, with the possible exception of Texas.

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