16 Comments

    • ianaboyd

      You’re very welcome!

      I didn’t include all the transfers in these breakdowns, sadly. I missed Anu Solomon, for instance, but I might make up for that later with a full eval post on him.

      West Virginia is living off transfers these days and doing it pretty well. That can be a bad thing if you’re taking everyone’s cast-offs but a guy like Will Grier…I mean whatever, I’m pretty sure that a sizable portion of college football is using PEDs.

  1. Cameron

    “[T]his ranking will be based solely on how likely each class is to be a crucial component to a Big 12 title.”

    Perhaps I am viewing this explanation differently, but I would be a lot more bullish about Texas’s class here because of the other components already on the team. As in, I think Texas’s 2017 class will be integral in their team being able to compete for a Big12 tile in 2018 and 2019 because of who will be upperclassmen and how they will fit within that existing structure. By contrast, Herman’s got his work cut out for him on future recruiting classes to fill the holes when this group turns into seniors. (Hello offensive and defensive lines!)

    And I see the reverse in Baylor. I like Rhule’s 2017 crop … in 2019. There’s a lot of great developmental prospects that likely won’t payoff immediately, but will pay dividends down the line. And probably won’t do much to help Baylor win a Big12 title in the interim.

    Herman and Rhule have different problems, however, and I think that’s reflected in their recruiting. One guy must get the talent he does have on his roster to perform. The other has to build from the ground up for the next few years. I see them as nearly equivalent, but peaking at different times. Or maybe you’re taking that into account already.

    • ianaboyd

      “Perhaps I am viewing this explanation differently, but I would be a lot more bullish about Texas’s class here because of the other components already on the team.”

      I’m trying to view these classes in a vacuum without putting much consideration into the surrounding classes. Maybe that’s the wrong way to do it but that was how I tried to consider them for this ranking.

      • JObhr

        I understand the position of viewing classes in a vacuum, but I think it is less informative.

        For example, the Sooners HAD to take some DL this year after taking only one in 2016. Furthermore, their DL coach is just completing his first year. Therefore, it was expected that OU would need to take bodies in spite of not having deep recruiting relationships.

        • ianaboyd

          Well honestly the real meat here is in the team by team stuff. I threw this in as a fun snapshot of single classes and it seemed best to grade them with less consideration for other classes.

          If I can figure a way to weight them in context maybe I’ll try that next time.

      • Cameron

        I think my comment here was interpreted as being more critical than intended. I have no issue with grading the various recruiting classes in a vacuum. That’s fine. I was more getting at the fact that I think the grades come out differently for certain schools when looking to the likelihood of winning the Big12 title with the roster already in place.

        So I agree: Baylor’s class is superior to that of Texas’s when divorced from the rest of their respective rosters. But I was intending to communicate that I preferred Texas’s class when you factor in what the Longhorns already have. E.g., Texas already has a bunch of offensive linemen, so adding a lot more in the 2017 class would have been redundant.

        Maybe providing both grades – context-free and context-driven – would help. I don’t know. But to be clear: I was not suggesting the way you did it was wrong. I was just offering my opinion on how it comes out differently viewed another way. That’s all.

        • ianaboyd

          No worries, this is an insecurity-free zone. Anyone that tries to take themselves too seriously in projecting high school athletes is a tool, haha.

          “So I agree: Baylor’s class is superior to that of Texas’s when divorced from the rest of their respective rosters. But I was intending to communicate that I preferred Texas’s class when you factor in what the Longhorns already have. E.g., Texas already has a bunch of offensive linemen, so adding a lot more in the 2017 class would have been redundant.”

          I’m hoping that just adding Sam Ehlinger to what was already on campus will have a huge multiplier effect for Texas in the near future.

          • Cameron

            Cool. Just wanted to make sure you knew it was a friendly disagreement.

            Right, Ehlinger is a key component. Is he the best QB prospect out there? Eh, probably not. But he’s a fantastic fit for Herman’s offense. I also feel the same way about Texas’s RBs, TEs, and OL: all great fits for the system.

          • ianaboyd

            Love the banter, the more the better.

            I love Ehlinger as a QB prospect. I know he’s not the fastest running threat or the strongest passer but I think his diverse and unique skill set is going to be very easy to build around and I think his feel for the pocket and overall fearlessness is going to help him be a lot better than people expected.

            Sorta like Baker Mayfield but I think Ehlinger’s toolbox is even better.

  2. JObhr

    I don’t really care about letter grades, but I’m curious about a couple of statements that you made to justify minimizing OU’s advantage over the rest of the conference.

    “Oklahoma’s gap was narrowed considerably because I didn’t weight all of the WRs and RBs they signed as having nearly as much value”

    I really like OU’s offensive class so I’m surprised by this statement. There were only two real targets on offense who they wanted and did’t get: JK Dobbins and Reagor. That said, the players that they did get fit their system really well. OU got three RB types in a year that they lose three RB and have no proven returnees. The Sooners lost a national award winning WR and have only one WR with significant production returning. They needed numbers at these positions and got numbers and quality.

    Why did you minimize the importance of these recruits?

    “[T]hey still finish high because they got a bunch of big bodies on OL and DL. I think we all understand that’s why Oklahoma tends to win, anyways.”

    So understanding this, I’m also puzzled by why you don’t think OU’s advantage is greater. This is the best OU OL recruiting class in seven years (during the Stoops era, only the 2010 class is even in the picture).

    On the other side, OU got three promising DL in James, Thomas, and McKinney. DL was a position of real need this year, but a position where OU’s coaching staff was weak. Based on player availability and the fact that OU’s DL coach has only been in Norman for a year now, it’s really good that OU got numbers with only one true reach (Lott).

    • ianaboyd

      Why did you minimize the importance of these recruits?

      My sense at looking around the league is that it’s hard to gain much advantage from who you have at the skill positions unless the QB or OL can set you up to utilize them. So WR, ancillary, and RB grades are only single-weighted.

      I do think a true stud at one of these positions can make a big difference but even then, every team in the league generally has one stud. Having 2 is probably what it takes to stand out.

      All that to say, it just didn’t make sense to try and weight skill grades any more heavily than the fact that there were already 3 skill grades going into the formula.

      So understanding this, I’m also puzzled by why you don’t think OU’s advantage is greater. This is the best OU OL recruiting class in seven years (during the Stoops era, only the 2010 class is even in the picture).

      Well I gave this group a really high grade and then I double weighted the OL in the formula like I did for every other team.

      To put more emphasis on this group I’d have had to weight OU’s OL more heavily than I did for other teams. Now honestly, it would make sense to weight different position groups differently for different teams based on the emphasis they like to put on a given position, but I didn’t go to those lengths here so OU got the same advantage from getting a good OL haul that any other B12 team received or would have received from doing likewise.

  3. Davey OBrien

    Not trying to be argumentative, but aside from the academic exercise I guess there really is no basis for evaluating a recruiting class without taken into consideration how the class dovetails with the talent currently on campus and how it fits the systems of the current coaching staff.

    Akin to rating recruiting classes purely based upon the mathematical formula of number of players signed times the recruit’s individual rating. Does not factor in how many of those recruits can’t qualify or that in your class you signed 6 wide receivers and almost no true defensive tackles (i.e. TCU a few years back).

    Unfortunately, I am not sure I have ever come across a site that has the expertise or breadth of knowledge to accurate gauge a group as wide as a conference.

    • ianaboyd

      “Not trying to be argumentative, but aside from the academic exercise I guess there really is no basis for evaluating a recruiting class without taken into consideration how the class dovetails with the talent currently on campus and how it fits the systems of the current coaching staff.”

      That’s actually what I aimed to accomplish with the individual class breakdowns, which are the real meat of this whole exercise. This final ranking is my first stab at trying to compare what I found when I looked at each class from the perspective of “how does this fit into what this program has been building over the last few years?”

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