21 Comments

  1. HistoryofMatt

    Question: Is this all to make Florida fans feel better? Or Tennessee fans, given how many three stars make up their current class of verbal commits?

    Look, it takes a ton of talent in a lot of places to win in CFB. It takes roster management. It takes good in-game coaching which includes your head coach playing to win instead playing not to lose. It’s all of these things, together.

    If you have more blue chip players than your opponent, it give you an advantage. Is it insurmountable? No. We saw that with Clemson the year Dabo won his first title. Now Clemson recruits like Bama, though, so they’re no longer only about taking those 3-stars and developing them. They’re now loaded with blue chip talent, too.

    However, soft-peddling this anti-common sense stuff so fans of teams with “genius” coaches who don’t recruit as well as their fan want is funny, because it makes it all the more satisfying when an ace recruiter they all think is a dumb coach continues to own them because of the talent disparity.

    So keep it up, Ian. Peddle this b.s. to the Florida fans and the Oklahoma fans and all the rest. Especially the Florida fans. Their misery is the sweetest part of any CFB season!

    • ianaboyd

      As a Texas alumni, coddling the feelings of Florida and Oklahoma fans is always job no. 1.

      Years of studying rosters and film across the college football landscape with frequent investigations into the high school game and pro game were FAR less influential on my thinking than making sure that Tennessee fans feel confident that their 2021 recruiting is “championship grade.”

      • Clayton Davis

        Eh, the top teams in the recruiting services’ composite talent don’t always match up very well to champion teams. Of the top 4 teams in last year’s composite, only 1 (#2 Ohio State) made the playoff or even won their conference, and was promptly beat in the first round by the 9th place team in talent composite. #5 won the championship by beating #7 in a close road game, trouncing #8 in the first round, and easily handling #9 in the final.

        #4 went 8-5 and didn’t make their conference championship, and #6 didn’t have a winning record.

        • Clayton Davis

          That was meant to be a reply to the guy above.

          The whole recruiting discussion really irks me because of the weird obsession with pretending like it’s real hard data rather than a very fuzzy guess, and a fuzzy guess that becomes part of a feedback loop that determines which teams get the chance to prove themselves.

          • ianaboyd

            You know what correlates better to titles than sheer rankings?

            Space force enlistment!

          • System Poster

            I’m with you on that. I get sick of seeing the kind of dullard that obsesses over every tenth of a percentage point in a recruit’s ranking. I know they exist in every fan base but they seem to be especially prominent among aggies. Maybe because there are so many aggy engineers?

    • System Poster

      There are countless examples of ace recruiters getting their ass handed to them by more tactically savvy coaches. Who, in your opinion, are some of these dumb coaches who are ace recruiters that are consistently winning things?

  2. Clayton Davis

    In your view, where did A&M go wrong after their peak with Manziel? Was it a chemistry thing where A&M couldn’t hang on to decent QBs? Lack of quality defenders?

    • ianaboyd

      I don’t think Sumlin was a very good coach.

      A lot of things went wrong. Johnny got away with a wild lifestyle that infected the locker room, when he left the remaining players couldn’t get away with the same shenanigans. Sumlin lost Kingsbury and drove Spavital out amidst major dysfunction handling the QB room when they had Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray. Their recruiting went up in terms of class rankings but down in terms of landing players like Luke Joeckel that make a real, considerable impact. They moved away from the Air Raid after time.

      And their defense went to hell until Chavis patched it up just a little.

      I think their initial success was the outlier and the key was plugging Sherman’s talent into the Air Raid offense. Go watch Sherman’s 2011 offense and it’s clear that they had the pieces to be dominant then with Tannehill as well. But they fought with one arm tied behind their backs trying to be pro-style and run lead zone from under center rather than spreading people out and allowing Tannehill to execute more zone-read. They did that some, and were absolutely lethal, but they didn’t do it much because Sherman wanted to be under center running the ball as the main course of the offense.

      • I was gonna write losing Kingsbury was way bigger a blow than most people realized but I looked it up and the Aggie offense held steady for a couple of years after Kliff left until they fell off a cliff in 2015 in off. S&P+
        They actually were no. 1 in 2013 and no. 8 in 2014 with Spavital

        • ianaboyd

          Spavital was a lot better than a lot of Aggie fans have believed. The QB room was a complete mess after Johnny left. I don’t know exactly what happened but I get the sense that maybe Sumlin was shielded from some of the blame in the moment that he should instead have received.

  3. Stu

    Im new here, but I just finished your book and am starting to read your blog. I just wanted to say I really appreciate your work. I am a SEC guy but also a football scheme junkie and love all aspects recruiting and I really enjoy your work.

  4. Clayton Davis

    I know it’s returning production and not recruiting, but Bill C has done some work isolating which positions matter more for returning production, and it aligns more closely with QB/WR/TE production returning on offense, and coverage production returning on defense.

    It would be hardly surprising if getting good talent at those positions in recruiting would make more of a difference, as well.

    • ianaboyd

      Yeah Bill C helped me along this path of discovery. I jumped ahead at some point in the process a couple of years ago.

      • Dunk

        Really enjoyed this post! Curious what your feelings are in regard to the influence of QB play on outcomes? If in your mind they aren’t considered a place where blue chip talent is necessary, I would assume your theory is that you can win at a high level without an elite QB talent?

        • ianaboyd

          I don’t think you need elite physical talents at QB, either in terms of overall athleticism or “arm talent.”

          If your OT and WRs are elite athletes then at QB you want decision making and accuracy and that’ll do the trick without an arm that will beat nfl coverage.

          The QB does matter a lot, but we’ve seen tons of lower rated guys who know where the ball goes be great. Taylor Cornelius is the ultimate example here.

          • Clayton Davis

            Josh Heupel was a great one for OU. Smart kid without elite arm strength or athleticism, but knew how to read the defense and distribute well.

          • ianaboyd

            Most of the good ones, I mean. Totally agree Heupel was one of the first of his kind.

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