Can you predict team success from recruiting rankings?

This post suggests that you can from defensive rankings, not so much from offensive ones.  Fascinating stuff, but it begs the question why that might be so.  Does scheme matter more on offense than on defense?  Or is it more about overall coaching (scheme, fundamentals, play calling, etc.) on that side of the ball?

And if that’s the case, does it make sense to pay good offensive coordinators less than defensive coordinators, assuming their recruiting skills are a wash?

What do you guys think?


Filed under Recruiting, Stats Geek!

12 responses to “Can you predict team success from recruiting rankings?

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    All them there charts and numbers are all very interesting. I don’t doubt the wisdom of the premise that studliness counts more on defense, unless you are talking about Herschel or Cam Newton or Bo, or you know, that goofy guy from Florida, which throws a star-rated monkey wrench into the adding machine.

    I think it is safe to say that with great coaching, great athletes do great things, and the greater the number of them, the greater the things.

    However, David Pollack would like a word here.


    • tortlawdawg

      And Thomas Davis. Hell, he was only offered a scholarship to one FBS (Division 1 back then) school. Damn sure glad we took the chance and signed him. I think i heard that a coach saw him play in a basketball game. Probably had more to do with exposure because of the small school he went to.


  2. watcher16

    I’m happy paying Bobo way less than Grantham



    Look at the national championship games over the last few years. Defense was by and large the ticket to landing there.
    While I think we would all seek balance, I’d take a great D and an adequate O over the opposite.
    Throw in good special teams and you’ve got a chance to beat anyone.


    • Defense played a big part of for this season, but Auburn was not a defensive juggernaut in 2010 and Oregon had a mixed bag of defensive numbers.

      Auburn was 60th in total defense, 9th in rushing defense, 108th in passing defense, 53rd in scoring defense, 76th in Pass Efficiency defense, 88th in first down defense, 35th in 3rd down conversion %, 49th in 4th down conversion %, 72nd in Red Zone defense, and 59th in turnovers gained.

      Oregon was 34th in total defense, 27th in rushing defense, 56th in passing defense, 12th in scoring defense, 7th in pass efficiency defense, 63rd in first down defense, 20th in 3rd down conversion %, 4th in 4th down conversion %, 6th in Red Zone defense, and 2nd in turnovers gained.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Does defense depend less on skills learned at the college level, and more on natural gifts of speed, strength, and agility? From one glance on a handheld, those charts don’t present bIg variations. Are the differences significant?


    • Chuck

      Defense does depend more on natural talent, but not because talent isn’t as important on offense, it’s just that offense is harder. Offense is more of a team effort, and when everyone isn’t on he same page or holding up their end of the stick it shows up more. Not saying teamwork isn’t important on D, just that all the D is trying to do is screw up the offense and many times one or wo great players can do that.


  5. Mark

    IMO, offense has less room for error. If a CB makes a mistake on a running play, not always a big deal. If the DE messes up, it may result in a few yards. If a DL messes up, it might be a few yards.

    But, what if a QB misses a 50 yard bomb on a wide open receiver? Or what if a OL misses a block on a passing or running play? What if a WR drops a pass?

    IMO, execution on D matters less than execution on O. It matters in both, but not executing on one (D) is easier to recover from, sometimes, than not executing on the other (O). Now we all know that if a DB messes up it can be a big problem in a hurry. But even so, the OL still has to do their job and the QB still has to make a decent pass and the WR still has to make the catch and those are all things that might break down even if the DB doesn’t do his job right.


    • Mark

      Maybe a better way to state it is bad execution on D is somethings easier to hide than bad execution on O instead of using the words “recover from”.


  6. W Cobb Dawg

    Coaching is the difference – as we (should’ve) learned at UGA. Having Bailey, Seymour, Stroud, Bell, etc. on D didn’t matter when we had an idiot coaching them – actually a series of idiots. One could say we had a similar scenario on O with Stafford, Moreno, Green, Massaquoi, etc. Underachieving is a problem – but then there’s always next year to turn things around.


  7. Cojones

    Like wading through peanut butter. Trend lines? Go to beta and gamma proofs. These are cluster-fstars lines.


  8. Norcalvol

    Yep. Those r-squared values render the ‘correlation’ lines as pretty worthless.

    What’s that line? Oh, yeah. Drunks use light posts just like football analysts use statistics — for support, not illumination.