The futility of chasing an absurdity

While they came off as slightly negative though realistic, a poster late yesterday mentioned that, while this certainly is a good class, it doesn’t have quite the oomph as a top 1-2 SEC class. For example, 15 (or roughly half) of our recruits had a 3 star rating, with a few 2 star ones as well. Meanwhile, the top classes typically have very few 3 star recruits, but instead are loaded with almost all 4 star guys with 3-4 5 star ones.

So while the Bama’s of the world load up on 4-5, 5 star talents, with 15 or so 4 star players, again we hauled in our typical 1-2, 5 star guys, with around ten 4 star recruits. Certainly a noticeable yearly difference, especially when combined over a 3-4 year period.

3rdandGrantham

I hate to pick on 3&G here, since that’s a fairly common sentiment I see expressed in the comments section here, but how many of you who believe Alabama’s recruiting performance under Saban is something attainable in Athens think there are other SEC programs managing to do just that?

Because reality disagrees with you.  Strongly disagrees.

The Tide has had the No. 1 overall class in each of the past four years. No other SEC team has even managed to crack the top ten in every one of them. LSU is the only school to even get to second in this span, and it did it once. I’ll go over quality numbers later, and they make Bama look even better if you can believe that.

Over the last four classes, Georgia’s average signee was a four-star kid.  That puts Georgia in the company of LSU, Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M.

But not Alabama.  When it comes to highly ranked recruiting classes, no SEC school is even in the same zip code with the Tide.

Remember how I said the quality numbers make Alabama look even better? Every single class Nick Saban signed had an average rating above 93. The closest anyone else got to that number is Florida’s 91.50 in 2012. No one else can claim an average rating above 90 for the whole four-year span, and Bama is sitting on a 93.41. It’s absurd.

Might I suggest we quit with the ‘Bama recruiting comparisons?  There are no “Bama’s of the world” in the plural sense.  There’s just Alabama. Nobody else in the conference does Saban like Saban does Saban.

89 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football

89 responses to “The futility of chasing an absurdity

  1. dudemankind

    Congrats to 3&G on getting a post up on the main page!!

    Like

  2. Union Jack

    The “politics” of the star ranking system was a topic of discussion on ESPN radio yesterday. Very interesting how some of that happens … a lot of depends on the recruits keeping their recruitment open, attending the various combines and summer league type activities etc. Also, a recruit who has an offer or a commitment to one of the marquee schools may see a “star” increase. Similarly, a kid who commits early and doesn’t look at any other schools and/or doesn’t go to combines will often see their “star” ranking decrease.

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    • Dank Jankins

      To add to that…if kids have grade issues and are suspect to qualify their star ranking is lowered as well. I think this was the case with Kirby Choates. BTW if you guys have not seen the video of his announcement you need to watch it. The kid wanted badly to be a Dawg and it shows.

      Like

    • Joe Schmoe

      To these points, UGA locks up a very large % of its classes very early in the process which one could argue reduces the overall ranking of its players.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bazooka Joe

      Exhibit A – Trent Thompson…. dropped from #1 by some recruiting services because he didn’t go to their precious combine. But he will still destroy anyone else from this class….

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  3. Dank Jankins

    Unbelievable recruiting machine is the Tide program. Throw in the fact that the Tide routinely signs 3-5 more players a year of that caliber then other programs and it just magnifies the difference over a 4 yr span. Not disrespecting his record but it is amazing that given this huge advantage and the fact that he is considered the best coach ever that he has managed to loss at least one and often two games a year to lesser opposition.

    Could you imagine if Bill Belichick not only had the best QB in the league but had the best WRs, best RB, best OL and defensive players. The guy would probably never lose a game.

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  4. Mayor

    I disagree with the premise that Georgia couldn’t get recruiting classes like Bama does. If Georgia was to win 3 national championships in 5 years just see how well the Dawgs would start recruiting. I agree with 3rdie. This was another solid Georgia recruiting class like all the others in the last few years but certainly not the game-changer that people had been talking about during the recruiting season.

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    • If Georgia was to win 3 national championships in 5 years…

      You make it sound like it’s a common occurrence.

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      • Mayor

        Is it a common occurrence for a team to finish at the top in recruiting for years and years like Bama did? That’s my point. If we won like Bama we’d recruit like Bama because every 5 star in the country would be wanting to come to Athens (they should anyway but that’s another subject). P.S. Please do something about AHD poaching my handle. Bad form, even in jest.

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        • Cosmic Dawg

          P.S. Please do something about AHD poaching my handle. Bad form, even in jest.

          You will forgive me, Mayor, but it’s just getting funnier and funnier ’cause it gets your goat so badly. Consider it flattery.

          😉

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        • What kind of world would this be without bad form? One would think that one with municipal skills would know jest how to take it

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    • Hogbody Spradlin

      I dunno Mayor. Bama was locking up top classes from the minute Saban got there, and they didn’t win their first MNC until 2009. I think there’s something about the way the whole state is rigged for Tide Football that adds juice to their recruiting.

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      • RocketDawg

        Mayor (Marion Berry) are you smoking CRACK? There are a lot of potential “game changers” as you refer to them in this class. If you give more than just a cursory glance at the “stars” each kid has beside his name and the drivel that ESPN is shoving down everyone’s throat you will see that this is a VERY strong class on defense (arguably the best D-Line class of Richt’s coaching tenure) highlighted by the #1 player in the country big Trent Thompson. Rico McGraw (a flip back from the great Satan….er Saban) will battle for PT at Safety this year, Ganus and Chucks will be fighting for PT at ILB, Sage Hardin is our C/G of the future, Pat Allen and Sam Madden will be our starting OT’s in two years (Seymore might also battle for some time there as well). It is a solid class with strong talent in positions of need. I just don’t get the “this is an average class” meme.

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  5. Joe Schmoe

    I think the overall QUALITY of the players that we get is adequate for us to compete at the level that we all desire. The issue as been QUANTITY with undersigning and a lack of addressing needs leaving certain positions dangerously thin (see OL). If we sign classes that are +25 every year with the same overall quality of player that we have been getting and balance across positions of need (see OL and WR this year) then we will have sufficient raw materials to compete with anyone IMO.

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    • Chuck

      It seems to me that we’ve been competitive the last couple of years as it is. Just two years ago, we were within 5 yards of beating the behemoth that is Alabama football. We’ve managed to shoot ourselves in the foot a couple of times a year, we’ve struggled a little with disciplinary standards that others don’t always follow, and sometimes we’ve had more than our share of injuries. But it isn’t talent. Just look at how many guys we have playing on Sunday; it compares favorably with anyone.

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  6. PTC DAWG

    Regarding 3 & G’s comments, some folks just don’t get it.

    You pointing it out to him will not help.

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  7. Rick

    Now wait a minute, senator, there is a middle area that you are completely ignoring. I do not argue with the contention that Alabama is in a class of it’s own, and that their success is completely unattainable for us with the way UGA does things.

    However, 3&G was talking about the schools that take very few 3-star players, than can have a year perhaps once every three or four where they pull in almost entirely 4 and 5 stars, get that average rivals star ranking around 3.8. Lots of schools can do this: Florida, Texas, LSU, Southern Cal, Ohio State, and even Miami (when it isn’t crap).

    UGA has never done that, ever. In the SEC recently LSU has a few times, and Florida does it routinely when their program is in good shape. Florida is a particularly good example because they seem to play by rules very similar to those of UGA. Before Bobo left, it looked like we had a shot to finally get one of those classes. We didn’t. I would love to see 4 years under Richt with one or two such classes on the sidelines.

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    • Did you not see that Georgia ranks squarely in the middle of schools like UF and LSU?

      Again, the average signee in Richt’s last four classes is a four-star recruit.

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      • Rick

        Of course we do, senator. LSU is above us, and Florida has had awful seasons and head coaching turn over. Look at Florida’s non-transitional, non-post-crappy seasons, and the chasm becomes clear.

        I care about recruiting performance when a team has coaching stability and reasonable on-field success. Under those circumstances in the SEC tier 1 of recruiting is Alabama by it’s lonesome. Tier 2 is Florida and LSU.
        Tier 3 is UGA, Auburn and Tennessee. It may appear that Florida is down with us because they have had four coaching changes (and four transitional classes), two of which were bombs for their tenures, but it’s a mirage.

        All I’m saying is I’d like to see Richt’s record if we bumped up to Tier 2.

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      • Rick

        I will admit that per the link there LSU does appear to have geuinely regressed to UGA-level recruiting since 2012 (unlike Florida, whose regression is entirely due to coaching turnover and 4-8 seasons).

        That probably is part explains why LSU hasn’t finished in the top 10 even once for the period in question.

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    • PTC DAWG

      He told you above that what you state hasn’t been done…and you still say it has.

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    • DawgPhan

      ummm..you did notice that over 4 years referenced the avg UGA recruit is a 4 star. I guess you missed that part so I thought that I would point that out.

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      • Rick

        Yea, I notice they say that. That’s because they are bad at math. Just because you have a 5 star with a 101 grade and 10 3-stars with an 89 does not mean that you ‘averaged’ a 4-star recruit because the average is 90. Hell, that’s 11 players – would you say a defense with 10 3-star players on the field was ‘averaging’ 4 star talent?

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  8. 69Dawg

    Can you image a coach with the recruiting that Saban has losing 1 or 2 games a year. Why the fans of UGA would not stand for that at all. I guess the Alabama fans are just more understanding than the UGA fans, because Saban is not coaching these players up, hell they are already great when he gets them. I hate tOSU with every fiber of my being but I’m glad Bama got there butts beat to demonstrate to the Saban worshippers that he can’t walk on water. How does a program like Alabama not have the number 1 QB in the nation and UGA will have? Either Saban DGAS about QB’s or the smart kids know they will get a better coaching job at UGA.

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    • Russ

      Bingo.

      Oh, and this was a very good class. Lots of help on defense, monster DL, and good help on the OL. I’m happy and think these guys will do well.

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    • To be fair Bama got the number 1 ranked pocket passing QB THIS year. And as far as Eason goes a year is a loooong time for a high school kid.

      IMO this class was decent but as always, UGA swings and misses at one spot. That being WR this year. And how in the eff are we letting the likes of UCfreakingLA poach guys from this state?

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  9. 3rdandGrantham

    This is exactly why I love this blog so much, with this latest entry perfectly encapsulating what makes this place so special. I’m not exactly a regular around here; mostly a lot of short term hits followed by extended absences, due to that whole career and family thing that constantly gets in the way.

    Anyway, what makes GTP (both SB and participants) so great is the fact that there are some really smart people here, who often give you a different perspective or information that you weren’t aware of previously. In other words, this is truly a place where you can get insightful information, as opposed to most outlets, which only offer affirmation to the minions who want to be spoon-fed what they already believe (or want to believe).

    Don’t get me wrong, we certainly have our affirmation seeking types here, along with a select few who swim in negativity for masochist reasons or otherwise. But overall there are a lot of you that I’d love to sit down and have a beer with, or perhaps even want you as a neighbor or friend. Getting back to the comparison to Bama, I was viewing it from a prism of our overall inherent advantages compared to them. Given all our resources, including our geographic footprint that is awash in top talent yearly, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to go toe to toe with Bama yearly. With that said, employing one of the very best CFB coaches of all time certainly helps your cause, along with previous success and an administration that also is hell-bent on winning.

    Anyway, no offense taken whatsoever, even if I end up as some sort of pinata on this thread. Thanks everyone.

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  10. Derek

    1) We recruit very well but not great. Better lately than in the second half of the last decade for sure. 2) can’t have enough big boys. 3) little guys are crap shoots. 4) you have to recruit QB well if you want to play for championships 5) recruiting rankings only matter in the trenches.

    You know who can tell a 5 star DE/OLB from a 2-star DE/OLB? A moron. You know who can tell a 5 star CB from a 3-star? Coaching staffs. The point being that if you can compete at the LOS you can compete, period. Our deficiencies vs. Bama were all at the line of scrimmage. Everywhere else we matched up pretty well. After all, there’s only one ball and you are only going to get a certain number of plays. Signing 16 5 star wr’s is of little value. However, 16 300 pounders who can move and have a mean streak? Priceless.

    We probably can’t recruit like Bama but what we can do is to get better at recruiting OL. CJP seems to be taken care of the Def. LOS. Sale needs to do the same on the other side and we’ll be playing in important games when its cold out.

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  11. Gurkha Dawg

    There was an article referenced on GTP a while back that looked at blue chip players as a % of total class. Blue chip was defined as 4 or 5 star. I believe it was over a 10 yr period. I don’t remeber all the details but I think UGA was number 10 about 51% blue chips. All teams that had played in the BCS NC game were in that top ten. It looks like that is about where our 2015 class is ( 50% blue chip). We may not be able to match Bama but we sure as hell can move up on that list. Number 10 just ain’t going to cut it. I realize the last 4 years #’s may be a little different, but we still seem stuck around #10. Sorry this was so rambling but I am at work and people keep bugging me.

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  12. Otto

    It is nice to have highly rated players but the team Saban had his first few years seemed to be gritty win it in the trenches team. Bama seems to be going more finesse and is becoming less dominant. I’m not disappointed in UGA’s class quality, I am disagree with the reduced focus on the OL. Bobo was getting away from the power run game (fewer OL signed and there was gap in RBs between Moreno and Crowell) but seems to be moving back. UGA is now getting the depth, and has all the talent if coached properly to win big.

    Patrick Garbing again has some nice posts on the signing #s for OL, and correlation between recruiting class and on field performance.

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  13. Bright Idea

    No single university is totally bought in to its football program like Bama is. A single verbal naysayer would never be allowed to remain on that campus. That has to make their recruiting “process” work as well as it does. It is best to remember that we don’t have to beat Bama on the first Wed. in Feb. every year, just every now and then on a Fall Saturday.

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  14. JAX

    The difference between UGA and BAMA is that Saban and Co. do a terrific job coaching the talent they have. The point is not that UGA lacks for talent, it’s that few schools as much with their talent than BAMA. Well, maybe one, OSU. UGA/Richt will always have top 10 talent — it’s cultivating that talent to an elite level that becomes the issue, drug policy and all that aside.

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    • Joe Schmoe

      Huh. Seems like if Richt averages top 10 classes and also top 10 finishes, then he is not underachieving.

      If Saban always lands the #1 class and doesn’t always finish 1st, then he is underachieving.

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      • Bulldawg165

        “Seems like if Richt averages top 10 classes and also top 10 finishes, then he is not underachieving.”

        If only we finished in the top 10 every year…

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        • Rick

          No team does except for Alabama. There are 6-7 SEC teams that average a top 10 finish in recruiting, and none of them average any where near a top 10 finish in the final standings. It’s a statistical phenomenon of college football, due to the fact that a mere three losses will usually knock you out of the top 10 because that’s where voters ‘feel’ they should be ranked. If you looked at non-human based rankings (Sagarin, etc.), UGA and other teams finish much closer to where recruiting would predict.

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    • D.N. Nation

      How is Bama doing more with its talent when Saban signs #1 classes every year but doesn’t win the natty every year?

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  15. reipar

    Please stop using facts to get in the way of a good meme.

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  16. Irwin R. Fletcher

    I would have thought that recruiting well had more to do with production than with star count. I love Keith Marshall..dgd…but the thought that in this discussion UGA would get more credit for recruiting him than Gurley b/c of his star rating is a little absurd, right? Or what if UGA signs a 5 star RB this season instead of some of the 3 star dbs? Is there anyone that would think that is a better class despite the fact it doesn’t fill needs?

    I think Bama and even USC to an extent skews our perspective. So does the “class ranking.”

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  17. CannonDawg

    There was an interesting tidbit on Mike & Mike this week where it was pointed out that there were no players on either the Patriots or Seahawks Super Bowl starting offensive and defensive teams.who had been rated 5-stars out of high school. Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing UGA with plenty of 5-star recruits, but there is something to be said for developing players to their full potential, as well.

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    • DawgPhan

      It’s true and utterly meaningless.

      One players arent branded as five stars for life. It is their ranking when they are in high school.

      If you told me that neither team in the super bowl had any 1st round draft picks, I would be more interested.

      The opposite of that super bowl stat is that 3 of the 4 teams in the playoffs had finished at the top of the recruiting rankings in the previous 3 years. Or that every team with a national championship had a top class in the previous 3 years. You know looking at the recruiting rankings as it pertains to winning college football games.

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  18. Spence

    Check out the top 10 in this list. It’s pretty impressive that only 2 schools got all 10.

    http://247sports.com/Season/2015-Football/CompositeRecruitRankings?InstitutionGroup=HighSchool&State=AL

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    • Cosmic Dawg

      That’s some keepin’ ’em home right there. And only SC, MSU, and Louisville appear to recruit the rest with regular success.

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      • Uglydawg

        What do you say? If Mizzou had lost to Arky and put UGA in the SECCG, who would have won? I say UGA had at least an even chance of beating them. I know Bama fans that were praying for Mizzou. They didn’t think they could stop Georgia’s offense.
        Going to be an interesting year for sure.

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