Fitting a round data point into a square narrative

Thomas Goldkamp, bless his heart, is so wedded to this whole “recruiting vs. development” faux debate concerning Smart and Mullen…

Perhaps it’s just overly exaggerated narrative, but the general consensus in football fan circles tends to be that Smart is a better recruiter than Mullen, while Mullen is a better developer of talent than Smart.

Is there any merit to that?

… that he’s just dying to try to work this 247Sports Development Rating metric into the discussion.

There’s one small catch:  the ratings cover the 2012-16 classes.  Even for Goldkamp, that’s a little awkward.

So Mullen is only just starting to go through seasons where the vast majority of the roster is made up of guys he recruited. Smart is a little further past that, to where some of his recruits begin to show up in the 247Sports Development Rating for 2021, a project the site has been cranking out each year in an attempt to quantify player development.

… Now, note that this isn’t any sort of a direct reflection on Dan Mullen just yet. While he had some to do with it, a little less than half of the prospects that played into this ranking actually played under Mullen and had the chance to develop under his staff.

“Played under Mullen” is, as we like to say here, doing a shit ton of heavy lifting.  The period Goldkamp is referring to is when Mullen was Florida’s offensive coordinator.  How he was involved with the development of Gator defensive players at the time is, at best, murky, and, more likely, fictional.

But you’ve got to work with the material you have, right?


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Stats Geek!

40 responses to “Fitting a round data point into a square narrative

  1. mp

    Include Alabama defensive players under Smart and see what happens

    Liked by 7 people

  2. 81Dog

    When your friends and fans n the media want to prop you up, or your enemies in the media want to tear you down, all manner of lies, damn lies, and statistics will be marshaled to accomplish their goals.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Godawg

    Why let a little thing like facts get in the way of your narrative?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Down Island Way

    Rings and trophies, rings and trophies…unless of course you’re in the mood to cash checks your hole career with no rings or trophies…#FTMF


  5. 79dawg

    This entire debate is stupid – I don’t know why the Florida guys keep bringing it up (I guess its all they’ve got?), or why you keep beating this poor dead horse whose already lying in a bloody pulp in a ditch on the side of the road…

    Liked by 2 people

    • RangerRuss

      Gets ’em through the night I reckon. Long, dreadful nights. Looking in the mirror at their scabby faced, rotten-tooth smile thinking the gap is closing; then, realizing it’s just a piece of tater tot from yesterday’s breakfast they console themselves with the false narrative their HC is better. Tweakn’ losers.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Bulldawg Bill

      OK, 79! You win the “Scenic High Image Trophy” this morning!! RangerRuss, you got competition!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think ol RR is on to something…these FU Hogtown boys are slowly starting to realize that Springsteen’s glory days have passed them by…those jorts that fit so nicely in the 90’s can’t get past the current gargantuan thighs. The convertible firebird is rusted out, hell Pontiac doesn’t even make cars anymore, flowing mullets are now replaced with plugs or shitty toupees…time and success has left those poor, fugly toothed bastards behind. And a new day is dawning on our glorious boys in Red and Black…GATA

      Liked by 1 person

  6. akascuba

    Things certainly have changed since Mullen was hired at FU. The former portal master (yeah he lost that title to Kirby too) finally did beat Georgia. His first win ever against head coach Kirby Smart.

    All it took was Georgia’s defense suffering crippling injuries at UK the game before. Then followed by starting a 4th string former walk on quarterback getting injured while leading Georgia to a quick 14-0 start.
    Yeah that seems like something gator nation can annually build their seasonal hopes and dreams around.

    Get used to it gator fan this type of blind hope during the summer preseason time is as good as it’s going to be be now that your new boss Kirby Smart is in control of the SEC East.


    Liked by 3 people

  7. theotherdoug

    We saw what Mullen’s recruits look like in their bowl game.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. charlottedawg

    Gator fan off-season narrative: other than recruiting (and apparently his choice in defensive coordinator) our coach is really, really, really great and definitely better than Georgia’s!!!!


  9. Ran A

    Bad data is bad data. I make this argument with people all the time. If the data you start with is bad, then whatever conclusions you make (regardless of the work and accuracy put into it) is bad. Perioid! Thus making the entire exercise a waste of time, energy and money.


  10. practicaldawg

    It’s like you tell a kid who wants to build a city with only a handful of legos: Just use your imagination!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I always see 1-3 when I hear this argument

    Liked by 3 people

    • dawg100

      Right, or take the best year at MSU or UF under Mullen going down in flames at the end — BOTH times.

      I see the Hindenburg both times after an encouraging start.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. whybotherdude

    I would believe the narrative IF Mississippi State was on the list. Mullen was at MSU during this time frame (09 -17 and data for 12-16) so numbers for Mullen at MSU should be for this time frame.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. BuffaloSpringfield

    It’s just, just talking season. If their print slobs don’t come up some, some metric to blog about #1) they don’t get paid #2) the Gators become even more delusional just talking trash


  14. Russ

    Never forget that the only reason Trask played at all is because Franks got hurt. Otherwise, Mullen would have continued to “develop” Felipe and Trask would be selling insurance now instead of in 2 years.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. siskey

    This covers the Boom and McElwain recruits. I think that it is becoming apparent that both were better at recruiting and developing than Mullen. I wonder when the Florida fans on their message boards will start playing the “with X’s players” game that was so popular with Georgia fans 15 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The more Florida fans try to convince us that Mullen is a better developer of talent than Kirby, the more they sound like they’re really trying to convince themselves.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. Tony BarnFart

    The flagship university in one of the biggest recruiting states planting their flag on being plucky overachievers is a weird flex. I’ll gladly take actual victories on talent more often than not.


  18. Ozam

    I think a more interesting discussion on the exact same topic is Georgia versus Alabama.


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