Conference Comparisons: Football Recruiting
ESPN obviously does a very thorough job covering college football recruiting. Led by Tom Luginbill, ESPN.com has evaluations of players, schools, and conferences. Yesterday, they updated the conference rankings for football recruiting. The results may be surprising:
Well, what is NOT surprising is that the SEC topped the list. Is there any college football metric that does not result in the SEC topping the list? The next one we see will be the first. Whether it is positive (like championships) or negative (like oversigning), the SEC will always be out in front with college football.
Instead, it is a race for #2 between the traditional heavyweight (the Big 10), the very deep newcomer (the Big XII), the offensive juggernaut of a conference (the Pac-12), and our much-maligned ACC. It would be reasonable to assume that any of the Big XII, Pac-12, or Big 10 could be #2 and that the ACC would be #5 (ahead of the former Big East, of course).
Instead, ESPN.com ranks the ACC #2, explaining as follows:
Aside from the ACC and SEC, no other conference has had at least 30 drafted players over the past nine years. And only the SEC has signed more ESPN 150 prospects than the ACC over the last three recruiting classes. Clemson is rising, Florida State is hitting its zenith and Miami is on its way back. Expect North Carolina to jump now that it will be coming off probation, and Pitt and Syracuse broaden the conference’s recruiting base. The potential is here for the conference to get stronger, as the addition of Louisville in 2014 and will add to its profile with a huge recruiting presence in Florida and Georgia.
The top 5 was ranked as follows: (#3) Pac-12; (#4) Big 10; and (#5) Big XII. Interesting.
It is just another reminder that ACC football has substantial upside. The conference needs its heavyweights (FSU and Miami) to get back to dominating, with its Tier II teams (Clemson and Virginia Tech) circling the top 12 to 15 teams each year. If so, the ACC would be back in the discussion for having outstanding college football. The bottom line is that the ACC needs to start benefiting from the talent passing through its football stadiums (or is it stadia?).
What do you think? Is this ESPN trumpeting its ACC asset? Or is this a legitimate ranking of the recruits by conference?