If you possess free time and a specific interest

We’re two weeks past national signing day, so maybe recruiting is not the topic to whet your appetite, but there’s something I’ve ready through, actually found enlightening and feel compelled to share.

In short, some schools, and some conferences, have a championship advantage in college football because of who and where they recruit. And for folks who assumed West Virginia’s fortunes would be enhanced by recruiting classes and that the success would follow suit, understand that’s thus far not the case. In short, the Big 12 doesn’t have or get the most “blue chip” talent and WVU is actually getting fewer of those players now than before.


22 Responses to “If you possess free time and a specific interest”

  1. HOF says:

    You can tell that Mike is really starting to explore the space here when he starts referring to his posses. That’s plural. As in more than one posse. I assume that the blog is one collective posse, the Scoop & Score folks might count as another separate or overlapping posse, and who even knows from there. Just be on notice: Casazza is all growns up.


  2. Rugger says:

    Let’s not forget about The Bad News Bears, Little Giants and Mighty Ducks!

  3. MontanaEer says:

    In football, much as in the economy, the rich few % get richer, and everyone else scrambles for the crumbs.

  4. lowercase jeff says:

    i have a few problems with the content of this link, namely the practice of comparing 2 data points (11-12 and 13-14) and identifying a trend.

    thats not sound.

  5. Karl says:

    Absolutely right, LCJ. Maybe the best illustration of why that’s the case is Texas. Does anyone seriously believe the days of the richest, fattest fat cat in college football bringing in top 10 classes are over? They had a coaching change a few weeks before signing day. That’s about all there is to know.

  6. Mack says:

    lcj, not to mention that the “blue chippers” from 11-12 probably never even made it to campus.

    People want college football to be something that it’s not… they want their team to rise out of the doldrums and become the next college football power. It ain’t happening ever with anyone unless something insane happens (for instance, Nike building you brand new facilities and paying for everything). If there is a country full of 6’6”, 300 pounders that are made of steel and fast as lightning . . . and you discover it five years faster than everyone else and you’re able to get them all in uniform and on the football field. . . then you’ll probably change things in a major way.

    Otherwise, it’s going to be Texas, USC, Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, Notre Dame, etc., that are in control of college football.

  7. SheikYbuti says:

    Precisely. I am so tired of Carlisle and Army dominating.

  8. SheikYbuti says:

    And don’t get me started on CCNY in basketball.

  9. Gordo says:

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think WVU is ever going to be on that list. WVU never has been a top-10 recruiting class type school and I don’t see that changing. That few times we’ve sniffed at a NC, we’ve done so with players who were not “blue-chippers”. Now, whether those players were diamonds in the rough or the coaches did a great job of “coachin’ ’em up” or a combination of the two, I don’t know.

    For those fan who wish we were on that list – you can wish in one hand and crap in another…..

  10. DaveK says:

    Does anyone else see these rating services as overvalued?
    What percentage of high school 2 and 3 star players are in the NFL?

  11. Unless there is a seismic shift in the college football landscape, WVU will never be a school that rakes in blue chip recruits.

    Even during its most successful seasons the Mountaineers only got a handful of players that they wouldn’t have otherwise lured to Morgantown (Noel Devine probably being the most significant).

    It’s going to be about finding diamonds in the rough and developing talent, as it always has been.

  12. Drew says:

    If only we had Charlie Weiss and a perpetual schematic advantage.

  13. smeer says:

    DaveK – it matters on a macro level

    the odds go up the more you have. there will always be lesser stars that beat the odds and greater stars that flunk out, but the more higher starred athletes you can get, the greater your odds.

    “All told, nearly 66 percent of the players taken in the first round since 2009 have been three- or four-star recruits.” – taken from . . .


    the title – i think – is misleading. The NFL may not be looking at high school star ratings, but star ratings are a decent indicator of who (2/3) will find success on the next level.

    Alabama loads up so much that they can’t miss.

    But studies have also shown that certain programs have been able to do more with less – WVU being one. We have historically gotten more bang for the buck. But all that maybe changing now that we are not a big fish in a small pond.

    lots of articles on this – mostly centered around the draft – maybe there’s one out there that analyzes current NFL players – but didn’t pop up right away.

  14. Mack says:

    DaveK, I listened to a podcast with the president of Rivals and it was informative as far as what you are saying. He said that every single first round draft pick in the NFL draft should be a 4 or 5 star guy, or the scouting service has screwed up. Keep in mind, the scouting services increasingly give very, very few five-star ratings.

    Keep in mind, that the NFL draft is a total crapshoot (guys get taken #1 overall and end up as complete busts) and that’s AFTER you’ve seen the guys play several years of college football.

    But at the end of the day, the reputable recruiting services have actually WATCHED these guys play and if you watch two players play, I would imagine that most people walk away in agreement as to which player is better. These guys don’t have the power to predict who will be the best player . . . but they can certainly look at all of them and give a good indication as to who the best players are.

    The Rivals guy also pointed out that the teams that compete for national championships pretty much always have top recruiting classes. He specifically pointed out that RichRod at WVU was good at taking mediocre recruiting classes and turning them into world beaters… “but you have to have a great coach to do that.”

  15. smeer says:

    I’ve always thought the QB is the great equalizer. Second tier (just outside blue blood status) rise and fall on the ability and experience of their QB. WVU has always done well when it had a good one – which is what scares me about this season.

    I expected DH and his system to be a magnet for elite QB’s. Childress left and Crest is the next great hope.

  16. Mack says:

    Yeah, I think if Crest is as good as I think he’ll be based on the short YouTube videos of him, WVU will be in great hands. There’s no question that the quarterback position can change everything with a team.

    Seriously though, if anyone hasn’t watched Crest on Youtube… the guy’s got a cannon and looks athletic. Looks like a stronger arm than Geno, similar body type but a little bit broader shoulders . . . just looks like he’d be a great college quarterback.

  17. SheikYbuti says:

    Ditto as to HCDH’s system and the manner in which I perceived it would attract superior talent. On the basketball side, I expected the fancy new practice facility to be a star magnet. I suppose as to an evaluation of our recruiting ability, the efficacy of our perceived coaching and facility advantages may serve to polarize opinions.

  18. I love you, Doug! says:

    All I know is, 60 percent of the time, it works every time.

  19. QB and linemen (offensive and defensive).

    Recruit well in those positions and the rest tends to take care of itself…in my opinion.

    Doesn’t hurt to have good skill players, but it begins and ends in the trenches and behind center.

  20. hershy112 says:


    Couldn’t agree more. You can “hide” mediocre skill players, you cannot “hide” mediocre lineman.

  21. JC says:

    While the recruiting rankings are generally overvalued and often miss of ultimately great players, they are much more accurate than many folks believe. Take a gander at how many 5 star kids go in the first round of the NFL draft. When you compare the number of 5 stars given out to the number of 3 stars, then look at which of those make it as great college and pro players, the ratio of pretty good. There will always be exceptions, no doubt, but the folks who evaluate talent are pretty good at it.

    Plus, even if these ranking were not that accurate, kids see certain schools getting loads of 4-5 star players and see those schools as destinations. Perception usually trumps reality, and this is no different…..