The Talent Myth
by Board Ops (2005-11-09 01:07:26)
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OD, In case any of this may be useful ...

Here are the mostly inferior raw talent rankings of the last 15 teams that beat ND (9 blow-outs), over the past 26 games.

Steele publishes a composite ranking of the top 6 recruiting services every year. We all know this is not the only data to look at (since they don't reveal balance in classes, difference-makers, injuries etc.), but its safe to say the 6 pro services combined are a better indicator than any one of them, or any 6 of us. Over time these rankings can (along with other data) be useful in helping to demonstrate which coaches tend to routinely get more from less, and vice versa. A perfect gauge? no. Telling over time - Yes. Would any "difference-makers" have succeeded under Davie or Willingham offenses? Givens, JJ, CH, BQ, Walker & Fasano certainly didn't. (I suspect the last three of these will now "suddenly" emerge as difference-makers on ND's offense next year, along with at least one WR.)

ND 2002 Losses

Composite recruit rankings 1998 - 2002 ...

(NR = Not ranked in top 50.)

ND 2002 Team - 2, 7, 6, 5, 5.

(Excludes BC because that loss wasn't in the last 26 games this post covered, though their composite recruiting class rankings on that '02 team were nowhere near as highly regarded as ND's - 30, 12, 31, 37, 20.)
USC - 15, 23, 11, 13, 7.
NCS - 50, 47, NR, 33, 34.

ND 2003 Losses

Composite recruit rankings 1999 - 2003 ...

ND 2003 Team - 7, 6, 5, 5, 3.

UM - 6, 15, 2, 10, 4.
MSU - 13, 10, 30, 15, 75.
PU - NR, 29, 20, 48, 37.
USC - 23, 11, 13, 7, 1.
BC - 12, 31, 37, 20, 22.
FSU - 16, 3, 1, 1, 19.
SYR - 22, 22, NR, NR, NR.

ND 2004 Losses

Composite recruit rankings 2000-2004 ...

ND 2004 Team - 6, 5, 5, 3, 17.

BYU - 50, NR, 43, 41, NR.
PU - 29, 20, 48, 37, 41.
BC - 31, 37, 20, 22, 33.
PITT - 41, 39, 33, 43, 42.
USC - 11, 13, 7, 1, 1.
OSU - NR, 36, 47, NR, 39.

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Composite rankings for best recruiting efforts 1998 thru 2004 ...

Winning NCs without compromising on ND's higher standards is not easy. Which is why Notre Dame has such unmatched mystique. Winning with Integrity could be the aim of any career or activity. For a century Notre Dame has inspired millions to overcome adversity, be a "difference-maker" and win over all in their own lives. That has value.

Three key ingredients must exist for the Irish to make NC runs, in this order of importance (imo) ... 1. A supportive administration, 2. An NC-capable HC. Holtz was NC-capable but without # 1. even he couldn't win an NC and realized it was time to move on (yes, there were other issues, but lack of adequate support was a major one too), and 3. NC-capable talent.

Since Malloy has been in charge of hiring HCs and setting the support levels for Irish Football, Notre Dame has wasted more talent than any other school in the country - by far. Talent will come to ND. The priority right now is for the BoT and the new incoming administration to decide to get an NC-capable HC - and - equally important (imo) to then support him fully. (Little did we know, when this was initially written in Sept '04, that ND would Weis-up just a few short months later.)

Composite recruit rankings ...

1998
1. UM 2. ND 3. UCLA 4. PSU 5. FSU 6. NC 7. UGA 8. UF 9. OSU 10. ALA 11. TEX 12. NEB 13. LSU 14. TENN 15. USC 16. WIS 17. S.CAR 18. MSU 19. OK 20. SYR 21. IOWA 22. STAN 23. ASU 24. COL 25. MINN

1999
1. TEX 2. ALA 3. A&M 4. OSU 5. LSU 6. UM 7. ND 8. UGA 9. MIA 10. MissST 11. ARK 12. BC 13. MSU 14. UCLA 15. UF 16. FSU 17. AUB 18. KSU 19. GT 20. NC 21. TENN 22. SYR 23. USC 24. S.CAR 25. ASU

2000
1. UF 2. TENN 3. FSU 4. PSU 5. TEX 6. ND 7. ALA 8. OSU 9. MIA 10. MSU 11. USC 12. ASU 13. AUB 14. OK 15. UM 16. STAN 17. UCLA 18. COL 19. NC 20. NEB 21. WIS 22. SYR 23. A&M 24. LSU 25. GT

2001
1. FSU 2. UM 3. TEX 4. LSU 5. ND 6. MIA 7. TENN 8. OSU 9. OK 10. NEB 11. PSU 12. UCLA 13. USC 14. WASH 15. STAN 16. VT 17. ARK 18. A&M 19. UF 20. PU 21. WIS 22. KSU 23. UGA 24. IOWA 25. CLEM

2002
1. FSU 2. TEX 3. OSU 4. TENN 5. ND 6. MIA 7. USC 8. OK 9. UCLA 10. UM 11. UVA 12. PSU 13. UF 14. S.CAR 15. MSU 16. UGA 17. COL 18. WASH 19. MissST 20. BC 21. A&M 22. LSU 23. STAN 24. NEB 25. AUB

2003
1. USC 2. UF 3. ND 4. UM 5. TENN 6. MIA 7. LSU 8. OSU 9. TEX 10. OK 11. A&M 12. UVA 13. UGA 14. MARY 15. NC 16. NCS 17. VT 18. WIS 19. FSU 20. IOWA 21. STAN 22. BC 23. UCLA 24. ALA 25. NEB

2004
1. USC 2. OK 3. MIA 4. LSU 5. TEX 6. UM 7. UF. 8. FSU 9. OSU 10. PSU 11. UGA 12. TENN 13. ORE 14. A&M 15. CAL 16. MSU 17. ND 18. MARY 19. MIZZ 20. ALA 21. WASH 22. NEB 23. OkST 24. UVA 25. S.CAR.

Keep in mind that throughout this period ND continued to rank in the Top 3 for # of players in the NFL adding some credibility to the validity of these composite rankings. Under Malloy hires, Notre Dame became known as the place High School All-Americans go for a good education & some rest before embarking on their NFL careers.

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ND/USC recruiting class comparisons written pre-2004 game ...

The data below represents volumes of hard data compiled on thousands of high school football players by Parade, SuperPrep, Lemming, Emfinger, G&W Recruiting Advisor, Prepstar, AND Rivals over the past 5 years, with no thought to bolstering anyone's argument for this Saturday's ND-USC game. (Please see page 294 of Steel's 2004 issue for more information on how this data is compiled.) You may want to consider looking at all the top recruit rankings, not just Rivals to determine a more accurate picture of the composite raw talent rankings by ALL top recruiting services of ALL high school AND junior college entrants to Div 1 programs. These composite rankings of all top 6 recruiting services (including Rivals), while imperfect, give us a better gauge, OVER TIME, of which Head Coaches TEND to get more from less ROUTINELY and which HC's don't do that. Every ND HC coach who has been hired on Malloy's watch has failed to inspire, teach, develop, utilize and coach the raw talent they get to even meet, never mind exceed their potential. That is unfair to these kids.

ND & SC starters (taken from their web site today) and how they were ranked at their position by a composite of the top 6 recruiting services leaving high school or JC.

OFFENSE

ND - SC
QB Quinn (12) - Leinart (9),
BACKS Walker (13)/Grant (25)/P-Neal (36) - White (7)/Bush (5)/Webb (253)
WR Stovall (4)/McKnight (9)/Holiday (8)/Samardzija (22) - Smith (3)/Buchanan (23)/McFay (76)/Jarrett (4)
TE Fasano (8) - Holmes (5)
OL Sullivan (3)/LeVoir (4)/Morton (14)/Harris (18)/Stevenson (19) - Lutui (4)/Matua (12)/Baker (15)/Kalil (34)/Drake (113)

DEFENSE

DL Abiamiri (1)/Pauly (4)/Landri (5)/Tuck (16) - Cody (1)/Jackson (6)/Patterson (140)/Rucker (Unranked)
LB Goolsby (4)/Curry (25)/Hoyte (29) - Grootegood (3)/Santz (23)/Tatupu (Unranked)
CB Campbell (18)Ellick (Unranked)/Jackson (69) - Wyatt (25)/Nunn (165)
S Zbikowski (9)/Burrell (21) - Bing (4)/Leach (29)

As expected USC ranks very well in the rankings for their overall recruit classes over the last 5 years (based on a composite of these same top 6 recruiting services, including Rivals) that comprise their 2004 squad = 11, 13, 7, 1, 1 for a very low total of 33 recruit points or an average of 6.6 per year. Very few teams in the country could match such impressive numbers. Surprisingly however, ND is one of those teams. In fact ND had an even lower 6, 5, 5, 3 (for a best in the country average of 4.8) prior to Ty's last #17 ranked class that brought the 2004 team total recruit points up to 36 - for a still very low average of 7.2. Other than USC, not one of ND's recent victors came anywhere near this 7.2 composite ranking.

Despite this none of us would argue that ND has as much talent TODAY as SC, just that they did have more comparable raw talent when each of the past 5 classes arrived at each school.

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p.s. Since these three posts were written in the Fall of 2004, Notre Dame has been blessed with the emergence of competent & supportive Administrators in Fr. Jenkins & Mr. Affleck-Graves. They have brought in ND's 1st NC-capable HC since Holtz was ushered out. Welcome Charlie Weis.


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