Football underachievement in the Kellybrick era (with chart)
by mikeybates (2017-06-29 13:00:03)
Edited on 2017-06-29 13:06:27
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The following is a chart that I made that ranks all P5 programs and a couple of others by their success on the field relative to their recruiting. I did this by calculating a rolling 4 year recruiting average for their teams for the seasons starting 2010-2016, to create a "talent level" figure for their team that season. I then ranked teams by this number. I also looked at teams' winning % in those seasons and ranked teams by that number. The number you see is the average difference between a team's talent rank and winning % between 2010-2016.

Teams with a difference of -5 or more are called "underachievers." These include a bunch of programs that would not surprise us: mostly marquee programs that recruit well but then fail on the field more than they should. Notice how many of those programs have either replaced their coaches recently (USC, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Miami, Georgia, LSU) or find their coaches on the hot seat now. I will note that Michigan, USC and Miami are seeing turnarounds (i.e. their numbers for 2015 and/or 2016 are overachieving numbers, but the 2010-2014 period weighs them down). This is not happening with old Notre Dame, of course. (Nor is it happening, I will note, with Georgia. Notre Dame and Georgia will be the underachievement Olympics.)

Teams with a difference of between -4.99 and 4.99 are called "achievers." These include all NC winners from 2010-2016 except for Auburn. The top programs like Alabama or OSU achieve at the rate you would expect, given their talent. (This is not the diminish Saban and/or Meyer. Obviously not all of the "achievers" win titles. But their winning % is what you would expect, given their talent. It doesn't mean that they win big bowl games or playoff games as Saban and Meyer do.)

Teams with a difference of 5 or more are called "overachievers." These include some familiar teams such as Stanford, Wisconsin, and Michigan State.

Anyway, I realize that the methodology is not perfect, but it clearly captures something valuable about which teams perform and which do not.

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