Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro OG Cyrus Hobbi will make his way to Ann Arbor for the first time next week.…
Five Questions: Team Rankings
More from Scout: New Team Rankings | Updated Scout 300 | Top 15 Capsules | Ask The Scouts How does Texas do it every year? The phrase "Flagship University" gets thrown around a lot by college football fans to describe the biggest and brightest team in the state, but it's probably no more true anywhere than in Austin, Texas. The Longhorns have been the preeminent program in the nation's biggest talent producing state for the better part of two decades. Since 1990 Texas has the 7th best winning percentage in all of college football, interestingly enough, behind Nebraska (No. 4). Since Mack Brown took over at Texas in 1998, the Longhorns have the best winning percentage amongst BCS schools and is No. 2 overall behind Boise State. The most important factors for a recruit choosing a team include being close to home, playing for championships, and moving on to the NFL. Texas produces the most D1 signees in the country every year. The Longhorns have been the winningest team in BCS Football under Mack Brown, and Texas is a Top 8 school in the country for producing NFL draft picks. What is the biggest recruiting surprise to this point? USC, for several reasons. First, I'm surprised how severe the penalties were that USC received. Second, I'm surprised at how loyal their commitments have been to this point. USC won't have the scholarship numbers to remain in the Top 10 come signing day, but if we sort by average player, USC with players like DeAnthony Thomas, Jalen Grimble, and Cody Kessler will still be amongst the Top 10 teams. What team could make the biggest jump between now and signing day? UCLA (46 in the Scout.com team rankings) should be able to take advantage of the lack of numbers that USC can bring in and keep chipping away at some of the top players in the area. The Bruins have had success under Rick Neuheisel on the recruiting trails the last couple of years, and if they can put a good product on the field this year, they could have their biggest year yet. Tennessee (50 in the Scout.com team rankings) is in a bit of a wait and see mode right now as well. Derek Dooley took over a terrible situation in Knoxville and the Vols are off to a slow start while recruits are getting a feel for the new regime. It would be shocking if Tennessee didn't improve on the 50 spot where they currently reside; it would be much less shocking to see them go on a run and finish in the Top 15. It is interesting to see two late-closing teams in Florida and Florida State with so many early commitments. Is there a change in philosophy in the Sunshine State? I think it's been like that for a while now with Florida and more recently with Florida State. When recruiting was first going mainstream about 15 years ago, signing day was always about the Seminoles, when players they would have committed for months would go public with their announcements. With recruiting becoming a 24/7 business, most players don't want to wait that long, for one reason simply to get some peace from the media and coaches. Florida is one of the few teams in the country that has the luxury to wait for 10-15 of the top prospects in the country, knowing that they're going to get several of them. Florida and USC have been consistently the best national recruiters for the last several years, it will be interesting to see if anyone steps into USC's shoes as the Trojans will be forced to stick close to home the next few years because of the sanctions. Why is there such a big difference in rankings and stars on some players between various recruiting sites? I think "big difference" is a matter of perspective. With 1 million high school players, I think any scout will tell you that there isn't much of a difference between the No. 20 player in the nation and the No. 100 player in the nation in most cases. But evaluations are still a component of human opinion in which different people who see different things try and predict something as uncertain as the future performance of an 18 year old football player. There are certain aspects of each player that help make the predictions more accurate, but we're still dealing with people and not a list of numbers on a video game. Some of the difference is perception as well. One service for example gives out 50% more 4-Stars than Scout and double the 3-Stars, so it appears that players are being rated higher, when in reality, the rating system isn't the same. All stars aren't created equally a ranked 2-star on Scout can actually be more valuable to a team's overall recruiting ranking than a non-ranked 3-Star on another site. NFL draft boards can look vastly different based on the opinions of the scouts building the specific team's preferences. Recruiting rankings are no different. No two players are alike, and no two scouts agree on everything.
103 Fans online