Tag Archives: ranking

IT IS COMING . . .

The 2017-18 season will begin in less than one month, as the Nittany Lions open at home on September 2nd against the Zips of Akron.

The Lions are ranked 6th by the Coach’s poll and Lindy’s Sports.

Can we produce this level of excitement again?

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LUCKY NUMBER 7

lucky7

Penn State is ranked 7th in the College Football Playoff Poll!

cfpranks1122

 

WE ARE . . . PENN STATE!

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Sunday Sermon: Get Behind Me, Saban

And it was written,

And the old miss answered, “Get thee behind me, Saban, for it is said, ‘only Rebel not ye against the Lord.'”

–Luke 4:8 and Numbers 14:9

Oh, how the mighty hath fallen!

Look at this place!  Not an empty pew to be seen!  I have never seen so many repenters at one time!

So many denominations in one place!  Baptists, Episcopalians, Ducks, Aggies, Huskers, Sooners, and Elephants alike!

Come now and here the word!

And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up horned frogs upon the land of Oklahoma.

–Exodus 8:7

Repent!

And the Spartans laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.

–Genesis 42:26

Repent!

And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of purple, and cover it with a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put to the staves thereof.

–Numbers 4:11

Repent!

As we look down the list of those anointed teams, we see much suffering and gnashing of teeth.

#1 F$U managed to avoid the upset omen, beating the Demon Deacons 43-3.  Ironic isn’t it?  Demon Deacons.  In this church???

#2 Oregon got upsot by Arizona 31-24 on Thursday night, a premonition of pain to come.

#3 Alabama got spanked by the Ole Miss, losing 23-17.

Not to be outdone, #4 Oklahoma lost to TCU 37-33.

#5 Auburn prevailed over #15 LSU.

#6 Texas A and M was beaten by #12 Mississippi State.  Lot’s of rejoicing in that state today!

#7 Baylor took care of Texas 28-7.

# 8 UCLA lost to Utah 30-28.

#9 Notre Dame used some Irish luck to overcome the #14 Stanford Cardinal 17-14.

#10 MSU outlasted #19 Nebraska 27-22.

Fifty percent of the Top 10 teams lost yesterday.

#16 USC went down to Arizona State 38-34.  Arizona is another state rejoicing today!

#17 Wisconsin fell to the Northwestern Wildcats 20-14.

#18 BYU fell to Utah State on Friday night.  Still no one paid attention to the signs!

All told, ELEVEN top-25 ranked teams choked yesterday, with the five of those ranked in the Top 8.

What can we learn from this?

Pride goeth before destruction?  (Proverbs 16:18)

The people ranking these teams don’t really know what they are doing?

It’s a really good thing Penn State didn’t play this weekend?

It ain’t over till you actually play the games?

And we will part with the wisdom and “been a dick shun” of ESPN’s premier prognosticator, Mark (Dis)May:

GO STATE!  BEAT THEM!

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Star Gazing

With National Letter of Intent Day come and gone, and Penn State coming out with the 24th ranked class according to Rivals.com, let’s step back for a moment to reflect on a few things.

First, it is amazing that Penn State managed to hold on to most of their recruits, and even add to that class–WE ARE  . . . BETTER, through the turmoil of a new coaching staff and the residual sanctions.  Kudos to Coach Franklin and his staff.

And while Nittany Nation rejoices in having a Top 25 recruiting class, at least according to one of multiple sites that rate such things, what exactly does it mean???

A few years ago, I looked at how recruiting classes matched up against actual rankings and came up with a figure I called a RANK INDEX or RECRUITING INDEX.  Basically, I take the Rivals recruiting rank for the past 4 years (2010-2013) for each team and compare that average recruiting rank to where the team ended up at the end of that four year period (this ranking by the USA Today.)  The Rank Index is the Average Recruiting Rank divided by the Rank the team actually managed on the field.  If a given team was ranked #1 in recruiting for four straight years and ended up ranked #1, their Index would be 1.  Numbers above one mean the team outperformed their recruiting rank, that is to say, the numerator would be a larger number such as the 75th recruiting class, compared to a #3 (denominator) ranking in the polls.  The Index would be 25 or 75 divided by 3.  Conversely, indices less than one indicate a high denominator (lower national rank in the polls) compared to a low numerator (higher or better recruiting rank.)

As an example, here are Penn State’s numbers:

2010- Rivals recruiting ranked 12th

2011- Rivals ranked 35th

2012- Rivals ranked 51st.

2013- Rivals ranked 43rd.

Average Rivals ranking from 2010-2013 = 35.25

USA Today Rank for 2013-2014 season: 49th.

Rank Index = 0.719 which ranks 89th among all teams.

Here is the data in table form:

Rivals AVG RANK (2010-2013) USA Today Rank Rank Index
Michigan State 35.50 2 17.750
Florida State 7.00 1 7.000
UCF 65.00 11 5.909
Missouri 35.25 6 5.875
South Carolina 19.25 4 4.813
Northern Illinois 92.00 25 3.680
Baylor 40.25 13 3.096
Duke 67.25 22 3.057
Fresno State 81.50 28 2.911
Wisconsin 60.50 21 2.881
Louisville 42.75 15 2.850
Utah State 102.25 37 2.764
Clemson 13.75 5 2.750
Ball State 110.75 41 2.701
Stanford 29.25 12 2.438
Auburn 7.25 3 2.417
Bowling Green 98.50 42 2.345
Navy 98.75 43 2.297
Kansas State 64.25 29 2.216
Louisiana-Lafayette 97.25 44 2.210
Arizona State 41.25 19 2.171
Rice 94.50 48 1.969
East Carolina 78.50 40 1.963
Marshall 63.00 33 1.909
North Texas 105.00 55 1.909
Oklahoma State 31.75 17 1.868
Buffalo 119.50 65 1.838
Oklahoma 11.75 7 1.679
Oregon 15.00 9 1.667
Vanderbilt 45.00 27 1.667
Middle Tennessee 99.75 61 1.635
Arkansas State 93.50 59 1.585
Brigham Young 59.00 38 1.553
Louisiana-Monroe 114.50 74 1.547
UNLV 102.25 69 1.482
San Jose State 106.00 72 1.472
Western Kentucky 87.00 60 1.450
Boise State 62.75 45 1.394
Tulane 93.75 68 1.379
Arizona 44.00 32 1.375
Iowa 42.00 31 1.355
San Diego State 77.75 58 1.341
UCLA 18.50 14 1.321
Ohio 100.75 77 1.308
Colorado State 82.00 64 1.281
Troy 101.00 82 1.232
Central Michigan 102.25 87 1.175
Florida Atlantic 104.25 89 1.171
Akron 108.75 95 1.145
Minnesota 59.25 52 1.139
Cincinnati 57.25 51 1.123
Army 118.25 108 1.095
Houston 57.25 54 1.060
Toledo 70.75 67 1.056
Ohio State 10.50 10 1.050
Syracuse 73.50 70 1.050
Wyoming 96.50 92 1.049
Nevada 95.00 91 1.044
Georgia Tech 56.50 56 1.009
Massachusetts 119.00 120 0.992
Eastern Michigan 113.25 116 0.976
Texas A and M 17.50 18 0.972
UTEP 105.00 111 0.946
Kent State 92.25 98 0.941
Boston College 59.25 63 0.940
Washington 22.50 24 0.938
Washington State 68.25 73 0.935
Air Force 103.50 113 0.916
Louisiana Tech 90.50 99 0.914
Idaho 109.25 123 0.888
Texas Tech 34.50 39 0.885
New Mexico State 101.50 117 0.868
Miami (OH) 105.50 124 0.851
Western Michigan 103.75 122 0.850
Oregon State 44.50 53 0.840
UAB 98.50 118 0.835
SMU 71.75 86 0.834
New Mexico 86.50 104 0.832
Northwestern 69.75 84 0.830
Indiana 64.50 78 0.827
Connecticut 82.25 100 0.823
Tulsa 81.75 101 0.809
FIU 95.50 119 0.803
Wake Forest 66.75 85 0.785
Temple 86.25 110 0.784
Nebraska 19.75 26 0.760
Mississippi State 34.50 47 0.734
Penn State 35.25 49 0.719
Hawaii 80.75 114 0.708
Pittsburgh 43.50 62 0.702
Iowa State 64.25 96 0.669
Memphis 71.25 107 0.666
North Carolina 32.75 50 0.655
Colorado 61.25 97 0.631
Mississippi 21.00 35 0.600
Illinois 56.00 94 0.596
Miami (FL) 20.25 34 0.596
Southern Miss 71.00 121 0.587
LSU 9.00 16 0.563
Virginia Tech 25.25 46 0.549
South Florida 56.00 103 0.544
Rutgers 41.25 76 0.543
NC State 55.25 102 0.542
Maryland 36.75 71 0.518
Purdue 59.25 115 0.515
Notre Dame 11.75 23 0.511
Kansas 52.50 105 0.500
Utah 35.25 75 0.470
Kentucky 51.00 109 0.468
TCU 34.75 79 0.440
West Virginia 36.75 88 0.418
Georgia 11.00 30 0.367
Arkansas 33.50 93 0.360
Virginia 36.75 106 0.347
USC 6.50 20 0.325
Alabama 2.00 8 0.250
Michigan 13.25 57 0.232
Texas 8.00 36 0.222
California 20.75 112 0.185
Tennessee 15.00 83 0.181
Florida 5.25 81 0.065

Michigan State outperformed teams in this four year span, ending up ranked #2, while having recruiting classes that averaged 35th nationally.  Conversely, Florida consistently had good recruiting classes, but with a USA Today ranking of 81, they were the worst performing team in terms of talent.  Naturally, teams that do not “recruit well” will be higher on the list, such as Northern Illinois, Duke and Ball State because their success this season is beyond what would be expected from the recruiting classes.  Meanwhile, powerhouses like USC, THEM, and Alabama litter the bottom part of the list because their top ranked classes did not bring USA Today ranks that are equivalent.  Alabama averaged the second best class over the last four years to produce a team ranked 8th.  Note the number of SEC teams at the bottom of the list.  Also note that Vanderbilt was #31, getting a decent USA Today ranking out of modest recruiting classes.

A similar table can be constructed based on STAR ratings–this is the STAR index.  Rivals assigns star ratings to the recruits and then reports an “average” star rating.  For Penn State, that was 3.12.  For Alabama, that average star rating was 3.79.  So what I did was took the star rating ranks in order, such as this abbreviated list . . .

#1 USC (4.04)

#2 Alabama (3.79)

#3 Texas (3.73)

#4 Florida (3.69)

#5 Florida State (3.60)

#6 Auburn (3.58)

#6 LSU (3.58)

#6 Notre Dame (3.58)

#6 Ohio State (3.58)

#10 Georgia (3.49)

#28 Penn State (3.12)

#41 Vanderbilt (2.95)

So for the STAR INDEX, here is how teams fared the past four years compared to their USA Today Ranking on the field:

Rivals AVG STARS (2010-2013) USA Today Rank Star Index
Michigan State 3.07 2 14.000
South Carolina 3.23 4 5.750
UCF 2.74 11 5.273
Florida State 3.60 1 5.000
Missouri 3.12 6 4.000
Northern Illinois 2.23 25 3.680
Duke 2.55 22 3.136
Clemson 3.36 5 3.000
Fresno State 2.46 28 2.571
Baylor 3.00 13 2.462
Ball State 2.10 41 2.610
Utah State 2.22 37 2.514
Navy 2.09 43 2.465
Arizona State 2.90 19 2.316
Bowling Green 2.22 42 2.143
Louisville 3.00 15 2.000
Louisiana-Lafayette 2.22 44 2.000
Marshall 2.55 33 1.939
Auburn 3.58 3 1.667
East Carolina 2.43 40 1.700
Kansas State 2.78 29 1.621
Wisconsin 3.00 21 1.381
North Texas 2.23 55 1.473
Buffalo 2.07 65 1.477
Brigham Young 2.64 38 1.500
Oklahoma State 3.03 17 1.412
Rice 2.47 48 1.271
Oklahoma 3.47 7 1.286
Stanford 3.38 12 1.000
Louisiana-Monroe 2.10 74 1.216
Western Kentucky 2.29 60 1.200
Arkansas State 2.29 59 1.153
Oregon 3.40 9 1.111
Boise State 2.64 45 1.133
Arizona 2.90 32 1.125
Middle Tennessee 2.31 61 1.049
San Jose State 2.19 72 1.042
UNLV 2.23 69 1.014
Vanderbilt 2.95 27 1.000
Tulane 2.29 68 0.926
Iowa 2.94 31 0.935
San Diego State 2.46 58 0.931
Colorado State 2.38 64 0.906
Ohio 2.20 77 0.870
Troy 2.20 82 0.817
Cincinnati 2.73 51 0.843
Toledo 2.42 67 0.836
Central Michigan 2.18 87 0.759
Florida Atlantic 2.17 89 0.753
Houston 2.74 54 0.759
Akron 2.14 95 0.695
UCLA 3.39 14 0.714
Minnesota 2.78 52 0.712
Ohio State 3.58 10 0.700
Syracuse 2.51 70 0.671
Texas A and M 3.28 18 0.667
Army 1.89 108 0.593
Wyoming 2.22 92 0.620
Washington 3.15 24 0.625
Nevada 2.26 91 0.582
Boston College 2.72 63 0.603
Kent State 2.13 98 0.592
Texas Tech 2.95 39 0.564
Washington State 2.63 73 0.548
Massachusetts 1.76 120 0.475
UTEP 2.17 111 0.486
Oregon State 2.90 53 0.528
Eastern Michigan 2.13 116 0.457
Air Force 2.11 113 0.469
Georgia Tech 2.95 56 0.393
SMU 2.59 86 0.442
Indiana 2.71 78 0.449
Louisiana Tech 2.51 99 0.384
Idaho 2.21 123 0.382
New Mexico 2.32 104 0.404
Miami (OH) 2.18 124 0.371
New Mexico State 2.29 117 0.359
UAB 2.24 118 0.373
Nebraska 3.32 26 0.385
Connecticut 2.46 100 0.370
Wake Forest 2.77 85 0.365
Western Michigan 2.37 122 0.311
Tulsa 2.56 101 0.347
Northwestern 2.87 84 0.333
Mississippi State 3.03 47 0.340
Temple 2.24 110 0.327
Miami (FL) 3.25 34 0.353
Pittsburgh 2.94 62 0.323
Mississippi 3.26 35 0.314
LSU 3.58 16 0.313
FIU 2.43 119 0.244
Iowa State 2.67 96 0.281
North Carolina 3.01 50 0.260
Hawaii 2.29 114 0.246
Penn State 3.12 49 0.224
Memphis 2.43 107 0.243
Colorado 2.73 97 0.247
Illinois 2.73 94 0.245
Virginia Tech 3.19 46 0.217
Notre Dame 3.58 23 0.217
Southern Miss 2.64 121 0.174
Rutgers 2.95 76 0.171
Maryland 2.94 71 0.183
South Florida 2.89 103 0.146
Georgia 3.49 30 0.167
Purdue 2.78 115 0.139
Kansas 2.88 105 0.133
Utah 3.01 75 0.120
NC State 2.98 102 0.098
West Virginia 2.87 88 0.136
Alabama 3.79 8 0.250
TCU 3.05 79 0.089
Kentucky 2.92 109 0.083
Arkansas 3.01 93 0.075
Virginia 2.94 106 0.066
Michigan 3.41 57 0.070
USC 4.04 20 0.050
Texas 3.73 36 0.028
California 3.31 112 0.027
Tennessee 3.36 83 0.024
Florida 3.69 81 0.012

Once again, MSU led the field with a strong USA Today rank (low denominator) and a higher denominator (poor recruiting class compared to other powerhouses like USC and Ohio State.)  Vanderbilt out-performed Penn State in both recruiting classes and star indices, with Penn State on sanctions 2 of those years in the period and Franklin coaching Vandy for three of those four years.

Of course, all the variables are based on subjective rankings and do not take into account coaching changes, injuries, or BCS calculations.  But it still gives us an interesting way to look at how recruiting class rank translates into wins and losses.

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