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2010 Talent Analysis Part I- The Numbers

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Now that signing day 2010 is in the books chances are you are sitting there asking yourself what if anything you might possibly interest yourself in until the arrival of spring football. I’m in the same boat. But I have a little something for you that can easily kill what might otherwise have been a productive afternoon at the office.

Welcome to the 2010 National Talent Analysis!

Here is the deal with this. It is nerdery of the highest order but it brings forth a lot of discussion points. I have compiled two spreadsheets that average out the last five class rankings for every team in Division I a.k.a. FBS college football. The spreadsheet is designed to average out class rankings for each team, each year, and each conference. In doing it that way you can extrapolate a lot of different information and identify trends. That said like any pile of data it is not perfect as I simply compiled it from the free portion of the rivals site not taking into account attrition etc.

Regardless I feel like all of the averages paint a pretty good picture of what each program and conference have in terms of raw talent heading into 2010. As I digest this over the next few days I will do a series of posts somewhat similar to the ones I did last year which can be found HERE for those that might be interested.

So why two separate spreadsheets?

When I did this last year I originally just used straight numbers and did not weight the classes. Then a few months later I got curious about how the numbers would change if I did weight the classes. So I went back and did that just to see what would happen. For that purpose I used the following percentages for freshmen through 5th year players 10/18/27/27/18.

Those percentages are probably debatable but the bottom line is that the junior and senior classes will have the biggest impact followed by 5th years, sophomores and freshmen. In reality the averages don't change much when weighted but I still think it is interesting and if nothing else addresses whether or not weighting it really matters.

So below there will be links to two spreadsheets one that is not weighted and one that is not. I use the last 5 classes in both charts because pretty much every program these days utilizes 5th year players. For both charts I use the color coding below to identify programs that have what I consider to be Elite, Great or Good talent.

There are a total of 28 teams that average out to having Elite, Great or Good talent. The same 28 are on top in both versions of the spreadsheet with the only difference being that teams that are borderline Elite/Great or Great/Good might be slightly on opposite sides of the cutoff between the categories in the two different spreadsheets. The key is below as are links to the spreadsheets themselves.

Elite- 5 year class ranking average of 10 or less. Highlighted in green.
Great- 5 year class ranking between 10 and 20. Highlighted in yellow.
Good- 5 year class ranking between 20 and 30. Highlighted in blue.
Everyone Else- 5 year class rankings over 30. Not highlighted at all.

Spreadsheet- Talent Analysis 2010

Elite- 8 Teams
Great- 9 Teams
Good- 11 Teams

Spreadsheet- Talent Analysis 2010 (Weighted)

Elite- 7 Teams
Great- 8 Teams
Good- 13 Teams

After perusing the spreadsheets chances are you will come to several conclusions of your own. Some things really jump out at you and others take a little longer to surface. I suppose that is mostly due to who your team is and what in particular you are interested in. Regardless of what you might think about recruiting rankings, is it just coincidence that the last five BCS Champs all have Elite talent?

Why is it that the SEC is pretty far ahead of the Big 12, ACC and Pac-10 who are all pretty even? Being a Notre Dame fan something that jumps out at me is that Brian Kelly dominated the Big East for the last two years with a team that was the least talented of any program in that conference. So what will he do with a Notre Dame Roster that has a raw talent base that is Top 10 nationally in both spreadsheets? I will talk about all of those things and a whole lot more over the next several days as I pick through these.

Enjoy and as always feel free to leave a comment with your two cents as we go.