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Pac-12 Football Recruiting Profiles: Data and Metrics Explanation

Welcome fellow data nerd

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Southern California vs Stanford John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a series that will be examining the 5-year football recruiting trends for every school in the Pac-12. Each article follows the same template with the same data set. In order to not repeat myself 12 times, this article will serve to explain what makes up the data set as well as any unfamiliar metrics and how they are calculated. If you have a question in one of the articles, check the section below to see if that answers it.

Explanation of the Data Used

All data comes from the 247 database for the five year period comprising the classes of 2014 to 2018. Players were included in the data set if they signed with a program straight from high school and had a composite rating of 0.82 or greater.

Some schools are less able to get credits to transfer and the evaluations aren’t always as accurate for JUCO prospects so I decided to leave them out. The 0.82 cutoff line was chosen because players below that line are much less likely to end up signing with a power conference school. The purpose is mostly to find out how well a team is recruiting and in general, recruits below a 0.82 rating are not highly in demand throughout the conference. Those players are fully capable of having an impact on the field but for the moment in this series we aren’t worrying about that component.

General Recruiting Statistics

Average Offer- This is the average (mean) of both the stars and the composite rating for all players in the data criteria who had an offer from the school.

Average Commit-This is the average (mean) of both the stars and the composite rating for all players in the data criteria who signed a letter of intent with the school.

Average # of Offers: This is the average (mean) number of offers that a school extended to players per year over the 5-year period.

Recruiting Style: The recruiting style comes from essentially graphing all Pac-12 schools with the number of offers on one axis and the average composite rating on the other. Depending upon where they fall on the spectrum, schools can receive the designation for offers of: Selective, Middle of the Road, or Spray and Pray. Schools can receive the designation for quality of: Barrel Scraper, Middle of the Road, or High Roller.

Recruiting Map Profile

Highest/Lowest Success States

The state success rate is attempting to measure how many more prospects a program signs from a given state compared to the proportion of their offers they give within that state. A state’s success rate is equal to the percent of commits from that state minus the percent of offers from that state. For example, let’s say a school offered 100 prospects and 50 were from California, 25 were from Oregon, and 25 from Washington. However, 5 from California signed, 5 from Oregon, and 10 from Washington.

50% of the offers came from California but only 25% of the signees did for a success rate of -25%.

25% of the offers came from Oregon and 25% of the signees did as well for a success rate of 0%.

25% of the offers came from Washington but 50% of the signees did for a success rate of +25%.

Non-Conference Rival and Big/Little Brother: There isn’t a strict criteria for determining which school gets selected in each category. Each one has to be among the leaders in combined commits that went to both schools. Washington State is going to lose almost all of their recruiting battles with Alabama but they’re rarely going up against one another. I first look at the 10 or so schools that have the highest combined total of players who ended up at one location or the other. Then the one with the lowest % is the big brother, the highest % is the big brother, and closest to 50% is the rival. By percentage I mean the percent of players who commit to one or the other that end up at the given Pac-12 school. For example, Arizona and Nebraska had 26 players with offers from both that went to either Arizona or Nebraska. 14 of 26 went to Arizona for a total of 53.85% which makes them rivals.

Conference Head-to-Head Recruiting Win %

A program’s H2H Recruiting Win % shows how often a prospect chooses that program over other Pac-12 programs. It is equal to the number of commitments from players with at least one other P12 offer divided by the number of offers given from players with at least one other P12 offer. Any total over 10% can be considered good, over 15% very good, and over 20% means one of the conference elites. Consequently, under 10% is bad and under 5% is reserved for the worst of the worst. Offering a large number of prospects naturally brings this ranking down since it can’t distinguish between a prospect you really wanted versus one who was given a token offer to keep in the school’s good graces that isn’t actually committable.

Weighted Conference Head-to-Head Recruiting Win %

This ratio is very similar to the H2H above. However, it is multiplied by the average number of other Pac-12 offers for commits to that school. So if a school has an above win % of 10% and their average commitment had offers from 2 other Pac-12 programs then their weighted total would be 20%. It adds in a degree of difficulty to distinguish from programs winning battles just against Oregon State (sorry Beavs) to winning against every other school in the conference.

Ranking worse in this category than the non-weighted total does not necessarily mean that a team is recruiting worse. It just means that they aren’t competing against other Pac-12 schools as often. If a program mostly recruits outside of the Pac-12 footprint then it lessens the chance that they’re going up against conference opponents.


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