Decline of Pac-12 Recruiting: An Opportunity for CU

It was a national event.

The top player on the board in the Recruiting Class of 2021 found a home on July 4th. Five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau, from Eastside Catholic in Sammamish, Washington, announced his commitment to Ohio State live on CBS Sports. One of the few remaining uncommitted prospects in the 2021 class, Tuimoloau is ranked No. 1 overall by 247Sports experts and No. 3 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Tuimoloau’s final four came down to Ohio State, Oregon, USC, and home state Washington. For those of you scoring at home, Tuimoluau’s choices came down to three Pac-12 schools … and a team competing for a national championship.

Losing one of the top players in the nation to the Big Ten, a player who grew up with the Huskies/Ducks rivalry, is not a good look for the conference.

But it’s not as if the talent drain from the west coast is a new problem.

One of the most anticipated non-conference games of the 2021 season will pit Clemson against Georgia. The starting quarterback for Clemson will be freshman D.J. Uiagalelei, who hails from Inland Empire, California. Georgia will counter with junior J.T. Daniels, who (eventually, after an initial stop at USC) found his way to Athens, Georgia, from Irvine, California.

If Georgia can find a way to get to the SEC title game, and a shot at a college football playoff, they will likely face off against perennial title contender Alabama, with sophomore Bryce Young from Pasadena calling signals.

Oh, and Ohio State will have freshman C.J. Shrout (from Rancho Cucamonga, California) under center, unless Shrout is beaten out for the starting job by freshman J.P. Andrade, who played his high school ball at La Verne, California.

That’s five quarterbacks from four of top College Football Playoff contenders, all lead by quarterbacks who grew up playing football in California.

This just in … That’s not a particularly good look for the Conference of Champions.

And the talent drain has been going on for some time.

There used to be a time where USC had its pick of the litter in California; that is no longer the case with most elite teams recruiting nationally. Not only are the top recruits in California not choosing USC, but they are leaving the Pac-12 footprint entirely. Since 2010, the Pac-12 has lost at least one top-five recruit from California every year save one (2011).

Top players leaving California since 2010:

  • 2010: Ronald Powel, Josh Shaw (Florida)
  • 2012: Deontay Greenburry (Houston)
  • 2013: Max Redfield (Notre Dame)
  • 2014: Joe Mixon (Oklahoma)
  • 2015: Khalil McKenzie (Tennessee)
  • 2016: Jonah Williams (Alabama), Caleb Kelly (Oklahoma)
  • 2017: Najee Harris (Alabama), Wyatt Davis (Ohio State)
  • 2018: Jalen Lars-Woobey (Florida State)
  • 2019: Bru McCoy (Texas)
  • 2020: Bryce Young (Alabama), DJ Uiagalelei (Clemson), CJ Stroud (Ohio State)

The year 2020 was the worst, with the Pac-12 losing three of the top five high school players in the state. Young (the state’s top prospect), Uiagalelei and Stroud all left Pac-12 country.

In the span of two recruiting cycles (2016-17), Alabama grabbed three elite prospects from the Pac-12 recruiting footprint  in Jonah Williams, Tua Tagovailoa and Najee Harris.

In 2019, half of the top-10 players in California signed with programs outside the Pac-12.

In the 2020 cycle, six of the top-eight prospects in the conference footprint — and five of the top six in Arizona alone — opted for programs in other Power Five conferences.

How did we get here? Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News took a stab:

There isn’t a single answer.

The proliferation of social media undoubtedly has played a role. FaceTime, in particular, makes third-and-long distance feel like second-and-short for parents and sons separated by multiple time zones.

The Pac-12’s competitive backslide — the sporadic churn of elite teams — has prompted the top talents to view blue bloods elsewhere as the quickest path to the College Football Playoff and NFL Draft.

And don’t discount the sheer effort put forth by marauders in the SEC, Big 12, ACC and Big Ten, which are committing unprecedented resources to draining a Pac-12 talent pool that extends from southern Orange County to Riverside County to the High Desert to the western edge of the San Fernando Valley.

“This is easily the most aggressive out-of-region schools have been in recruiting Southern California,” said Greg Biggins, a west coast recruiting analyst for 247sports.

“They see that USC and UCLA are down, and it’s like a feeding frenzy.

“Players have no problem leaving home if they think they can play on the big stage and develop and get drafted high. They think they have a better chance of that at Alabama, LSU and Ohio State then they do by staying in the west.”

What does it mean for CU?

It’s an opportunity.

Hate to say it, but the last decade was series of blown chances for the University of Colorado to stake out a claim in the west. Despite all of their advantages, USC and Oregon have not been elite teams. Phil Knight has spent hundreds of millions propping up what had been a backwater program in Eugene, and while Nike U can be counted on for ten wins a season (something it couldn’t produce even one time in the 20th century), there hasn’t been an appearance by the Ducks on the national stage since the inaugural 2014 College Football Playoff season.

Against its northwest rivals (Washington, Oregon State, and Washington State), the Ducks are a pedestrian 12-8 in the CFP era. In recruiting the region, Oregon hasn’t pulled a 4- or 5-star prospect (according to the 247Sports Composite) out of Washington since Timberline’s Jonathan Stewart in 2005. That’s 15 classes (and counting).

A loss on the road to Ohio State on September 11th, and the Ducks will be swimming upstream for a shot at the playoffs the remainder of the season.

USC?

No one does less with more than does the Trojans. Candidly, the Pac-12 South has been, in the decade since its formation, one of the weakest divisions in Power Five football:

  • UCLA has been down for what seems like forever (10-21 under guru Chip Kelly; the last winning season in Westwood was in 2015);
  • Arizona State is annually picked as an up-and-comer which never seems to actually win anything (ASU last won a conference championship as a member of the Pac-10 in 2007; the Sun Devils’ only Pac-12 South title came in 2013);
  • Arizona? Please. The Wildcats have won exactly one conference championship as a member of the Pac-8, -10, -12, and that was in 1993;
  • Utah, the Mountain West conference over-achiever, has been to the Pac-12 title game twice, losing both times; and
  • Colorado, with its one Pac-12 South title (2016), has had no other division titles since 2005, and no conference championships since 2001.

No reason on the planet that USC shouldn’t be a ten-time division champion in the ten years the Pac-12 South has existed.

And yet, the Trojans languish.

And it’s not as if USC and Oregon, despite the talent drain of stars to other Power Five conferences, aren’t picking up recruits.

According to West Coast Football … here are the number of four- and five-star recruits on Pac-12 rosters for the 2021 season:

  • 1. Oregon – 49
  • 2. USC – 46
  • 3. Washington – 40
  • 4. Arizona State – 23
  • 4. Stanford – 23
  • 6. UCLA – 21
  • 7. Utah – 19
  • 8. California – 11
  • 9. Colorado – 7
  • 9. Oregon State – 7
  • 11. Arizona – 3
  • 12. Washington State – 2

So, over half of the rosters at USC and Oregon are four- and five-star recruits. At best, CU can put three or four elite players on the field at any one time, while the Trojans and Ducks almost literally go two-deep at every position with blue chip recruits.

And yet neither Oregon nor USC has made a name for themselves in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014).

With the loss of the creme de la creme of the recruits (especially quarterbacks) leaving the western time zones for opportunities elsewhere, the top teams in the Pac-12 have been brought down just a notch.

The opportunity is there for Colorado – with just a slight up tick in recruiting (or savvy use of the Transfer Portal) – to narrow the gap even more.

It’s all there for the taking …

—–

46 Replies to “Decline of Pac-12 Recruiting: An Opportunity for CU”

    1. But the 2020 coaching page says he is general manager

      so there is that.. Recruiting coordinator lasted about a week

      buffs

    1. One could have a better understanding of what is going on in the coaching world by perhaps investigating and understanding his own supposed alma mater and favorite teams’ own football coaching staff rather than linking some espn story that does a “self-own” which truly represents the style of the poster.

      See……………….BOB LOPEZ

      Bowl-Bound-Buffs

      1. Exactly. Bob Lopez. And, when did the CU recruiting operation start to get ramped up? It was before Chiaverini came on board. He is a good recruiter. But it’s as much about the recruiting operation, as anything. And, as I’ve said, that’s another reason I like what I see from Dorrell. His NFL background is well suited for the new era of college football free agency, and so far the early returns are positive.

        Good effort though. Really.

        Go Buffs.

          1. Dude. You’re hilarious. Your runway’s out, so you’re back to the “you have no clue” argument. Which is expected. Of course Lopez was hired by Karl. He was brought in as Director of Player Personnel. They worked together previously. That is the position Darian held a long time ago. But the position and the foundation for the expansion of the recruiting staff were in place long before Karl. It took another massive step forward in 2013 through 2019. Karl, to his credit, is working to expand it further, because he realizes you can’t win if you’re outmatched athletically on the field. (and mentally, part of being a successful athlete as well; I think Yogi Berra was credited for saying something like half of this game is 90% mental).

            Go Buffs

          2. And for the heck of it, I went and looked at recruiting people noted on coaching staffs. Some were half time therefore it looks:
            2014 2
            2015 1.5
            2016 2.5
            2017 1.5
            2018 4.5
            2019 4.5
            2020 5
            2021 5.5

            So staff recruiting build up started in WacMac’s 11 game season. Hard to give him credit for cranking up recruiting but you go ahead homeboy

            Buffs

            NOTE: Every year when you go look at the football rosters, there is a button to click that takes you to that years coaching staff. Interesting review actually. They list all the coaches and assistants, interns etc etc starting with the head coach.
            Note 2: FOR 2018 THERE IS NO HEAD COACH LISTED.

          3. I’m glad you highlighted the growth in recruiting staff. And the best thing about the current recruiting staff? There are more people involved than at any time in CU history (and they’re not all volunteers). And, on top of that, there’s a guy who’s been involved in a lot of draft boards over the last dozen years, seeing how teams build rosters, as the head coach. That cannot hurt, since we now have free agency in college sports.

            Gotta get the players who can make the plays. Karl knows that.

            Go Buffs

          4. Yur out of touch.

            He was brought in as general manager
            They have a Director of player personnel. Chandler Dorrell

            Runway?……………….You never got out of the hanger pretending you knew what was going on.

            Sheesh again

            Bowl Bound Buffs

          5. I had to highlight it to show your misinformation about it starting in 2013 as well as your lack of knowledge about the structure of the coaching staff/recruiting and the fact that Bob Lopez was not hired into the recruiting coordinator position as you stated.

            Damn your wacmac love is undeniable.

            Buffs.

            No head coach listed for 2018. That is a true statement. Previous 4 years could be listed that way as well.

            So there is that?

          6. No. The general manager title is new as of months ago. But I am never one to quibble about titles. Try again.

            Go Buffs

  1. Ok, so here’s something else we all know, the saying lies, damn lies, and statistics. And, as EP pointed out, most statistics can be used to form a variety of diverging opinions. That being the case, then, it’s about the logic train from statistic to opinion.

    And, in the case of Jimmys and Joes vs. X’s and O’s, there’s never going to be definitive proof one way or another, despite what the Berliner tries to foist out there. The reality is, they both matter, but our topic continues to be, which matters more?

    I’ll take our guy’s arguments and statistics point by point:

    1) He concludes using the team talent composite from 247sports, for 2020 only: “Looking at the above we can conclude, based on getting to the playoffs certainly depends on
    Coaching.”

    He lists Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Texas and LSU as the top six teams based on those composite talent rankings.

    And who was in the 2021 playoffs? Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Clemson. Three of the four teams in the playoffs are the top 2, 3, and 4th in composite team talent, apparently. So, the outliers were then Georgia (#1), and Notre Dame (#8). We could spin into the tangents of why those are the outliers, but let’s save that for another thread. So apparently three of the four teams in the playoffs had the best players. And it’s coaching that got them there?

    But, beyond that, it’s not about the rankings from rivals nor 247. It’s about the players getting into the NFL.

    2) He goes on to list the rankings of the Pac 12 teams in the same 247 talent composite. Again, with the exception of some anomalies, Wazzu two years ago, the ongoing mediocrity of UCLA, in general the teams with more talent – based on that talent composite from the same recruiting services I think are basically garbage – who tops the list? The same teams that are consistently atop the Pac 12. Oregon, USC, UW, Stanford, etc.

    Yet, when you look at why say UT or Stanford are generally outperforming their “talent composite” from 247, could it be that they are putting more players into the NFL? I would argue, that’s exactly correct. And why then, was UO lower on the NFL list? Playing style. They – until Cristobal – were spread oriented, smaller, faster guys. That’s less the NFL model.

    That seems to be exactly what his next point actually illustrates. He goes into NFL draft picks within the Pac 12 covering the 2017 to 2021 drafts (so the 2016 to 2020 playing seasons).

    3) He then claims: “Correlation with college wins and nfl draftees is spotty at best. “ and lists the Pac 12 draftees since 2012.

    Yet, who tops the list? The teams who won a lot of games in that time frame: Stanford, USC, UCLA – less so, but Mora had a couple good years – Oregon, UW, UT, etc.

    4) And now, it would also be interesting to look and see when teams won, and lost, and who was placed into the draft. Fortunately, the Berliner went here with that, using a post from the Dawgpound that I won’t recap, but the premise was, Stanford had a lot of draftees after a mediocre season, and UT had a “deep 2017 draft class” after going 5-7. So, let’s look at that.

    The poster on dawgpound didn’t specifically say what Stanford season they were referencing, other than it was “since 2011” but looking here: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/schools/stanford/drafted.htm it appears they had six draft picks in 2014, six in 2015 and five in the 2016 draft. They had fewer than those in the years prior and since. So we then look at their win/loss here: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/stanford/index.html and we see that they went 8-5 in 2014, so presumably that was their “mediocre” year, after which they put six guys into the draft. Ok. Yeah, I see. No correlation there. They lead up to that “mediocre” year, with two eleven and two twelve win seasons. And followed it with 12 and 10 win seasons. Saaayyy whaaaat?

    Now, let’s look at the Utah example: They had a deep 2017 draft class, that included 8 players drafted, which is exceptional. That followed the 2016 season, where they went 9-4. Again, what? No correlation? To quote the berliner, mein gott.

    And again, when wrote my J&J vs. XOs piece, I said something like “and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Whittingham and UT on the top of the NFL draftees list” and sure enough, VK proved that to be true, as well.

    I love it when that guy proves my point for me.

    Now, it’s fair to ask the question: Do the teams w/ the most NFL draftees find or make those guys? I say they find them, and “help” make them. But ultimately, the player, the person has to have the skills, mental and physical, and the drive to get there. Yes, coaching or managing people can help, but to use the hyperbolic example again, ain’t Nick Saban turning me into an all conference DB.

    It’s also fair to wonder how/why so many unrated, or two and three star guys get into the NFL? Well, if it were coaching, wouldn’t the guys who got them to the NFL not be coaching at Rice, or Eastern Michigan Central State? And they’d be at the top paying gigs? Yes. Yes they would. But rather, they found those guys. And helped them get to the next level, but they didn’t necessarily “coach” them to the next level.

    Here’s to hoping Karl can find the guys who can get there. So far? I think he’s doing a decent job on that front. This year and next will be interesting to see them hit the field.

    Go Buffs.

    1. I have to append this. It appears the dawgpound poster may have done what I have done, and transposed something. UT went 7-6 in 2017, so presumably had a strong 2018 draft class? Nope. One guy. So, not sure that dawgpounder was that on the ball.

      But, I do go to that forum to read their stuff from time to time, because I think it’s funny. And, some of them are pretty good.

      But maybe not that guy. That’s why I generally try to post my actual sources. I’m not infallible, but my points and opinions are usually at least well constructed. Usually…

      Go Buffs

      1. When comments get too long, the system stops taking new comments.
        If you have long comments, send them to me as essays, and I’ll get them posted.

        Thanks,
        The Management

        1. Hey man, if that was for me, it posted fine. I appended because I hadn’t completely fact checked the anonymous poster on the uw dawg pound site that the Berliner quoted, until after my first post. So site working. As far as I know. Thanks again for the forum.

          Go Buffs

          1. It might just be me, but the “Decline” heading is the only one which does not have a “comments” link at the top of the page. I’ve only found that to happen when the comments section has gotten too long. Don’t mind the comments – and I appreciate the effort which goes into creating them – but if they get long enough to post, I’d prefer to post them for all to find more easily.

      2. If I had to pick a ratio to what drives winning college football, I’d go at least 75% players 25% being coaching…………………… “It’s not about the stars of the player coming into the program, it’s about if they’re NFL caliber when they leave – at least to win a lot of games.”

        Well what is it. You say they are equal but here you say, which started this whole thing. Dancing and your above is more dancing babble

        and
        “It’s not about the stars of the player coming into the program, it’s about if they’re NFL caliber when they leave – at least to win a lot of games.”

        “So apparently three of the four teams in the playoffs had the best players. And it’s coaching that got them there?”?? Yup. The best coaches go the player there and took it from there. Yup looking at the teams with all the 4 and 5 stars it would be reasonable that the teams with the best coaches win more, often and bigger. It’s the bell curve. It’s how it works. Go look at the list. The best coaches get the best players. And the best of the best coaches beat those other coaches. Sheesh.

        Yur dancing around your original premises as usual. It’s not what you started with in your original post.

        You know it we all know it. It’s the change the subject.

        The facts remain.
        4 and 5 stars give you a chance to have a good team.
        Having a good coach gives you a chance to be a great team.

        And other than the top 20 teams that put a large majority in the pros because the mostly have good coaches the ones who do not don’t get it done.

        Nfl draftees are not the measure of the success of the college program but them helping them win is. That is two different things.

        Go Buffs.

        1. Dude. When you say “Nfl draftees are not the measure of the success of the college program but them helping them win is. That is two different things.”

          You’re exactly right. The measure of success is winning games. Which the kids with NFL talent deliver. Much more than coaching.

          Wow.

          The ESPN story I posted goes into much greater detail about the correlation of talented kids winning games. It’s the Jimmys and Joes more than the X’s and O’s. How’s ol’ Billy doing w/out Brady? How’s McCarthy doing without Rogers? And those guys, in general, have way more talent and a closer level to their competition, than anyone in college football (except maybe the teams who put 12 dudes in the NFL year in and year out).

          Again, we’ll have even more case studies to point to with the coaching carousel, and where people with various levels of success at their prior gigs landed.

          You’re classic.

          Go Buffs

          1. I am a classic.

            You started the discussion about college.
            You couldn’t make sense of your
            “25% coaching and 75% players
            So
            you switched to the NFl

            That is you.

            Buffs

          2. What? I’m still talking about college. I’m talking about how having NFL caliber players IN college is what leads to winning programs.

            Your opinion is that it’s the coaches that make them NFL caliber players. Mine is that they usually find, rather than make them.

            If you want to talk about how “finding” them is also part of coaching, we can do that.

            Dude. You truly are classic.

            Go Buffs

          3. As to the NFL coaches I listed who are now not looking quite as good/genius like after their star players left (or they left them)? Those are what we call case studies. I already listed a number of college head coaching case studies. I also listed a number of new ones we can watch unfold right before our eyes.

            Keep on keepin’ on, my brother.

            Go Buffs

        2. Disco earache

          Your taking my line
          I said they have to find em
          Grow em
          and
          Teach em the college game.

          Damn are you a banker?

          Buffs

          I am gonna go back and put all your posts together in order and see what goulash looks like. You know time stamp em etc and watch if boil

      3. UCLA
        play year Record draft year draftees
        2011 6-8 2012 0
        2012 9-5 2013 4
        2013 10-3 2014 5
        2014 10-3 2015 3
        2015 8-5 2016 8
        2016 4-8 2017 5
        2017 6-7 2018 5
        2018 3-9 2019 1
        2019 4-8 2020 3

    2. interesting. Seems pretty flat. Good bar talk eh?

      Usc
      play year Record draft year draftees

      2011 10-2 2012 3
      2012 7-6 2013 3
      2013 10–4 2014 3
      2014 9-4 2015 6
      2015 8-6 2016 4
      2016 10-3 2017 5
      2017 11-3 2018 4
      2018 5-7 2019 4
      2019 8-5 2020 2

    3. One could have a better understanding of what is going on in the coaching world by perhaps investigating and understanding his own supposed alma mater and favorite teams’ own football coaching staff rather than linking some espn story that does a “self-own” which truly represents the style of the poster.

      See……………….BOB LOPEZ

      Yes, coaching or managing people can help, but to use the hyperbolic example again, ain’t Nick Saban turning me into an all conference DB.

      Correct, Saban ain’t signing you let alone recruiting you.

      Why use absurd examples? Sheesh.

      Buffs

  2. “If I had to pick a ratio to what drives winning college football, I’d go at least 75% players 25% being coaching…………………… “It’s not about the stars of the player coming into the program, it’s about if they’re NFL caliber when they leave – at least to win a lot of games.”
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    We can all agree that the distribution of 4 and 5 star recruits resembles a normal bell curve.

    2020 College Football Team Talent Composite from 247 sports
    Top 10

    Team 5-stars 4-stars 3-stars
    Georgia 16 51 18
    Alabama 12 58 13
    Ohio State 14 52 19
    Clemson 11 35 32
    Texas 4 49 30
    LSU 7 34 25
    Florida 4 44 34
    Notre Dame 2 44 39
    Oklahoma 5 45 30
    USC 5 33 40
    And it flows downward with all the big names to the little names
    Looking at the above we can conclude, based on getting to the playoffs certainly depends on
    Coaching.

    And for 2021 in the pac as shown by Stuart
    And we can all agree that 25% of those are in each of the 4 classes. (redshirts may skew this a bit)

    • 1. Oregon – 49
    • 2. USC – 46
    • 3. Washington – 40
    • 4. Arizona State – 23
    • 4. Stanford – 23
    • 6. UCLA – 21
    • 7. Utah – 19
    • 8. California – 11
    • 9. Colorado – 7
    • 9. Oregon State – 7
    • 11. Arizona – 3
    • 12. Washington State – 2
    Now how about getting players to the NFL? Is that the measure for winning college football games??

    NFL Draft Picks Over the Past 5 Drafts (2017-2021):

    1. Washington – 24
    2. Utah – 21
    3. USC – 20
    4. Stanford – 18
    5. UCLA – 16
    6. Oregon – 15
    7. Colorado – 10
    8. ASU – 9
    8. Cal – 9
    10. OSU – 7
    11. WSU – 6
    12. Arizona – 4

    The average of 4 and 5 stars getting to the nfl is at the max 50% per team and with most a lot less. I ran the numbers but the damn computer lost em. Not my fault.
    Having a great coach and getting the best players and developing them is critical But them getting to the NFL is not the measure. (Now at the elite schools which have 60% plus of these players and a great coach there will be more of these types that get to the nfl. Again the bell curve.

    And a deeper look
    Pac-12 Leaderboard For Most Draft Picks Since 2012
    1. Stanford – 42
    2. USC – 40
    3. UCLA – 36
    4. Oregon – 35
    4. Washington – 35
    6. Utah – 31
    7. California – 25
    8. Arizona State – 20
    9. Oregon State – 18
    10. Colorado – 15
    11. Washington State – 12
    12. Arizona – 11

    Correlation with college wins and nfl draftees is spotty at best. Coaching makes the difference at the elite level and repeats itself in the pac 12. Remember coaching is getting the players. Teaching the players and giving them the tools to win.

    It certainly is a combination of all aspects of the game but to blurt out that only 25% is coaching is well……………………….you decide.

    Anyway, Buffalo up.

    Note: This is pretty much spare time work. Gonna do some more.

    Extra From the Dawg pound. Nice work @aberg77
    “I mentioned in the introduction that there seems to be a curious relationship between team success and draft status. While you might expect to see the top teams send the most players to the NFL, that is not always the case. Stanford has been among the Pac-12 elite over the last decade, and that success has translated into a large number of players drafted to the NFL.
    On the other hand, Oregon has been about as good as Stanford over that period of time, but they are squarely in the middle of the conference in NFL draft output. Part of the difference is Oregon’s style of play–the up-tempo, no-huddle offense is generally considered less “pro-style” than Stanford’s QB-under-center approach. Still, plenty of Oregon offensive players have gone to the NFL, both on the line and at skill positions.
    One of the strangest phenomena is the fact that several of the best draft classes came from teams that finished in the middle of the standings that year. Stanford has had many great seasons and great players since 2011, but somehow the very best draft class came from a mediocre season. Likewise, the deep 2017 Utah draft class produced only a 5-4 record in the Pac-12 and a trip to the prestigious Foster Farms Bowl.
    In the end, a lot goes into a successful college football season. Talent is a must, but the coaching staff has to develop that talent to play as a team and prepare them for individual opponents. Moreover, the elements that make a player a pro prospect are not always the same traits that translate into collegiate wins. It’s great to have alumni in the pros, but it is probably more of an entertaining frivolity than a material barometer of program success.”

    1. More Bell curve stuff
      Here is a breakdown of college programs and the number of 5-star recruits they have signed (or are scheduled to sign in 2021) since 2011 and the home states where those recruits played high school football.

      Alabama — 44
      Florida (13), Alabama (10), Texas (4), California (4), Virginia (2), New Jersey (2), Maryland (2), Louisiana (2), Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Hawaii, Georgia

      Georgia — 34
      Georgia (17), Florida (6), North Carolina (2), Alabama (2), Washington, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, Nevada, Mississippi, Arizona

      Ohio State — 26
      Ohio (6), Texas (5), Florida (5), Pennsylvania (3), Georgia (3), Washington, Virginia, Maryland, California

      Clemson — 20
      Georgia (5), North Carolina (4), Florida (4), Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, Indiana, Connecticut, California

      USC — 19
      California (12), Florida (2), Washington, Utah, Nevada, Georgia, Delaware

      Florida State — 19
      Florida (8), Virginia (3), Texas (2), Alabama (2), Tennessee, Mississippi, Maryland, District of Columbia

      LSU — 19
      Louisiana (11),Texas (3),Florida (2), Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia
      Texas A&M — 14
      Texas (11),Arizona (2), Louisiana

      Texas — 10
      Texas (8), California, Arizona

      Florida — 10
      Florida (7), North Carolina (2), District of Columbia

      Auburn — 10
      Georgia (4), Alabama (3), Texas (1), Florida (1), District of Columbia

      Mississippi — 9
      Mississippi (4), Florida (2), Texas (1), Illinois (1), Georgia

      Oregon — 8
      California (4), Utah (1), Oregon (1), Missouri (1), Hawaii

      Oklahoma — 8
      Texas (2), California (2), Oklahoma (1), Georgia (1), District of Columbia (1), Arizona

      Michigan — 8
      New Jersey (2), Georgia (2), Virginia (1), Oklahoma (1), Michigan (1), Florida

      UCLA — 8
      California (7), Texas

      Miami — 6
      Florida (6)

      Stanford — 6
      Texas (2), Washington (1), Georgia (1), California (1), Arizona

      Penn State — 6
      Virginia (3), Pennsylvania (2), New Jersey

      Tennessee — 5
      Tennessee (2), West Virginia (1), Georgia (1), California

      Notre Dame — 5
      Indiana (2), Ohio (1), Kentucky (1), California

      Washington — 3
      Washington (2), California

      Maryland — 3
      Maryland (2), District of Columbia

      Wisconsin–Madison — 2
      Pennsylvania, Michigan

      Virginia — 2
      Virginia (2)

      South Carolina — 2
      South Carolina (2)

      University of Missouri — 2
      Illinois, Missouri

      North Carolina — 2
      Virginia , North Carolina

      Mississippi State — 2
      Mississippi (2)

      Michigan State — 2
      Mississippi, Michigan

      Baylor — 2
      Texas (2)

      Virginia Tech — 1
      Maryland

      Iowa — 1
      Illinois

      Houston — 1
      Texas

      California — 1
      Georgia

      Arkansas — 1
      Arkansas

      Pitts — 1
      Pennsylvania

      TCU — 1
      Texas

      Rutgers — 1
      New Jersey

      Oregon State — 1
      Oregon

  3. Coachng vs the players.

    NFL Draft Picks Over the Past 5 Drafts (2017-2021): Pac 12

    1. Washington – 24
    2. Utah – 21
    3. USC – 20
    4. Stanford – 18
    5. UCLA – 16
    6. Oregon – 15
    7. Colorado – 10
    8. ASU – 9
    8. Cal – 9
    10. OSU – 7
    11. WSU – 6
    12. Arizona – 4

    compare to 4 and 5 stars on the team. Assume 25% per class

    On a per year basis the teams with lots of 4/5 star aren’t even getting half of their players to the nfl.

    I’m gonna run the numbers.

    Should be interesting.

    If coaching is only 25%, and it’s the players, why do less than 50%
    4 and 5 stars get to the nfl.

    Buffs

    1. Because the recruiting services and star ratings are largely crap. Now, the nfl players and winning or not, is an interesting conversation.

      I’ll try to spend some time on that piece and get back to you.

      Go Buffs

      1. So only half the 4 and 5 stars are really rated correctly then?
        Sheesh,

        Well that must follow through to the three stars too and the two stars as well.

        Okay then.

        Buffs.

        Note: Other than the top teams with the great coaches, getting players into the NFL is just a bar talking fun time. Seriously

        Note 2: Make sure you look at all the posts. Lotta info to digest.

      2. gee cant wait till you get back
        in 2018 there were just as many 2 stars drafted as 5 stars (19 each). 70 4 stars, 106 three stars and 42 kids that werent even ranked coming out of high school.

        1. 19 each of two stars and 5 stars. Ok. But how many 5stars are in a given class? 25? How many two stars… 2000? So 19 of each appears to be a misleading statistic.

          1. All statistics are misleading in my book. There are too many variables and the biggest one is the coaching they receive out of high school. When you are 18 years old you are basically a blank slate when it coming to a D1 school. I know the high school game has improved dramatically since the dim bulb coach/gym teachers I played for but its still a long ways off from D1. At 18 a lot of kids also havent matured physically.
            The best stat, using the word best loosely, in my mind is the one where Utah has had the second most draft picks in the PAC

        2. So you think he is gonna
          “Circle Back”??

          Welp, he started this discussion on July 10 (see below) again with the premises of:


          To win you must be getting the 4 and 5 star recruits (At the highest levels….true kinda

          To win, you must be putting players in the nfl.

          To win, coaches matter 25% and players 75
          ^
          |
          |
          My friend calls BS……………….Me too

          Data is the Destroyer

          Go mighty you mighty Buffalo…………………camp in what…………?? 2 weeks.

          Note: HCKD……………..

          Love is lovelier the second time around
          Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground
          It’s that second time you hear your love song sung
          Makes you think perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young
          Love’s more comfortable the second time you fall
          Like a friendly home the second time you call
          Who can say what led us to this miracle we’ve found?
          There are those who’ll bet love comes but once and yet
          I’m oh so glad we met the second time around
          Who can say what led us to this miracle we’ve found
          There are those who’ll bet love comes but once and yet
          I’m very glad we met the second time around

          1. Of course I will. But busy times. Friends don’t let friends pay more than 3%.

            Glad you guys are fretting, and anxiously awaiting my reply. You and ep, at least.

            Go Buffs

  4. This is another interesting conversation. Why hasn’t CU been able to recruit at the level it did in the heyday? What changed? My guess is, they stopped, or at least drastically reduced the “benefits” players could get, relative to other programs – of course along w/ the saga and ensuing self-imposed restrictions of the early 2000s.

    Now, as Rick pointed out, CU offers volumes of legitimate benefits to their students and student athletes. It’s whether the recruits and their parents perceive them the same way.

    To me, if an athlete wants to compete at the highest level, but also realizes their sport – whatever it may be – is a fraction of their life, CU – and the Pac 12 in general – offer numerous advantages to the other conferences.

    But, if it’s all about the dream of the NFL in football? CU is hasn’t been known as an NFL factory for a long time.

    And in reading about the star ratings Stu highlighted among the Pac 12 rosters, I was thinking, ok, so how many of those are actually in the two deep? We all know the recruiting services are flawed. We also agree that coaches can, and do, find and develop overlooked players (overlooked by the recruiting services). It’s not about the stars of the player coming into the program, it’s about if they’re NFL caliber when they leave – at least to win a lot of games.

    We probably also agree that, just based on the law of averages, the more higher rated kids you get, the better the odds are they’ll perform to their expectations, based on their ratings. And therein lies the crux of the issue for CU, as highlighted by Stu’s #s of 4 and 5-star recruits on a roster.

    As to “coaching up” underrated players? Yes, that happens. But, you could not turn me into an all conference DB. More often, the “coaching up” is finding an over looked, but physically and mentally gifted, athlete who also has the drive to work and be the best player they can be. Coaching helps in finding and developing that athlete, no doubt. But again, all the drive and smarts and coaching up in the world wasn’t going to make me an all conference DB.

    If I had to pick a ratio to what drives winning college football, I’d go at least 75% players 25% being coaching. We’ll have a few more active experiments to watch over the next couple years on that front w/ Karl, Mike Leach, Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin, probably among others. Jimmy Lake. Brian Harsin. To add a couple more. Oh, Gus Malzahn. Case studies are everywhere.

    And, on that final note, I would bet that Kyle Wittingham has gotten among the top #s of players into the NFL relative to Pac 12 teams, both before and since joining the Pac 12, which is why his program has been very consistent and steady. Did he find or make those NFL players? That’s open for debate. The reality is a bit of both, but I lean towards finding them. Then helping them get where they want to be. And, it may not hurt that they have a great Polynesian pipeline, and a lot of their players are 21-23+yrs old vs, 18-20, b/c of their missionary work.

    Go Buffs

  5. so the Pac 12 is just a larger version of Colorado where the Buffs hardly ever land one of the top 5 recruits
    However
    Its hard to feel sorry for the three PAC teams that can go two deep on the depth chart, on both sides of the ball without putting in a 3 star.
    Maybe one of those 3 teams should fire their HC and hire Whittingham

  6. So that last chart surprised me a bit and then emphasized so much what I have felt for a long time. Yes talent is important. But the ability to develop what you have is more important. I look at what Dorrell did last year and what his staff did with the players in nearly the worst possible situation and I believe it was truly amazing. He takes a Qb, that was a safety and develops him into a guy who led us to 4 victories, took a running back who was a total unknown and combined it with an unknown line and dominated opposing defensive lines. The defense was adequate but we saw real growth out of our corners, we saw wells develop into an elite backer…. I gotta say, I am really excited for this. I am betting the over easy, and I will be saving my vacation time for the inevitable bowl trip.

    1. Right on, I’ve been in that same vibe, especially the “nearly the worst possible situation and I believe it was truly amazing.”

      One could say, a one in a hundred years type situation, and they did way better than anyone thought they could. The excuses were already coming out of the mouths of the pundits regarding the timing of his arrival, but not Dorrell.

      Dorrell just kept adjusting to the situation at hand not letting anyone in the program make excuses for the hand that CU was dealt, he just dealt with it!

      And that vibe your referring to is why I think the Buffs could do better than any of those guys will admit… at least not in writing, not while they are trying to satisfy their real readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.