A fantastic tidbit from our friends at Football Study Hall.
Take a look at the chart. It's a four year average of the best ranked recruiting schools measured against final poll ranking since 2005. The distance between the two is the gap of your underachievement.
Recruiting still matters, of course:
In the last six years, 40 of 60 teams who began the season with a Top 10 ranking in my Weighted Four-Year Recruiting Average measure (derived using Rivals recruiting points and more heavily weighting the classes from 2-4 years ago, since those are the classes most likely to be providing most of a team's starters), played at a Top 20 level overall.
- 2010 Texas is the 3rd most underachieving team in college football over the past six years.
- Miami, Florida St, Michigan are a trail of tears.
- Substantial overachievement in 2005, 2008, 2009. AKA Vince Young and Colt McCoy become upper classmen.
- Georgia fans are shockingly patient creatures for SEC fans.
- Do name brand schools get a recruiting ranking bump?
- Michigan = name brand with overrated classes experiencing complacency and decay replaced by new coach with new system that doesn't fit culture. Texas fans from 1985-1997 nod knowingly.
- Obvious point: If you have good recruiting, you self-limit your ability to "overachieve." I'm more interested in differentials that are at least double digits and in consecutive years - that's when something is rotten in Denmark. A team with a #2 ranked aggregate recruiting class that finishes #7 in the country isn't really underachieving, right?