H/T to Blutarsky at Get The Picture on this find from Sunday Morning Quarterback
SMQ took on a daunting task breaking down some very interesting statistics regarding the last six years of recruiting data and plotting it against the winning percentages of all of the BCS conference teams. While many things can be nit picked regarding the shortcuts taken, and I'm sure some folks will point them out, I think his overall findings are eye opening. I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety.
For those of you not interested in reading the entire article, SMQ essentially takes the RIVALS final rankings for 02-07 and determines a simple average and then ranks the 63 teams. He then ranks the same 63 teams on on-field winning percentage over the same 6 seasons against BCS schools (i.e. no wins versus Arkansas State count). And then looks for teams that fall outside a 10-point variation. So, for example, Texas' winning percentage versus the other BCS teams is .800 (48-12) which ranks 4th overall in that time frame. Its RIVALS recruiting ranking was 7th, so, in essence, Texas overachieved by 3 spots.
The Big 12 stacks up as follows:
W% Rank Team Difference
3 Oklahoma 0
4 Texas 3
21 Texas Tech 25
28 Missouri 8
32 Nebraska -15
37 Kansas State 1
42 Oklahoma State -19
43 Colorado -9
47 Texas A&M -33
51 Kansas -1
55 Iowa State -3
65 Baylor -5
Texas Tech obviously is the biggest overachiever and Texas A&M is the biggest underachiever in the Big 12. Frankly, neither really surprises me. TAMU was actually the biggest underachiever in the country for BCS teams. Not many of Old or New Armey would disagree with that. I did find Oklahoma State performance somewhat surprising and their recruiting ranking would indicate that they would have won 6 more ball games.
SMQ concludes, "Rivals was very, very good at picking the top teams – of the top 25 winningest teams of the last six years, all were either pegged in or very near their respective positions by the recruiting rankings or achieved them by winning against overwhelmingly lower-ranked opposition; of the top 25 teams according to the recruiting rankings, 18 are in the top 30 in winning percentage."
February 6th is an important date if you want to hoist me.
It also should be noted that the BCS Champions since 2002 (Ohio State, LSU (2x), USC, Texas, and Florida) were all in the top 12 of the recruiting averages. Of the "other" 7, OU and Miami both played for in the BCS NC game; Auburn got snubbed in 04 when they were undefeated; Michigan was a game away in 05; and Georgia made an argument to be in the BCS NC game this season. Tennessee and FSU are the other two and where both in the underachiever category since they were -10 and -12 respectively.