Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Feb 2013

ESPN: Unranked Teams That Can Rise

Mark Schlabach has a new top-25 set of rankings for 2013, and there was a little bit of shifting after the results of signing day last week. We're starting to pull together preliminary rankings projections ourselves. The factors that go into our annual FEI projections included five-year weighted possession efficiency, five-year program recruiting success, returning starter data and more. This week at ESPN Insider, we take a closer look at five teams outside of Schlabach's rankings that may be a bit underrated.

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 11 Feb 2013

8 comments, Last at 26 Feb 2013, 8:04pm by cfn_ms


by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 02/11/2013 - 5:25pm

So Cincinnati just lost a very successful coach, is #58 in recruiting success, and makes the list primarily because their schedule is terrible? Not that I necessarily disagree, because the voters will probably put a 9-3 Big East team in the top 25, but it's time that the Big East is considered a non-BCS-level conference. Going 9-3 in the Big East is as impressive as going 7-5 or 6-6 in the SEC, Pac-10, or Big Ten.

by Anonymoufjdn (not verified) :: Sat, 02/16/2013 - 6:38pm

Oh i guess that explaines why Louisville beat the number 3 sec gators SOUNDLY. Now before you blow smoke and say something like, oh they under estimated Louisville, took them lightly or had an off game NO they got whooped. And Louisville barely beat Cincinnaeti. Need more, check the big east record vs sec and acc.. It will shock you. Im not saying the big east is all that but dont put them benieth the sec or acc..

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 02/25/2013 - 7:01pm

I'm not discounting the possibility that there might be good teams in the Big East. But if you remove, say, the top 2 teams and the bottom 2 teams from each conference, the average teams in the Big East look far more like the MWC or CUSA than they do any other BCS conference.

Also Louisville is now in the ACC.

by cfn_ms :: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 8:04pm

Actually Louisville doesn't join the ACC until 2014. But there weren't two good teams in the Big East last year, and you can make a reasonable case (if "good" means top 20 or so) that there wasn't even one.

Also, among the four Big East co-champs:

- one (Syracuse) lost to Northwestern AND Minnesota AND by double digits to USC AND got pushed by a AA team
- one (Cincy) lost at Toledo
- one (Rutgers) lost at home to Kent
- one (Louisville) barely squeaked by 0-12 Southern Miss, struggled with FIU, and nearly blew the UNC game

and that's the four league co-champs (though in fairness, there were some good moments by those four, but there really weren't very many)! So no, the Big East isn't particularly good and hasn't been for a while. And yes, you can put the Big East WELL behind the SEC without thinking twice.

by AnonymousBoob (not verified) :: Tue, 02/12/2013 - 3:48am

I am understanding this correctly? Is Schlaback really adjusting his preseason top 25 college football ratings because of incoming recruiting classes? If so, he should be fired immediately as that is one of the most idiotic things I've seen in a while.

Seriously, how many true freshmen a year make impacts at top 25 programs? Two? Three? This isn't basketball.

Someone tell me I am misinterpreting things.

by ClemsonMatt (not verified) :: Tue, 02/12/2013 - 10:09am

Do you really want someone to lie to you? We (I can say that...alumnus and booster) were one of those programs with Sammy Watkins two years ago and I still think it's stupid, but that's never stopped a sportswriter.

Maybe if they sign a particularly polished guy at a position of weakness, but even then it's

by Brian Fremeau :: Tue, 02/12/2013 - 10:10am

It's not clear what else is impacting his adjustments, but he does reference other factors besides recruiting (like Chip Kelly moving on). But yeah, there's no reason for incoming recruiting classes to have a profound effect on projections.

by cfn_ms :: Tue, 02/19/2013 - 5:59pm

It doesn't seem like recruiting classes had a material impact for anyone other than Michigan (and maybe Kansas St). Oregon dropped due to Kelly, and no one else really moved much.

It seems more like the announcement of recruiting classes is an excuse to toss up another top 25 (I think Schlabach is usually good for about five per offseason) than an actual cause for much re-evaluation.