Around the ACC: inside the recruiting rankings

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Editor’s Note: the original version of the article used 247’s “composite” rankings. It has been updated/corrected with 247’s own team rankings.

Now that Signing Day is over, here’s a look at how the major recruiting services ranked the recruiting classes in the ACC. First, we’ll take a look at in-conference rankings, then we’ll present how ACC teams are ranked nationally. Lastly, we’ll discuss how the services rank recruiting classes, to shed a little light (very little, haha) on the data.

Note that Maryland is not included in these rankings, and Louisville is. The Terps are leaving the conference at the end of this academic year, and Louisville is coming in next year.

ACC Rankings
NC State67375.75
National Rankings
NC State3036263832.50

A few brief notes:

  • FSU and Miami are unanimous #1 and #2 in the ACC.
  • Only three teams are ranked in the top 20 nationally by the services, with two more, UNC and VT, edging into the top 30. Half of the conference’s teams are composite-ranked outside the top 40.
  • NC State and Virginia fared much better in recruiting (ranked #6 and #7 in the ACC) than they did on the field last year, where each finished dead last in their division and they combined to go 0-16 in conference play.

How the services rank recruits

How the recruiting services rank classes varies, and that’s why a composite is valuable. For information on how each service does their rankings, click the links below. Rivals assigns points for a player’s “Rivals Rating” and their ranking in the Rivals Top 250 (if applicable) … but only for the top 20 rated recruits in a team’s class. So a team is hurt by not signing 20 players, but they’re not necessarily helped by going beyond 20.

247 Sports: 247 uses a Gaussian distribution formula that assigns diminishing value to players as you move down the list of commitments for a team. In other words, just like Rivals, 247 doesn’t reward teams for signing huge classes, although their means of calculating rankings is more sophisticated mathematically — they don’t suddenly cut a ranking off at 20 players like Rivals does. Scout uses a formula similar to Rivals, and similar to Rivals, Scout cuts off the calculation after the highest-ranked 25 players in a class. So oversigning is not rewarded. But it’s my personal opinion that Scout’s rankings are inconsistent and not thorough. If you look at their list of analysts, you see that the “East” region is covered by two analysts: a Northeast analyst, and an analyst in the state of North Carolina … which is part of the “South” region. No one on Scout’s team is a dedicated analyst for the state of Virginia. Note that NC State is rated much higher by Scout than other services, while Virginia is rated much lower. Coincidence, or a result of the makeup of their team of analysts?

ESPN: ESPN’s system is numbers based to a degree, but they also openly admit that they add in a human factor that is outside the numbers (meh), plus they examine rosters to see if a recruiting class fills a team’s needs (good). If you believe in conspiracy theories, this means that ESPN’s analysts are free to pump up the ratings of their hot SEC properties. (I’ll admit I haven’t analyzed this, I’m just cracking a joke … I think.) Plus I think they put too much emphasis on their ESPN 300, which can lead to a higher ranking than other services for a class like Virginia’s, which is top-heavy with ESPN 300 players but is otherwise shallow and small. Note how Virginia is ranked #4 in the ACC by ESPN, yet no higher than #6 by anyone else.

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10 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Same ole, same ole. Miami, FSU at the top, then the second tier, then the rest.
    These rankings could also be titled ‘How the pundits rank ACC football.’
    How many times have we seen recruiting rankings, preseason polls, etc?
    It’s all simply opinion and conjecture.

  2. I look at the relatively high rankings of two schools in particular, that have a history, and ongoing in school and recruiting problems of an illegal nature relative to the NCAA as well as multiple ethics violations and I wonder. Are the kids, parents, and/or advisors, totally ignorant of the issues (which I find hard to believe) or are those actions irrevelant and maybe even in the, “whatever it takes to win”‘ mentality, admired? I, for one, am glad Hokies are not a part of this.

  3. Just shows that ESPN is admittedly all hype and no substance.

    If you get hyped kids (the ESPN 300) then you are hyped. If they are really analyzing team needs then VT kills UVA.

    ESPN is only about flashes in a pan (unless it is the SEC). They are the kid that wants the whole group to see that he merely threw a little firecracker into a dumpster.

    1. Yet only a few months ago either Will or Chris did an article that seemed to show that ESPN’s evaluation of recruits was most accurate….at least over the time period Chris or Will evaluated.

  4. I expect Louisville to be ranked higher next year. Too bad UNC gets some of the state’s best talent. FSU getting 2 top 10 players concerns me too. Another low ranking for Paul Johnson at GT. This could be the year he gets fired.

    Over all, the rankings look much the same as they do most years except Tech is slightly ahead of UNC this year. It always seems like FSU, Miami, and Clemson are in the top 3.

  5. I believe CC was preparing an article about our Tidewater issues. I’ve been looking thru the recruiting message board a little bit and trying to piece together the story. Hopefully CC’s story will give a bit more of a backstory in our trouble in that whole area – please don’t assume we already know half the story because I personally don’t think I know much about it.

    NSD seems to be especially rough for VT fans. We’re enough of a name to make it to a lot of kid’s Top 5 list, but not enough of a closer against top competition to come out on top.

    I’m eager to learn more about the Tidewater stuff. Cause I for one just do not get how kids are flocking to UVA for Mike London specifically. It’s one thing to commit to a school because of a certain coach – perhaps if they’ve had some solid years and are building something. But with ML having just flop after flop, how does a kid not see the forest for the trees and realize ML will likely not be there after next season.

    If there’s a recruiting cycle to mend fences and make a big statement – next year is it. ML will be trying to recruit while likely on the way to a 2 – 4 win season.

  6. Spin the Bottle ….Spin the Wheel. Either way,same results. Thanks for the article on How it’s done or how they Think ! Scout uses a tea leaf method LOL

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