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Recruit Ratings Mockery in the MAC vol. III

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Mad props to NIU1981 on his analysis of recruiting rankings of the 2009 1st Team All-MAC squad.  It's interesting to note that only two recruits were ranked 3-stars or higher coming out of high school (not counting the Michigan transfer in Mixon).

As a whole, recruiting rankings DO matter.  Just see Dr. Saturday for statistical inspiration....and Brian Cook while you're at it.  The problem is that most of the focus by recruiting websites is on catering to the BCS schools who have the most fans and shell out the most $$$$$ for subscriptions.

On the entire landscape of the Mid-American Conference, there are less 3-star recruits period coming to the conference.  A LOT less.  If you look from 2003 to 2008, less than 7% of players in the entire MAC were 3-star recruits. 

Currently that number is creeping up to 9%, but still that is a very low number.  So take out the specialist awards and the transfer and you have 26 named to 1st Team All-MAC.  2 out of 26 is almost 8%.  This isn't bad considering well over 90% of the players being recruited to MAC programs are 2-star recruits or lower.  Just check out these results from the Rivals database:

Number of MAC Signees by Star Rating (Rivals)        
  4-star 3-star 2-star or less Total
2002   2 177 179
2003   11 239 250
2004   3 244 247
2005   16 295 311
2006   21 263 284
2007   32 264 296
2008 2 23 250 275
2009 3 42 270 315
2010 2 66 226 294
Total 7 216 2228 2451
% Total 0.29% 8.81% 90.90% 100.00%

I would have been a little worried if that large percentage of 2-star recruits coming in weren't taking up most of the 2009 1st Team All-MAC squad.  So where does that leave us?  The initial SHOCK AND AWE turns out to be a Huh, that mildly favors against the recruiting services. You don't say  /monotone voice.

I decided to expand the amount of recruits to a span of six years, while correlating them to the All-MAC classes from 2006 to 2009.  Then I used simple math to figure out the ratios between star rankings and being named All-MAC.  The results are pretty interesting.


3-star 2-star or less Total
Total Players (2003-08) 106 1555 1663
1st Team All-MAC (2006-09) 4 78 83
All-MAC (2006-09) 17 193 210
% of Total Players 6.37% 93.51% 100.00%
% of 1st Team All-MAC 4.82% 93.98%  
% of All-MAC 8.10% 91.90%  
Odds of becoming 1st Team All-MAC 1 in 27 1 in 20 1 in 20
Odds of becoming All-MAC 1 in 6 1 in 8 1 in 8

OK, so you have better odds of becoming 1st team All-MAC if you aren't a 3-star prospect.  That's a crazy statistic right there and just goes to show you how much rivals doesn't care about ranking the mid-major MAC schools recruits.  What Rivals does do a decent job doing though is predicting that a player will be decent enough to garner an All-MAC status, just on the 2nd and 3rd teams more than being an elite type of player.  Ever so slightly though.

We're back to where we started.  MAC recruiting rankings mean nothing. 

Right now anyways.

Things could change in the future though. The 2009 and 2010 recruiting classes seem to be bringing in more 3-star prospects and even a couple 4-star hits to the conference.  Maybe the kids are doing a better job at getting themselves out there to recruiting services.  Maybe teams are getting better players.  Or maybe they're just handing out star-rankings like candy nowadays.

MAC coaches should just continue to get players that fit their system, coach them up, limit their time spent in the training room due to injury and make sure they make it to graduation.

Whatever the case, people take way, way too much stock into the recruiting rankings of a conference that hasn't been relevant on the national scene in 7 years.

Biggest Hits (3-stars)

  • DB Barry Church (2006 Class), Toledo - 4x 1st Team All-MAC
  • QB Nate Davis, Ball State (2006 Class) - 2x All-MAC, 2008 Offensive POY
  • QB Tim Hiller, Western Michigan (2005 Class) - 2x All-MAC

Biggest Misses (2-stars)

  • RB Garrett Wolfe, Northern Illinois (2002 Class) - 3x 1st Team All-MAC, 2006 MAC MVP
  • DE Larry English, Northern Illinois (2004 Class) - 3x 1st Team All-MAC, 2007-08 MVP winner
  • QB Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan (2005 Class) - 3x 1st Team All-MAC, 2x Offensive POY, 2009 MVP