BCS Conference Signings

We are still working on the cup standings and we are working on a piece about Saban's comments regarding his numbers.  We are having a hard time believing that with the addition of 24 new players (22 recruits that signed this year + 2 grayshirts from last year) that Alabama is exactly at 85 right now, which is what he implied by saying what they signed is what they had room for right now. 

Saban said Alabama has signed the number of players that it could.

"We could add one or so to that, if the opportunity presents itself in the future," he said...


A cursory check of the roster shows 14 seniors, 6 of which were on the scout team, 3 juniors leaving for the NFL, and 1 transfer prior to signing day.  That is a departure of 12 scholarship players.  In order for Alabama to be full right now, they had to have been under the 85 cap by 12 last year.  If they were under the cap of 85 by 12 then why did two players grayshirt on the last day before the deadline last year?  It just doesn't add up.  We're going to break it all down in a separate post.

In the meantime, here is a break down of the class signings for all BCS conferences.  No surprises here.  The conference with all those teams ranked in the top 15 in recruiting had the most players signed by a landslide.  Again, where would all those teams rank if they were restricted to only taking what they have room for like everyone else?

2011 Recruiting Numbers - Players Signed - Big 10, SEC, ACC, Pac12

B1G Signed   SEC Signed   ACC Signed   Pac12 Signed
Illinois 27   South Carolina 30   Florida St 29   USC 29
Iowa 23   Arkansas 30   Clemson 29   Wash St. 25
Ohio State 23   Tennessee 27   Virginia 26   Oregon St. 24
Minnesota 22   Mississippi 27   UNC 25   Washington 23
Indiana 21   Georgia 25   BC 23   Oregon 23
Michigan State 21   Auburn 24   GT 22   Cal 22
Wisconsin 20   Kentucky 24   VT 21   Arizona 21
Michigan 20   LSU 22   NC State 20   Colorado 19
Nebraska 19   Miss State 22   Duke 20   Utah 19
Northwestern 17   Alabama 22   Maryland 20   Stanford 19
Penn State 16   Vanderbilt 21   Miami 16   UCLA 16
Purdue 15   Florida 18   Wake 14   ASU 13
Total 244   Total 292   Total 265   Total 253
Average 20   Average 24   Average 22   Average 21

2011 Recruiting Numbers - Players Signed - B12 & Big East

Big 12 Signed Big East Signed
Ok State 27   Syracuse 26
Texas Tech 27   Cincinnati 24
Kansas 26   Rutgers 24
Kansas State 25   West Virginia 22
Iowa State 22   USF 21
Texas A&M 22   Pitt 20
Texas 22   Louisville 19
Baylor 19   UConn 16
Missouri 17      
Oklahoma 17      
Total 224   Total 172
Average 22   Average 21.5


OTL Video


Marquette Screws D. J. Newbill via Oversigning

Purely pathetic.   Buzz Williams obviously didn't graduate from the Nick Saban "school of sweeping oversigning under the rug," instead this guy is pretty matter of fact about the situation.  Saban at least has the decency of putting a guy on a bogus completely legit medical hardship or something - this right here is just cold.

If the NCAA is going to allow university athletic departments to treat college athletes like professional free agent athletes, then they should allow players to demand to be paid for their services at whatever the free market will bear and allow them to retain an agent to help negotiate and navigate these snake infested waters.   Simply put, an 18 year old kid, even with two level-headed parents, is no match for these snake oil salesmen. 

We would rather see the NCAA step in and for once actually do something logical with regards to the current recruiting by-laws and the oversigning loophole, but if that isn't going to happen then the least they can do is let these kids play on a level playing field against these universities and coaches.  

Attention all future Buzz William recruits, you might want to read this article closely before you give your commitment, as it could be you on the short end of the stick instead of DJ.  Be sure to read the part about DJ not being able to go to another Big East school as well.

Only three months after combo guard D.J. Newbill called Marquette his dream school when he signed, the Philadelphia native learned the Golden Eagles have decided not to honor their scholarship offer.

Marquette needed to free up a scholarship this week to accommodate talented Oregon transfer Jamil Wilson, so coach Buzz Williams revealed Wednesday that the school will release Newbill from his letter of intent. AAU coach Larry Waiters said Marquette officials used some "minor paperwork" that Newbill's high school hadn't sent yet as justification for cutting him loose.

"I understand it's a business and you're trying to do the best for your business, but when you make a commitment to someone, you should stand by your commitment," said Waiters, who has coached Newbill since ninth grade and was among the first to speak to him after Marquette made its decision. "Marquette was his ideal school. He's a little upset, but I think he'll be fine."

Marquette's brazenness in severing ties with Newbill is a tad unusual, but the Golden Eagles certainly aren't the only program willing to make such a move to better position themselves to win. Just like recruits often renege on a commitment or seek a release from a letter of intent if a better option comes along, many schools are doing the same thing.

A Marquette spokesman confirmed Wednesday that Newbill had qualified academically and the coaching staff simply decided the program needed Wilson more than him. The 6-foot-7 Wilson, a Wisconsin native and former top-100 prospect, started 14 of the 26 games he appeared in last season for the Ducks, averaging 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds.

"D.J.'s a great kid," Williams told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He comes from a great family who we have established relationships with, and we're going to do everything we can to help him in his future, in whatever capacity that would be."

The good news for Newbill is that it appears there won't be any shortage of options for him despite how late it is in the recruiting calendar. He won't be able to go anywhere else in the Big East because he'd already signed with Marquette, but Waiters said a handful of other Division I programs have already expressed interest.

Newbill had previously considered West Virginia, Drexel, Nebraska, St. Joe's and Temple before selecting Marquette.

"The disappointment is that he won't get to go to a Big East school," Waiters said. "He could petition, but you're never going to win those things. But he's got some pretty good offers on the table. He's going to have to get together with his mom and his family and make a decision."


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2006 – 2010 Recruiting Numbers

Update 6/1/2010: This appears to be a very popular post.  It has been linked to a lot of websites over the last few days, and judging by the comments associated with the sites that have linked to it there appears to be some misconceptions as to what these numbers mean.   Here are couple of things to know before looking at the original post and the numbers.

1.) The table below is not a listing of teams from worst oversigners to least (we never said it was by the way).  It is simply the number of players that signed letters of intent (referred to as "commits") for each BCS school, sorted by the highest number of players signed to the lowest.   Granted, there is a strong connection between having a high number of players signed and oversigning.  However, not all teams that have high numbers are guilty of oversigning.  One reason for this could be the use of JUCO players that only have 2 years of eligibility, another reason could be consecutive years of attrition during the regular season or after national signing day on classes that were not oversigned.  For example, if a team has room for 23 guys and they take 22 and then 5 guys transfer during the spring, the team will go into the fall short 6...if this happens a couple of years in a row you could see teams with a high average number but yet never oversigned.  They too have a problem but it is not oversigning.

2.) In order to determine if the numbers below indicate that a school oversigned, you need to understand what oversigning really is.  It is not just having really high numbers every year and it is not having more than 25 in a single class.  Oversigning is the practice of accepting more signed letters of intent on National Signing Day than you have scholarship openings for under the 85 limit when you accept the signed letters and then depending on attrition between signing day and the NCAA deadline in August to get down to 85.   This is where we have pointed to Alabama as the easiest to understand example of oversigning.  They had 66 players on scholarship on NSD, leaving only room for 19 new recruits; instead of signing 19 new recruits they accepted letters from 29 players.  So while Alabama has lower total numbers below, they were actually more guilty of oversigning than Auburn.  Auburn's issue is that they have had so much attrition (mostly academic) that they, despite having signed more players than anyone in the country, are always playing catch up.  This too is a problem, but it's a slightly different breed of cat.  How they have managed to avoid APR penalties is proof that the system for APR is flawed.

3.) Determining which teams oversign is time consuming process and requires some investigation.  You can't just look at the numbers below and say that all the teams that have signed more than 85 players are guilty of oversigning.  In order to determine who oversigned you have to look at the the 2009 team roster at National Signing Day and determine how many players are on scholarship when the new letters are accepted.  This number is typically the number of scholarship players on the 2009 roster minus graduating seniors that have exhausted their eligibility minus any players that have declared for the NFL draft by the deadline on January 15th.  Once you have that number you subtract it from 85 and that gives you the recruiting budget for the next class. Lastly, compare how many players a team signed to how many they had room to sign, and that is how you determine who oversigned.  It's not an easy process and it is part of the reason why few people really understand this process and how the numbers really work.  There will be those that point to the 1-year scholarship rule, but they fail to realize that scholarships are not renewed until July first, therefore, players with eligibility remaining are still on scholarship on signing day.

4.) The real purpose for the numbers in the table below was to show how many players were signed by each school in hopes of shedding light on the schools that are doing a good job of retaining players and keeping their numbers in check, as well as showing the schools that go through a lot more players.  Yes, there are some that are guilty of oversigning, but don't go away from this article thinking that everyone over 85 has oversigned because they haven't and don't come away thinking that this is a list of oversigning teams from top to bottom.   

Back to the original post:

The results below should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this site or knows anything at all about oversigning, but we thought we would post them anyways.  The chart below shows the average number of players signed per team by each conference for 2006-2010 and the table below the chart shows all of the BCS teams and their numbers (note the total and average columns in table are just for 2007-2010 so that you can get an idea of what each school has done in just the last four recruiting classes). 

There is really not a lot to say here that hasn't already been said.  However, these numbers do give us a pretty good indication of exactly who is doing the best job of recruiting and retaining players at a high rate.  The NCAA needs to do something to rein in some of these schools that are simply abusing the spirit of recruiting student athletes.  Although there is a NCAA By-Law that states that football scholarships are 1-year renewable contracts, we all know the true spirit of scholarship athletics is to recruit players with the intention of developing them over a 4-5 year period and making sure they graduate from your school.  These numbers make it pretty clear who is operating within that spirit and who is simply running through players with a win at all costs mentality.

Recruiting Numbers 2007 - 2010

Teams Conf. 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 07-10 Total 07-10 Average
Auburn SEC 25 30 29 28 32 119 29.75
Ole Miss SEC 30 22 31 37 25 115 28.75
Miss. State SEC 24 33 27 27 26 113 28.25
Alabama SEC 23 25 32 27 29 113 28.25
Arkansas SEC 26 27 26 31 25 109 27.25
Kansas State B12 30 34 33 25 17 109 27.25
South Carolina SEC 24 31 23 29 23 106 26.50
West Virginia BigEast 16 28 30 26 21 105 26.25
LSU SEC 26 26 26 24 29 105 26.25
Iowa State B12 30 25 25 26 28 104 26.00
Oklahoma State B12 29 23 28 26 27 104 26.00
Kentucky SEC 31 29 20 29 26 104 26.00
Baylor B12 29 29 23 28 23 103 25.75
Washington PAC10 22 27 26 19 31 103 25.75
Arizona State PAC10 24 24 28 22 27 101 25.25
Washington St. PAC10 24 27 27 22 25 101 25.25
Louisville BigEast 25 18 26 29 27 100 25.00
USF BigEast 28 27 24 29 20 100 25.00
Oregon PAC10 21 29 22 26 23 100 25.00
Virginia Tech ACC 22 26 31 22 21 100 25.00
Mizzu B12 25 27 24 25 23 99 24.75
Miami ACC 22 19 33 19 28 99 24.75
North Carolina ACC 28 24 18 28 28 98 24.50
Syracuse BigEast 24 27 26 16 29 98 24.50
Minnesota B10 22 24 29 20 24 97 24.25
Tennessee SEC 22 32 18 22 25 97 24.25
Florida State ACC 31 20 32 21 23 96 24.00
Nebraska B12 22 27 28 20 21 96 24.00
Oregon State PAC10 33 34 18 24 18 94 23.50
Oklahoma B12 28 21 21 23 29 94 23.50
Cincinnati BigEast 19 23 24 25 22 94 23.50
Texas A&M B12 23 18 24 28 23 93 23.25
Illinois B10 27 23 28 22 20 93 23.25
Florida SEC 27 27 22 17 27 93 23.25
Michigan B10 19 20 24 22 27 93 23.25
Texas Tech B12 34 26 16 25 25 92 23.00
Connecticut BigEast 22 29 22 21 20 92 23.00
Colorado B12 22 28 21 20 21 90 22.50
Rutgers BigEast 26 23 20 23 24 90 22.50
N.C. State ACC 22 26 17 26 21 90 22.50
Maryland ACC 22 26 17 26 21 90 22.50
Arizona PAC10 25 19 24 24 22 89 22.25
Purdue B10 27 19 26 20 24 89 22.25
Wisconsin B10 23 18 26 21 24 89 22.25
Michigan State B10 28 23 21 23 21 88 22.00
Cal PAC10 20 26 22 21 19 88 22.00
Iowa B10 21 22 25 20 21 88 22.00
Pittsburg BigEast 27 24 19 20 24 87 21.75
Kansas B12 25 23 20 25 18 86 21.50
Georgia SEC 28 23 24 20 19 86 21.50
Texas B12 25 24 20 20 22 86 21.50
Boston College ACC 20 18 29 18 21 86 21.50
Virginia ACC 23 24 18 25 18 85 21.25
Duke ACC 26 21 17 27 20 85 21.25
Indiana B10 21 20 20 19 25 84 21.00
UCLA PAC10 22 11 23 27 23 84 21.00
Clemson ACC 20 23 25 12 23 83 20.75
Penn State B10 24 21 14 27 20 82 20.50
Notre Dame Ind. 28 18 23 18 23 82 20.50
Georgia Tech ACC 16 20 20 21 21 82 20.50
Stanford PAC10 18 19 17 22 23 81 20.25
Wake Forest ACC 15 20 17 23 19 79 19.75
Ohio State B10 20 15 20 25 18 78 19.50
Vanderbilt SEC 25 14 21 18 24 77 19.25
USC PAC10 27 18 19 18 20 75 18.75
Northwestern B10 17 19 20 18 17 74 18.50

Note regarding data above:  The Total and Average columns are for 2007-2010; we included 2006 numbers just to show how many players were signed prior to the current 4 year rosters.  The theory here is that if a team signed 115 players in four years, like Ole Miss did, and signed 30 the year prior to that, you have to imagine that they have a few 5th year guys who red-shirted.  So in addition to 115 new players in 4 years, you should have a handful of 5th year guys as well.  This just further exposes the oversigning of players relative to taking 5th year guys into account.


Oversigning Disaster – USF 2009

This story is somewhat dated, but as we keep digging around the Internet we find more and more pieces to the puzzle that is oversigning.  NCSA wrote an article outlining the details of the South Florida situation last year as a way to caution their readers (potential recruits and parents of potential recruits) about the practice of oversigning. 

"Wesley Chapel center Kamran Joyer, who signed with USF in February, has asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship with the Bulls after uncertainty as to whether he’d be accepted academically, his father Jack said Monday afternoon.

USF’s coaches had anticipated some attrition from signing day, when 29 players signed with the Bulls, four over the NCAA limit for one class. Joyer is the sixth signee not expected to be in school this fall … Even without those six signees, USF is believed to be at the NCAA’s overall limit of 85 scholarships, unless other returning players do not stay with the program as expected."


Brian Cook picked up the story as well and added the following:

"The NCAA needs to step in here and make the letter of intent an actual commitment on the part of the school. Anyone you sign who does not end up on campus still counts as an occupied scholarship slot that year, and you can't sign a letter of intent until you are academically eligible. Otherwise you're going to get more instances like this when unscrupulous coaches meet marginally innocent babes."


We couldn't agree more.  The letter of intent needs to carry more weight.  Coaches should be given a recruiting budget number every year that dictates the total number of letters they can accept and every scholarship needs to be accounted for prior to signing the letter.  That will eliminate all of the loopholes and games coaches are playing with the numbers, it will eliminate the possibility of a kid getting screwed out of a scholarship, and it will put everyone on a level playing field.

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Quick Notes

Real world responsibilities stole our weekend away from us, but we did manage to get started on our response to Michael's essay on oversigning.  We'll post it once we finish - probably be later this week.

In the meantime, we would like to take a second to tip our hat to West Virginia's head coach, Bill Stewart, for stating that his goal for West Virginia is to sign 16-18 kids a year.  That would be awesome - let's hope Bill can do it!

"West Virginia coach Bill Stewart signed 25 guys and has a lot of returning starters from 2009. He said he would like to get to a position where the Mountaineers give out 16 to 18 scholarships per year and two to three maximum per position.

"It’ll take four years to get this all worked out," he said on signing day. "It just doesn’t work itself out overnight."

However each school does it, the math always seems to work out by the time the season starts."


Also, we stumbled across this post from Rocky Top Talk that is pretty funny.  Granted, this is from a couple of years ago, but it's dead on.


Last note: We added a couple of poll questions (4) to the sidebar, once you answer one the next time you visit the homepage you should get a new one.  We're still learning WordPress and couldn't figure out how to put all of the questions into the body of a single post, which is what we really wanted to do, therefore, the sidebar is the best we could do.

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