Oversigning.com
13Jun/105

It’s Legal, but is it Ethical?

At the end of the day, that is the fundamental question when discussing oversigning. By virtue of the way the NCAA by-laws are written and the structure of the 85/25 scholarship rules, there is no question that coaches, by NCAA rules, are allowed to sign as many players as they want (in fact the NCAA places no limits on the number of players that can be signed), as long as only 25 new scholarship players are added each year and no more than 85 scholarship players are on the roster at one time. Those that have been following this site already know all of this, as we have talked about it and debated it many times here.

For those just reading this site for the first time, we have taken a look at the restrictions some conferences have added to the signing process to prevent the practice of oversigning and we have looked at some conferences that until just recently have had no such restrictions and that blatantly oversign. There is no question that there are two schools of thought on this topic and that fans are just as passionate about this topic as they are about recruiting rankings and the games played on the field.

We ran across a wonderfully written article on oversigning and whether or not it is ethical at www.athlonsports.com.  If you follow this site and this topic then this is a must read article, as it touches on all of the main talking points when it comes to oversigning, including comments from high school coaches upset that their players were victims of oversigning, something that detractors of this site claim doesn't exist.  We're not sure when the article was written, but based on the comments from the coaches in the article our best guess is that this was written somewhere around 2003.

Let's take a closer look at the article (warning, this is a long, but very informative read - you might want to get a cup of coffee or something before you dive into this):

Click the link to continue reading >>>  

4Jun/1023

Texas A&M – Off the Clock but Still Over the Limit

Thanks to Travis, someone who actually understands the real purpose of this website, we now have some numbers on Texas A&M.  The original claim from the Alabama fan was that Texas A&M was 5 over the limit with 90 scholarships at the present moment.  Travis did the legwork and has provided the following for everyone:

Click the link to continue reading >>> 

Filed under: Big 12 Continue reading
29May/1078

On the Clock

    

In a previous post, we responded to Alabama fans that were outraged by our March to 85 piece by giving them a homework assignment.  The assignment was for them to bring us a BCS school that needs to shed more than 6 scholarship commitments between now and August when the NCAA will required that all teams have their rosters down to 85 players.   It took a little bit of time, but we finally had a reader post a list of schools that he claims are over the limit and needs to shed players. 

Here's the list from the Alabama fan:

"You want other programs? Here ya go….

LSU currently has 91 players on scholarship (Need to cut 6)
Miami currently has 91 players on scholarship (Need to cut 6)
Texas A&M currently has 90 players on scholarship (Need to cut 5)
Washington currently has 88 players on scholarship (Need to cut 3)
Nebraska currently has 87 players on scholarship (Need to cut 2)

Texas was at 88 players on scholarship, had 2 transfer, and now needs to cut 1 more."

Okay, so where do we start?  First, let's get a table of the recruiting numbers for each of these schools in one place so we can easily look at them together here.  This is everything from 2002 - 2010; we'll narrow this down to the numbers we need for this investigation a little later in this post.

On The Clock

Teams Conf. 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total Average
LSU SEC 26 28 26 13 26 26 26 24 29 224 24.89
Miami ACC 24 24 28 17 22 19 33 19 28 214 23.77
Texas A&M B12 23 24 28 25 23 18 24 28 23 216 24
Washington PAC10 21 27 23 13 22 27 26 19 31 209 23.22
Nebraska B12 21 19 20 32 22 27 28 20 21 210 23.33
Texas B12 28 18 20 15 25 24 20 20 22 192 21.33

Done. 

Now, how do we figure out who went over the limit this year by accepting more signed letters of intent then they had room for given the number of scholarship commitments they had on National Signing day?  The math is really simple, but finding the actual roster numbers for the previous year online can be difficult, which is why we are asking you, the fans of these schools, to participate and help us determine if your team went over the limit.  We could do it on our own if all of these teams has a sweet online depth chart application like Notre Dame has available here; make sure you click on Roster Chart when you open the link (side note - if we had any sense at all we would build an application like this to house roster data for all 64 BCS schools and then charge a fee to access it - but as it is we barely have enough time to keep up with blog and our real lives). 

Regardless, we have the number of players signed to each recruiting class (see table above), therefore, all we need now is to know exactly how many players were on scholarship on National Signing Day.  Typically, this is the previous year's total number of scholarship players (which will vary from school to school because not all schools are always at 85 every year) minus graduating seniors with no eligibility left and minus juniors who have declared for the NFL draft by the deadline on January 15th.  We refer to this number as the "recruiting budget."

Until we can get those numbers, let's just look at how many players each school has signed over the last 5 years.  We're going to subtotal 2007 - 2009 and then add 2010 to that number and call it the subtotal for 2007-2010.  We are also going to show you the 2006 numbers, which would represent the 5th year senior classes for these schools.  It is very likely that each of these schools will have a few 5th year guys on their roster.

On The Clock - Numbers for 2006 - 2010

Teams Conf. 2006 2007 2008 2009 (07-09) 2010 (07-10)
LSU SEC 26 26 26 24 76 29 105
Miami ACC 22 19 33 19 71 28 99
Texas A&M B12 23 18 24 28 70 23 93
Washington PAC10 22 27 26 19 72 31 103
Nebraska B12 22 27 28 20 75 21 96
Texas B12 25 24 20 20 64 22 86

For comparisons sake, now let's look at a few teams that we have investigated in the past and that we know are not over the limit.

Not On The Clock

Teams Conf. 2006 2007 2008 2009 (07-09) 2010 (07-10)
Georgia SEC 28 23 24 20 67 19 86
Vanderbilt SEC 25 14 21 18 53 24 77
USC PAC10 27 18 19 18 55 20 75
Stanford PAC10 18 19 17 22 58 23 81
Penn State B10 24 21 14 27 62 20 82
Ohio State B10 20 15 20 25 60 18 78
Northwestern B10 17 19 20 18 57 17 74
Notre Dame Ind. 28 18 23 18 59 23 82

And then finally, here is Alabama.  Still above those on the clock and way, way above those not on the clock.

Alabama

Teams Conf. 2006 2007 2008 2009 (07-09) 2010 (07-10)
Alabama SEC 23 25 32 27 84 29 113

(Important: It should be noted that the 2007-2010 numbers do not include the 5th year guys from 2006.  Therefore, schools that are under 85 in this column are either short-handed or they have a number of 5th year guys; schools that are way over 85 either have no 5th year guys or they have a few and the numbers are even worse.)

Before everyone gets all up in arms, there is more to this than just these numbers and this is where it gets really time consuming in trying to investigate oversigning.  From 2006 to 2010 a lot of things happen to the rosters, some things are legitimate and some things are not.  The numbers above are the numbers signed; we still need to know who left the team and who still remains from the 2006 class, which will give us the total number of scholarship players at the end of the 2009 season.  From there we can subtract the graduating seniors and early entries into the NFL.  That will give us our recruiting budget for the 2010 class. 

We're not asking that you guys hunt down the back story to every single transfer (although that would be nice), all we really need is the total scholarship commitments at National Signing Day, which is what we described above.  Once we have those numbers we will add the number for the 2010 class and see if it is over 85.

So there it is, we have provided a nice starting point for investing the schools Alabama fans have claimed are also guilty of oversigning players.  Now we just need your help to finish up the investigation.  Please post anything you have here and we'll continue to discuss.

Filed under: Big 10, Big 12, PAC 10, SEC 78 Comments
25May/102

Quick Word from Tennessee Folks

Our inbox is absolutely slammed with emails and we're probably going to have to bone up and pay for unlimited bandwidth for the site because for some reason, within the last 48 hours, this place has gone nuts. 

We only have a second for a quick post based on an email that was recently sent to us.

My name is Daniel Lewis and I am a TN alum and writer for www.tnvarsity.com. I noticed back in March that you asked for a site with a breakdown of TN's roster so here you go: http://www.ericspcrepair.com/lwsvol/UT_Roster_Class.html  I agree with the principle of your site, I think schools such as Alabama and Auburn have intentionally oversigned with the intent of "nudging" some fringe players out in order to assure having the best 85 man roster possible every year, and that this is not illegal, but it is a loophole that the NCAA needs to close. However, I venture to say that the consequences of not oversigning can be quite detrimental when you get in a situation like Tennessee is in currently. That roster I sent you reveals 77 scholarship players, and that number may even be higher than what Tn puts on the field in the fall as a few incoming recruits are still resolving Clearinghouse/academic issues (DT John Brown / DB Dave Clark for example). So essentially TN will be playing with scholarship numbers that resemble teams in the past that have been found guilty of major NCAA violations, partly because they have not oversigned the way other SEC schools have. Hopefully this adds some data and insight to your website.

Thanks for the email Daniel - we did a brief post on Tennessee's situation earlier, here, and it appears that we are on the same page.   There is no question that Tennessee will be playing short-handed this year, it will also be interesting to monitor how Dooley recruits over the next couple of years. 

His situation is a little different than Saban's in that he will have roster room to take a legit full class of 25 next year and may be able to get 3 more to come in early and back count in order to get the numbers back.  And, as long as he has plenty of room under the 85 max there really isn't a problem with any of that.  The problem comes when you only have 19 slots open and you still sign 29 guys and you do that 3 years in row - that is when this becomes a problem.

This is going to be very interesting because Dooley was a recruiting coordinator under Saban while he was at LSU. 

Great stuff and thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

Filed under: SEC 2 Comments
19May/1099

Homework Assignment

Since it appears that Alabama fans are slightly pissed at oversigning.com for documenting the March to 85, we thought we would ask the Alabama fan base to take on a homework assignment and put all the energy they spend sending us hate mail containing personal threats to good use.

Here's the assignment.  It's actually quite simple.  Find us another program from a BCS conference that currently, right at this moment, still has to shed more than 6 scholarships commitments in order to stay under the 85 limit this fall. 

Alabama had 66 players returning on scholarship when they signed 29 new recruits.  11 of those 29 enrolled early, putting the roster at 77, and leaving 18 more still coming in the Fall.  4 from the roster of 66 have already left (this includes Star Jackson), so that puts the roster at 73.  73 + 18 = 91.  91 is 6 more than 85.  

You find us that program and we will go at them like a pit bull and won't let go.   But you have to bring us concrete numbers and bear in mind that Alabama has already shed 4 scholarship players with eligibility.  

There it is, let's see what you are made are really made of.  Let's see if you are willing to put the time and effort into truly investigating the numbers for other schools and let's see if you can find another school that needs to shed as many scholarships as you do between now and fall. 

We'll save you a little bit of time and help you narrow down your search - you can go ahead and scratch the following programs off of your list.  Vanderbilt and Georgia, as they refuse to oversign players.  3/4 of the ACC refuses to do it as well, so scratch them from the list.  You might want to look at FSU and Miami though.  Texas and USC - scratch them from the list.  Tennessee, scratch them from the list.  All of the Big 10 schools, you can scratch all of them from the list, ND and Texas too. 

There, that should help narrow it down a little for you. 

Best of luck!

Update 5/21/2010:  A bunch of posts, but still not a single team found that has to shed more scholarship commitments in order to stay under the 85 limit.

Update 5/28/2010: A reader here has posted a list of schools he believes are oversigned this year.  In order to verify his assertion, we need to know the exact number of players on scholarship on signing day for these school and the number of players they signed.  We have the number of players signed here, but need the other information.

You want other programs? Here ya go….

LSU currently has 91 players on scholarship (Need to cut 6)
Miami currently has 91 players on scholarship (Need to cut 6)
Texas A&M currently has 90 players on scholarship (Need to cut 5)
Washington currently has 88 players on scholarship (Need to cut 3)
Nebraska currently has 87 players on scholarship (Need to cut 2)

Texas was at 88 players on scholarship, had 2 transfer, and now needs to cut 1 more.

Once we get valid numbers for these schools we will do a separate post.  It should be noted that the homework assignment was to find a school that has MORE than 6 scholarship commitments to shed, but LSU and Miami are close enough.  Still, though, Alabama has already dealt with 4 scholarships and still has 6 to go.

Filed under: SEC 99 Comments
26Mar/101

Like Clockwork – The March Continues

As we predicted immediately after signing day and before spring practice, Saban is going to have to cut players, again, for the third year in a row, in order to get down to NCAA limit of 85.  If you are new here go read this, then read this, and lastly read this.

For those of you too lazy to read all that, just read this:  Alabama returned 66 scholarship players after last season, signed 29 new recruits to letters of intent, and now must shed 10 players between signing day and the first day of fall camp in order to stay under the mandated 85 scholarship limit.  Terry Grant and Travis Spikes have already left the team.

To help track the 10 bodies that need to go we have created a table for them.

2010 The March to 85 - Alabama

Player Position Reason for leaving after NSD
Terry Grant Running Back Scholarship not renewed
Travis Sikes Wide Receiver Scholarship not renewed
Rod Woodson Safety Scholarship not renewed
Star Jackson Quarterback Transfer, Georgia State Div 1AA.
Deion Belue Defensive Back Academically Ineligible; headed to JUCO
Alfy Hill Linebacker Academically Ineligible; future unknown
Taylor Pharr Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Milton Talbert Linebacker Medical Hardship
Darius McKeller Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Ronnie Carswell Wide Receiver Greyshirt
Wilson Love Defensive End Greyshirt


The latest addition is Darius McKeller.  Here is Saban's comment on Darius:

"Our medical staff thought that he would be at severe risk of injuring it again if he continued to play."

Click the link to continue reading >>>

Filed under: Coaching, SEC Continue reading
26Mar/103

Night and Day

It is our belief that when the NCAA set the scholarship restrictions to 25 new players per year and 85 total on the roster they knew that it would be almost impossible for every school/team/coach to sign the exact number of players needed every year so that everyone comes out at 85 total scholarship players in August.  This is probably why they allowed walk-on programs continue so that schools/teams/coaches could allow X number of players to walk on (pay their own way) to the football team and if they work hard enough or become good enough they can be awarded with a scholarship.  This is what the NCAA would consider the buffer between recruiting new players and not over-committing and maintaining a roster of 85 scholarship players.  That is the true spirit of college football recruiting as laid out by the NCAA.  

However, we believe that this is as far as the NCAA is willing to take it in terms of trying to come up with numbers and rules that can apply to every region of the country.  Let's call that the NCAA baseline.  Given the baseline, conference commissioners and university presidents are free to establish additional rules and criteria with regards to recruiting numbers that help further shape and mold the overall mission or goal of their conference or university.  For example, in addition to the 85/25 rule, the Big 10 conference has established that no more than 28 recruits total be signed in a single class (meaning 3 can count back to the previous year if the recruit enrolls early and their is room in the previous class and 25 count to the current class which meets the NCAA rule of no more than 25 per class).  They also require that the additional 3 scholarships/LOI's have to be petitioned for and proof must be given that there is room for the 3 additional players without pushing anyone out.  Other conferences do not have these additional rules.  Therefore we have two drastically different method of roster management in college football:

Oversigning to gain a competitive advantage or subsidize future known and unknown attrition

 

Undersigning to avoid unnecessary roster cuts and operate within the spirit of recruiting and retaining student athletes

It doesn't get any more cut and dry than these two diagrams.  They are, as the title says, Night and Day.  In the case of oversigning, the incoming pool of players are quit often more talented, uninjured, and have much more upside than the pool of players in the attrition bucket.  Whereas in the undersigning diagram, we have smaller pool of more talented players and instead of dumping the less talented, we add those who have proven that although they might not have the athletic ability to be a 4 year scholarship player, they have the willingness to be a team player and have contributed to the team in other ways worthy of a scholarship reward at the end of their career.   Quite often, what those players do in the classroom and in the community mean just as much to the coach as what they do on the field, thus the reward.

Rewarding a walk-on player doesn't always happen though.  Sometimes coaches will bank those extra scholarships if there is not a worthy candidate in the walk on pool of players and use them next year.  This results in a shortfall of scholarship players. 

When you look at the oversigning diagram, specifically the "attrition" bucket, you see a list of things that no university president, educator, parent, or player really wants to go through or be associated with.  Conversely, when you look at the "addition" bucket in the undersigning diagram you have a situation where everything is positive; a player being rewarded for hard work.  There is also no question that the oversigning model is the easiest and fastest pathway to stacking a roster full of 85 scholarship players, of the variety that were recruited and sought after by other schools.  

So the next time someone asks you to explain oversigning or to compare and contrast it to normal recruiting practices, send them a copy of these diagrams or a link to this site.  There needs to be more awareness of oversigning and a higher level of understanding with regards to how teams are built through oversigning. 

Filed under: Coaching, Rants 3 Comments
11Mar/100

Gerry DiNardo, Circa 1996

We found a Sports Illustrated article from 1996 with some interesting comments from Gerry DiNardo.  We can only imagine what a sobering experience it was when he came to Indiana and had to start recruiting by a different set of rules after spending 5 years at LSU. 

If you remember, he was the coach that led the charge in 2000 to get the Big 10 to approve a rules change to allow Big 10 schools to sign an additional 3 players over the 25 per recruiting season limit, provided the coach could prove that he had room for 3 in his previous class.

"There are 28 new Tigers, although some of them will not qualify academically (which will keep LSU within the NCAA one-year maximum of 25 new scholarships) and many will never contribute. 'It's a fact that only about a third of the guys you sign will end up starting, because if you get it going, you sign someone the following year that's better,' DiNardo said. 'There will be injuries, transfers, failures. There always are.'"

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1007746/1/index.htm

DiNardo is right about the fact that once a coach get going and has some success he should be able to start landing better talent, and eventually these coaches are faced with a dilemma, sign as many of these better players as legally possible under the 25/85 rule and by exploiting the oversigning loophole of cutting guys between signing day and august or simply take what your roster budget will allow. 

DiNardo was at Indiana for three years and those were the 3 highest years in terms of recruits.  Despite signing a larger number of players, DiNardo was never able to put it together.  Indiana never won more than 3 games in a single year during his time and he was fired.

We find this extremely interesting.  One of the main things oversigning enables is for a coach to completely gut an existing roster and get his guys in faster; most of the time this is when you will see the most abuse of oversigning.  There have been several coaches who have coached other places (Ron Zook, DiNardo, Saban, Rodriguez, etc) that were all somewhat successful (ranging from NC caliber success to mediocre success) in other conferences (which obviously have different recruiting rules), yet failed to get it done in the Big 10.   Meanwhile, coaches that have had longer tenures in the Big 10 such as Lloyd Carr, Jim Tressel, and Joe Paterno, and all who were accustom to the Big 10 recruiting rules, have won National Championships and were (in Carr's case) or continue to be very successful (in Tressel and Paterno's case).  Our point here is that most new head coaches coming into the Big 10 are going to struggle if they have to come in and wade through 3-4 years of recruiting to get their guys in, instead of gutting the roster in 2-3 years by oversigning.   This is not to diminish the actual coaching these guys do - some coaches are much better recruiters than they are coaches - but there is definitely something to all of this.

Here is a look at his numbers while at Indiana (2003, 2004, and 2005); kind of interesting that Indiana's numbers leveled out some after he left. 

Indiana Recruiting Numbers 2002 - 2010

Teams Conf. 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total Average
Indiana B10 21 25 26 25 21 20 20 19 25 202 22.44

The article is actually a great read.  Check it out.

Filed under: Big 10, History, SEC No Comments
3Mar/101

ESPN’s Outside the Lines Tackles Oversigning

If you care at all about this topic then you need to watch this video.  

Having watched the video, there is no question that ESPN could have done the exact same story on Nick Saban and Alabama.  The parallels are eerily similar.  Big name coach, long-term 35 million dollar contract, coach comes in and oversigns recruits and start gutting the roster, etc., etc.  All of those things are fine when you are dealing with professional athletes, but when you are dealing with unpaid, college athletes it's a different story.

Ramogi Huma, President of the NCPA, is leading the charge on NCAA rules reform.  Go check out the website!

 http://www.ncpanow.org/

Filed under: Big 10, Coaching, SEC 1 Comment
19Feb/101

Texas, Endowments and Academic Rankings

In an earlier post, we mentioned that there was no way on earth Texas would ever go to the SEC (not that the SEC is looking to expand, but our point was that the SEC, by virtue of running off 3 solid academic universities because they couldn't see eye to eye on how to handle recruiting players and competing in athletics, does not have the entire package to offer an institution like Texas; in contrast, the Big 10 by maintaining an emphasis on academics is now poised to possibly add another powerhouse program to the conference, Penn State being the first in 1990.  The last two teams to join the SEC: Arkansas and South Carolina).  To further reinforce our logic, here are some staggering numbers for you to ponder.

Endowments

SEC Schools $$$   Big 10 Schools $$$   Pac 10 Schools $$$
Vanderbilt 3.48b   Michigan 7.1b   Stanford 17.2b
Florida 1.21b   Northwestern 6.5b   USC 3.7b
Alabama 1.00b   Minnesota 2.8b   Washington 3.2b
Arkansas 876m   Ohio State 2.3b   Cal 2.8b
Tennessee 867m   Purdue 1.8b   UCLA 2.6b
Kentucky 831m   Penn State 1.6b   Wash State 678m
LSU 593m   Wisconsin 1.6b   Arizona 519m
Georgia 572m   Indiana 1.6b   Oregon 498m
Ole Miss 495m   Illinois 1.5b   Oregon State 476m
South Carolina 438m   Michigan State 1.2b   Arizona State 407m
Auburn 378m   Iowa 1.0b      
Mississippi State 350m            

TEXAS - $16.1 billion

 

Regardless of where Texas might go, if anywhere, they will be the big dog on the block (sans Stanford in the Pac10) when it comes to endowments, but as you can see, Texas would definitely be more at home with the schools of the Big 10 or Pac 10 when it comes to endowments.

And again, the point here is that the Big 10 and the Pac 10, by not selling their souls for football, appear to be in very strong positions when it comes to the topic of conference expansion and sustainability.

Texas also ranks 47th in the US News and World Report rankings, which puts them right at home with the Big 10.

We found that link we were talking about earlier where Texas had already looked at joining the SEC and decided they were not a good fit.  Main article here.  But we found the article reading The Rivalry, Esq. about the "Death of the Big 12 Conference."

The Longhorns next turned to the Big Ten.

Having added Penn State in 1990, the Big Ten was now made of universities that, in the view of UT officials, matched UT's profile — large state schools with strong academic reputations. Berdahl liked the fact that 10 conference members belonged to the American Association of Universities.

Yet, distance remained a disadvantage. Iowa, the closest Big Ten school to Austin, was 856 miles away — but the appeal of having 10 of 12 schools in the same time zone was seen as a plus.

But after adding Penn State in 1990, Big Ten officials had put a four-year moratorium on expansion. Although admitting interest, Big Ten bosses ultimately rejected UT's overtures.

That left the SEC as a possible relocation target for the Longhorns — until Berdahl let it be known that UT wasn't interested because of the league's undistinguished academic profile. Only two of 12 schools in the SEC were American Association of Universities members and UT officials saw admissions standards to SEC schools as too lenient.

"We were quite interested in raising academic standards," Berdahl says. "And the Southeastern Conference had absolutely no interest in that."

So that's three major categories: endowments, academic rankings, and recruiting numbers (we touched on that here), where it is crystal clear that Texas is a much better match for the Big 10 than they ever would be for the SEC. "Frank the Tank's Slant" has everything else covered.

12Feb/101

Texas, Big 10 Birds of a Feather

 

Do not fall out of your chair, that is unless you have been living in a cave lately and haven't heard the news about the possibility of Texas joining the Big 10.  When the Big 10 announced that conference expansion is a topic on the table for discussion, the Internets went wild.  In fact, Frank the Tank's Slant has devoted more time to it than we ever thought about devoting to the topic of oversigning.  If you haven't been to his Blog, go there.  It's a great read and Frank really does his homework. 

Frank put together a Big 10 Conference Expansion Index, based on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being the highest possible score, in which he categorized and ranked potential candidates to join the Big 10.

http://frankthetank.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/the-big-ten-expansion-index-a-different-shade-of-orange/ 

In his index, Frank has Texas as the leader with an index score of 96; second in his index was Notre Dame at 91.

We're not going to go into all of the details of Big 10 expansion or whether or not we think Texas would consider joining the Big 10; Frank has more than covered all the bases and if you really want to know more about it you should check out his blog and read it.

We just want to add one thing to the discussion in terms of recruiting.  In looking closely at Texas' recruiting numbers (which is an indication of how they run their program), they would fit right in with the Big Ten.  Since 2002 Texas has a total of 192 commitments with an average of 21.33 per year.  That would put them right in line with Michigan (195, 21.67), Penn State (183, 20.33), and Ohio State (180, 20.00), all of which rank towards the bottom of the Big 10 in terms of total numbers taken each year.  In case you haven't noticed, we tend to like programs that keep their numbers in check.  To see more of these numbers, click here.

Texas takes the lowest number of players in the entire Big 12 Conference; it's almost as if they are out of place with regards to where their numbers are in comparison to the rest of the conference.  This tells us several things:

  • They are not running players through their program; meaning they take very few risks on borderline academic players and they don't oversign players only to push out the lesser talented or injury-prone players to make room for new recruits. 
  • We believe that how you manage your roster is like a calling card for what kind of program you run.  Texas has a pretty good calling card when you consider the success they have had on the field and the number of recruits they do it with.  Compare Texas to Alabama for just a second: since 2006, Alabama has taken LOI's from 136 players to Texas' 110.  Where did those other 26 players go?  Did they ever make it into school at Alabama or were they cut from the team to make room for Saban's classes of 32 and 27?
     
  • Strong academics.  Texas has the best academics in the Big 12 (by a long shot) and they would fit right in with the Big 10.  But how do low recruiting numbers = good academics?  Maybe it's the other way around, good academics = lower recruiting numbers.  Just look at our conference charts linked above.  The schools with lowest recruiting numbers tend to have better, if not the best academics in their conferences.  Here are some schools at the bottom of each of their conferences in terms of the number of recruits signed each year: Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Stanford, and Texas.  Now compare that to the list of names at or near the top of the conferences: Auburn, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Kansas State, etc.

Missouri is another school that seems to be in the middle of the Big 10 expansion conversation.  Not that a decision like this would depend on the number of recruits a school normally takes, but we did find it interesting that Missouri, if added to the Big 10, would be at the top of the board with the highest number of recruits per year.  In fact, they would be tied dead even with Purdue at a 218 recruits since 2002 and a yearly average of 24.22.

Our hats off to Texas for running their program the right way and always making sure to stay within their recruiting budget.  We think Texas would be an awesome addition to the Big 10, obviously they are match for each other in terms of academics, and we hope it happens.  If the 3 games against Ohio State and the Rose bowl thriller against Michigan are any indication, Texas joining the Big 10 would really make things interesting.

Hook 'em Horns!