Friday, February 5, 2010

The State(s) of Division 1 Recruiting

No one will be surprised that big states like Texas, Florida and California produced the most top-flight football players. But how do supposed gridiron hotbeds like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania stack up with their Sunbelt brethren?

Now you can find out. If we had the time, we'd figure out a comparative rating that computes the number of players that signed with Division I schools vs. each state's population. Alas, that will have to wait.

But for now, this is more than a little fun. Be sure to check out the Carolinas. The one with twice the population sure doesn't have twice the recruits.



J said...

OK, let's drill down a little.

NC is the 10th most populous state and ranks 14th on this list. My home state of Ohio is #7 in population and #5 in recruits, adding a bit of substance to my belief that while the high school football here is good, it's not quite as good as Ohio's.

Some things that really stand out:

- Alabama and Louisiana, 23 and 25 in population, are tied for 6th in recruits. This helps explain why LSU is always good, and why the Iron Bowl is the best football rivalry, hands down, with no other even coming close.

-Michigan's rep as a hotbed is becoming larger than the reality - #8 in population and #12 in recruits.

-Want proof Massechusetts likes pro sports far more than college? They're 15 in population and 37 in recruits.

-To MG's point, SC is 16 in recruits while 24 in population. This is both a point of pride for SC as well as an indictment on Steve Spurrier - despite his state having disproportionally more talent than other states, TOBC still hasn't really made the Fightin' Chickens relevant.

Michael said...

Nice, way to pick up the drill, J.

Of course, Georgia's numbers appear more than able to support its two big public football programs . . . Georgia and Auburn.

J said...

LOL! And where has BigDawg disappeared to?

Oh, and that comparative rating you mentioned, I'm working on one. I'll have to take it home and finish it, probably during the insufferable Super Bowl pregame show.

In other words, hold on, I'm going home to get a bigger drill. :-))

Anonymous said...

Bang for buck, it is Mississippi every year.

R. Trentham Roberts said...

Thanks for noticing, Anon. That's why you keep hearing Mullen harp about the importance of winning the in-state recruiting battle.

J said...

I did go home and get a bigger drill.

Assigning a rank and points similar to the weekly polls (51 points for first place, 50 for second, etc.) gives you a points value for each state (and D.C.) for recruting and population. Then, subtract the recruiting points minus the population points gives you a point value for recruits relative to population. For example, California ranked 3rd in recruits (49 points) and first in population (51 points), for a differential of -2. The higher the differential, the better.

Top 5, with recruiting & population points and differential:

1. Hawaii (31, 10, 21)
2. Mississippi (41, 21, 20)
3. Louisiana (45.5, 27, 18.5)
4. Alabama (45.5, 29, 16.5)
5. Washington, DC (16.5, 2, 14.5)

Bottom 5:

47. Washington (30, 39, -9)
48. Minnesota (21, 31, -10)
49. Missouri (22.5, 34, -11.5)
50. New York (29, 49, -20)
51. Massechusetts (15, 37, -22)

Area rankings:
SC 8
GA 12
VA 15
FL 17
NC 35

Michael said...

J, this is great.

Thanks for the work, and let us know if you need a new drill bit. I'm sure the Observer would be happy to help share the cost.