Bad News Georgia Fans: The Bulldogs Aren’t As Talented As You Want Them to Be
One of the recurring themes on comments I’ve seen (on my article from yesterday as well as Chad’s article from yesterday) is the notion that “anyone with this much talent should be winning a National Championship.”
I’m not sure where that notion comes from.
Obviously, the measure of talent is somewhat arbitrary. I don’t pretend to believe that recruiting services are fool-proof, but I do think it’s safe to say that recruiting analysts are better at measuring and ranking talent than the average fan. After all, they’re making a living off predicting how well a high school player will perform at the collegiate level. So unless someone sees something consistently in the form of an “eye test” that indicates Georgia has more talent than every other school in the country, using recruiting class rankings and player ratings is about as good of a measure as any.
Through that framework, Georgia isn’t the most talented team in the country. In fact, I can make a case—based on talent—that Georgia should not be winning a national championship, because four teams in the Bulldogs’ own conference boast more theoretical talent. Not surprisingly, those four teams also happen to be the only four teams who have won an SEC Championship more recently than Georgia.
Using data from the 247Sports Composite (which reconciles multiple recruiting services) I found that Georgia’s average recruiting class ranking over the past five years (2010-2014) is a respectable 9.0. That would be great, except:
- Alabama: 1.8
- Florida: 5.8
- LSU: 7.6
- Auburn 8.2
Want to talk elite top-end talent? Georgia has signed ten 5-star players over this time period. Alabama as signed 19.
Georgia’s reeled in fifty 4-star athletes. Every school in this sample pulled in at least 10% more than Georgia.
- Auburn: 55
- Florida: 62
- LSU: 67
- Alabama: 73
In total, Georgia has signed 106 players with a 3+ star rating over the course of this five year period. Again, that figure is strong. It’s just not better than:
- Florida: 121
- LSU: 123
- Auburn: 124
- Alabama: 128
There’s no basis, as far as recruiting is concerned, for making the argument that Georgia has “too much talent not to win a national championship,” because Georgia doesn’t even hold a decisive recruiting edge within its own division, let alone the conference.
“But,” I can already hear you saying. “What about all those big, bad Bulldogs in the NFL.”
What about them?
Georgia has 48 players on NFL rosters according to this database. That’s fantastic. LSU has 56 and Alabama has 54. Florida is right behind with 47. Where’s the edge?
If we want to look at a more finite and recent term, Alabama has had 37 players drafted over the past five years. LSU has had 35 drafted over the same time frame. Georgia has had 28 players selected during that epoch.
If Georgia doesn’t have a talent advantage as measured by incoming talent (recruiting rankings) or out going talent (the NFL Draft), why the hell would we assume that Georgia has a talent advantage during players’ collegiate years? That seems ludicrous to me.
That’s all I got/