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Can Recruiting Rankings Predict the Success of NCAA Division I Football Teams? An Examination of the Relationships among Rivals and Scouts Recruiting Rankings and Jeff Sagarin End-of-Season Ratings in Collegiate Football


  • Herda Trent J

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Ryan Eric D

    (Oklahoma State University)

  • DeFreitas Jason M

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Costa Pablo B

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Walter Ashley A

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Hoge Katherine M

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Weir Joseph P

    (Des Moines University)

  • Cramer Joel T

    (University of Oklahoma)


The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships among National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I football teams' 2002 recruiting rankings from the Rivals (RIV) and Scouts (SCO) recruiting services and the Jeff Sagarin end-of-season performance ratings from 20022006. The RIV and SCO recruiting services included rankings for 100 common NCAA Division I football teams for the 2002 recruiting season. Each recruiting service included a total point system rating (TOTPTS) and average star rating (AVESTAR). The Jeff Sagarin NCAA football ratings system was chosen as an indicator of the teams' performance. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients (R) and the corresponding predictive indices (R2) were used to examine whether the 2002 RIV & SCO TOTPTS and RIV & SCO AVESTAR ratings could predict the Jeff Sagarin end-of-season ratings and total number of wins for each football team for the 2002 through 2006 seasons. In addition, R and R2 values were computed to examine whether the 2002 Jeff Sagarin end-of-season ratings and total number of wins could predict the following season's recruiting rankings (2003 RIV & SCO TOTPTS and RIV & SCO AVESTAR). The results indicated that RIV & SCO TOTPTS and AVESTAR predicted up to 45% of the variances in the end-of-season ratings and total wins. Thus, other factors (besides recruiting rankings) must be contributing to the end-of-season ratings for the 100 NCAA football teams included in this study. In addition, up to 51% of the variance in RIV & SCO AVESTAR and TOTPTS was predicted by the previous year's end-of-season ratings or total wins, which suggests that more successful seasons tend to yield better subsequent recruiting classes.

Suggested Citation

  • Herda Trent J & Ryan Eric D & DeFreitas Jason M & Costa Pablo B & Walter Ashley A & Hoge Katherine M & Weir Joseph P & Cramer Joel T, 2009. "Can Recruiting Rankings Predict the Success of NCAA Division I Football Teams? An Examination of the Relationships among Rivals and Scouts Recruiting Rankings and Jeff Sagarin End-of-Season Ratings in," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 5(4), pages 1-13, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:5:y:2009:i:4:n:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Langelett, 2003. "The Relationship between Recruiting and Team Performance in Division 1A College Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(3), pages 240-245, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mirabile, McDonald & Witte, Mark, 2012. "Can schools buy success in college football? Coach compensation, expenditures and performance," MPRA Paper 40642, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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