Big Ten Football: Ranking the Rosters for 2022 (#9. Minnesota)

BleedGopher

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When it comes to college football recruiting, no conference is doing it better than the SEC. But the Big Ten had a strong showing in the national recruiting rankings once again for the 2022 cycle. Each Big Ten team finished in the top 50 of the national recruiting rankings, joining the SEC as the only conference to do so despite each conference having 14 members. And if you break down the overall rosters within the Big Ten, there is a familiar name once again sitting on top.

But has the gap between Ohio State and its top challengers been closing over the years? Penn State appeared to be trending in that direction in previous years but it has yet to translate to on-field results. And Michigan has the bragging rights right now after dominating the Buckeyes in their rivalry game last season and going on to win the Big Ten title. Was that just a minor setback for Ohio State, or a preview of things to come in a shifting Big Ten?

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for Big Ten schools over the last five (2018-22) classes, according to 247Sports' Composite Team Rankings, and each team's record over the last five (2017-21) seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account roster attrition, but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.


Go Gophers!!
 

hungan1

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When it comes to college football recruiting, no conference is doing it better than the SEC. But the Big Ten had a strong showing in the national recruiting rankings once again for the 2022 cycle. Each Big Ten team finished in the top 50 of the national recruiting rankings, joining the SEC as the only conference to do so despite each conference having 14 members. And if you break down the overall rosters within the Big Ten, there is a familiar name once again sitting on top.

But has the gap between Ohio State and its top challengers been closing over the years? Penn State appeared to be trending in that direction in previous years but it has yet to translate to on-field results. And Michigan has the bragging rights right now after dominating the Buckeyes in their rivalry game last season and going on to win the Big Ten title. Was that just a minor setback for Ohio State, or a preview of things to come in a shifting Big Ten?

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for Big Ten schools over the last five (2018-22) classes, according to 247Sports' Composite Team Rankings, and each team's record over the last five (2017-21) seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account roster attrition, but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.


Go Gophers!!
In the Big Ten West, Nebraska is an anomaly with the highest average recruiting ranking. It has not shown results concomitant with their rankings.

Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota are true to their average recruiting ranking in lockstep with one another. The Gophers are close, but yet so far. They are about two impact players away from securing their first Big Ten West title outright.

If there is any credence to the recruiting rankings, the Gophers need to get into the mid-thirties.

Rk
Team
22
21
20
19
18
Avg
WL
Conf
4Nebraska412020172324.219-3713-31
6Wisconsin441626294632.244-1730-12
7Iowa302436413934.043-1828-16
9Minnesota483838453841.435-2321-22
11Purdue377632255244.428-2920-28
13Northwestern505047515851.232-2823-22
14Illinois457388535462.619-3812-32
 


cjbfbp

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In the Big Ten West, Nebraska is an anomaly with the highest average recruiting ranking. It has not shown results concomitant with their rankings.

Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota are true to their average recruiting ranking in lockstep with one another. The Gophers are close, but yet so far. They are about two impact players away from securing their first Big Ten West title outright.

If there is any credence to the recruiting rankings, the Gophers need to get into the mid-thirties.

Rk
Team
22
21
20
19
18
Avg
WL
Conf
4Nebraska412020172324.219-3713-31
6Wisconsin441626294632.244-1730-12
7Iowa302436413934.043-1828-16
9Minnesota483838453841.435-2321-22
11Purdue377632255244.428-2920-28
13Northwestern505047515851.232-2823-22
14Illinois457388535462.619-3812-32

Well, another question that should be asked - "Is there really a significant difference in players' abilities between teams being ranked in the mid-30s and one being ranked at 41?" I suspect that there isn't. Now, watching Ohio State generally and watching Michigan against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, we probably can say with some comfort that there is a difference between being ranked around #5 (like OSU) and #13 (like Michigan) and being ranked in the mid-30s. However, Penn State has the second highest ranking but has underperformed in each of the last two years.
 

Plato

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Another example of recruiting rankings failure to predict the future.
NFL teams with all of their scouts and years to evaluate players at the college level hit as much as they miss in the draft.
It is always a mystery to me why anyone would pay to look at the ratings or pay the least attention to them.
 


Gophers1992

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Another example of recruiting rankings failure to predict the future.
NFL teams with all of their scouts and years to evaluate players at the college level hit as much as they miss in the draft.
It is always a mystery to me why anyone would pay to look at the ratings or pay the least attention to them.
I mean I think everyone will agree that obviously there's more that goes into success than recruiting rankings. At the same time everyone talked about how far ahead of the pack Georgia and Bama were this year, and a big part of that is they were on a different planet in terms of talent.

You can't recruit your way to a championship alone, but it's equally silly to suggest that talent and recruiting aren't worth anything.
 

Plato

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Of course recruiting and talent are important but so is coaching and player development.
What is foolish is paying attention to recruiting ranking numbers.
 

cjbfbp

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Of course recruiting and talent are important but so is coaching and player development.
What is foolish is paying attention to recruiting ranking numbers.

I think you're overstating the case a bit. The rankings aren't worthless by any means but I think people often fail to keep the following perspectives when judging them:

1) evaluating the potential of prep football talent is much more difficult than evaluating the potential of prep basketball talent for multiple reasons;

2) size of recruiting class figures in the rankings and schools have different sized recruiting classes depending upon their needs;

3) the total value of the program's recruiting rating for a season is the summation of the individual player ratings but if 22 players are recruited but only 11 play much or at all for a program the ratings of the other 11 are pretty irrelevant.

4) Transfers aren't included in those rankings (a pretty relevant omission these days).

5) rankings are ordinal data, not continuous data. I suspect the average difference in player rating between the #1 ranked program in the country and the #11 ranked program in the country is much larger than the average difference between the #30 and #40th ranked programs. According to 247 for the 2021 year, the average difference in player rating between the #1 ranked recruiting program (Alabama) and the #11 ranked program (Miami) was about 4.5 points. On the other hand, the average recruit rankings of the #28th ranked program (California) and the #38 ranked program (Minnesota) were virtually identical. Cal had a bigger recruiting class.
 

MNVCGUY

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I think you're overstating the case a bit. The rankings aren't worthless by any means but I think people often fail to keep the following perspectives when judging them:

1) evaluating the potential of prep football talent is much more difficult than evaluating the potential of prep basketball talent for multiple reasons;

2) size of recruiting class figures in the rankings and schools have different sized recruiting classes depending upon their needs;

3) the total value of the program's recruiting rating for a season is the summation of the individual player ratings but if 22 players are recruited but only 11 play much or at all for a program the ratings of the other 11 are pretty irrelevant.

4) Transfers aren't included in those rankings (a pretty relevant omission these days).

5) rankings are ordinal data, not continuous data. I suspect the average difference in player rating between the #1 ranked program in the country and the #11 ranked program in the country is much larger than the average difference between the #30 and #40th ranked programs. According to 247 for the 2021 year, the average difference in player rating between the #1 ranked recruiting program (Alabama) and the #11 ranked program (Miami) was about 4.5 points. On the other hand, the average recruit rankings of the #28th ranked program (California) and the #38 ranked program (Minnesota) were virtually identical. Cal had a bigger recruiting class.
5 is the biggest one that people struggle to grasp. There is a big difference in the class of athlete at the very top, but once you get beyond those top 10-15 classes the difference in the caliber of athlete starts to drop a lot to the point where the rankings are pretty meaningless overall.

In 2021 the only time it felt like we were at any sort of significant talent disadvantage was against Ohio State.
 




FanSinceTheFifties

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Does recruiting itself, let alone rankings, even matter in this new era of no loyalty to commitments, mercurial transfers, and now quasi-pro, yet contractless, players?
 

nsmike

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Does recruiting itself, let alone rankings, even matter in this new era of no loyalty to commitments, mercurial transfers, and now quasi-pro, yet contractless, players?
Recruiting matters, but it's only one factor, retention, player development, and transfers in, also matter. Rating rosters by recruiting average is overly simplistic.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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per Athlon:

When it comes to college football recruiting, no conference is doing it better than the SEC. But the Big Ten had a strong showing in the national recruiting rankings once again for the 2022 cycle. Each Big Ten team finished in the top 50 of the national recruiting rankings, joining the SEC as the only conference to do so despite each conference having 14 members. And if you break down the overall rosters within the Big Ten, there is a familiar name once again sitting on top.

But has the gap between Ohio State and its top challengers been closing over the years? Penn State appeared to be trending in that direction in previous years but it has yet to translate to on-field results. And Michigan has the bragging rights right now after dominating the Buckeyes in their rivalry game last season and going on to win the Big Ten title. Was that just a minor setback for Ohio State, or a preview of things to come in a shifting Big Ten?

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for Big Ten schools over the last five (2018-22) classes, according to 247Sports' Composite Team Rankings, and each team's record over the last five (2017-21) seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account roster attrition, but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.


Go Gophers!!
The last time that Rag was relevant was when I was in middle school, circa the Billy Beer era!
 



MNVCGUY

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Does recruiting itself, let alone rankings, even matter in this new era of no loyalty to commitments, mercurial transfers, and now quasi-pro, yet contractless, players?
Recruiting still matters, but the recruiting rankings have very little value.
 




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