There is no good way to "Measure" up a class and even if there were a solid agreed upon measurement there is no way to know how the class will perform over the next four or five years. Khalil Mack did not "help" our ratings nearly as much as say James Potts did.
Still there is no harm in step back and try to gauge the performance of UB's recruiting machine now that the classes of 2014 have all made the switch from verbal commit to letter of intent.
The MAC fan bases may never let P.J. Fleck live down his "Row the Boat" antics but it seems that his schtick works with recruits. The first year Western Michigan Coach put together a class which ranked number one in conference on all three major recruiting services, and it was not even close. On paper this may be the best class that the MAC has seen in quite some time.
It was such a good class that it knocked Toledo off their perch as the MAC's top recruiting club. The rockets always put together a strong class and this year was no exception. Were it not for Fleck's boat full of three star recruits Toledo would have once again won the MAC "recruiting title".
NIU is NIU... They really don't care what their recruiting rankings look like because the Huskies became conference world beaters with some very modest looking recruits. No big schools were beating down the doors of Jordan Lynch or Chandler Harnish.
NIU is just flat out good at developing players.
Ball State continues to bloom, in no small part do to the retention of Pete Lembo. The Card's coach may not be long for the MAC as he seems to have no chink in his coaching armor. He recruits well, he coaches well, and he works well with booster and alumni. This years class for BSU matches Ohio.
Solich and Ohio getting a Bowl slot over Toledo last season shows that there is something behing the Bobcat brand and recruits are still buying it despite a pretty bad finish to the season.
Which brings us to Buffalo.
247 loved us while Rivals and Scout hated us. I don't know how to explain it other than these services tend to be useless once you're down in the low three and two star players. 247 does a pretty good job tracking things, they are the only service that genuinly seems on top of all 130 or so FBS team. They also do a decent job with some FCS programs.
Rivals and scout however are usually missing half of the recruits until the schools announce their classes. Then magically those boards populate with a bunch of unrated players.
A note about Akron and UMass....
A lot of these services are addicted and slanted towards the number of recruits. When a school like UMass takes in a lot of transfers or Akron takes in a lot of Grey shirts this skews their numbers down and hurts their over all rankings.
That's the "Servicves" rankings but there is a better way, in my opinion, to rank players.
I believe that it's better to consider who else was offering a player. If a guy is two stars but had offers from Syracuse, Texas Tech and Ohio State then I want him. I was too lazy to trudge through all the other teams recruting classes to see how they did but this is what 121Merrimac camp up with on UBFan.
|Team||rcts||w/ off||% w/ off||Total Off ||FBS||FCS||(P5)||(MAC)|
This is not a perfect measuring stick either. When Jake Khoury made a strong commitment to Buffalo back in June he stopped the recruiting process, hence no other offers. Now he may have pikced up a few more had he stayed open.
But as imperfect as it is this system does capture some truths.
- Truth #1 - Western Michigan Class is no joke. *30* Power Five schools were trying to land a kid who went to Western Michigan.
- Truth #2 - NIU's class, while smaller, consist of the most coveted players in the conference. Nearly 100 other schools were trying to pull a kid who went to NIU and 33 of those schools were P5.
- Truth #3 - Akron got a really bum rap. Just 13 commits but seven of them were holding other offers and 10 of those offers were P5 schools.
- Truth #4 - Buffalo had a nice class. Not a spectacular one, as the numbers go, but a "better than average" MAC Class. By UB standards one of the deepest in a long, long time. (perhaps going back to 1969).
- Truth #5 - CMU better be *REALLY* good at finding the diamonds in the rough. 4 players shared five other offers amongst CMU's class of 18. Only two of those offers were to FBS schools and both of those offers were from the MAC.
All of this ranking and truth finding needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
NIU has proven time and time again you don't need the best class to win the conference and Toledo has proven that you can have the best classes for years and still not win the MAC.