BYU has finished up one of their biggest recruiting weekends of the season now, and even casual followers of recruiting are starting to look towards the upcoming National Signing Day to see how BYU finishes off the 2016 class. The year's group looks to have a little stronger star power at the top than in the past few classes (Troy Warner is a four-star player ranked in the top 300 recruits in the country, and JUCO DT Handsome Tanielu also has a four-star designation), but with multiple spots still open, and with BYU's coaching staff still a bit in flux, it's hard to say exactly where the class will end up once the dust settles.
As of Sunday, per the 247 Composite rankings, BYU has 13 members in the class, good for a 153.00 composite score, and a ranking of 60th in the country. That relatively lower national ranking is more a reflection of the fact that BYU's class is smaller right now than most others in the country (Western Michigan, , ranked two spots above BYU, for example, has 25 commits), and depending on how many kids BYU is able to take this year, it could rise a bit more, even if the Cougars aren't able to flip another elite prospect to join this group.
Those star rankings aren't a 100% perfect indicator of BYU's, or any other program's talent level, but they do matter, and can tell us quite a bit about program depth, or which players are more likely to grow into consistent, high-level contributors. BYU may have a good chance of finishing with a decent class, but what about their opponents next year? After all, finishing with a class in the mid 50's, is fine, but if you're playing against ten teams with classes in the 20s and 30s, it could be a problem.
We went ahead and crunched the numbers, comparing BYU's ranking with the recruiting rankings over the last four seasons for everybody on their 2016 schedule, with the exception of Southern Utah. Let's just assume that BYU has a higher talent level than an FCS program. Here's what the data shows (as of 1/23), with some explanations below
|SCHOOL||2016 Rating||2016 # of Blue Chips||2015 Rating||2015 # of Blue Chips||2014 Rating||2014 # Blue Chips||2013 Rating||2013 # Blue Chips||Average Rating||Total # of blue chips|
A few quick takeaways, and notes to make sense of what all this means:
- One, it goes without saying that we need to take the 2016 data with a grain of salt, since that class isn't finished yet. I'm not expecting BYU's class rating to jump 20 points or anything, but even small tweaks could make differences in the data. Kids can flip at any time before NSD, after all.
- Based on this data, seven teams that BYU plays in 2016 have recruited at a higher level than BYU over the last four years. Depending on how 2016 class shakes out for BYU and Boise State, that could shrink to six. The two programs are very close to each other, and BYU probably finishes higher in 2016.
- The fact that UMass and Utah State recruit at very similar levels was surprising to me, seeing as UMass is one of the very worst football programs in all of FBS, and Utah State clearly isn't. To see such a disparity on the field tells me that either UMass has done a very poor job at coaching and talent development, Utah State has overachieved relative to their talent level, or some combination of the two.
- Five programs recruited at a higher level than BYU on the 2015 schedule (Nebraska, Boise State, UCLA, Michigan and Missouri), with Boise State being the closest to BYU's level. BYU went 2-3 in those games, with the two wins requiring, well, you know. You watched them.
|Talent Composite Rankings||Rating||Rank||# Blue Chips|