Playing with numbers

In today’s Herald-Times, I detailed how Indiana football coach Bill Lynch seeks to use the new facilities to recruit the top-level players within the state of Indiana.

For that story, I detailed how Lynch and his staff are already successful recruiting in-state, and how Indiana produces more BCS-level players than you might imagine.

Here are the raw numbers:


1. Ohio 219

2. Pennsylvania 148

3. Illinois 112

4. Michigan 98

5. Indiana 57

6. (tie) Iowa 32

6. (tie) Minnesota 32

8. Wisconsin 28


1. Ohio State 33

2. Michigan State 32

3. Illinois 25

4. Penn State 22

5. (tie) Indiana 21

5. (tie) Wisconsin 21

7. Minnesota 19

8. (tie) Iowa 16

8. (tie) Northwestern 16

10. Michigan 14

11. Purdue 8


1. Ohio 47

2. Pennsylvania 33

3. Michigan 32

4. Illinois 21

5. Wisconsin 7

6. (tie) Indiana 5

6. (tie) Iowa 5

6. (tie) Minnesota 5


1. Wisconsin 75 percent

2. Minnesota 59.38 percent

3. Iowa 50 percent

4. Indiana 36.84 percent

5. Michigan State 32.65 percent

6. Illinois 22.32 percent

7. Ohio State 15.07 percent

8. Penn State 14.86 percent

9. Michigan 14.29 percent

10. Northwestern 14.29 percent

11. Purdue 14.04 percent

What do these numbers tell us?

That it’s no secret why Ohio State and Penn State are so good, year-in and year-out.

That Wisconsin does amazingly well for a state that produces very little BCS talent.

And that the state of Indiana is making strides, a long-held accusation.

Do keep in mind that these numbers can be inflated. Every time Indiana signs a player who also had offers from, say, Ball State and Akron, he goes in the BCS column. Had Indiana not offered, he would have not been a BCS-level player.


  1. That’s good stuff, Hugh. I’d previously looked at similar stuff in trying to understand our talent deficiency. While Indiana produces less D-1 talent than our neighbors, it’s pretty comparable to population statistics. The key, I believe, is to make the most out of the in-state boys, but with a heavy emphasis on regional recruiting. The recent studies show that distance from the recruit’s home is often the largest factor in determining their college choice. Thus, with so many recruits coming out of the Midwest, we should be looking at a recruiting radius of about 250-300 miles in order to maximize the effectiveness of our recruiting. The numbers show the regional well is plenty deep to build a competitive class every year.

  2. I’ve looked at how well recruiting ratings correspond with a team’s ranking for the past few years. I take a weighted average (freshmen make up 4%, sophomores 20%, etc. based on how much a typical recruiting class is on a typical team’s 2-deep) of the recruiting ratings and rank order that and compare it to the rankings at the end of the year. I also just updated it for the 2009 season where each team’s average recruiting rating was rank ordered. That shows how well a team should do purely on recruiting ratings. Linkage:

  3. The Indiana numbers are skewed in the way Hugh mentioned in the write up.

    If you pay attention to Indiana football at the high school level at all, you will notice that the BCS kids IU signed as a rule didn’t have other BCS offers. They became BCS level talent because of IU. That isn’t the case for all players IU signs from Indiana, it would be in the majority of cases though.

    Most Indiana high school players do not want to stay in state to play unless they are offered at Notre Dame, and even the Irish don’t have the same draw to the in state talent it once had.

    Keep in mind, in 2009 Purdue did not sign a single Indiana high school football player and Notre Dame only had 2 LOI’s from Indiana prospects.

    Hugh mentions from 2007-2009 there has been 5 prospects ranked 4 or 5 stars to come out of Indiana by Rivals.

    On the other site, there were 10 players ranked 4 or 5 stars by Scout. Only 3 of those 10 choose to play for one of the 3 BCS schools in the state. John Goodman from Ft. Wayne Dwenger and Braxton Cave from Penn High School went to Notre Dame in 2008 and Duwyce Wilson from Columbus East came to IU this year. Jerimy Finch is one of those 10, but since he left to play at Florida first, he doesn’t count as staying in state.

    The 2009 recruiting class had four players ranked 4 stars, Duwyce is the only one of those 4 star players to stay in the state.

    IU has 9 incoming players all from Indiana for 2009, only 4 of those 9 had offers from BCS schools not named Indiana.

    In 2008, only 1 of IU’s 6 Indiana based signees had an offer from another BCS school.

    The 2007 class featured 6 Indiana high school recruits, only 2 with offers from other BCS schools.

    Out of the 21 in state “BCS” recruits IU has got over the last 3 classes, only 7 (33%) of them had offers from other BCS schools.

  4. Anyone with any news on this latest commitment? I’m kind of surprised there’s still no mention of it on the H-T website…

  5. Mike P. It could be that some kids just want to come to IU enough that they commit before another program gets around to making an official offer. There are lots of kids that have interest from other BCS schools but could make it evident that they are IU bound by committing early or just by giving other verbal cues.

  6. That’s really good analysis Mike P. Thanks for enlightening us. Based on your numbers, its pretty clear that we need to do a better job with the talented in state kids.

    I wonder how many of the Indiana kids that go elsewhere end up being starters? It could be that they think they are leaving for greener pastures but it might not be turning out that way. I don’t know. So all I’m thinking is if Lynch could show them that the better opportunity to play is at IU, then maybe more would stay at home.

    Back in the days before the scholarship numbers were reduced, the football factory schools would recruit kids just to keep them away from the competition. The coach knew damn well that most of them would never play, but he didn’t want anybody else to have them. Maybe a little bit of that still goes on.

  7. GFDave, good points you make and I think that is how IU has been recruiting for a long time. Hep said as much several times. It breaks my heart worse when a kid leaves to go out of state to a big football school than if he goes to PU pr ND.

  8. Walt,

    There is always the possibility that what you mentioned is true. I put those numbers out to give the basis to what Hugh mentioned in the blog.

    My main point was even though IU recruits in state fairly well, the top tier (4 star & up) recruits are still getting out of state and not playing here. Those are the recruits we have to get!

  9. IU will stuggle with landing competitive guys with current coach. He goes after guys he’ll never get, sending out offers to top 100 picks and landing zero. I do not feel he has the recriuting, admistrative or flat-out coaching ability. So he finds lots of big guys that in the majority of cases do not work out. Just by luck and coincidence IU will land some studs. If he had an eye for talent he would be winning already. Without the help of gimme games in preseason. The best kid in Indiana is mathmstically unlikely to be better than the best kidparagraph from Florida. Purdue landed 14 kids in 2009 from Flotida! While Lynch stated we landed ” Big Ten guys”,
    Bill Lynch is a joke. His offensive bias and WR coach son will make it impossible for iU to win. That’s because defense wins championships. Lynch has already ruined recriuting and any potential for US IU guys to see a bowl game on TV or enjoy the festivities of bowl participation. Fire Lynch now!

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