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Recruiting On The High Seas: A Look At The Big 12

This is the last that you'll see about recruiting from me for a while, but I was asked if I could do a retrospective for the entire Big 12 and sadly, I did not breakdown the entire conference by offense and defense, but I did have the time this past weekend to look at the past 4 years recruiting classes for the entire Big 12 conference, did some simple math to get the average, and did the delta between the years.

Disclaimer: I do not believe that recruiting rankings mean everything, but they do mean something. It's my belief that to say they mean nothing is disingenous, however, I also do not believe that they are the end-all be-all to determining how a team will perform. Bottom line, I think they are a strong indicator, but not the only indicator (i.e. coaching consistency, player development, etc.).

Team 2006 2007 2008 2009 Average 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009
Texas 3.60 3.79 3.55 3.89 3.71 0.19 (0.24) 0.34
Oklahoma 3.54 3.38 3.81 3.45 3.55 (0.16) 0.43 (0.36)
Nebraska 3.27 3.33 2.96 3.18 3.19 0.06 (0.37) 0.22
Texas A&M 2.96 2.89 3.17 3.19 3.05 (0.07) 0.28 0.02
Oklahoma State 3.03 3.04 3.04 3.06 3.04 0.01 - 0.02
Texas Tech 2.88 2.73 3.00 3.11 2.93 (0.15) 0.27 0.11
Missouri 2.63 2.89 3.00 3.05 2.89 0.26 0.11 0.05
Colorado 2.61 2.68 3.24 2.90 2.86 0.07 0.56 (0.34)
Kansas 2.72 2.57 3.10 3.00 2.85 (0.15) 0.53 (0.10)
Kansas State 2.52 2.67 2.94 2.29 2.61 0.15 0.27 (0.65)
Baylor 2.34 2.34 2.45 2.68 2.45 - 0.11 0.23
Iowa State 2.50 2.44 2.33 2.50 2.44 (0.06) (0.11) 0.17

There's no question as to the two teams at the top. Texas and Oklahoma are, by far, in a class by themselves. I don't pay much attention to either of these two teams' delta because we're talking about really good players, despite the fact that a particular class may be better or worse than another.

At Nebraska, I don't think that recruiting was ever a problem for Callahan, it's what he did with the talent on the field that was the problem, at least that's what I think the general concensus was regarding Callahan's tenure at Nebraska.

The Aggies have always recruited well, despite your dislike for them, and they will probably always recruit well because of their proximity to Houston and irregardless of a head coach.

Oklahoma State is by far the most consistent team in terms of recruiting, and that's somewhat surprising and if there's ever an indication that OSU is going to have a good year next year, this is probably a good reason why. Gundy is doing a very good job of recruiting to Oklahoma State and it's starting to show up in terms of wins and losses.

I'm holding close my contention that Texas Tech's recruiting is getting better, slowly but surely, but Texas Tech's problem is that they're in the wrong division in the Big 12. Five of the top six teams in recruiting are all in the Big 12 South and it's only getting more and more competitive.

Missouri has shown the most consistent improvement, from year to year and much like Texas Tech, Mizzou is a school that is not going to make a huge jump in any one year, but needs to focus on getting consistently better is the key.

Colorado and Dan Hawkins have greatly improved the recruiting at Colorado and the key for him is making it happen on the field, but it may not happen for at least another year or two.

Kansas made a huge jump from 2007 to 2008 (Orange Bowl effect?) and thus far look to maintain their 2008 pace for the most part. Although the numbers aren't here, Kansas had previously had less than stellar recruiting classes, but give Magino credit.

Kansas State seems to be the most up-and-down and the Wildcat 2008 class was Ron Prince's JUCO-experiment so that high ranking may not be indicative that any success from that class will be long-lived.

Baylor is gaining ground, again, baby-steps.

I really don't want to say anything negative about the Cyclones and the one thing that I'll offer is that I think it's going to help to have a guy in charge who really wants to be in Ames and is passionate about his school. For whatever reason, I feel bad for the Cyclones.