Gators Near Best in SEC at Limiting Attrition

I came across an interesting article in the Opelika-Auburn News that I thought was worth sharing and analyzing. The article takes a look at attrition in the SEC in recent years and shows that the better teams in the league generally have less attrition than the less successful ones.

Over the recruiting classes form 2006 through 2008 SEC teams averaged losing 25 of the players they signed in that period, roughly eight players a year. I had long been of the belief that "typical" attrition was about five per year, so it makes most of the SEC far from typical.

Auburn and Mississippi State "led" the league with 35 departures from their signing classes entering the 2009 season. Ole Miss, Arkansas and Kentucky are next on the list.

As for the Gators, Urban Meyer and his staff has lost just 16 players that were signed in those three years, which is more consistent with the five per year standard I had been believing in. Only Vanderbilt (10) has lost fewer players in that time.

When you hear people talk about the remarkable depth the 2009 football team enjoys you need to realize that this is the key. If you sign the right kids and retain the right kids you will build quality depth. If you don't, you're probably changing coaches somewhere along the line. Of the five worst in the SEC at retaining recruits in recent years only Rich Brooks of Kentucky has been at the school the whole time.


2006-08 Signings Attrition By School

Auburn 84 35
Miss St. 84 35
Ole Miss 83 30
Arkansas 79 28
Kentucky 79 27
LSU 78 26
S. Carolina 78 26
Tennessee 72 24
Alabama 80 23
Georgia 75 17
Florida 76 16
Vanderbilt 60 10


Of the five schools with the least attrition, only Vanderbilt (7-17) has a losing record in SEC play over the past three years. Collectively the other four schools are 63-33 with Florida (19-5) and Georgia (16-8) having the two best SEC records in that time.

Of the five schools with the most attrition Auburn and Arkansas are just above .500 in the SEC (13-11) while other three are a combined 23-49.

It's interesting to note that while South Carolina and LSU have identical stats for signing players and attrition for the past three years the Gamecocks (10-14) and Tigers (15-9) have very different numbers when it comes to results on the field.

The bottom line is that while retaining most of your signees is not a guarantee of success there seems to be a pretty strong correlation between keeping the kids you sign and winning with them.

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