Counting the whales

Tomorrow brings LOI Day and with it the inevitable experts, chatter and, above all, rankings. But here's a ranking that actually matters.

  1. 877 - Texas
  2. 729 – Alabama
  3. 708 – Ohio State
  4. 595 – Florida
  5. 583 – Florida State
  6. 566 – Michigan
  7. 560 – Notre Dame
  8. 454 – LSU
  9. 445 – Georgia
  10. 431 – Miami
  11. 402 – Oregon
  12. 400 – Oklahoma
  13. 375 – South Carolina
  14. 370 – Mississippi
  15. 366 – Clemson
  16. 364 – USC
  17. 362 – Stanford
  18. 347 - UCLA
  19. 337 – Texas A&M
  20. 329 – Auburn
  21. 293 – Arkansas
  22. 277 – Washington
  23. 281 – Virginia
  24. 268 – Texas Tech
  25. 254 – Oklahoma State

The number we're ranking teams by is the number of projected All-American seasons players in the current class will notch, per Scout's rankings and this study, discussed recently on our premium football board, which correlated a recruit's number of stars and his average number of All-American seasons over his college career. We have done similar rankings in years past based on previous research, but this is our first using this latest study. It's also our first look at the 2012 class on what must be Christmas Eve to recruitniks.

Five-star players will be named to an average of .081 All-American teams over their career, and are thus worth 81 points apiece in this system. By the same logic, four-, three- and two-star players are worth 32, seven and one point(s) apiece. (Totals may not sum precisely due to rounding.) Thus, Stanford can expect .362 All-American seasons out of its current 2012 class, which brings into sharp relief just how special the 2008 class was.

Stanford, as you likely are aware, is in contention for several five and four star players announcing on National Signing Day. We probably won't get them all, but we probably won't come up entirely empty-handed either, so I'll leave it to the reader's good judgment to extrapolate our final score accordingly from our current perch of 17th. Knock us down a few spots from whatever rank results from your calculation, as other teams will have some inkings tomorrow as well.

My best guess is, by this metric, we'd finish about sixth if we took two five-stars, tenth if we took one, and 15th without any. By means of comparison, Oregon (11th), USC (16th), UCLA (18th), Washington (22nd) and California (27th) are the other Pac-12 teams in the top 30.

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