Rivals Ranking System

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Last updated: 10/07/2013 4:27 PM
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Football Recruiting

Season of Recruiting Rankings: Rivals
By Michael Chung

With the firings of Lane Kiffin and Paul Pasqualoni, the “season of coaching rumors” has begun. In Texas, Mack Brown is on the hot seat and do not be surprised if more high profile jobs become available in the near future.

But there is another season in college football that almost never ceases, and that is one of recruiting rankings. As National Signing Day nears, recruiting services rank teams’ classes for a mythical national recruiting championship.

Recruitnicks follow four main outlets: Rivals, Scout, 24/7, and ESPN. Major newspapers are now hiring beat writers that cover recruiting and online football sites, so the landscape of recruiting and its coverage is going up.

In this issue of the-Ozone’s football recruiting, I want to explore one of the main outlets ranking system—Rivals— in the hopes to help fans better understand how they crown their recruiting champion.

Alabama has won the mythical Rivals team recruiting rankings five out of the last six years and currently sits atop Rivals' ranking for 2014. The only year Alabama did not win the Rivals recruiting rankings championship was in 2010 when they finished 5th. It is no secret why Alabama has won three of the last four national titles and currently sits at #1 in almost every poll. We will now look at how the Rivals system works and see if Ohio State has a chance at finishing #1.

Rivals
In my opinion, Rivals is the best of the bunch. Rivals ranks many of their recruits based on personal interaction at camps, not just film study. While I was covering the Army All American bowl in 2013, Rivals was holding camps for prospects from all over the country that were underclassmen. They had an early face-to-face evaluation of many premiere prospects.

The Rivals formula is simple: Rivals Rating points + Rivals250 Bonus Points = Total Points

Rivals assign points to each player. Have you ever seen a player with a 6.0 rating? 5.9? 5.2? These are all Rivals Ratings that translate into points. Here is their scale:

6.1 = 150 points
6.0 = 135 points
5.9 = 120 points
5.8 = 105 points
5.7 = 90 points
5.6 = 75 points
5.5 = 60 points
5.4 = 45 points
5.3 = 30 points
5.2 = 15 points

Prospects without an assigned rating will count for no points. All FBS committed prospects will have a rating once evaluated and rankings are updated.

Now factor in whether or not these recruits are in the Rivals 250. If they are, then they receive points per place in their ranking helping their school:

#1= 100 points
#2= 83 points
#3= 82 points
#4= 81 points
#5= 80 points
#6= 76 points
#7= 75 points
#8= 74 points
#9= 73 points
#10= 72 points
#11= 69 points
#12= 68 points
#13= 67 points
#14= 66 points
#15= 65 points
#16= 64 points
#17= 63 points
#18= 62 points
#19= 61 points
#20= 60 points
#21= 59 points
#22= 58 points
#23= 57 points
#24= 56 points
#25= 55 points
#26-30= 53 points
#31-35= 51 points
#36-40= 49 points
#41-45= 47 points
#46-50= 45 points
#51-55= 43 points
#56-60= 41 points
#61-65= 40 points
#66-70= 39 points
#71-75= 38 points
#76-80= 37 points
#81-85= 36 points
#86-90= 35 points
#91-95= 34 points
#96-100= 33 points
#101-105= 32 points
#106-110= 31 points
#111-115= 30 points
#116-120= 29 points
#121-125= 28 points
#126-130= 27 points
#131-135= 26 points
#136-140= 25 points
#141-145= 24 points
#146-150= 23 points
#151-155= 22 points
#156-160= 21 points
#161-165= 20 points
#166-170= 19 points
#171-175= 18 points
#176-180= 17 points
#181-185= 16 points
#186-190= 15 points
#191-195= 14 points
#196-200= 13 points
#201-205= 12 points
#206-210= 11 points
#211-215= 10 points
#216-220= 9 points
#221-225= 8 points
#226-230= 7 points
#231-235= 6 points
#236-240= 5 points
#241-245= 4 points
#246-250= 3 points

Tally all these points up and you have the points for your team. This is Rivals’ new formula they simplified in 2013.

The Buckeyes have five players with a Rivals Ranking of 6.0—Dante Booker, Jayln Holmes, Demetrius Knox, Curtis Samuel, and Damon Webb— which equals 675 points; one player, Jamarco Jones, at 5.9, which adds another 120 points to 795. Five more players at 5.8—Kyle Berger, Noah Brown, Marcelys Jones, Terry McLaurin, Kyle Trout—which is 105 times 5 equaling 525 added to 795 equals 1320. Four more players at 5.7—Parris Campbell, Sam Hubbard, Lonnie Johnson, Dylan Thompson—at 90 points each times 4 equals 360 plus 1320 equals 1680. Malik Hooker is a 5.6, which adds another 75 pts. for a total of 1755. And two players at 5.5—Stephen Collier and Sean Nuernberger—which is 60 times 2 equaling 120 that brings the Rivals Rating Points to 1875.

The next category is how many are on the Rivals 250 list. Of the Rivals 250— Damon Webb (32), Demetrius Knox (35), Curtis Samuel (44), Jayln Holmes (50), Dante Booker (71), Jamarco Jones (108), Kyle Trout (198), Noah Brown (212), and Kyle Berger (224)—were on the list.

Webb and Knox garner 51 pts. apiece, Samuel brings 47, Holmes brings 45, Booker 38, Jamarco Jones 31, Kyle Trout 13, Noah Brown 10, and Kyle Berger 8, adding another 294 points for a total of 2169 pts., good for third place in the current ranking system behind #1 Alabama at 2550 and Tennessee at 2311.

Can Urban Meyer overtake Nick Saban? Can the Buckeyes win the mythical Rivals recruiting national championship? Below I have listed the prospects I believe Ohio State has the best chance of signing. I included their position in the Rivals 250 (if they are on the list) and their Rivals rating.

Damian Prince (11, 6.1)
Raekwon McMillan (18, 6.1)
Quenton Nelson (19, 6.1)
Solomon Thomas (24, 6.0)
John “Ju Ju” Smith (26, 6.0)
Marshon Lattimore (54, 6.0)
Thomas Holley (67, 6.0)
Johnnie Dixon (107,5.9)
DeAndre Goolsby (168, 5.8)
Erick Smith (195, 5.8)
Mike Gesicki (5.7)
Alex Bookser (5.7)
Chad Mavety (5.8)
Jamal Adams (29, 6.0)
Brock Ruble (5.7)
Avery Gennesy (5.8)

There should be 4-6 more spots for 2014. I believe the final six will be filled by Mike Geiscki, Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith, Raekwon McMillan, Thomas Holley, and an OL from Damian Prince, Alex Bookser, Chad Mavety, Avery Gennessy, Quenton Nelson (current ND commit), and Brock Ruble so at this point, let us put down Chad Mavety (though Damian Prince and/or Quenton Nelson would offer most Rivals points).

Can the Buckeyes overtake Alabama in Rivals recruiting rankings? If this is the case Gesicki adds 90 points, Mavety 105, Lattimore adds 43+135=178; Smith adds 14+105=119; McMillan adds 62+150=212, and Holley would add 39+135=174 for a total of 878. If we add the hypothetical 878 to the current 2169, the Buckeyes would finish with 3047 pts. and be ahead of Alabama if Nick Saban does not sign anyone else.

Saban would need to add 497 more points just to tie Urban Meyer in this scenario. So by the numbers, the Buckeyes have a good chance of winning the Rivals recruiting championship. Substitute Prince for Mavety and Goolsby for Gesicki, not to mention possibly adding Johnnie Dixon or John “Ju Ju” Smith and the points go up even more. Either way, the Buckeyes are a lock for a top five finish and have a great chance to have the number one recruiting class for 2014.

Do not be surprised if players like Stephen Collier, Marcelys Jones, Damon Webb, and Demetrius Knox increase in value or that new players will be added to a revised list of the Rivals 250 but according to Rivals, Ohio State is doing really well this year in recruiting.

In the next article on the recruiting rankings, we will look at Scout.

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