February 04, 2005

The Oakland A's of college football.: I have previously said here at spofi that recruiting at a championship level at Notre Dame is impossible, but Charlie Weis may make me eat my words. He doesn't want to recruit better, he wants to recruit smarter- Moneyball for college football, though he doesn't say it.

posted by tieguy to football at 01:25 PM - 9 comments

Nice post. It may not take right away, but if New England does have a successful player valuation formula, it may work even better in college football than in the pros. There are so many more players and the different skill/ competition levels are harder to compare. You're probably more likely to find diamonds in the rough in college, but the sheer number of schools might make it harder.

posted by yerfatma at 03:47 PM on February 04, 2005

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. A key point Moneyball makes is that high school performance has very poor correlation with big-league performance, so the A's basically never draft high school kids, prefering college kids or minor-leaguers. Would be interesting to see if the same is true in football. (I'd argue that the correlation in basketball is similarly weak, but the odds are probably worth it anyway, since one player can make a huge difference in the way one can't in football or baseball. No one can afford to pass on the next KG, Kobe, or LeBron; you can afford to miss the next (say) Marino or Unit because so many other players have to be there for you to win.) [As an aside, does basketball have the deepest talent pool of the big three? Discuss.]

posted by tieguy at 04:18 PM on February 04, 2005

He should lead the Irish back to contending for the national title each year. He certainly is saying all the right things and definitely has the knowledge to produce outstanding offensive stats but he really needs a QB badly. Brady Quinn is horrible. The lack of a quality QB killed Willingham during his tenure. I still believe Willingham is great coach. Charlie, GET US A QUARTERBACK, FAST!!

posted by McLaw at 05:23 PM on February 04, 2005

I didn't mind Brady Quinn at all. tieguy, I'd say baseball has the biggest gap between high school and college talent. To oversimplify it: in baseball, you need to be able to hit a curve or throw one. The necessary abilities aren't as apparent. For football and basketball, start with the strongest, tallest, fastest, etc. They might not make the pros, but they'll dominate 90% of other D-I talent. For a Notre Dame-related example: think of Jerome Bettis in college. He left after two years, but it was a good thing: he might have killed an early season opponent. I realize he became a Hall of Fame-caliber back in the pros, but it was immediately apparent he'd be successful in college because he was a fatass who was fast and could run over people.

posted by yerfatma at 05:54 PM on February 04, 2005

I didn't mind Brady Quinn at all either, since he and the FI keep losing to my Trojans. Weiss may do better than Willingham or the other recent coaches but I expect USC to dominate the series for the near future; with Leinart coming back, next year at least should be a big W.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:20 PM on February 04, 2005

I wonder how much of this is just covering his own butt for the lackluster (ranking-wise) recruiting class.

posted by gyc at 08:40 PM on February 04, 2005

It will take 4 years to determine if Charlie is able to bring in the recruiting classes needed to compete at the National Championship level. This year is a pass due to his current employment. The next 3 years are crucial for recruiting. I notice all the USC fans don't think Brady Quinn is horrible. His reads suck and his accuracy is far too inconsistent for a top tier program. He must be great in practice cause they play him. I hate losing to USC but certainly expect loses in the next 3 years. Enjoy it Trojans cause it wont last forever. Remember that winning streak ND over you guys from 1986 to 1996.

posted by McLaw at 09:33 PM on February 04, 2005

*blinks, wonders whatever could McLaw be thinking of, blinks again*

posted by billsaysthis at 11:40 PM on February 04, 2005

Weis is already right about one thing -- schools that can't recruit in their own areas are doomed to failure. The Universities of Illinois and Indiana are prime examples. Both consistently fail to keep top football prospects in the Midwest, and both suck. Hard. Illinois was in that same mode in basketball until a few years ago, and it's no coincidence that the roster has been dotted with home(state) boys during the resurgence.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:50 PM on February 05, 2005

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.