LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 11: Linebacker Devon Kennard #42 of the USC Trojans tackles running back Perry Jones #33 of the Virginia Cavaliers at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 11 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
UPDATE: Invisible Teams And The USC Trojans is now up at the mothership.
I always find it morbidly funny when somebody gets consecutive life sentences and ends up being "sentenced' to something like 394 years in prison. Just call it a life sentence and be done with it. Well, if USC's punishment is a precedent (granted, we know from past experience that the NCAA is not nearly as based around precedent as fans would probably like), then Miami can expect something in the neighborhood of a 72-year postseason ban, the loss of 10,800 scholarships, vacation of every win from this one to this one, the disassociation of every Miami football player of the 2000s from Miami athletics, forfeiture of every basketball win of the past three seasons, 144 years of probation, and the return of the coveted 2006 MPC Computers Bowl trophy. Or, to put it another way, a life sentence. I don't know if Miami is in line to receive the death penalty or not -- honestly, it might be cleaner that way -- but I am betting that USC fans are awfully interested in the degree of the punishment.
In the last six years, 40 of 60 teams who began the season with a Top 10 ranking in my Weighted Four-Year Recruiting Average measure (derived using Rivals recruiting points and more heavily weighting the classes from 2-4 years ago, since those are the classes most likely to be providing most of a team's starters), played at a Top 20 level overall. There are exceptions, of course, but most of the time, good recruiting rankings produce good teams.
In the last two years, however, USC has not done much to reinforce this line of thinking. The Trojans have finished 26th and 27th in our F/+ rankings despite ranking first and second, respectively, in terms of recent recruiting. As scholarship restrictions begin to take their effect on them, USC should probably figure out how to milk more out of the recruiting stars that make their way to campus.
That said, USC is not the poster child for underachievement. For that, we've got a battle between Randy Shannon's Miami teams (too much time on yachts, evidently), Bobby Bowden's final Florida State teams, and Rich Rodriguez's Michigan teams.
|Top Recruiting Teams And Their Performance On The Field
(listed in ascending order of F/+ performance)