I’m a big fan of the website College Football Matrix. It’s a site dedicated to analyzing certain aspects of college football based solely on the numbers, especially related to the effectiveness of a team’s recruiting. A recent article that caught my attention was the idea of these coaching ranks. In the post, CFM quantified the success of individual coaches based on a composite recruiting rank determined by averaging the overall class rank of the previous four years. They determined that a team with a higher composite recruiting rank wins at home 75 percent of the time and on the road 68 percent of the time. From there, they calculated the number of times a coach scored an upset or was upset based on recruiting rank and then divided that number by the number of years they have been coaching with the max number to divide by being four. Confusing? Here, maybe this explanation from the post will help:
These rankings are not about the ‘best overall coaches’, but rather how well they do relative to their recruited talent. You need to keep in mind, that elite teams have very few opportunities to earn +1 games and are always on an ‘upset alert’. The flip side is true of very poorly talented teams like Duke, Iowa State, et al, in that nearly every conference game is a chance for an upset. A zero effect for these teams is an indicator of a stagnating program.
Since UK and Lousiville both had new coaches last year, all their numbers are based on last season and last season alone, while recruiting rank from the past four years is still used. Still, it’s still fun to laugh at the Cards. They were ranked as the team most likely to get upset at home, the second most likely team to get beat at home and tied for sixth worst in overall coach rank. On the flip side of the coin, UK and Joker Phillips was ranked the fourth most likely team to upset you at home. After seeing the attendance numbers, it should come as no surprise that Commonwealth Stadium provides a good home field advantage for the Cats.
I’d encourage you to check out the post in its entirety. It’s great for a new perspective and an added statistical element for arguments pertaining to top college coaches.