clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Syracuse football: Orange blue-chip ratio among Power 5’s lowest

No surprise here, for those of us paying attention to recruiting.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tomahawk Nation and SB Nation’s Bud Elliott came up with a pretty interesting metric a few years back. The blue-chip ratio, as he calls it, measures how many more 4- and 5-star recruits you sign than 2- and 3-star recruits in a four-year cycle. The point of the measurement is to determine who actually has a realistic shot at winning the national championship going into each season by looking at the talent on the roster. If you have more 4- and 5-star recruits (50 percent or more), you’re a contender. If not, try again next year.

This year’s numbers are out, and lo and behold, Bud’s short list features all the names you’d expect:

Alabama, USC, Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame, Florida State, Michigan, Auburn, UCLA, Texas A&M, Georgia, Clemson, and Texas.

Absent and relevant to your interests? Syracuse, who comes in with a 0.01 ratio — well below the 0.50 threshold for contention.

That’s among the worst power conference figures in the country, not surprisingly. The only P5 schools to do worse? Atlantic Division-mates Boston College and Wake Forest, who both finished with a 0.0 rating. We can probably thank Alin Edouard for this, despite him never actually ending up on the Orange roster.

Those Atlantic schools are far from the only P5 programs that struggle, however. A pretty large collection of schools (many of which you’d have assumed) all come in at under two percent. There are a few Group of 5 schools that surpass that figure, including BYU, Marshall and Houston.

Looking at the ACC overall, though, it’s easy to see how the league’s current talent gulf came to be. Up top are Florida State (0.6) and Clemson (0.52). Miami -- under-coached by Al Golden for years — is next at 0.38. From there, however, it’s a steep drop to Virginia Tech’s 0.15 number. Plus eight teams in the league are below 10 percent.


Should we feel bad that Syracuse doesn’t have enough talent to be in the national title conversation? No. Or at least I don’t. If I thought that was the purpose of college football for every program, I’d have started rooting for a new team years ago. But what this does highlight is an opportunity for SU to improve its lot in the ACC very quickly.

Dino Babers and his staff have recruited well to this point. And the progress they’ve made already goes to show just how off-base the claims about the previous staff recruiting well really were. But even if they’re never going to build a national title contender in Central New York, you look at the numbers above us in the blue-chip ratio standings and it’s easy to see an opportunity. Even a team like Louisville that’s trying to achieve “elite” status isn’t that far ahead in recruiting right now. The jump from 12th to seventh on this list (or maybe, in the actual W-L standings) is really only a class or two away.