Aubserver Mailbag 84: Ratioed
This week: The Blue-Chip Ratio, DL rotation, Ze'Vian Capers, Media Days, Jabari Smith's Twitter, Allen Greene, apparel deals, tag teams, the Braves and drumsticks
(Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics)
The Auburn Observer is about a lot of things — Xs and Os, in-depth analysis, player breakdowns, grocery store hats.
But one of the biggest things this newsletter is about is numbers. Although I was always tuned more toward reading and English during school, I’ve always liked numbers.
I get some of that from my mom, who was a math teacher, and I get some of that in a sports context from studying things like Athlon preview magazines and the backs of baseball cards when I was a kid.
This week’s mailbag is a lot about numbers. We talk recruiting numbers. We talk depth chart and rotational numbers. We talk receiving numbers. We talk contract numbers. And we talk numbers for a hypothetical intergenerational football game.
Let’s start with the recruiting numbers, specifically the almighty Blue-Chip Ratio. Here we go.
What is the worst case recruiting scenario for the ‘23 class and still remain in the BCR? In other words, how many 3* can Auburn take and still be in the BCR?
This week was Blue-Chip Ratio week, where 247’s Bud Elliott runs the numbers and shows the teams who have the talent to win a national championship in a given season.
I’ve referenced it quite a bit in podcasts and newsletters, but in case you don’t know — the BCR is a measurement of how “college football teams need to sign more four- and five-star recruits (AKA “Blue Chips”) than two- and three-star players over the previous four recruiting classes.” It’s rare company, as only 15 rosters in the country have this heading into 2022, with Auburn being No. 15.
It’s also not a measurement of who “should” win games when lined up head-to-head. It’s just that, since the dawn of the championship game in major college football, the only teams that have won have had a BCR above 50%. Oddly enough, 2010 Auburn had the lowest BCR of any modern champion, which shows you can overcome a lot if you have a generational talent at quarterback.
For the 2023 BCR, Auburn will be measured by the 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 classes. Here is how those classes add up:
2020: 17 blue chips out of 27 signees
2021: 6 blue chips out of 19 signees
2022: 11 blue chips out of 18 signees
TOTAL: 34 blue chips out of 64 signees (53.1%)
By my calculations, Auburn can only sign three more 3-stars than blue chips in its 2023 class and stay in the Blue Chip Ratio. In any ratio where it’s four or more higher, the numbers go below 50%. That’s how much wiggle room Auburn has left after “losing” a 2019 class that was two-thirds blue chips.
The reality is that the 2021 class that signed during the coaching change really screwed up Auburn’s ratio. And even though the Tigers’ 2022 class was smaller than usual and finished outside of the top 20 in the 247Sports Composite, it’s still the type of class you need to sign to be in BCR territory.
However, let’s also keep in mind that the raw BCR doesn’t account for transfers just yet. Elliott wrote this week that he’s continuing to work on coming up with the best way to include those in the portal era, and he pointed out that transfers don’t really sway much for the elite recruiters when it comes to the overall talent level. Here’s that above chart, just with transfers added:
What that shows us is that Auburn might be in the BCR — and it’s regressed over the last few years in that department — but on the field, it’s just barely in that ballpark. (The 2019 and 2020 classes have a lot of dudes who are no longer at Auburn.) The challenge is very obvious for Bryan Harsin and his staff, especially with the amount of regular opponents who are only getting better in recruiting year after year. The Tigers have to bring in more blue chips and play the portal well.
How concerned are you recruiting for football? BH has 4 recruits and ranked 70th for 2023. The top 100 recruits are not taking Auburn seriously, most likely due to what happened a couple months ago. BH is a lame duck coach, correct?