If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – We ran an article earlier this week wondering if the ACC was really as bad it seems, and the answer is, unfortunately, yes.

I decided to ask several people that I know and respect their opinions – people in and around different athletic departments – what has caused the decline of football for several of the schools, and the answers were as varied and myriad as the people I asked.

Some suggested that several ACC schools take the majority of their money that they earn from football and the football contracts and throw that money into other sports – such as Duke with basketball, Maryland with lacrosse, Boston College with hockey, etc.

I understand that other schools care more for other sports than football than say, FSU or Clemson or Virginia Tech – but I wonder how much of the money is diverted into other programs? Those are questions that can be answered with more research and in another article. It would also be interesting to see how much of the “football money” that Clemson receives goes back into football and how much is earmarked for other programs.

One person suggested that the ACC is full of coaches that are just “blah”, but I think Miami made a good hire in Al Golden and UNC with Larry Fedora. Clemson’s Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
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has had his growing pains and has learned on the job, but Clemson has turned the corner.

Frank Beamer is a rock at Virginia Tech, and I think the jury is still out on Jimbo Fisher at FSU, even though Fisher is a great recruiter.

I don’t believe Paul Johnson is a coach that can turn the corner at Georgia Tech, despite what other people think. That offense has been difficult for Clemson to stop, but he has gotten beat up in bowl games by lesser teams who have two or three weeks to prepare and in my opinion he won’t be able to recruit the kind of top-tier talent to Atlanta that it takes to win a BCS game.

Other coaches such as Randy Edsall, Tom O’Brien, Jim Grobe – they are good coaches but can they have long-term sustainability where they are? Who knows? I certainly don’t.

However, the one thing that was a recurring theme among everyone that I talked to – as it should be and as common sense dictates – is that the ACC as a whole doesn’t have the caliber of player that you see in other conferences. Sure, the top-line players match up, and schools like Clemson and FSU have tons of talent across the board, but the other schools simply don’t have that depth.

As a result – and really just for kicks – I decided to take a look at the Rivals recruiting rankings dating back to 2008, just to see how Clemson and the rest of the ACC matched up nationally. Obviously, recruiting rankings are subjective, and what happens to a player once he arrives on campus is almost as important as how much talent he has before he arrives.

There are coaches out there who are simply better than others at developing talent, and I get that. But it also helps to have talent on hand to develop.

Here are the recruiting rankings since 2008, and I included the 2013 rankings to date as well. At the end, I also included which team was number one, where the SEC ended up, and where our rival South Carolina landed.

2013 – FSU 12; Clemson 13; Virginia Tech 15; UNC 17; Virginia 19; N.C. State 27; Pitt 37; Maryland 39; Miami (FL) 41; Ga. Tech 48; Boston College 49; Duke tie for 56; Wake Forest 67; Syracuse 79; SEC has five of the top 10. Southern Cal is number one. South Carolina is number 14.

2012 – FSU 6; Miami (FL) 9; Clemson 14; Virginia Tech 22; Virginia 27; Maryland 35; UNC 44; Duke 52; N.C. State 53; Georgia Tech 56; Boston College 63; Wake Forest 69. SEC has three of the top 10. Alabama No. 1 and South Carolina No. 19.

2011 – FSU 2; Clemson 8; UNC 16; Virginia 25; Virginia Tech 33; Miami (FL) 36; Boston College 38; Georgia Tech 41; Maryland 43; Wake Forest 69; Duke 76; N.C. State 86. SEC 4 of top 10 and five of top 12. SEC four of the top 10, six of top 13. Alabama No. 1 and South Carolina No. 18.

2010 – FSU 10; Miami, (FL) 16; Clemson 19; Virginia Tech 23; North Carolina 29; N.C. State 34; Maryland 36; Georgia Tech 43; Boston College 47; Virginia 67; Wake Forest 69; Duke 72. SEC five of the top 10. Southern Cal No. 1 and South Carolina No. 24.

2009 – FSU 7; UNC 9; Miami (FL) 15; Virginia Tech 23; Maryland 26; Virginia 33; Clemson 37; Georgia Tech 49; Duke 51; N.C. State 52; Wake Forest 64; Boston College 70. SEC has four of the top 10 and six of the top 12. Alabama No. 1 and South Carolina No. 12.

2008 – Miami (FL) 5; FSU 9; Clemson 12; Virginia Tech 18; N.C. State 31; UNC 32; Boston College 33; Maryland 38; Georgia Tech 49; Wake Forest 58; Virginia 61; Duke 65. SEC three of top 10 and four of top 11. Alabama No. 1 and South Carolina No. 22.

Alabama won the national championship a year ago, and currently leads the polls and is the favorite to win it again this season. Not surprising is the fact that the Tide have finished number one in the rankings four out of the last five years. Being able to pick and choose the top players from across the southeast is a major factor in why Nick Saban has been able to sustain that success – that and the fact that he is a driven coach who has great assistants, such as defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and former Clemson assistants Burton Burns and Chris Rumph.

If you look at just the rankings, a big culprit in the ACC appears to be Florida St., which hasn't won the ACC since 2005, has one season of 10 wins since 2003, has lost at least three games in every season since 2001, and has lost four games in all but two of those seasons Those numbers don’t reflect a program that has finished in the top 10 of the recruiting rankings each of the past five years.

Interestingly enough, Clemson has averaged a finish of 18th over those five years, while South Carolina has averaged a 19th place finish. However, South Carolina has beaten Clemson each of the past three seasons.

Miami slips in just ahead of Clemson with a 16th place average finish, but the rest of the ACC is lacking – Virginia Tech (23); UNC (26); Maryland (35.6); Virginia (42.6); Georgia Tech (48.8); Boston College (50.2); N.C. State (51.2); Duke (63.2); and Wake Forest (65.8).

Obviously, there are a lot of factors that determine how well a team performs after the recruiting cycle is done – do players stay in the program, how well are they developed, etc. – but it looks like if the ACC wants to achieve any long-term success, it needs to simply recruit better players.
Also, someone besides Florida St. needs to step up and become “the team” in the conference.

However, I want to know what you think. How much of it is recruiting and how much is player development? Obviously, there are teams out there – Boise St. and West Virginia come to mind – who have had recent success on the field without sustaining any type of recruiting success – while schools like Texas have struggled in recent seasons with tons of talent on the field.

I will sit back now and hear what you have to say….


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Subject (Replies: 95) Author
Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
B-Meist®
If not for the small class during the 2008 coaching change
civil engr
I'm tired of that myth, it's BS!! Dabo made a choice to only
deleted
Im tired of people saying its a myth. If you can do math
MSTiger02®
Ford never did that and it has absolutely nothing to do with
deleted
Here is the difference. If Dabo misses on 2 and 3 star guys
MSTiger02®
Re: Here is the difference. If Dabo misses on 2 and 3 star guys
Litefoot®
So we only sign 4 & 5 star guys? Anything else is too big of
deleted
There is more to recruiting than just the number of stars a
tigerfan28173
Re: So we only sign 4 & 5 star guys? Anything else is too big of
dgcannon39
Why not offer some of the diamonds in the rough an
tigerfan28173
And you would have led the parade berating Dabo for
Tiger5
I love how arrogant pumpers are to assume they know me or
deleted
Re: Ford never did that and it has absolutely nothing to do with
dgcannon39
I think you're right on the money...
tigrjm76®
It's shocking you come back from vacation and start on the
Bryanttiger®
Tired? In case you missed it, it is a front page story by a
deleted
I love how everything you say is facts and everyone
Bryanttiger®
His recruiting is exactly the same as TB's last 3 classes. I
deleted
Yeah 2 division titles and a conference title in 3 years
Bryanttiger®
Clearly you didn't read David Hoods article.***
deleted
Sure I did and I just gave facts
Bryanttiger®
LOL. Ya, Clemson, 1 mighty ACC title. Joke outside the ACC.***
deleted
He has had 3 full seasons
Bryanttiger®
Re: LOL. Ya, Clemson, 1 mighty ACC title. Joke outside the ACC.***
tigerinaiken®
PS: You & Stanley are very very close to permanent bans. You
deleted
Re: PS: You & Stanley are very very close to permanent bans. You
Bryanttiger®
As usual, you are wrong. Check your Tmail.***
deleted
Well, un-block me, then I'll tmail you the facts/truth.***
deleted
You using the words "facts/truth"... Now that's funny right
deleted
LOL. Riiiight.***
deleted
Re: PS: You & Stanley are very very close to permanent bans. You
tigerinaiken®
Are you sure you're a Clemson fan?
CUsouix®
Re: I'm tired of that myth, it's BS!! Dabo made a choice to only
dgcannon39
Re: Have you compared academic requirements?
deleted
Academics matter- but Stanford, USC, et al, do just fine.
Razzmatazz
Wow. I was actually going to make a mildly snarky comment
vlastimil_hort
Duke & Stanford have long been Ivy League caliber. Stanford
deleted
Texas, UF, Baylor, Stanford, and others are better schools
deleted
Point. Exactly!!***
deleted
Re: Let's see
deleted
Stanford was great under great coaches, bad under bad ones.
Razzmatazz
Re: USC
deleted
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
Koben
Coaching AND player talent matter. Dabo/Bowden underperform.
Razzmatazz
Re: Coaching AND player talent matter. Dabo/Bowden underperform.
Koben
Young? He's almost 10 years older than Ford was in '81 and
deleted
Um, Ned, two 9-win seasons in 9 years does NOT come close
deleted
Re: Young? He's almost 10 years older than Ford was in '81 and
tigerinaiken®
Yawn***
Bashful Baron
Simply put, you may be a fairly intelligent guy, but you
deleted
Teams that have respected coaching staffs and consistent top
deleted
I don't even read Stanley's juvenile insulting posts anymore***
Razzmatazz
Re:What's juvenile about them? ***
peanut
Name-calling, inability to comprehend & make civil response.***
Razzmatazz
Get off your silly high horse. I'm not sure what namecalling
deleted
You poor guy. There's nothing juvenile about anything I've
deleted
You really need to tell someone to watch the insults
Bryanttiger®
Same as you and Stanley, but I'm not nearly as close to a
deleted
Re: Same as you and Stanley, but I'm not nearly as close to a
Bryanttiger®
So you're a troll and tattle tail. How impressive. Get a
deleted
Let's discuss...
deleted
Spurrier is not the reason south carolina has taken the next
fpeyton
HGH has helped a lot too.***
deleted
Again with the HGH? You actually have proof or
DontH8me®
Not "just plain bashing".
deleted
Point, been posting this since midway thru TB's 3rd year.***
deleted
That's a lie...
deleted
Re: Coaching AND player talent matter. Dabo/Bowden underperform.
facman
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
MackDaddy®
VT & Clemson won then got better in recruiting, as did
deleted
Agree with vanguard
fightigers
We seem to have more than our share of 4, 5 star busts
tigertrain
B/C talent still needs to be developed & coached***
deleted
Re: B/C talent still needs to be developed & coached***
deroberts
deroberts posts groundhog day for the 1,000th time, imagine
deleted
Re: deroberts posts groundhog day for the 1,000th time, imagine
Bryanttiger®
Says the creepy stalker.***
deleted
Facts show our accomplishments have improved greatly since
deleted
Development didn't have anything to do with Bellamy, Jk Jay,
tigertrain
JK Jay's career-ending injury occurred in S&C "development".
Razzmatazz
I call
mojotiger
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
tigerHD
Recruiting depends on the talent pool
OldGreenTom
Notre Dame!!
Rickrolled
Don't forget the difference a few JUCO's can make to a team.***
kbtiger®
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
91grad
ACC needs more than that. Coaching has been terrible across
TigersAndCubs
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve***
Rally119
ACC coaching and recruiting
Rally119
Just like Tommy Bowden's decade-long tenure?***
Razzmatazz
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
tigerman85
Re: Line of Scrimmage. That's where we lack recruiting...
gosmitty
The ACC needs to start oversigning like the SEC
IPTAY FAMILY
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
sideliner
Re: Front Page Story: If the ACC wants to make a statement nationally, recruiting has to improve
wcheaton777

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