Texas Tech Finishing Dead Last in Recruiting Doesn’t Matter
I'm not a recruiting expert, but I try to pay attention to recruiting. With the passing of this year's national signing day, I wanted to get something off my chest.
Recruiting rankings don't matter.
I know, I know, the people at 247 and Rivals do fine work and should be commended for their service to the community but ultimately they are guessing about talent and ascribing an arbitrary number to that talent. As an entire system, the recruiting rankings are helpful tools and correlate to on-field success or failure, but they aren't the end all be all when it comes to collegiate football team building.
It's not that I'm trying to play spin zone on Texas Tech's 10th ranked Big 12 recruiting class. I'm not going to try and say that it's actually a great class by national standards and Texas Tech should be in the top three in the Big 12 next year. With 13 commits, tied for the fewest in the Big 12, it would have been impossible for Texas Tech to have a solid Big 12 class ranking.
Head coach Matt Wells' commitment to transfers, which don't count toward the class ranking, is a battle plan that has been moderately successful in getting players on the field, but it hasn't translated to the win column yet.
If you ranked the Big 12 class on 247 by average recruit rating, you can see the numbers here, the Red Raiders have the 6th strongest class. Their average recruit ranking is 86.23 and Oklahoma State's is 86.15. Both classes have only one four-star recruit, yet the Cowboys rank third overall and the Red Raiders 10th. The difference is 19 Cowboy commits versus 13 Red Raiders.
On the surface, this 10th rated class looks like Texas Tech is destined to stay in the basement of the Big 12 in football. Beneath the surface though, the recruiting is on par with the middle of the Big 12 and puts Texas Tech with equal talent as most teams in the conference.
The development of talent on campus and the execution of the scheme and gameplan are different questions, but recruiting isn't the main concern for the Red Raiders.
In fact, this class is a huge step forward compared to the 2018 class in the rankings. A 22 commit class with an average rating of 83.76 and that class featured SaRodorick Thompson, Erik Ezukanma, Alan Bowman, and KeSean Carter among others.
Even with the improvement, there is certainly room to grow for Texas Tech. The roster management is going to be strange navigation over the next few years with the corona-effect on scholarships and added eligibility. How college football programs continue to build teams over the next few years could have a huge impact on teams that have had trouble retaining talent long enough to put a solid team together.
If you look at the transfers and seniors that chose to stay at Texas Tech for another season as additions to the recruiting class the total number is closer to 30 than 13.
The bottom line, to me, is that the recruiting number shouldn't be an excuse for why Texas Tech isn't winning games. The "cupboard was bare" argument that is run out when defending Matt Wells is worn out and over-used. The amount of close losses and the eye test says this Texas Tech program is just as talented as most other teams in the Big 12. Right in line with Oklahoma State, Kansas State, TCU, and Baylor.
The Red Raiders must be better at scheming to their talent and putting their players in a position to be successful. On both offense and defense. Do they need more talent? Yes, everyone does outside of Alabama.
There's no good reason that Texas Tech hasn't been in Bowl games more in the last three seasons. They've had the talent to be bowl eligible. This recruiting class adds more talent. The last class added talent. The transfers have filled gaps.
It all comes down to winning games and this roster can do that as well as at least six other teams in the Big 12.
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