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Predicting 2010 Big Ten Team Strength With Recruiting Ratings

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My post last Fall that used recruiting ratings for current rosters to predict Big Ten team strength was one of my more popular articles for the year. Building off of that article, let's take a look at how predictions for the 2010 season might look now that signing day has passed.

The scores for each team are calculated using recruiting ratings of the players that are on the roster. Ratings are pro-rated so that the impact of seniors and juniors versus freshmen is taken into account. Rivals.com ratings are used for the calculations.

For reference, let's look at the 2009 predictions:


2009bargraph_medium

And for the upcoming 2010 season:

2010bigtenpredicted_medium

For 2010, Ohio State and Michigan still have the definitive advantage in talent. Michigan fans have previously given feedback that many of Michigan's talented players left the program. In fact, Michigan has lost quite a few more of their recruits than other programs. Therefore, their predicted strength is probably overstated.

Minnesota fans can look forward to a squad that should finally have a similar talent level to border rivals Wisconsin and Iowa. Let's take a closer look at how improved recruiting classes should finally begin to pay off for the Gophers:

Borderbattle_medium

Now, it is important to remember that these ratings are estimates and do not account for attrition. For example, the 2007 Minnesota rating does not account for the loss of Alex Daniels, Dominic Jones, and several others. 2008 was the first middle-upper tier recruiting class for the Gophers, and in 2010 that class should be expected to start making a strong impact as juniors.

These predictions are based on recruiting ratings, and recruiting ratings only. Coaching, strength of schedule, player attrition, and other intangibles indefinitely contribute to the strength of a team. Regardless, Minnesota fans can reasonably expect a more talented squad in 2010 than they have seen in several years.