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ALA2262
08-22-2017, 08:39 PM
THE 2017 BLUE-CHIP RATIO: YOUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMP WILL BE ONE OF THESE 10 TEAMS
by Bud Elliott

I have a pretty good idea who will win the national championship this season. The list of true contenders is short.

Itís not based on my opinion, but rather a simple stat Iíve been tracking for a few years: the Blue-Chip Ratio, which shows what percentage of a teamís signees are rated four- or five-stars ("blue chips") as recruits.

It boils down to teams that sign more four- and five-star recruits than two- and three-stars, over the previous four recruiting classes. Thatís an exclusive club, usually consisting of the top 10 percent of FBS programs. All of the national champs over the last decade-plus have accomplished it, and often, the team taking home the trophy has signed many more elite players.

Clemson took home the title in 2016 after signing 52 percent blue chips in the 2013-16 classes. In 2015, it was Alabama with a 77 percent mark. In 2014, it was Ohio State at 68 percent. In 2013, it was Florida State at 53. And on and on.

As my colleague Bill Connelly has said, winning in college football takes talent acquisition, development, and deployment. I agree. But Gene Chizik has a national title, while Mark Dantonio and Gary Patterson do not; acquisition is by far the most important element. By NCAA rule, coaches get just 20 hours per week with their players. Only so much development can be done.

(Itís worth it to add a disclaimer. This metric is quite useful for determining which teams have signed elite talent. It is not the most useful for differentiating between bad and below average teams, or below average and average; some teams simply do not have much of a shot of signing elite prospects and instead try to find diamonds in the rough. Thatís a strategy that can produce wins, though perhaps not rings.)

THIS YEAR, IN ORDER, IT IS ALABAMA, OHIO STATE, LSU, FLORIDA STATE, GEORGIA, USC, MICHIGAN, AUBURN, CLEMSON, AND NOTRE DAME.
THESE TEAMS MADE THE BLUE-CHIP RATIO CUT

Team Blue-Chip Ratio

Alabama 80%
Ohio State 71%
LSU 65%
Florida State 65%
Georgia 63%
USC 63%
Michigan 61%
Auburn 59%
Clemson 56%
Notre Dame 56%

Thatís it. Ten teams. There are no real surprises; itís all bluebloods. This year features the lowest number of teams meeting the 50 percent threshold since I began tracking. Usually there are two or three more.

https://www.sbnation.com/a/cfb-preview-2017/blue-chip-ratio