Talent Gap: Georgia Tech

Last year the IRT broke down Notre Dame’s talent level against its last two opponents(USC and LSU.) Using the Rivals recruiting star system, we aim to make the same comparison to ND’s next opponent: Georgia Tech.

First, front-line talent. Looking at the starters from each team, how were they ranked coming out of high school:

Notre Dame Starters
Sharpley, Jones, Clausen(Ave)
Thomas ***
Grimes ***
Schwapp **
Carlson ***
Duncun ***
Laws ****
Kuntz ***
Ryan ***
Vernaglia ****
Crum ***
Smith, Toryan ***
GT Starters
Choice ***
Johnson, James **
Cooper, George ****
Gardner **
Anoai ***
Hall, KaMichael ***
Guyton **
Wheeler ***
Scott, Kenny ****
Smith, Greg

GT’s projected starters came in with an average of 2.59 stars while Notre Dame starters enjoyed a 3.36 average ranking. This represents a difference of .77 stars, nearly four-fifths of a star difference between each starter. This is a huge difference. Notre Dame owns a tremendous advantage in front line talent as perceived by the recruiting gurus.

Also of note is that Notre Dame’s projected front-line talent is less than last year(3.45 in 2006.)
Now the depth of talent:

Notre Dame Class
Number of Recruits Ave Stars
18 3.72
2006 28 3.46
15 3.0
18 2.83
79 3.29
GT Class
Number of Recruits Ave Stars
20 3.3
16 2.69
19 2.37
23 2.22
78 2.66

Here we see another huge advantage for the Irish. Not only is the starting talent better than GT’s, but also the depth of talent. The advantage is greater for the Irish than the edge USC held against ND last year.

Based purely on recruiting numbers and not accounting for any other factors(experience, coaching, grass length) Notre Dame should roll Georgia Tech.

16 Responses to “Talent Gap: Georgia Tech”

  1. brian Says:

    Too bad high school star rankings account for very little. Let’s see, Miami’s QB Kyle Wright was a 5 star coming out of high school and Brady Quinn was a 4 star. Who would you feel more confident with guiding your offense?

  2. University Update - Georgia Tech - Talent Gap: Georgia Tech Says:

    […] Wake Forest University Talent Gap: Georgia Tech » This Summary is from an article posted at Irish Round Table on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Last year the IRT broke down Notre Dame’s talent level against its last two opponents(USC and LSU.) Using the Rivals recruiting star system, we aim to make the same comparison to ND’s next opponent: Georgia Tech. First, front-line talent. Looking at the starters from each team, how were Summary Provided by Technorati.comView Original Article at Irish Round Table » 10 Most Recent News Articles About Georgia Tech […]

  3. JVH Says:

    There’s always someone who tries to de-emphasize the importance of these numbers referencing one-off comparisons to make his point. It’s so predictable.

    On a one-to-one basis there are all sorts of issues, but across 22 players per team, these ranking have to hold some credence.

  4. The Hammer Says:

    Great analysis, JVH.

  5. Brian O Says:

    I understand the recruiting argument but if recruiting won games Texas would have won every National Championship in the late 90’s early 2000. that is why the game is played on Saturday.

  6. ForensicBuzz Says:

    In order for you to have credibility with anyone who knows the GT program at all, you would have to get the roster correct. Joe Anoai, KaMichael Hall, George Cooper and Kenny Scott all exhausted their eligibility last year. They’re no longer at Tech.

    Another reason to laugh at these comparisons is the fact that they’re based on projections made years ago (sometimes 5 years ago). They’re not relevant. For instance, Andrew Gardner (**) was a Freshman All-American and is a Pre-Season All-American this year. Tashard Choice (***) led the ACC in rushing last year and is a Pre-Seasson Heisman Candidate this year. Jonathan Cox (**) is considered my many to be the best fullback in the nation. Phillip Wheeler (***) is a preseason All-American linebacker.

    All these numbers show is that Notre Dame has done a good job of recruiting, but maybe not such a good job at coaching. If Tech had this type of talent, they’d have more than 1 National Championship in the past 20 years. As it is, they did win 1 with such medeocre talent.

    If you look back to last year for the disparity, it’ll probably be just as bad, if not worse. Notre Dame had to have help with a phantom helmet-to-helmet gift call to win. That was a bogus call and any knowledgable football couldn’t deny it.

    That’s why we play the games. It won’t be close on Sept. 1. Tech will run and throw all over ND, and by the time Tenuta’s defense is through with Clausen, he’ll be ready to go back to California.

  7. JVH Says:

    dude, that is the roster on the GT rivals site. They must suck if they can’t get their own depth chart.

    GTs players may have excelled over the last four years but ND has some of the same examples(Carlson was a three star now he’s the best TE in the country)

    The fact remains that based on solely the recruiting rankings, ND will roll.

  8. Thunder Says:

    JVH, rivals only stays up to date with rosters of teams that matter. They’ll eventually get to GT.

    Notre Dame and Georgia Tech are meeting for the 34th time with the Irish holding a 27-5-1 advantage in the series, including last year’s victory in Atlanta. ForensicBuzz, stop by the IRT again when you either beat us or are relevant again (if you ever were).

  9. Pete Says:

    This measures only their rating as a high school player. Assuming nobody developed, got better or worse, it could be useful. However, who is the better player. A 3 star now in his 5th year or a 4 star in his second year? There is only one way to tell and that’s on the field.

  10. Bob Says:

    It could also assume that in aggregate both groups progressed equally.

    Obviously on game day a lot more comes into the equation than talent though. I wonder, JVH, if you’ve ever tracked how accurate a predictor this analysis is? It would be cool to know how often this predicted the winner.

  11. JVH Says:

    It was an excellent predictor against Usc last year unfortunately.

    The biggest reason for doing this is to demonstrate that ND actually is a talented team and should not be underestimated.

    Of course other factors like coaching, home field advantage, and experience will play a role. This exercise tries to look purely at talent in a quantitative way.

  12. Her Loyal Sons » Friday Roundup: The MQ Sucks for Being in Paradise Edition Says:

    […] Finally, IRT has a great analysis showing the talent gap between ND and Georgia Tech.  Guess who has the advantage? […]

  13. dmc Says:

    ForensicBuzz, why focus on one call? Good, bad or indifferent. Why not focus on Tech’s inablilty to score on Notre Dame’s poor defense? If Notre Dame had any sort of kicking game the score would have been much worse.

  14. ForensicBuzz Says:

    I’ve come back. But not to gloat. I want to make a comment about the whole purpose of this thread. It may be that absolutely no one reads this now, because the game is over.

    to dmc: I was at the game last year. It wasn’t close. If not for the ineffectiveness of Reggie Ball and the OC, the score could have been worse than today.

    The purpose of this reply now: it doesn’t matter how you rate these kids when they’re in high school, they grow, develop and improve at different rates in college. What today showed was that Tech has more experienced skill players, a very experienced OL and a great defensive mind, while ND is young.

    There is some tremendous talent on ND’s side, but as I keep hearing, “watch out for next year!” That may very well be true. Don’t know much about ND’s depth on OL, but they’re deep and young in the “skilled positions.” That will serve them well.

    Good luck. It will only help us if you do well this year.

  15. ShakeDownTheThunder Says:

    Congrats ForensicBuzz. You kicked our ass in every aspect of the game today. Good luck the rest of the way.

  16. qzemporium » Blog Archive » Talent Gap: Georgia Tech Says:

    […] story here This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007 at 11:09 am and is filed under georgia tech. […]