In yet another sign that the college football season is right around the corner, recruiting analyst Bud Elliott of 247Sports released his annual “Blue-Chip Ratio” list for 2020 this past Thursday. The latest edition shows that the Oklahoma Sooners are starting to stack up talent across the board.
Elliott’s exercise involves tallying up the quantity of blue-chip players rated as four- or five-star recruits relative to their total number of scholarship signees. The national champion almost always comes from the select group of teams with a BCR of at least 50%. Essentially, the BCR reflects the aggregate level of talent on a team’s roster. In fact, it should look similar to 247’s Team Talent Composite rankings.
In a sign that the OU coaching staff is making major inroads on the recruiting trail, the Sooners made the list for the third year in a row. OU’s BCR has climbed steadily after the program clearly hit a wall in recruiting during the 2010s:
A few additional thoughts:
The BCR is a crude way of essentially telling us what we already know
The universe of teams that we should consider to have a realistic shot at winning a national championship is tiny. This year, Elliott found just 15 out of 130 FBS teams with a BCR of 50% or better – and that’s a larger pool than usual.
That lines up with our past experiences watching seasons play out. It also goes to show why college football fans shouldn’t treat national championships as the sport’s be-all and end-all.
OU has significantly upgraded its roster since Lincoln Riley became head coach
That stretch from 2014 to 2017 fits with the idea that Bob Stoops was tiring of the recruiting grind or that OU’s brand wasn’t selling as well among prospects. Riley has left no doubt that the Sooners are once again vying for top-tier talent.
Bear in mind that OU’s BCR for 2020 equals where Georgia was in 2017 when the Sooners and Bulldogs squared off in the College Football Playoff. That may be the difference between OU bowing out in the semifinals and getting a shot at playing for a national championship.
Kirby Smart is an animal
Speaking of Georgia, the Bulldogs barely made the cut for Elliott’s list in 2014 with a BCR of 51%. Much like OU’s transition from Stoops to Riley, replacing Mark Richt with Kirby Smart kicked UGA into overdrive on the recruiting trail. Smart has essentially built a roster that can rival that of his mentor Nick Saban at Alabama. Now Georgia just needs to find a way to actually beat the Crimson Tide on the field.