Thursday, February 14, 2013

Patsy Ratings - Fordham's Class of 2017

Fordham knows the ropes when it comes to football scholarships, and so does head coach Joe Moorhead.

Coming last season from the coaching staff at UConn, and himself a former Fordham football player, he's seen the academic side, and the scholarship side.

One of the great things about the Patsy Ratings is that it treats all schools equally.  Scholarships, grants, it attempts to treat all the teams the same, whether they've been recruiting with football scholarships for one year or four.

Fordham has been ineligible for the Patriot League title the past three years, but they're still eligible for the Patsy Point title in 2013.  Let's see how they did.


THE GOOD
Like Colgate, this class, well, resembles the type of class that scholarships can produce.  It's a group, quality-wise overall, that is impressively laden with starred players and a large percentage of recruits that have pages on the recruiting sites.  It did not go unnoticed by the Committee that the Fighting Moorheads not only hauled in a lot of local kids, but local kids that are recognized as quality players as well.  That's a very, very good combination.

THE BAD
Are the Rams going all-in on offense?  Of the 17 incoming players, only 6 were officially labeled as defensive players.  (There was one recruit labeled "athlete" which I have to assume will be headed to the defensive side.)  Some years, that would be fine, but is this really fine when the Rams' biggest concern last year was defense? 

QUALITY = 32. 10/15 rated, 5 ** recruits, 2 confirmed.  While a few points shy of Colgate's monster haul this time around of 37 quality points, Fordham nabbed the exact same number of freshman two-star recruits and confirmed recruits as the Mean Red Machine, only losing out thanks to the fact that they had fewer overall athletes than Colgate that were at least recognized by the scouting services.  But more on that later.

Worthy of mention too is the increase in "quality" over last year's class, which got rough ratings largely due to class size.  One way to pile on Patsy points with smaller classes is to clean house with starred recruits.  This appears to be exactly what Fordham did.

CLASS SIZE = 0. 15 Recruits.  As defined in the Patsy Ratings, a "replacement" class size of 18 is the ideal number of recruited athletes.  By this definition, if you multiply their current class size by 4, you get a football team of 60 athletes - barely enough to field a squad.  (Even if you count the two transfers in this season's class - more on that later - you only get up to 68 athletes.  For the sake of the Patsy ratings, still no points.)

DISTRIBUTION = 7.  Very, very strange with PK Patrick Murray graduating that not a single kicker appeared on their incoming class list, but that was indeed the case, though every other "distribution" point was covered.  With only one underclassman kicker on the roster, you have to wonder if Moorhead is looking for Kathy Ireland to come out of retirement to kick next season.

SPEED = 14. Reflected in the Rams's quality rating was a strong showing in the speed department.  Five athletes had speed information listed.  Four were multi-Patsy point producers in that area.

TRIGGER = 2. One QB rated 2 stars.  The dual-threat QB provided both speed points and trigger points, which seems appropriate. 

JUMBO = 6. 4 OL and 4 DL.  2 out of the 4 DL meet the Jumbo criteria, and 4 out of 4 offensive linemen also didn't pass by the Pasta bar either. 

NEEDS = 7 (of 12):

DL = 4 (of 5). Low in the Jumbo category, but big in the Star category.  The Committee feels like the lack of Jumbo points is more than made up by the star points, and the Need was well-met.

OL = 2 (of 4). High in the Jumbo category, low in the Star category.  The Committee feels the lack of stars in this area points to a borderline-met need.  Only sheer numbers gave them the second point.

DB = 1 (of 3). Our Fordham scout originally had as the third need as "kicker", which brings up an excellent point.  One of the founding principles of the Patsy Ratings is :if one of your primary needs is "kicker", "long snapper" or "return man", you might as well give yourself the title right now and admit you don't actually have a third need.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) for the Rams, there was another need determined by the Committee for the Rams - shoring up the 112th-rated pass defense in FCS last season.

Either way, it's hard to see the need was met very well - two defensive backs (including one "athlete" that seems destined for the defensive backfield), and no stars.

And yet, their one Patsy Point in this area would have easily exceeded the fat 0 points they'd have received if it were "nothing, you don't really have a need there" or "kicker" (none to be found).  Memo to Fordham fans: you're welcome.

COMMITTEE ADJUSTMENT: +3.  A very large fracas ensued in the Committee chambers regarding Fordham's incoming class.  In case you hadn't noticed, the incoming Ram class size, for Patsy Point purposes, was 15 freshman recruits.  However, the Seven Blocks of Moorhead announced on Signing Day an incoming group of 17.  As you may have guessed, two were transfers.

The "debate" that ensued involved those two non-freshmen.  Basically: what do you do with them?   One member railed: The Patsy Point system was not designed for transfers AT ALL.  Opening up the ratings system to transfers invites all sorts of breakdowns to the system.  Do you pro-rate their points based on what the ratings said years ago?  What if they're recovering from injury?  Do 40 yard dash times from a year ago still apply?  Sometimes it doesn't seem like the people running the Patsy Points have full-time jobs, but they do.  Realistically, they can't go through years of old data and try to figure this stuff out.  Including them breaks the whole thing down.  Ignore them!

And yet, another Committee member rebuts, how can you ignore them completely?  Of those two student-athletes, one was a quite sought-after recruit when he was graduating from high school - stars galore, if you take the time to do the Google searching.  Transfers, last I checked, do take up scholarship spots in the year of the Patsies.  Shouldn't they be recognized somehow in the overall incoming class?  They shouldn't be ghosts, should they?

Even if they shouldn't be ghosts, a major change to the methodology shouldn't be introduced willy-nilly, especially if the so-called integrity of the Patsy Ratings is in question.  It has to work the same.  That's non-negotiable.

That left the only avenue available to recognize, or ignore, the two players involved: the dreaded, subjective, "committee adjustment".


The case for not making the adjustment is that the athletes in question did not come from a "need area", and they probably don't deserve "speed points" or the like based on completely outdated information that the Committee is too lazy to look up.  No points!

But there's a case for a slight adjustment, too, based on the fact that perhaps the quality of this class is actually not as accurately represented as it could be.  Give points for quality!  You know they're quality!  They should be recognized in Fordham's class!  Those stars they got years ago should count for something!

In the end, the Committee put the guns down.  They didn't adjust it as much, or as little, as the individual members liked. The messy compromise was to recognize part of the "quality" of those two transfers, assuming there must be some quality there - but not going crazy.  The "nays" would not allow it.

3 points were all that could be positively agreed upon.  Then the Committee members sat down and ate heart-shaped donuts.  All was right again in the chambers - for now.

FORDHAM - 70

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