Friday, February 08, 2013

The 2013 Patsy Ratings

Something new is coming to Lehigh Football Nation, and no, Jerry Lewis has nothing to do with it.

Once upon a time, there was a legendary Lafayette message board poster called carney2, who came up with a way to attempt to rate, in a somewhat unbiased manner, Patriot League recruiting classes.

For years he posted his spreadsheet-based evaluations on the Any Given Saturday message board, and his somewhat dry, humorous description of the methodology and the rating.  For hardcore Patriot League fans, it was an important, must-read part of the offseason.

This year, his Patsy ratings - which don't have to do with real Patsies, incidentally - come to LFN.

All those printouts, formulae, and (hopefully) some of the dry wit now are a part of the website.

In the upcoming weeks, I'll be going through the data and coming up with the rankings.  But before I do, I thought I'd whip up a quick blog posting to describe exactly what it is we're doing here.


Let's start with a modification of the words from the Founder, carney, who put this in such way that has made the Patsy Ratings the cult classic they are.

"For each of the past six years or so a committee - The Committee - evaluates each of the Patriot League recruiting classes and assigns points - Patsy Points - based on a complicated - more complicated that I dare go into here - rating system. It is, The Committee believes, as objective an evaluation system as we can get for this very subjective area. The Patsy Points are then added up and the recruiting classes are ranked. Ergo, the 'Patsy Ratings.'

"How did this start? Frankly some members of The Committee were tired of watching the annual process where alums lined up to pat Coach Terwilliger on the back and tell him, and themselves, what a grand bunch of footballers he had rounded up, when the truth usually was...not so much."

Basically, it's a way to evaluate recruiting classes.  It in no way tries to say that "such-and-such athlete will be a Patriot League first team all-conference for for years" - or, conversely, "such-and-such lineman is fat and slow and won't amount to anything."  It's, as I believe carney himself would say, a blunt instrument that tries to come up with a math-based way to attempt to do what is impossible - evaluate the recruiting classes and see how everyone did.

Does it mean that it's entirely based on math?  No.  There are some subjective elements to it, but it largely is simply a human "reality check" based on the methodology.

Points are given based on the following categories:

Quality: These are given by a recruit's presence in the commonly known ratings agencies and their star ratings (if any).

Class Size: The larger an incoming class, the more points this generates.  This may be less important now, since the Patriot League now allows football scholarships, but this allows the Ratings to cross back to the years before scholarships.  So, it remains for this year.

Distribution: The more positions covered by the class, the more Distribution points a class will get.

Speed: Using the meager data that is out there, players meeting a certain speed threshold get a "point".

Trigger: Acknowledging that the most important player on the field in college football is almost always the quarterback, more points are offered for more quarterbacks in the incoming class, and even more points if they are rated.

Jumbo: Players meeting a certain "size requirement" give extra points.

Needs: Needs for each recruiting class have been determined by a cherry-picked panel of school "superfans" who have a long-term view of the overall needs of a particular year's recruiting class.  This is NOT easy as saying, "senior QB Michael Colvin has graduated, ergo we need a QB" - this also looks at previous classes and looks at the long-term more than a particular year.  Top priority met gets a maximum of 5 points; second priority gets a maximum of 4 points; third priority gets a maximum of 3 points.

Finally, there is a "committee adjustment" - an adjustment to the Patsy ratings which could be a minor adjustment if the "look and smell" test seems to misrepresent the actual overall quality of the class.

Got all that?  Good.  All the Patsy Ratings will be linked here when they are complete, giving you one page to bookmark with all the ratings for this season.

And always remember - from the guy who came up with this in the first place, carney:

"What is the lesson we take from this? Recruit well and you will win. Recruit poorly and you won't."

The Ratings:

COLGATE - 73
FORDHAM - 70 
LEHIGH - 51
BUCKNELL - 51
LAFAYETTE - 49
HOLY CROSS -  34

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