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The 2015 Patsy Ratings - Ranking the Recruiting Classes of the Patriot League

The knock on the door of the Committee's fortieth floor offices came in early February.

Coming to the door was a short, silver-haired man named Art, holding a vacuum cleaner in one hand and tape of Bucknell's thrilling win over Kansas in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in the other.  Even though he had been working for about an hour, it looked like he actually was sleeping in the office.

"Yes?" he said to the raven-haired office person who looked uncannily like Nicki Minaj.

"I got all of the numbers," she said, "all of them this time.  No calling me back for weeks waiting for Georgetown to get them all in.  They're all here.  Linebackers, kickers, wideouts.  All the names are here.  So you can get to work right now on all of this."

"You must be mistaken, Nicki.. I mean, lady," Art said.  "I'm just the guy who sweeps up in the Committee's offices.  I haven't seen any of the Committee members since they were on that three-week bender in the Bronx and then went boozing and skiing in the Granite State.  I think they still may still be up there."

"Just get to work in it," she said, her straight, long black hair waving a little as she dropped the paperwork on the desk that still smelled like Courvoisier.

It was then Art realized how much trouble he was in.

Somewhere, a dog barked.


Art was stuck.  Here he was, with the Patsy Ratings lists all ready to be done, and the Committee members could possible be drunk, dead, or worse - somewhere in New England.

Committee Members thinking on past Patsy Ratings
If they were even alive, or sober, the Committee members probably figured that there was no rush.  After all, Georgetown never announced their incoming recruiting class until pretty much every other school in the country was done.  There was no guarantee the Committee members would show up into deep into March.

Art - and only Art - was the only person that could really pull together the ratings.

He had to start with the original rules, which he had to get from the unlocked oak desk of the creator of the Patsy Ratings, the mysterious Carney.

It was Carney that first got the Committee together, to agree on the common system that is the Patsy Rating.  Art could smell the cigar smoke as he took the paper out of the desk.

"Never could get that damned cigar smell out of this room," he muttered to himself, the Febreze reflexively sprayed onto the 50 year old carpet.

The paper was very difficult to read, with many sentences crossed out and redacted with black ink.  Scrawls saying "Scout?  Yes" and "Long snapper doesn't count" and "Schollies!!!!" appear, sometimes with little star stickers on the parts that were particularly contentious.

Deciphering these scrolls of (some might say) wisdom resulted in Art's own draft as to what the Patsy Ratings meant, which he wrote on the marker board to make it clear to himself what he was attempting.

Quality: Points given by a recruit's presence in the commonly known ratings agencies and their star ratings (if any).  Four ratings websites are used, 247sports, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN.  All four are distinct and use different, mysterious methods to come up with their own ratings, the key here being distinct.  More stars are better, and multiple agencies awarding stars mean more Quality points.

Class Size: The larger an incoming class, the more points this generates.  A recruiting class of 18 is considered enough to replace the considered "minimum" football roster size of 72.  Anything less, and fielding a team is a challenge.  Two points are awarded for having an incoming class of 18, plus 1 additional point for up to every three recruits after that.

Example:  Horse Feathers U. has an incoming class of 22 recruits.  They would receive 2 points for the first 18 recruits, 1 for the next 3 recruits, plus 1 for the last recruit.  2+1+1 = 4.

Distribution: The more positions covered by the class, the more Distribution points a class will get.  Every year, a broad number of positions will almost certainly need to be replenished.  One point if awarded for each position "covered", up to a maximum of 9.  (Fullbacks are counted as running backs, and long snappers and "athletes" don't count here.)

Example: Horse Feathers U. has a QB, OL, RB, TE, WR, DB and LB in their incoming class.  They would get 7 distribution points (and they'd be missing out on 1 point for DL, and 1 point for a kicker).

Speed: "Speed in an incoming class, for lack of a better word. is good," are words that Gordon Gekko may or may not have uttered.  Using the meager data that is out there, players meeting a certain speed threshold posted on an official recruiting website get Speed points awarded.  It's not enough to go to a recruit's MySpace page where he brags of running a 4.1 40 yard dash: it needs to be verified from a trusted source (or, at least, as "trusted" a source we can get on the internet).

Example: Horse Feathers U. has one recruit that has a posted 40 yard dash time of 4.67.  That posted time is good for 2 Patsy Points.

Trigger:  Acknowledging that the most important position on the field in college football - and especially in the Patriot League - is almost always the quarterback, more Patsy points are offered for more Patsy point quarterbacks in the incoming class, and even more points if they are star rated.

Example: Horse Feathers U. has one QB in the incoming class that is a ** recruit from Saskatchewan High School.  They receive 1 trigger point for him being listed on a scouting website, plus one point for each star of his ranking, making a grand total of 3.

No Jumbo Points for You
Jumbo: Like recruiting players with speed, one of the measurable attributes for linemen is size.  Players, more specifically offensive and defensive linemen, meeting a certain "size requirement" give extra points.  250 lbs for defensive linemen, 275 lbs for offensive linemen.

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.  These are ranked first (max of 5 points), second (max of four points) and third (max of 3 points).

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.

Art looked over all the rules, but it still looked like a huge task for one person.  The most concerning was the "committee adjustment", which literally seemed like it could be anything.  Did the committee follow a formula for the adjustment?  Were they more activist, or did they only use it to correct minor things?

Confused, Art dialed up a phone number found on a post-it note affixed to one of the Committee members' desks.  "DO NOT CALL... EVER," the warning below it read, but Art felt like he had no choice.

Unclear whether this is picture of an actual Committee member
"He... llo?" a gravelly voice said on the other end of the receiver.

"This is Art," Art said.  "The raw data for the Patsy ratings are here."

The gravelly voice on the other end of the phone appeared to at least somewhat awaken from his scotch stupor to attempt to process this information.

"I had a question," Art pressed on.  "What do we do with the committee adjustments?  I had some questions - like whether to use the offer coefficient, the lineman divisors, the long snapper factors..."

"Don't worry about that," the less-gravelly voice responded.  "I'll get a conference call going with the rest of the members.. Jeeves, is this number still legitimate, or are they still in Antigua? - We'll get to the bottom of the adjustments.  Just fax us the raw calculations, and we'll get you the adjustments.  The adjustments are, um,  proprietary information."

"What about 247sports.com?  Are you still using that?:

"Yes.  247 is a permanent feature of the ratings now."

"Scout.com hasn't fallen out of the Patsy ratings?  They ain't what they used to be."

The gravelly voice cleared its throat.  "They're still a ratings system, aren't they?" it said, somewhat defensively.  "Any other stupid questions?"

"Um... no, I guess," Art said sheepishly.

With that, Art and Nicki shrugged, and started to get to work.

(NOTE: Below, I'll be adding links to all the Patsy ratings for this year.  I'll be posting them in reverse order, counting up from No. 7 to No. 1.)

NO. 1 - FORDHAM - 88
NO. 2 - BUCKNELL - 85
NO. 3 - GEORGETOWN - 82
NO. 4 - LEHIGH - 72
NO. 5 - LAFAYETTE - 64
NO. 6 - HOLY CROSS - 58
NO. 7 - COLGATE - 55

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