Ranking Big Ten teams over the past 5 years

Really interesting post over at Inside the Hall ranking Big Ten teams based on various factors. Should generate some good discussion.

Here are the final rankings:

Very, very interesting. Did not realize Michigan had sent the most players of all B1G teams to the NBA in the last five years.

If only Beilein could recruit better players.
Having said that, I think sending players to the NBA is the least important of the factors used to determine the strength of a college program, with recruiting ranking the next least important.

These were the weights used in the article:
· Regular season Big Ten wins over the past five seasons (30 percent)
· NCAA tournament wins over the past five seasons (30 percent)
· Final KenPom ranking over the last five seasons (25 percent)
· Players drafted by the NBA over the last five NBA drafts (7.5 percent)
· Recruiting class rankings over the past five signing classes (7.5 percent)

Why would they put stock in both number of players drafted and recruiting class rankings? Isn’t that putting weight on two aspects of the same thing. Generally if you have a good recruiting class you have more NBA players. In Michigans case they would benefit from number of players drafted but be hurt by recruiting rankings. Seems odd to me but maybe I’m not thinking about it correctly.

Hanging on by a thread with that 5 year window. Pretty soon we will need to say “last 7 years”.


Michigan’s case pretty much answers the question for you. Alex goes into the rationale for the different weights in his post.

Would you say the same thing about OSU…only more so, since their big run ended 3 years ago? Last year, would you have said the same thing about IU? The truth is that only two teams–MSU and Wisconsin–have had consistently good runs over the past 5 years, and Wisconsin makes us look like Kentucky from a recruiting standpoint.

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Yea I saw that still just seemed odd to me. A very interesting look nonetheless.

I’m going to venture a guess and say the 5 year window has more to do with Indiana going 12-20 in 2011.


I’m not worried about next year replicating the 13 wins and 0 tourney wins we managed five years ago. We may even come out ahead, though probably we’ll fall back a little in the recruiting and NBA draft rankings. The Inside the Hall’s system doesn’t recognize a B1G championship as a distinct factor. Although, maybe we’ll want to say something like hey, we’ve won 3 B1G championships in 6 years, which would be a pretty nice accomplishment. Of course there’s the little matter of winning the B1G first. Mostly, we’ll just simply extend the period of good performance, and two years ago will more and more clearly be viewed as an anomaly.

The Big Ten Championships end up being recognized in the Big Ten win totals for the most part.

For the most part, sure, although Wiscy and MSU are ranked ahead of UM and IU in the B1G wins category despite having one B1G championship each compared to two each for the latter. Not that it’s wrong, necessarily, but it rewards consistency over championships. As I wrote in a couple threads soon after the season ended, though, it’s hard to argue Wiscy and MSU being the top two over the last five years, with UM and OSU 3-4 and IU a close fifth.

Wisconsin’s success is particularly impressive, given that those metrics showed them to have the 2nd worst recruiting during those 5 years. I guess it really is possible to win without one-and-done or two-and-done blue-chip recruits. Crazy.

Wisconsin’s recruiting is almost comically bad by the numbers. It’s not even like they are middle of the pack, they are almost dead last.

Guys no matter how you slice it, it’s never going to be perfect.

We know that it’s weighted for us because of the two back-to-back great seasons.
We know it’s probably not going to be the same in the next 5 years.

Iowa and Maryland don’t look that great but will probably look worse in the coming years as well.
Purdue looks that bad because it was just a couple years ago they had two losing seasons back-to back.

The Wiscy rankings almost seem so wacky as to be wrong to me – they’ve had some pretty decent recruits, including Dekker, Hayes, Pritzl, Happ, Koenig, etc. I wonder if the few completely unranked guys they get and their low turnover in both early departures and transfers (i.e., they have less overall recruits) artificially depresses their “recruiting class ranking.”

Past analysis has shown that there is more than one way to be successful. One-and-done is used by Duke, Kansas, Arizona, UNC and especially Kentucky. Retain and develope has been used quite successfully as of late by Wisconsin, UCONN and Villanove, among others. The final four two years ago was a classic contrast of styles with Duke, Kentucky, Wisconsin and MSU.

The difference between Michigan and OSU is probably the 2 1st round exits by Michigan and not making any type of tourney last year. The better question would be is Michigan showing signs of getting closer to that top tier as a #1 or #2. I see a team like Indiana being closer to Michigan than Michigan being closer to MSU/Wisc. Then you have Maryland in 6th which isn’t necessarily fair to judge because they have been in the conference for only 2 years.

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I was just being facetious. I have long maintained that there is more than one way to build a championship-caliber team. In fact, I think Michigan’s best chance going forward to build a great team is to take good players in the 40-120 range in recruiting rankings and continue to develop them over their 3-4 years at Michigan.