The ACC football season is in full swing but it’s never too early to start thinking about next year, right?
To that end, we’re doing period checkins on the recruiting rankings of ACC schools by the four major services – 24/7, ESPN, Rivals and Scout.
Check here to see our previous check-in.
Look below the chart for some commentary.
Note that ESPN only ranks the top 40 classes. Also note that we’ve indicated in parentheses how a team’s ranking by a particular service compares to the last time we ran this chart.
Note No. 2: These are the rankings of Thursday afternoon, Oct. 3.
Also keep in mind that in this chart dropping is considered a bad thing. So even if a team’s ranking increases numerically – say from 35 to 38 – we consider that a “drop” of three places. The same applies to average rankings. An increase from 34.3 to 34.8 average ranking is a change of -0.5 on our chart.
|Boston College||38 (down 3)||34||28||39 (up 1)||34.8 (-0.5)|
|Clemson||17||13||10||22 (down 3)||15.5 (-0.7)|
|Duke||45 (up 1)||NR||47 (up 3)||53 (up 3)||48.3 (+2.4)|
|Florida St.||3||2||5 (down 1)||4 (up 1)||3.5|
|Georgia Tech||39||NR||29 (up 2)||35 (up 2)||34.3 (+1.4)|
|Louisville||25 (down 3)||18||17 (down 1)||13||18.3 (-1.0)|
|Maryland||55 (up 13)||NR||46 (up 18)||46 (up 16)||49.0 (+15.3)|
|Miami||6 (down 1)||4||6 (down 1)||6||5.5 (-0.5)|
|UNC||19||20||12||16 (down 1)||16.8 (-0.3)|
|N.C. State||31 (up 3)||32||27 (down 2)||20 (up 1)||27.5 (+0.3)|
|Pitt||36 (down 2)||NR||43 (up 2)||42||40.3|
|Syracuse||57 (down 1)||NR||68 (down 2)||56 (down 2)||60.3 (-1.6)|
|Virginia||40 (down 2)||21||39 (up 8)||41||35.3 (+1.5)|
|Virginia Tech||15||29 (down 2)||24 (up six)||34 (down 3)||25.5 (-0.3)|
|Wake Forest||80 (down 4)||NR||90||82 (down 2)||84.0 (-2.3)|
* One of the nice things about this chart is is gives you a sense of how fickle the rankings can be across services. Since last time, for example, UVa’s ranking went eight spots in Rivals, but down two in 247Sports. In-state rival Virginia Tech experienced something similar: falling in both the ESPN and Scout rankings but shooting up six spots in Rivals. To be honest, I take comfort in the inconsistency. It shows that analysts at each service are making their own evaluations aren’t a) parroting each other and b) over-relying on offer lists.
* You typically won’t see a ton of movement in the rankings at this time of year, unless you started slow, have a low number of commitments and then suddenly grabbed a few high-profile ones. In other words, unless you do exactly what Maryland did. In recent weeks, the Terps have added three recruits to their 2014 class – bringing their total up to 13 – including four-star wideout Juwan Winfree. No wonder then that the Terps’ rankings shot up by an average of 15.3 spots.
* On the other side, if you’re already really low in the rankings and then you slide even lower, well, that’s generally a sign that you have zero recruiting momentum. Wake Forest tends to march to the beat of a different recruiting drummer though, so we won’t be hasty and totally write off the Deacs’ 2014 efforts. Still, dropping 2.3 spots to an average of 84th nationally in the recruiting rankings? Not a good look.
* Keep in mind the rhythms of the recruiting cycle when considering these rankings. Schools that load up early on a lot of recruits – i.e. Boston College – are inevitably going to shoot up fast in the rankings during the summer, plane off in the early fall and then start to drop as other schools begin to fill out their classes and increase their class “scores”. It doesn’t mean the Eagles’ class is getting worse. Nor does it mean that its class was super-fantastic earlier in the cycle either. It’s just recruiting nature – and numbers – taking their course.