Baylor Bears

How do Big 12 teams’ recruiting success correlate to wins?

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Every fan base can’t wait for National Signing Day, which is now less than a week away. But, the question is, how important is it?

Many fans get wrapped up in how many 4 or 5-star recruits their team gets compared to rivals. But, when you crunch the numbers, some of the teams in the Big 12 are the best at maximizing the talent than they get, even if many of their players aren’t the “highest rated” in their respective states.

Average recruiting rankings for Big 12 teams over past 5 seasons (according to

Texas: 9.8
Oklahoma: 14.2
Oklahoma State: 29
TCU: 31.8
West Virginia: 32.2
Baylor: 34
Texas Tech:35.4
Iowa State: 61.8
Kansas State: 69.8
Kansas: 73.4


  • Oklahoma and West Virginia were the most consistent teams. OU had every class ranked between 10 and 19. Meantime, West Virginia’s highest class ranking of #27 and the lowest of #40. By comparison, Kansas had a team ranked as low as 95 (2012) and as high as 55 (2013). TCU fluctuated from #13 in 2016 to as low as #43 in 2013.
  • The Big 12 gets a bad rap for many reasons, some deserved, some not. Unfortunately, recruiting rankings play a part in public and media perception. And over the past 5 years, the Big 12 only has two teams who have averaged Top 25 in the recruiting rankings (Texas, Oklahoma). TCU has come on strong in recent seasons, and Oklahoma State has had some Top 25 classes, but overall, the Big 12 could use some work in this department.
  • Has any team overachieved quite like Kansas State? Their class has averaged just 4 spots ahead of Kansas, yet the results on the field for the two programs have been wildly different … so let’s get to that.

Average number of wins the past 5 seasons 

Oklahoma: 10.2
Oklahoma State: 9
Baylor: 9.4
Kansas State: 8.6
TCU: 8
West Virginia: 7.2
Texas: 6.6
Texas Tech: 6.4
Iowa State: 3.4
Kansas: 2.25


  • While we discussed above trying to get more Big 12 teams in the Top 25 of the yearly recruiting rankings, no other conference has done more with less. Baylor, Kansas State and TCU have all averaged over 8 wins per year the past 5 seasons, despite not having Top 25 rankings (on average). So, maybe these recruiting services aren’t all they are hyped up to be?
  • The Big 12 has had 8 of its 10 teams average bowl eligibility over the past 5 years. What other conference can boast that 80% of its members have been bowl eligible over that period of time?
  • I predict Iowa State will see the biggest jump in recruiting average and wins average over the next 5 years… while Baylor will see a decrease in average wins and recruiting over the next 5 years. I love what Matt Rhule is doing, but sustaining 9-10 wins per seasons and getting the program back on track will be tough.
  • And Texas… well, the Longhorns better see an increase in wins or the folks of Austin might just lose it…

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