With the landscape of college football changing due to conference realignment, it is important to understand which programs are providing the most value.  Surprisingly, one metric that has not been widely discussed is actual on-field production relative to expectations.  We measure this relative value using the “Recruiting Development Index” (RDI).

What is the Recruiting Development Index?

A team is awarded an RDI score by taking a composite of their recruiting rankings from the previous four years and subtracting that from their final ranking this year.  This measures how the team performed based on the talent they put on the field.  The RDI is an indicator of how well the talent at that school is being developed and what difference coaching is making in terms of wins and losses.

A team with a high RDI is over-performing and could be considered “under-rated” while a team with a low RDI score is under-performing and could be considered “over-rated.”  This RDI rating can also be applied to a group of teams (e.g. conference, state, region) to determine if the teams within that grouping are over- or under-performing in any given year.

Where the RDI becomes especially valuable is in measuring a team’s relative value over an extended period of time.  If, for example, a team consistently scores high in the recruiting development index then it shows that the coaches at those schools are especially good at developing talent.  It also shows which schools and conferences are consistently under- and over-rated.

RDI Rankings for the 2021 Football Season

The following are the RDI rankings for the 2021 football season.

4yr Recruiting Rank = Average 4-year recruiting ranking (2018-21, 247Sports)
2021 Rank = Average end-of-season ranking (using Sagarin, ESPN FPI, College Football News rankings)

Team

4YR R-Rank

2021 Rank

RDI Rank

RDI

Air Force

107

52.67

2

0.992

Akron

120.75

145.33

63

0.527

Alabama

2.25

2.00

67

0.496

Appalachian State

92

41.67

5

0.969

Arizona

62.25

103.33

119

0.099

Arizona State

35

49.00

77

0.420

Arkansas

30.5

19.00

55

0.588

Arkansas State

95.75

128.33

103

0.221

Army

111

57.00

4

0.977

Auburn

12.25

30.33

94

0.290

Ball State

114.75

101.67

28

0.794

Baylor

38.75

10.00

23

0.832

Boise State

60.5

34.00

22

0.840

Boston College

58.25

70.67

84

0.366

Bowling Green

102.5

128.00

91

0.313

Buffalo

117.25

111.00

39

0.710

BYU

80

35.67

8

0.947

California

38

65.00

109

0.176

Central Michigan

105.75

72.67

17

0.878

Charlotte

104.5

125.67

81

0.389

Cincinnati

50.25

8.67

9

0.939

Clemson

6.25

10.67

74

0.443

Coastal Carolina

103

56.00

7

0.954

Colorado

49.25

85.00

117

0.115

Colorado State

90.75

106.67

88

0.336

Connecticut

112

149.00

83

0.374

Duke

57.75

119.33

129

0.023

East Carolina

85

80.33

61

0.542

Eastern Michigan

108.5

100.67

43

0.679

FIU

77.75

128.00

124

0.061

Florida

11

42.67

113

0.145

Florida Atlantic

71.75

104.67

111

0.160

Florida State

18.5

57.33

125

0.053

Fresno State

87.5

48.00

13

0.908

Georgia

2

1.00

68

0.489

Georgia Southern

101

123.00

92

0.305

Georgia State

102.75

78.67

29

0.786

Georgia Tech

42.25

86.67

123

0.069

Hawaii

115

102.00

30

0.779

Houston

75.75

36.67

15

0.893

Illinois

66.75

67.00

65

0.511

Indiana

49.5

88.67

121

0.084

Iowa

34.75

26.33

54

0.595

Iowa State

51.5

17.67

16

0.885

Kansas

61.75

111.00

126

0.046

Kansas State

59

29.33

19

0.863

Kent State

107.5

99.33

41

0.695

Kentucky

32.75

23.00

58

0.565

Liberty

118

71.00

3

0.985

Louisiana

83

40.33

11

0.924

Louisiana Monroe

114

130.00

70

0.473

Louisiana Tech

89.5

117.67

104

0.214

Louisville

45.75

50.67

72

0.458

LSU

6.75

37.33

114

0.137

Marshall

90.5

80.67

52

0.611

Maryland

31

55.67

112

0.153

Massachusetts

110

150.00

97

0.267

Memphis

65.25

85.00

90

0.321

Miami (FL)

15.75

37.00

99

0.252

Miami (OH)

99.5

89.33

50

0.626

Michigan

13.25

3.67

51

0.618

Michigan State

38.5

16.00

35

0.740

Middle Tennessee State

102.25

94.00

49

0.634

Minnesota

39.75

22.00

37

0.725

Mississippi

26.25

14.00

48

0.641

Mississippi State

26.25

35.00

78

0.412

Missouri

39.5

67.00

106

0.198

Navy

113.5

97.00

26

0.809

NC State

34.25

16.00

40

0.702

Nebraska

20

45.67

100

0.244

Nevada

94.75

58.67

21

0.847

New Mexico

110.25

133.33

85

0.359

New Mexico State

119.75

144.33

64

0.519

North Carolina

19.5

49.67

110

0.168

North Texas

80.75

100.33

93

0.298

Northern Illinois

96

85.00

45

0.664

Northwestern

51.5

91.67

120

0.092

Notre Dame

13

7.00

59

0.557

Ohio

112.5

119.67

56

0.580

Ohio State

5.75

3.33

66

0.504

Oklahoma

9.5

6.67

62

0.534

Oklahoma State

35

6.00

24

0.824

Old Dominion

111

105.00

46

0.656

Oregon

9.5

29.00

95

0.282

Oregon State

71

52.33

38

0.718

Penn State

13.5

22.33

76

0.427

Pittsburgh

44.25

14.00

20

0.855

Purdue

46

22.33

31

0.771

Rice

103

129.00

89

0.328

Rutgers

55

85.00

108

0.183

San Diego State

82

50.00

18

0.870

San Jose State

114.75

102.00

32

0.763

SMU

69.5

57.33

53

0.603

South Alabama

117.5

121.00

44

0.672

South Carolina

34.25

55.00

101

0.237

Southern Miss

90.5

130.67

118

0.107

Stanford

30.75

88.33

130

0.015

Syracuse

56

73.67

96

0.275

TCU

33

70.33

122

0.076

Temple

102

136.33

105

0.206

Tennessee

16.75

26.00

79

0.405

Texas

7.25

40.00

115

0.130

Texas A&M

8.75

19.33

82

0.382

Texas State

120.5

132.00

60

0.550

Texas Tech

64

39.67

25

0.817

Toledo

71

82.00

80

0.397

Troy

92

109.33

86

0.351

Troy

91.75

109.33

87

0.344

Tulane

77.75

98.00

98

0.260

Tulsa

111.75

76.67

12

0.916

UAB

94.75

53.00

14

0.901

UCF

63.75

52.33

42

0.687

UCLA

31

34.00

73

0.450

UNLV

87

115.33

107

0.191

USC

23.5

66.00

127

0.038

USF

79

113.67

116

0.122

Utah

34.75

11.67

33

0.756

Utah State

111.75

51.00

1

1.000

UTEP

125

114.00

36

0.733

UTSA

88.5

58.00

34

0.748

Vanderbilt

50

122.67

131

0.008

Virginia

49.25

54.67

75

0.435

Virginia Tech

42.5

69.00

102

0.229

Wake Forest

62

22.00

10

0.931

Washington

19.5

70.33

128

0.031

Washington State

57.25

56.67

71

0.466

West Virginia

40.5

47.33

69

0.481

Western Kentucky

98.5

51.33

6

0.962

Western Michigan

86.25

77.00

57

0.573

Wisconsin

29.25

14.33

47

0.649

Wyoming

112

92.33

27

0.802


RDI scores for years prior to 2021 are currently being entered into the database and should be posted in the next few weeks.