For the 2014 recruiting class of the Big 12, Scout.com ranked the conference as having the 2nd strongest class of any conference, behind the SEC. Oklahoma had the top class in the Big 12, which ranked 13th in the country. The depth of the Big 12 class as a whole was what carried it. Other conferences had higher individual schools (SEC, Pac-12, ACC, Big 10 and Independents all had at least 1 school ranked higher than OU), but the Big 12 had good depth across the board, with 70% of member schools within the Top 40. Outside of the SEC, no other conference had that high of a percentage. The Pac-12 had the same number of schools (7) that the Big 12 had in the Top 40.
But all of that information just tells us the end of the story, not the entire journey for how, when, and even why the Big 12 recruited like it did. So, for the 2015 class, we are going to be taking a once-per-month snapshot of where the Big 12 ranks collectively and nationally in terms of recruiting.
The first thing I wanted to track was when schools were getting their commitments. By the first date of our data collection, some schools had gotten off to some quick starts, led by West Virginia and Texas, who both received early commitments at Junior Days in February. In fact, West Virginia had 9 commitments by the time February ended, including all four of their 4-star commitments currently.
Texas also got off to a fast start, courtesy of their Junior Day Camps. They kept two commitments from Mack Brown's class in Patrick Vahe and Jordan Stevenson, and then built on that in February and March with 4 more commitments. TCU got off quickly as well, with a trio of 2015 commitments before the first day of 2014, and then built on that with 4 more commitments in January and February. But seeing who gets a few commitments early will only tell a small piece of the story. What about the caliber of those players?
As we see here, the quick start by TCU does not look as good here, as their 13 commitments had the 4th worst average star ranking. Texas has the 2nd highest star average even with 2nd most commitments in the Big 12, West Virginia has also held a solid star average with a larger class, while Baylor and Texas Tech have both seen their average drop off a little bit the last two months. The highest average star rating in the Big 12 is Oklahoma, who with their 6 commits still average 3.67 stars per recruit, with four of them being 4-star players, tied for 2nd most behind Texas in the Big 12.
Next, we will take a look at the Big 12 and National Rankings off all of the teams and where they have lined up the last 3 months. Texas has led the way from the start and has been the only consistent Top 10 class over the last 3 months. West Virginia is still the 2nd best class, but has fallen closer to the next tier than up with Texas.
Behind those two are the trio of Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech who are right now all within 4 spots of each from 23rd through 26th in the nation. The Bears and Red Raiders have both fallen 6 spot since April update, while TCU has dropped just a single spot. In fact, all but 1 school that was actually ranked in all three months has gone down in the rankings. Oklahoma State is the lone "gainer" and they have moved up just a single spot. Kansas State has dropped the most, falling 19 spots down to 83rd. The average drop for a Big 12 school ranking for the 8 schools that have been ranked all three updates is actually -6.75.
The Big 12 as a whole is ranked as the 2nd best conference in the nation so far, according to Scout.com, but it is well behind the SEC, who has more than double the average points per team, 1386 to 692. (The Scout point system can be explained here for further clarification). The Big 12 has a narrow lead over the Big 10 however. With just under 8 months left before most of these recruits sign on the dotted line and get out that dusty fax machine, there will be many more changes to this developing recruiting tale.