The Role of Conference Externalities and Other Factors in Determining the Annual Recruiting Rankings of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Teams
In this article, we analyse the impact of school, head coach and conference characteristics on a college football team’s annual recruiting ranking. Utilizing panel data collected from various sources covering 2002–2014, we find that measures of recent school success such as having winning seasons and finishing seasons ranked in the Associated Press (AP) top 25 poll have a positive impact on a team’s recruiting ranking. Similarly, schools with more successful head coaches tend to earn better recruiting classes, while schools facing bowl bans, scholarship restrictions and probation tend to earn worse recruiting classes. Various measures of conference achievement indicate that conference externalities in recruiting may indeed be positive as is often suggested; however, there is much potential for a negative externality as well.
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