clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Will an elite recruiter win the College Football Playoff? We asked oddsmakers

New, comments

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting as well as the occasional gambling column

CFP National Championship - Alabama v Clemson Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The articles I published Friday and Saturday are some of my favorites to write annually. They touch on recruiting, analysis, math, gambling and championship-level football.

First, I released the annual Blue-Chip Ratio piece, showing which teams have met the minimum recruiting standard of national champions for the last decade-plus. To get there, teams need to stock their rosters with more four- and five-star recruits than two-star, three-star and unrated players. A surprising 13 teams made the cut, but perhaps not the ones you’d think.

Then, with the help of some Las Vegas and offshore oddsmakers, I attempted to answer a question: Which group of how many teams would we be comfortable taking to win the national title against the rest of college football?

Ultimately, the oddsmakers settled on a few groups of five teams that could present equal odds against the field.

But I went a step further. I asked the oddsmakers for the odds they would give on the super recruiters actually winning the national title.

Dave Mason of believes all 13 teams meeting the mark would be -230 against the field of the other 115 teams in FBS at +190. That means $230 would need to be wagered in order to net a profit of $100 on one of the top recruiters.

Scott Cooley of felt that the odds would be more like -500 against the field at +355. He noted that some of the top recruiters, like Texas and Texas A&M, aren’t particularly likely to win it all.

"You’ve still got Oklahoma, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, TCU, Ole Miss, Florida and a few others in the [field]," Cooley said. "Texas and A&M don't really factor much into the 13-team group equation, either."

Clearly, opinions are all over the board on this hypothetical bet, and neither oddsmaker had plans to make this an actual live wagering option.

I’d obviously rather wager $230 to net $100 than wager $500 to do so, but if pressed, I would absolutely be willing to do either.

At some point, I believe the streak will be snapped, probably by a good recruiting team that just missed the mark behind a great QB. Some say that could be Oklahoma, but after seeing how Clemson whipped OU in the trenches last winter, I’m not worried.


Ohio State had quite a Monday morning, landing blue-chip 2017 receivers Tyjon Lindsey and Trevon Grimes. I like Lindsey a lot, but I believe he is a four-star type and am not comfortable awarding five-star status to a 5’9, 161-pound receiver. Grimes is an excellent deep threat, one of the best in the country.

Video of Lindsey:

And video of Grimes:

Boise State landed four-star defensive back Jermani Brown of Virginia. Brown is originally from Southern California, a hotbed for Boise State talent. I recently wrote about how rare it was for Group of 5 teams to land elite recruits. Here’s another.