We love college football for its craziness, but at the end of the day, it's a very simple sport where the rich get richer, and emerging out of the middle class of programs is very difficult.
There are only 15 teams that can win the national championship this year.
You may think that sounds crazy, but it's not. That's just how it works. The best teams get the best recruits and the teams with the best recruits win.
The formula is simple: you must have more blue-chip (4/5-star recruits) among your scholarship players than non-blue-chip recruits (3-stars and lower). On average, P5 teams have 85 scholarships. If you are the head of a program, you have to have at least 43 blue-chip players on your team for a season that you hope to win a national championship.
Now, you may be wondering, why is this a rule? Well, it's just history, folks. No team since the BCS' introduction has won a national championship with a blue-chip ratio lower than 50%.
- In 2019, LSU won it with a 64 percent BCR, and all four Playoff teams were BCR schools.
- Clemson, with a 61 percent mark, took it home in 2018. And all four Playoff teams were BCR schools.
- Alabama won it all in 2017 with an incredible 80 percent mark.
- Clemson took home the title in 2016 after signing 52 percent blue chips in the 2013-16 classes.
- In 2015, Alabama had a 77 percent mark.
- In 2014, it was Ohio State at 68 percent.
- In 2013, Florida State was at 53 percent.
- In 2012, Alabama was at 71 percent ...
... just as Bama was in 2011.
Here is this years long awaited blue-chip ratio via Bud Elliott (the GOAT) at 247Sports:
Now let's compare to the odds currently offered:
1. Alabama: +250 (1 in BCR)
2. Clemson +250 (7 in BCR)
3. Ohio State 4/1 (3 in BCR)
4. Georgia 12/1 (2 in BCR)
5. Florida 18/1 (8 in BCR)
6. LSU 18/1 (5 in BCR)
7. Notre Dame 28/1 (12 in BCR)
8. Oklahoma 33/1 (6 in BCSR)
9. Texas 33/1 (4 in BCR)
10. Texas A&M 33/1 (15 in BCR)
11. Auburn 50/1 (10 in BCR)
12. Oregon 50/1 (Not Ranked)
It took us to the 12th ranked team odds wise to find aa team that doesn't meet the blue-chip ratio. The hotels in Vegas aren't tall for no reason, so I think that's a pretty good sign that the BCR is here to stay.
13. Penn State 50/1 (11 in BCR)
14. USC 50/1 (14 in BCR)
15. Wisconsin 50/1 (Not Ranked)
16. Michigan 66/1 (9 in BCR)
17. Washington (15 in BCR)
I'm not going to pretend like I'm breaking much news here. The 15 teams who qualify for the blue-chip ratio won't surprise anybody. However, this is just a reminder that the idea of the cinderella team in college football is made up. It doesn't exist.
What teams are right on the cusp? Great question!
-Florida State & Miami are both at 49%
-Tennessee & Oregon are just below 40%
On the rich getting richer:
Not only are there more teams meeting the threshold than there used to be, but in recent years there has been a large increase in the number of teams who are recruiting way over the 50 percent mark.
In 2014, no team was above 75 percent. In 2015, only Alabama was. In 2016 and 2017, it was still just Alabama. 2018 saw Ohio State get into that super elite class.
But 2019 saw three of the top four highest ratios ever. And 2020 has the first, second, and fourth (tie) highest rates of blue chips ever with Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State.