UW football: Badgers consistently outperform signing day rankings

2011-02-02T07:50:00Z 2011-03-21T19:23:59Z UW football: Badgers consistently outperform signing day rankingsAdam Mertz | 608-252-6474 | adam.mertz@madison.com madison.com

With another college football signing day upon us, USA Today expounded upon the University of Wisconsin's penchant for outperforming the rankings of its recruiting classes.

In the last five years, only once has one of the three major recruiting evaluators listed the Badgers in the Top 30 nationally, and it's typical for UW to be considered middle of the pack in the Big Ten Conference.

Yet as USA Today noted, that collection of athletes produced a league title last year and a berth in the Rose Bowl.

This year, the Badgers are ranked No. 36 by Scout.com and No. 40 by Rivals.com.

The class will become official Wednesday, although the massive snowstorm that hit south-central Wisconsin has impeded the school's plans to announce its commitments as they are faxed to the football offices.

Nevertheless, Badgers coach Bret Bielema is still scheduled to introduce the class at a 3 p.m. press conference.

Bielema told the newspaper that one reason Wisconsin's classes are not rated higher is because he is not a big fan of recruiting services, and the feeling is mutual.

"A kid will be recruited by us, then if another school recruits him, he gets two more stars," he told USA Today, referring to the industry's standard five-star gauge.

Mike Farrell, a national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, denied that assertion and returned it with a backhanded compliment of sorts.

"They don't have a great (talent) base, but they find kids that can do what they want them to do," Farrell told USA Today. "They get big, massive kids who can run-block, and big, physical backs. And they go after smart overachievers for defensive linemen and linebackers, who will knock you on your butt.

"They get some speedy defensive backs and a quarterback who can manage the game. If you stick to that formula, you can compete in the Big Ten and be successful.

"If you did that in the Pac-10 or (Southeastern Conference) you'd have trouble, but (the Badgers) know who they are and don't fancy themselves any differently."

USA Today also noted that TCU's recruiting stock is on the rise in the wake of its Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin and impending move to the Big East Conference.

The Horned Frogs' incoming class is ranked No. 25 by Scout.com and No. 26 by Rivals.com.

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