Repost: you folks are, no doubt, smarter than me; maybe you can help.
I have been studying Rivals list of class rankings for the last few years, and I am still baffled at how Rivals computes/tabulates its Rankings.
As far as I can tell, Rivals (and the other services) base their class rankings on total points awarded.
As far as I can tell, each recruit is given a score, the scores are added and the team/school with the highest total is "the number 1 ranked incoming class."
The criteria for points awarded is inexplicable to me.
I'll use Ohio State recruits to start [Buckeye fan here].
Recently, tOSU added a WR recruit named Southward. Southward just "added" 106 points to tOSU's total points on Rivals. A couple of days ago, tOSU's incoming class had 1098 points and was ranked #19. Today, the total is 1204 and we are ranked #16.
I have no idea why Southward is "worth" 106 points to Rivals. None of the math works.
If a 3* recruit with a rating of 5.7 (Southward) equals 106 points, then each tOSU recruit should also be "worth" 106 points (because, with only two exceptions, all of our recruits are rated 5.7 or above). Further, each 4* and 5* should be worth more.
But for ease of argument, say every player is "worth" 106 points for Rivals. At 16 players, tOSU total points should be at least 16 x 106 = 1696. However, Rivals has tOSU at 1204 points. No clue how Rivals arrives at 1204 points.
Further, Kentucky currently has 487 points, is ranked #50 and has 22 recruits of mostly 3* recruits rated at 5.5. So, by that math, those 3 star players are "worth" 20-25 points to Rivals.
No clue how Rivals gives Southward 106 points, but all of Kentucky's three star players are 20-25 each.
But even then, the math for tOSU does not work. Assume a 5.5 rated recruit is "worth" 20 points to Rivals. tOSU has two such recruits; remainder 5.7 or above. By that math, tOSU should have (14 x 106) + (2 x 20) = 1524. Again, no idea how Rivals arrives at 1204 points for tOSU.
In yet another example, currently 'Bama has 1,898 points and Michigan has 1,872. However, UM has 3 more 3* recruits than 'Bama. By that logic and math, UM has three recruits that are "worth" negative points.
No clue how that can be.
Compare Purdue's class with Kentucky's. Purdue has 21 recruits (one fewer recruit han Kentucky) mostly 3* recruits rated at 5.5 (like Kentucky's), but Purdue has 800 points (KY 487) and is ranked #32. So, by this math, Purdue's 3* recruits are "worth" 35-40 points each; KY's are "worth" 20-25 points.
I have no clue what Rivals is doing.
Another example is Michigan State vs. Oklahoma State.
MSU has 794 points and 15 recruits (three 4* and twelve 3*).
OkSt has 802 points and 14 recruits (three 4* and eleven 3*).
If you break it down by ratings, you get:
MSU has two recruits rated at 5.9, one at 5.8, four at 5.7, five at 5.6 and three at 5.5
OkSt has three recruits rated at 5.8, four at 5.7, five at 5.6 and two at 5.5.
Just based on this, MSU looks like the better class to me, but has fewer points than OkState. Why?
I have no idea how Rivals is computing its rankings.
Bottom line: I am coming to the conclusion that "class rankings" are meaningless and arbitrary. It seems that every stage in the process is completely subjective and arbitrary. How many stars to award is subjective. What rating to give is subjective. And, finally, how many points to assign to each recruit (regardless of stars and rating) is, apparently arbitrary.
The whole thing is baffling.
Can anyone provide some insight? Or is Rivals just pulling numbers out of it's b*tt?