Get SI's Duke Championship Package Free  Subscribe to SI Give the Gift of SI
Posted: Friday February 6, 2009 12:33PM; Updated: Friday February 6, 2009 1:47PM
Andy Staples Andy Staples >

Revisiting Signing Day battle with the prediction machine, and more

Story Highlights

Revealing how prediction machine and I fared in a Signing Day head-to-head

With two dual-threat QB signees, Michigan will finally have a legit QB battle

One recruit explains why he chose Yale despite numerous scholarship offers

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
After much speculation, top receiving prospect Rueben Randle signed with the in-state LSU Tigers.
After much speculation, top receiving prospect Rueben Randle signed with the in-state LSU Tigers.
Andy Staples's Mailbag
Have questions or feedback? E-mail Andy Staples.

Mike DuMond couldn't remember the terms of our wager.

"We put, what, 100 bucks on this thing, right?" the economist asked early Thursday afternoon. No, I told him. Just my dignity.

DuMond, a principal in CRA International's Tallahassee, Fla., office, is one of three brains behind the Recruiting Prediction Model, a computer program that predicts -- with stunning accuracy -- school choices for the nation's top recruits. DuMond and fellow brainiacs Allen Lynch and Jennifer Platania wanted to test their model against a human who covers recruiting, and I volunteered to be their guinea pig. So two weeks ago, I offered my picks for which schools the 17 then uncommitted members of the Top 100 would choose.

Come National Signing Day, Deep Blue Chip -- I can't even take credit for the clever name; alert reader Will Sherrill of Archer City, Texas, came up with it -- turned me into its own personal Garry Kasparov, drubbing me nine correct predictions to four.

I offer no excuses. And, with apologies to Kent Brockman, I, for one, welcome our new computer recruiting overlords.

DuMond actually seemed surprised the model had done so well. The guys who delay their decision until the 11th hour typically don't behave like the ones who commit the previous year. "The ones who decide in the last week," DuMond said, "are very different creatures from the players who know where they want to go, take one official visit and commit right away."

When Sulphur Springs, Texas, quarterback Tyrik Rollison committed to Auburn last week, DuMond assumed I had some sort of mind meld with the prospects and predicted a Staples rout. But as the signatures rolled in Wednesday, DuMond knew science had won again. Fortunately for me and for the computer, we agreed to consider Wichita, Kan., tailback Bryce Brown a Miami commitment. Neither of us considered the Hamilton Tiger Cats a possible destination.

On to the results:

Rueben Randle, WR, Bastrop (La.)

Computer pick: LSU
Human pick: Alabama
Signed with: LSU

Devon Kennard, DE, Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.)

Computer pick: USC
Human pick: Texas
Signed with: USC

Dre Kirkpatrick, City (Gadsden, Ala.)

Computer pick: Alabama
Human pick: Alabama
Signed with: Alabama

Jelani Jenkins, LB, Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)

Computer pick: Penn State
Human pick: Penn State
Signed with: Florida

Manti Te'o, LB, Punahou (Honolulu)

Computer pick: Notre Dame
Human pick: USC
Signed with: Notre Dame

Greg Reid, DB, Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.)

Computer pick: Georgia
Human pick: Florida State
Signed with: Florida State

1 2
Hot Topics: Sammy Watkins NFL Draft Rick Adelman NFL Questions Aaron Hernandez Donald Trump
TM & © 2013 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint