As much as we all love to tout the merits of toughness, discipline, effort, pride and grit when it comes to winning football games, the truth is that in major college football, you probably aren’t going to win much unless you’re recruiting your ass off. Enter Jimbo Fisher.
Bud Elliott (formerly of SB Nation, now with 247 Sports) postulates that in order to win a national championship, a team must have signed at least as many four- and five-star recruits as they have three-star and below recruits. This prerequisite to preeminence is known as “The Blue Chip Ratio.” Bud just published the list for 2020, and Texas A&M, on the back of back-to-back top-six recruiting classes, made the cut, by the narrowest of margins. The Aggies come in with 49.5% blue chip players, and thanks to the magic of rounding up, are back in the The Blue Chip Ratio’s good graces for the first in four years.
But just being on this list doesn’t guarantee success. The SEC West alone has four teams in the Blue Chip Ratio list, and Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State blow everyone else’s score out of the water. So being included here shouldn’t be taken to mean that a national title is on the horizon, rather, just that you have the bare minimum amount of talent to feasibly compete for one. Heck, A&M was on this list in 2015 as well as 2016 and went 8-5 both seasons (in no small thanks to their historically underachieving 2013 recruiting class).
But even if there is still an uphill battle to be among college football’s elite, A&M seems to be on an upward trajectory for the first time in several years. And the fact that they only play three other teams on this list in 2020 (instead of 2019’s five) doesn’t hurt either.