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Overachievement Above Talent Level

As I have stated here often, Overachievement Above Talent Level, is the catalyst for the Synergistic Trend to take hold and begin the elevation a program. This is why coaching is massively important in college football. This post will show the overachievement in the percentage increase above talent level for 2017 and also from 2005-2017 below that.

The percentage listed in the right column is the difference in program rank (Elite Teams and Tiers/Snapshot) when compared with talent level (WRC).


  • *an asterisk indicates that the school was on probation for the majority of the coach’s tenure and that coach’s hands were tied so to speak.
  • ** two asterisks mean that violations occurred under both the previous coach and the current coach.
  • *** three asterisks means that a coach was either convicted of major violations to achieve his results or will likely be convicted of major violations in the near future (I speculate that Hugh Freeze earned this after Laremy Tunsil’s social media documentation and admission).

That Troy game in 2016 when they gave us a scare (CU 30, T 24) was certainly ugly and certainly not Clemson’s best effort, but maybe we didn’t give Troy enough credit. They were a 10-win team that year and an 11-win team last year. The numbers show that Neal Brown at Troy did more with less than any other head coach in college football last year. Troy’s recruiting took a serious nosedive at the end of 70-year-old Larry Blakeney’s tenure and ended up with some of the lowest-ranked talent in FBS. Brown inherited a total rebuilding job, so the fact that Brown won 10 games in each of his 2nd and 3rd years at the program is a substantial accomplishment. In 2018, 2 of their first 3 games are against Boise State and Nebraska.

Dabo is ranked #61 on this list, but let’s remember that 1. Overachieving is hard to do, and 2. When you’re ranked 14th in talent level, there’s not much room to move up. The important thing to remember about Dabo here is that he has overachieved 5 of his last 6 years. The one year he didn’t was in 2014 when he missed it by 1. That was the year Deshaun got hurt against GT when we appeared to have the better team and we also lost a game we dominated, the “7 Deadly Sins” game against FSU.


We’re starting to see a lot of the same names on these lists, and once again, we see Larry Fedora. Fedora was the biggest underachiever in college football according to these metrics. Fedora was the only coach in the bottom 10 that has coached at least 3 years at their program and didn’t get fired. So to answer a question from the last article: Yes, Fedora is on the hot seat according to the numbers.


Another familiar name rounds out the list of best overachievers from 2005-2017. Scott Satterfield at App State is there once again, but really, all of the coaches in that top 10 are candidates to move up to a bigger program after the 2018 season. There’s your “Hot Coaching Candidate” list 5 months in advance.


Weren’t we told that Rick Neuheisal got fired because he filled out a March Madness bracket? Yea, ok. Anything to get out of paying the coach his severance I guess.

Willie Boom is in the bottom 10 and I feel perfectly fine about that. However, based on what I’ve seen from him so far, I don’t think he’ll be there next year.