March 2013, 247Sports released the Crystal Ball and changed the recruiting game forever. I was always frustrated trying to find predictions on sites. They were hidden away in articles that may or may not be easy to find. They weren’t always current and they only included a handful of experts (if it was more than one). If I was frustrated, I knew others were, so I dug in and created the 247Sports Crystal Ball. The concept sat on the shelves for a year or two, but finally got its chance to flourish in 2013.
After launch, I knew a few things were still missing (and still are), so in August, 2013 I hit the drawing board again to take it to another level. In October 2013, we released our first Crystal Ball enhancement, Trends, which included the now famous Crystal Ball graph.
The success of the Crystal Ball is growing daily. With 100’s of experts from 100+ different organizations and recruits making predictions now, there’s no telling where it may go. I’m hoping to get another chance to improve it later in 2014, but for now let’s look back at the top 10 Crystal Ball pages for 2013.
Most viewed Crystal Ball pages in 2013
- Cliff Alexander: The nation’s top power forward had nearly twice as many views on his Crystal Ball than No. 2. Fifty experts made a prediction on Alexander, 22 of those experts changed their prediction at least once during the process.
- Raekwon McMillan: Forty-nine experts made a prediction for the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker with 76% correctly predicting Ohio State. No surprise a recruit with Ohio State and Alabama led the page views for football recruits.
- Ohio State recruit predictions: One of three team pages to make the top 10. This page lists the current targets of the Buckeyes and the current Crystal Ball chance that Ohio State has to land them. This is definitely a page I will improve when time permits.
- Johnnie Dixon: Dixon had an exciting stretch in November and December leading up to his commitment to Ohio State. This resulted in 53 expert predictions and one correct recruit prediction from Alabama signee Christian Miller (see No. 6).
- Dalvin Cook: Cook ended up with 44 predictions. Most of the predictions came during a busy December for the No. 2 running back in the nation.
- Christan Miller’s Crystal Ball predictions: An impressive achievement for Miller since this part of the product released in November. He hit on 42 of his 56 predictions of the top recruits in the nation.
- Tennessee recruit predictions: Butch Jones and staff gave Vol users plenty of reason to check in on this page throughout the year.
- Alabama recruit predictions: The nation’s top recruiting class targeted the best that 2014 had to offer.
- Thomas Holley: He finished the year (2013) with a commitment to Penn State after most Crystal Ball predictors had him going to Ohio State since the summer. His 2014 numbers (not included in this 2013 list) should be good too. Holley later decommitted to Penn State and chose Florida as his final destination.
- Matt Elam: More than 60 experts made a prediction for Elam with 13 of them changing their pick throughout the process. Elam was one of the few recruits that did well with page views throughout the entire year, though he did experience a burst in December.
Any questions? Leave me a comment below or twitter.Follow @noahstanley247