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Behind the 247Sports Crystal Ball: Impressive numbers

One of the projects we are about to begin work on while we complete our board and feeds rewrite is the 247Sports Crystal Ball points and rankings system. It’s not an easy task as you will see from the numbers I share below. The goal is to showcase the top Crystal Ball experts¬† based on correct predictions, days ahead of commitment and other factors. The problem becomes creating a single system for experts that justifiably will predict anywhere from 40 to more than 300 recruits. For example, it’s not fair to ask a local expert in the Arizona market who will cover around 50-100 recruits to predict 300 recruits he, or she has no chance of knowing enough about. At the same time it’s not fair to limit a National, or Regional expert who could easily predict 200+ recruits in a single recruiting cycle. So what’s the number? What factors should be weighed more than others? That’s the fun part of doing what I get to do, and the challenges our team will need to work through.

I’ve seen a lot of speculation on the boards about who has the most correct predictions, the highest percentage and if anyone is still perfect. I had all the data pulled yesterday and here are some of the numbers that stood out. Notes: numbers based on data from our databases which may not reflect what is shown live, and only for the Class of 2014 predictions.

  • There have been 3,389 correct predictions, against 734 incorrect predictions (some incorrect/correct projections have expert suggesting a later flip). That’s means as a collective group the Crystal Ball experts are hitting at an 82.20% clip. Impressive, especially early in the season as the recruiting process is developing.
  • There are 38 experts that are still perfect led by SpartanTailgate’s Sean Scherer at 12-0. As a group, the perfect experts are 116-0 for 2014.
  • 247Sports’ JC Shurburtt has the most correct with 202 (76.23% correct) . VarsityPrep‘s Demetric Warren has 160 (71.11%) and Gerry Hamilton has 125 (75.30%).
  • Shurburtt and Warren also have the most incorrect predictions at 63 and 65 respectively.
  • There are 25 experts that have one correct, and five that have yet to land a correct prediction.

Top 5 overall percentage correct with more than 25 closed predictions

  1. Steve Wiltfong (247Sports), 93.83% (76-5)
  2. Sean Fitz (Lions247), 93.75% (30-2)
  3. Brandon Lueken (TheBlackHammer), 93.33% (28-2)
  4. Chris Fisher (CatsPause), 92.86% (26-2)
  5. Evan Flood (Badger247), 90.70% (39-4)

Top 5 overall percentage with more than 50 closed predictions

  1. Steve Wiltfong (247Sports), 93.83% (76-5)
  2. Chris Nee (Noles247), 90.38% (94-10)
  3. Chris Anderson (247Sports), 88.16% (67-9)
  4. Chad Carson (247Sports), 84.91% (45-8)
  5. Josh Edwards (CatsPause), 82.69% (43-9)

Top 5 overall percentage with more than 100 closed predictions

  1. Chris Nee (Noles247), 90.38% (94-10)
  2. Barton Simmons (247Sports), 80.85% (114-27)
  3. Charles Doss (Land-Grant Holy Land), 80.56% (116-28)
  4. Luke Zimmerman (Land-Grant Holy Land), 80.00% (88-22)
    Shannon Terry (247Sports), 80.00% (96-24)

Despite being nicely represented in the notes above, obviously the Crystal Ball experts that are not 247Sports staff members may not spend as much time on it as 247Sports natives, so here’s the Top 10 Non-247Sports experts overall based on percentage with at least 25 closed predictions:

  1. AJ Black (BC Interruption), 88.89% (24-3)
  2. Mark Cerimele (BuckeyeEmpire), 85.71 (24-4)
  3. James Stotts (Duke Sports Report), 84.00% (21-4)
  4. Ace Anbender (MGoBlog), 81.25% (28-6)
  5. Jason Pughe (AthleteVault), 80.77% (21-5)
  6. Charles Doss (Land-Grant Holy Land), 80.56% (116-28)
  7. Luke Zimmerman (Land-Grant Holy Land), 80.00% (88-22)
  8. Zach Clark (Land-Grant Holy Land), 77.78% (28-8)
  9. Brian Favat (BC Interruption), 76.27% (45-14)
  10. Bud Elliot (SB Nation), 74.68% (59-20)

So, who do you think should lead the rankings? An expert with a good amount correct and a high percentage, or one with an impressive number of correct predictions and a slightly lesser percentage? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

What other numbers you would like more insight into? I’ll have more on the Crystal Ball next week.

About Noah Stanley

Noah Stanley has 15 years experience in the subscription-based affinity site industry working in multiple networks and roles. He is currently the COO of 247Sports with a focus on tech, products and mobile.


  1. I think you should take the number of days correct into consideration. Many of the experts you noted above appeared to make their picks only a few days before the commitment.

    • Thanks JT. The number of days will definitely be a part of the formula. Same day picks will be worth nothing (if within the last final hours) to next to nothing compared to two months out.

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