Economics and college football take the chalk and cheese route of relation, since most people would be happy to pull blinds and ignore the ugly piles of money that make the sport work in both good and bad ways. But we're more than happy to loll in it, especially because it allows a C student in Econ like ourselves to point and laugh when Professional Economists write things like this:
Our estimates imply that recruits decisions are governed by a handful of primary factors, among them the schools recent football rankings and the geographical distance between the recruit and the college. Also, those schools that are members of conferences affiliated with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) are found to have a significant recruiting advantage compared to other institutions.
USC should be able to get whomever the hell they want. Now gimme a grant!
The Economist: pure bitchy cold awesome. Economists? A mixed bag.
If we were able to pay taxes line item-style, we'd opt out of this kind of academic research. Economists should at least be doing more interesting research in Duh Studies, since if you're going to be telling me things I already know (your instincts, now backed up by data!), you might as well be like the economist in Freakonomics who hung out with crack dealers and got a good story out of it in the process.
In the meantime, we also await this year's results of the College Football Recruiting Prediction Model, a project put together by three economists who manage to correctly predict 68% of recruiting outcomes. As stated by Duh Studies experts above, the single most important factor in deciding a school? Proxmity to home. So if a recruit's hedging and you've got money on it or something, just crack out Mapquest, and do the mileage. It's one of the reasons we can't believe Omar Hunter's going to Florida--Georgia's closer, and the numbers back a Dawg bet over a Gator.