Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance

Committee Chair(s)

Chris Fawson


Tyler J. Brough


Tyler Bowles


Talent wins college football games. Wins bring in money. Colleges, fans and media hype up the recruiting season as the key to success in the college football season. Is it though? Athletic programs spend large sums of capital and resources to recruit the most talented players possible. This paper explores the relationship between recruited talent and team performance using a simultaneous equations model. Higher players’ talent leads to better team performance and a recruiting class has its biggest impact immediately following signing. A team’s performance, especially of the most recent season, impacts its ability to recruit. Talent and success experience bidirectional causation, meaning they concurrently cause each other. The theory that top teams maintain top status is true. The theory holds true for all teams as well. Bidirectional causation proved here explains lack of performance mobility across all levels of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).


This work made publicly available electronically on August 30, 2011.

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Economics Commons