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Comparing recruiting numbers between Conference USA and the Sun Belt

After the new Early Signing Period lets see which conference is setting themselves up for a better future.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Troy v North Texas Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Whether it’s during the season or in the offseason, fans of Conference USA and the Sun Belt are always comparing each other. Being that it’s now crootin’ season we figured to compare the two conferences once more. Shoutout to William for inspiring us to do the research and write the article.

Now that we have an Early Signing Period both conferences should benefit immensely from the new signing period going forward. But which conference has the brighter future?

Here’s a snapshot of how well the conferences have recruited after the first ever Early Signing Period.

C-USA & Sun Belt recruiting comparison

Conference USA 3/4 Stars Composite Points Sun Belt 3/4 Stars Composite Points
Conference USA 3/4 Stars Composite Points Sun Belt 3/4 Stars Composite Points
FIU 13 160 stAte 11 124.66
WKU 19 145.81 App St. 10 122.85
La Tech 12 142.59 TXST 9 121.19
UTSA 13 132.52 Georgia State 8 120.22
Southern Miss 12 132.02 Troy 7 112.62
North Texas 6 107.92 CCU 4 101.52
Old Dominion 4 76.87 ULM 5 101.02
UAB 6 101.33 Georgia Southern 4 92.91
Charlotte 3 78.79 USA 2 63.59
Rice 1 75.49 ULL 0 23.19
MTSU 3 72.95
FAU 4 71.89
Marshall 1 66.37
UTEP 0 0
3/4 stars Composite Points 3/4 stars Composite Points
Totals 97 1364.55 Totals 60 983.77
Average 6.928571429 97.46 Average 6 98.377
Median 5 90.06 Median 6 107.07

With the Raging Cajuns and UTEP Miners being in recruiting purgatory due to coaching changes leading up to the signing period, we are essentially comparing 13 schools from C-USA to the Sun Belt’s nine. Not exactly even, but C-USA is out-recruiting the Fun Belt by a smidge.

The best recruiting class in the Sun Belt would be ranked 6th in Conference USA. C-USA has signed 37 more three-star and four-star prospects than the Sun Belt. However, when you look a the averages the Sun Belt matches up fairly well with the middle of C-USA.

What’s keeping C-USA from widening the gap on the trail is that the bottom of the conference is still not doing well enough on the trail to create noticeable separation. While it’s safe to say that FAU and Marshall will probably see a huge uptick in recruiting after the final signing period, the woeful trio of UTEP, Rice, and Charlotte will more than likely make that progress irrelevant.

Factor in the Raging Cajuns’ historical ability to pull in their fair share of three-star prospects and we could be looking at roughly the same difference between the two conferences. C-USA is better, but not by much, and certainly not by enough of a margin where one can conclude that the Sun Belt won’t be the better conference in a few years.

C-USA and the Fun Belt are close to even now on the field but the way C-USA is recruiting they seem to have the more upside to rise in the Group of Five conference landscape as they have more programs recruiting at a high level. They’ll just have to find a way to earn respect without much help from the bottom feeders.