The common progression of a program (or head coach) on the rise. Here is the run-on sentence explaining it.
A season of overachievement above the team’s talent level leads to access to better players which leads to better recruiting which leads to higher team talent level which leads to better performance on the field which leads to access to better players which leads to better recruiting which leads to higher team talent level which leads to better performance on the field.
Therefore, the most important characteristic in a head coach is the ability to consistently overachieve above the talent level of his players.
This is evidenced by the recruiting of programs after overachievement in the form of either an Elite Season or Elite Program occurs.
With an average talent upgrade of 16% in the next class after an Elite Season, it is important that the program be able to carry it over onto the field. If the program can do so and get to Elite Program status, the average talent upgrade is 23% over the next 3 years.
Barring a coaching change, scandal, or lack of commitment from the administration, a program is typically stable for about a decade at this point. This is the where the program is running downhill to field an Elite Team (40% chance) while non-EPs are running uphill (4% chance).
You can also see, in the above chart, what happens when a team loses Elite Program status. On average, a program’s talent level will be reduced by 21% within 3 years. So, the pendulum swings both ways.