i can't wait to show clients how much money i have to waste
Note: On Monday, I posted Sylvester McMonkey McBean Helps Settle the Pat White Question Once and for All, complete with annoying HTML that I couldn’t edit out of existence without starting over. Won’t make that mistake again. What follows is the digested feedback for improving the McBean Rating System, the purpose of which, to quote myself, is to develop “a collaborative, ongoing post-recruitment rating system that will allow us to determine if, in the Rich Rodriguez era, perfect-fit three-stars are more desirable than random four-stars.” Our goal is to settle the Pat White Question once and for all.
Thanks all for the quality feedback. In the original post, I proposed that players be rated over their career at Michigan using definitions that approximated the spirit of the Rivals star ratings to see if, on average, players exceeded or fell short of expectations. The effort would span the later Carr years and, of course, the Rodriguez era going forward. How players performed relative to expectations would give the mgocommunity interesting information on the ability of a coach’s system to evaluate and develop talent. For more detail, the original post.
We began with these definitions.
These were found to be too loose. SanDiegoWolverine dabbled with the idea of a two-faceted rating system, but my IQ will not permit that level of complexity, so I used the following comments to revise the definitions above.
I'm not sure that there is a 1:1 correlation between the Rivals rankings and the McBean rankings.UMFootballCrazy found some numerical guidelines in Rivals:
Example (5 star): Elite, Dominant player, Complete package. Projects to the highest level. vs. Stud. Multi-year starter. All-something. NFL player.
I'll take "All-Something" to mean First team All conference in a BCS conference. That is 6 conferences x 22 players per all conference team = 132 -- plus kickers -- 5 star players. Does Rivals hand out 100 5 star ratings that often?
Players are also ranked on their quality with a star ranking. A five-star prospect is considered to be one of the nation's top 25-30 players, four star is a top 250-300 or so player, three-stars is a top 750 level player, two stars means the player is a mid-major prospect and one star means the player is not ranked.It seems that unless there is some loyalty to the proportion of star ratings allocated, then the McBean Rating loses its credibility. For example, if we dole out twice as many McBean five stars, is that Michigan developing talent or is that rose-colored glasses? It seems the NFL draft can serve in an advisory capacity, part of a checks and balances system.
UMFootballCrazy develops this:
5 Star *****He has more good stuff, but I steal so much of it down below, that I won't repeat it here.
This is a player who was drafted in the 1st round of the NFL entry draft and is thus regarded as one of the top 32 players in the nation (mirroring Rivals top 25-30 prospects) or baring that was an All-American and/or a 4 or five year starter (i.e. started as a freshman and started virtually every game they played at Michigan) and played at an "elite" level during their playing career.
Nedved963 cautions, however:
[M]oving forward with Rodriguez it's admitted his style is for college, and success in the Pros is not that great a correlation for the skill and effectiveness of Michigan's current players.I think Colin boils it down:
How you determine those expectations could certainly be done incorporating NFL performance.
And I think that is key. We don't want the NFL draft or an NFL career to answer entirely the question as to whether a player fell short of or exceeded expectations at the University of Michigan (i.e., Tom Brady), but it can be a tie-breaker, if you will, a check against overrating our beloved players (Breaston a five-star?) and ensuring proportion to the Rivals system.
As a result, I offer for final review, the new McBean Rating System definitions. I use the Rivals definitions (d'oh!) for the Rivals definitions. Special thanks to UMFootballCrazy as I steal a great deal of his language, but shift the emphasis, using the NFL as sort of a tie-breaker for those players on the cusp in the McBean ratings. However, I move away from UMFootballCrazy's proposed definition for the lower star players because I think there is a potential hazard to mishandling the lower rated players*:
Thanks again. If we settle on these definitions, I will re-rate the 2002 through 2006 classes.
* Again, to quote myself: "To be honest, I think some of the most important rating will take place down at the bottom of the scale. If you look at the classes above, what drags down a class (and gives Lloyd's classes a slight "underperform" grade) is guys ending up as two stars...being "invisible."
That is an area that has more impact on this analysis than whether Breaston gets a fifth. Since Michigan almost never recruits two star position players, is it fair that so many recruits end up as two stars because they can't get on the field?"
Note: This Diary comes with the standard disclaimer that recruiting ratings are subjective, and that this amusing exercise is not intended to answer the fourteen unanswerable questions.
Several mgocolleagues have objected to my disturbing avatar, the congenial visage of Gothmog, the Morgul lieutenant from the Lord of the Rings movies (not, for fellow nerds out there, to be confused with his namesake, Gothmog, the Lord of the Balrogs, from more ancient Tolkien history). I have a potential replacement for this avatar: Sylvester McMonkey McBean of Sneetches fame.
Why McBean? Well, Mr. McBean adds and subtracts stars with his Star On and Star Off machines, which is the exact skill set that we are looking for if we would like to answer the Pat White question once and for all.
Our new coach arrived in Ann Arbor with a reputation for finding diamonds in the rough, and for turning three stars into five stars with one part eye of newt, one part Mike Barwis, and two parts mad offensive genius. Was this by necessity or design? Rich Rodriguez appears to have an aptitude for spotting hidden talent and Mike Barwis is clearly able to turn 45-year-old couch potato fantasy leaguers into Ray Lewis, but are we making lemonade out of lemons? Has Rich simply been forced in the past to settle for a kettleful of lower-rated players and relied on outliers in a normal distribution to produce the occasional Pat White? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The debate has intensified since, after a three and nine season, Michigan recruiting has begun to resemble West Virginia recruiting a little too closely for comfort. The optimistic among us believe that Rich Rodriguez can create a juggernaut from three-star players that are a perfect fit for his philosophy and also happen to possess that killer attitude not present in such players as Gabe Watson or Alex Mitchell. Said killer attitude, combined with said killer, Mike Barwis, may be the foundation of Rich McMonkey McBean’s purported eye for diamonds.
How do we move this question from the realm of water cooler optimism to something more analytical? That is the purpose of this post. I am proposing a collaborative, ongoing post-recruitment rating system that will allow us to determine if, in the Rich Rodriguez era, perfect-fit three-stars are more desirable than random four-stars. Of course, we all acknowledge that perfect-fit four-stars (or perfect-fit five-stars, for that matter) are better than perfect-fit three-stars, but all these questions can be addressed with a system that continues to rate recruits after they begin playing football at the University of Michigan
Here’s where the mgocommunity comes in. As the work of one grotesquely deformed orc, this enterprise would hardly be taken seriously. However, if the career ratings that follow the recruitment ratings are the consensus of what can be objectively described as the most sophisticated and knowledgeable football blog community out there, then we might have something. I am not polishing the apple here; anyone who reads the Diaries on a regular basis knows that this is accurate.
The point here is that we want to expose where recruiting ratings were/are wrong. In the 2002 class above, for example, Rivals was slightly wrong about Gabe Watson and very wrong about David Harris. There was no malice or incompetence in their being wrong; they just were off in projecting those players. It is an inexact science. It is also important to note that this uses the recruiting ratings in a specific way: as a college career projection and not a snapshot of their status at the end of their high school career. Only in this way can the information be useful to us.
What now follows is a request for feedback regarding preliminary judgment calls I have made to launch this system. Which needs a name. Perhaps McBean Rating, but I am open to suggestions here.
The definitions are critical. These career ratings must mirror the intent behind the recruiting ratings for our conclusions to be useful. (Note: All recruiting ratings used are from Rivals.)
Question 1: Do you agree with these definitions for the two rating systems? If not, please suggest changes.
Question 2: What should be done about players that leave the team? Consider 2008. Dann O’Neill was a four star player coming in; does he count when he leaves after a year? What about a Justin Feagin, who played a little and was kicked off the team? Clearly, Taylor Hill or Marcus Witherspoon, who never put on a uniform, should not count…but is this so clear? Should there be no penalty for recruiting someone who leaves? Remember, the ranking of the class coming in is based upon Dann O’Neill and Taylor Hill being there.
This is a critical question in my opinion. If we start removing players who don’t play much or at all, then we’ve messed with that cryogenically preserved Team Ranking that is a touchstone in the Pat White debate. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Michigan has had six players from 2008 leave, including four 4-stars. Newsflash: that drops that class to 15th or 16th, all other classes staying the same. Which, of course, all other classes are not the same. Who the hell knows what Alabama’s ranking after the fact truly is? We obviously can’t re-rank the Rivals rankings; we must work with signing day class.
For purposes of making a start, I have judged that if the player sees the field for more than a cup of coffee, they get a rating. With this model, O’Neill, Wermers, Witherspoon and Hill do not get a rating from McBean, but Feagin and McGuffie do. The star calculation for a class over time, then, compares the final average from Rivals to only the McBean rated players. In the 2002 class above, all 21 players produce an average of 3.52 stars. The McBean average is 3.37 stars using a denominator of 19, not 21. Thoughts?
Question 3: Check my conclusions for lightly used players. This is where the mgocommunity will be critically helpful. I could barely remember some of these players and Googlestalking was marginally productive. For example, did Quinton McCoy and Tom Berishaj in the 2002 class ever play? The greatest inaccuracies will be for those players who played a little, like Feagin, but I don’t remember because it was years ago.
Question 4: If you disagree with my McBean rating for any player, please educate me. I am getting old and my memory is not what it used to be.
Here are the first three classes in which all the players have a final McBean rating (none are playing college ball any longer). It would seem, based on a preliminary review using the tentative rules that Lloyd’s classes underperform slightly. It will be very interesting over time to see how Rich’s classes do.
Here are the next two classes that have incomplete McBean ratings.
I will somehow compile the feedback and present a final McBean Analysis for each “closed” class. As each class becomes closed, I will present the final after feedback. Hopefully, Rich produces guys on the left.
Direct quote from Rodriguez; Troy Woolfolk is afraid that D-Rob holds the title of fastest player on the team.
Front page of freep.com. Fegian situation prompted it. Brings up a guy from WVa who robbed a store. "Win at all costs a poor formula for Rich Rodriguez" is the headline.
EDIT: very interesting edit: just checked the Freep and the headline was changed to "what you don't know can hurt you" as of about 8:22
- Is this a uniquely awful revelation that casts doubt on the ability of Rich Rodriguez to properly evaluate character? Yes.
- Will this serve as ammunition for fans of our rival schools to taunt Michigan? Yes.
- Have crimes of this magnitude been perpetrated by student-athletes at a high-profile university before? Damn straight.
- Did that unfortunate event prove to be the program's undoing? Not even close.
But here's the thing: No matter how true you might think that is, it's still big fat tough titties for you. This could have happened just as easily under Les Miles or Jeff Tedford or literally any other coach in America, save perhaps Lane Kiffin, who would have found a way to sneak a 9-year-old transsexual sweatshop worker into the coke deal.
Even Lloyd, whom we would like to believe incapable of such an oversight, could only sit with folded hands as opposing fanbases across the country laughed at the dismissal of defensive tackle Larry Harrison, who was charged with four counts of sexual delinquency and suspected in 16 more. Harrison endangered fewer people than Feagin, certainly, but the fact remains that Rich Rodriguez does not stand alone among Michigan coaches who have seen a felonious embarassment take place on his watch.
This paragraph originally had a comment concerning the extent of Rich Rodriguez's duties as head coach of Michigan football; the original statement was roughly that Rodriguez's only obligation to the team is to coach them, and that any mentorship or emotional growth that a player might gain from his relationship with Rodriguez would simply be a lucky exception to the rule. That is inaccurate and frankly, pretty cold. What I should have said, and will say now, is that I simply don't know what to expect from Rich Rodriguez's relationship with his players. I formerly insisted that Rodriguez was a saint, beloved by all the pure-hearted cherubim on his roster; now, I can't say that. I don't think anyone can.
I've been trying hard not to compare the young Rodriguez era to the Lloyd Carr era for so many reasons: the small sample size of the current regime, the difference in personality (neither good nor bad, just evident), and the fact that a man deserves to be judged on his own merits.
If you want to claim that the mystique of the Michigan Man is waning, and that Rich Rodriguez has ushered in a new era of filth and depravity where there was once class and dignity, just remember that football will never be anything more than a sport. If you truly feel as though your own reputation is reflected in the record--on and off the field--of Michigan's football team, you are, unfortunately, projecting your own identity onto an inanimate, abstract concept, and you desperately need to reconstruct your priorities.
With that in mind, let us all load up with good defenses for the inevitable bombardment of insults from our peers in East Lansing, Columbus, and South Bend, and prepare ourselves for the upcoming season.
An interesting read from Dr. Saturday on WVU's offense without RichRod. It doesn't really give an opinion one way or another, but does demonstrate the significant drop off the team experienced once he left (i.e., peripheral RichRod fluff).