Granted, I'm a hopeless homer.
The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
In all the discussions on mgoblog concerning "where does our class rank?" I notice a common theme. People often disparage Scout's ranking, or ESPN's, or Tom Lemming's concerning our class, as being whack or wrong or stupid. i read very few criticisms of Rivals. But other than criticisms like "ESPN is evil" or "Scout is whack" or "Lemming over-rates Midwest talent" one thing I never read is any fact or evidence that proves those opinions. One guy on another thread said Todd McShay sucked and was terrible at this job, and supported it with the fact that ESPN had Campbell rated as the #21 OT. Ahem.
Now since as far as I can tell, Rivals is the only service (before today) that ranked our class top ten, it begs the question: are most people here hopeless homers that endorse a service (Rivals) that agrees with our prejudices? Or is there actual evidence that Rivals' past predictions are more accurate than Scout's or ESPN's or Lemming's?
It seems that the only rational response to a clear lack of evidence is to answer "it looks good" or "we think" rather than to be definitive on such an inexact science as recruiting projections. The sober response might be to say that I hope that Rivals is right and Scout is wrong. Or does this stance just prove I don't know what I'm talking about?
Breaking news: On ESPNU a guy from Scout's Inc. (ESPN's recruiting service, not the Scout website) said that the best pickup for the system on signing day was Michigan's pickup of Denard Robinson and Jeron Stokes. Still think ESPN sucks? Or are you reconsidering?
EDIT: Some posters have misunderstood the diary to either be an ad-hominem attack on homer posters, or that I somehow do not like this class. On the contrary, I do like it, and was actually 1- asking if there was actual evidence of one service or another being better or worse at predicting recruit's success, and 2- arguing that if there is not clear evidence, then if a service disagrees with Rivals lofty ranking we should at least acknowledge that others disagree without trashing the source.
Granted, I'm a hopeless homer.
ESPN is not a recruiting service at its core. It's a TV channel that amalgamates sports information. Rivals and Scout are stand-alone recruiting companies. Giving ESPN more credit than Rivals/Scout is like hiring a teenager who is a full-time crack whore but happens to babysit on off days to watch your kid.
I simply say I'm not positive that they suck without evidence. However, even though ESPN does in fact pay people to evaluate talent, just as Scout/Rivals do, I still like your crack analogy.
The proof is found in ESPN's ranking of players at the wrong position long after it becomes clear that it is the wrong position. Its also found in them stating info that has been outdated for months and which, conversely, has been closely followed and updated to subscribers of Rivals and I assume Scout.
Also, ESPN is consistently worse at everything as years go by. They survive on reputation and having a gazillion live games. Instead of being on top of things and having cool Sportcenter guys giving inside scoops and all that, they now confidently spew out catch phrases on trends that are sometimes two years out of date. See: "SEC SPEEEEEED" Not to go overboard, but I think ESPN is partly to blame for the current fact that every other conference champ must now have a better record than every SEC team to have a chance at the BCS title. All ties seem to go to the SEC, regardless of how weak the conference actually was this year.
"current fact that every other conference champ must now have a better record than every SEC team to have a chance at the BCS title."
Really? Ask Auburn 2004 how true that is.
"All ties seem to go to the SEC, regardless of how weak the conference actually was this year."
And that's based on what exactly? The 6-2 bowl record they had. Winning 4 bowl games as underdogs. Who SHOULD have played in the title game?
ESPN isn't to blame. You want respect. WIN SOME NON-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL GAMES!!!
Although its doubtless true that some generalities get tossed around and that there is lazy thinking with the press, I can't recall one football person yet who thinks the SEC was "weak." Probaby because they were not.
with this comparison.
But, like I said, in my post, I do think McShay and Lugenbill are pretty informative.
Of course, Lugenbill has always been high on what RR is doing and UM's recruiting....and, there is a disconnect a bit between what he says about our class and how the WWL's website perceives it.
Lugenbill has said time and time again that RR is recruiting speed guys who fit his system perfectly and that if given time the Big 10 wont know what hits them.
Maybe I'm a homer (d'uh) but I give that statement more credence than whatever anybody's ranking says about our class.
I've always liked Rivals, regardless of where they rank UM....i just find their site very informative, but I read as much about other teams as UM. Its good stuff.
I do not have a membership to Scout because about a year ago, after browsing both sites, I just thought Rivals was more informative. It had zip to do with recruiting rankings.
Frankly, I dont know what to make about any of their descrepancies.
I do like ESPN.....always liked McShay and Scouts Inc (i think they're "related" to Blue Ribbon, iirc, and I rely heavily on the Ribbons preseason Book for foots and hoops) and I think Lugenbill generally knows his shit.
Um, I still think ESPN's info sucks. I guess I missed the part where you refute the suck. Was it supposed to be the mere fact that someone there was aware that Robinson and Stokes were great pickups? Um, that doesn't change my mind. Brian's grandma said the same thing at the airport.
On the other hand, the disparity between Scout and Rivals is noteworthy. Only time will tell. But even if Scout is right and this is no better than a mid-teens class, I don't think the world is ending. WVU's 40-something classes, Utah, blah blah blah.
Oh. I misread the title of your diary. I thought you were saying ESPN is right, our class sucks. So my last comment was written with that misunderstanding, FWIW.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
ESPN is generally not so great at ranking players. However, according to them we have a lot more top level talent (more in the ESPN 150) than the other two services. Scout and Rivals generally agree on recruits, but ESPN seems a lot more skewed in their ratings system. For example, Scout and Rivals generally agree that JT Turner is a top level corner, he's the 1st 4* to rivals and a 5* to scout. ESPN says he's an "80" and ranks him as the #21 Athlete, outside of the ESPN150.
William Campbell, a 5* to Rivals/Scout, is a "79" and outside of the ESPN150.
Adrian Witty isn't even evaluated, and given a score of "40".
ESPN may know more than everybody else, but the other two main recruiting sites seemingly have more staff devoted to the issue, and generally have more informative information.
they're scouting highlight films and getting their information from outside sources. Scouts, Inc. is like Tom Luginbill and his cronies and ESPN just turns on the cameras and says "whatever he says". Scouts and Rivals are a different beast all together. They have an network of actual scouts who watch film, talk to recruits, and attend games to evaluate these kids. The difference in opinion between the two is not unlike any opinions formed by two independent people observing the same subject. As someone that has been involved in footbll for over 25 years, I laugh when I see Todd McShay, Luginbill, Lemming, or any of these "scouts" on TV spewing their opinions because they all use the same catch phrases that when we hear them we automatically assume they are knowledgeable and accurate in their assessment. Listen tonight and when they talk about DBs, they'll almost always talk about hip swivel and when they talk about QBs, they talk arm strength, poise in the pocket, vision, footwork, and all of the other catch phrases we jump on. If they were selling golf clubs they would say "you'll hit the ball longer and straighter" because that is what everyone wants to do on the golf course. If these guys were selling boner pills they'd say "you'll be bigger and last longer", which is never been a bad thing IMO, but again, we are sheep when it comes to these recruiting gurus and their catch phrases.
The truth of the matter is that nobody really knows what they are getting until they get them on campus and on the practice field. They all have an opinion, but that;s all it is and those opinions, for one factor or another are going to vary.
Rivals, scout, ESPN, whatever:
Our class is great across the board. Being 7th on one site and 16th on the other seems fair enough to me.
Over the past several years, Scout has actually been markedly higher on our classes than Rivals, and yet most of the M fans I know that follow recruiting continued to bang the "Rivals is superior to Scout" drum, so no, I don't think it's homerism at all, honestly. In terms of the history of the two sites discrepancies with our classes, this year is a rare instance of where Rivals is much higher on our class than Scout instead of the other way around.
I think that Scout was a little slow in putting Stokes in the mix for Michigan. We're now #11 on Scout. Not that much of discrepancy between them and Rivals anymore.
3-9 the players we pulled in is great. We got players we need for the most part, that fit our system. We filled a few holes. Rankings aside we are getting the talent we need. Next year we will get more. I think we did good with a few players who if dont work out at position 1 project very very well into position #2.
We got some versatile guys who can help in multiple ways. I like the class esp for what our record was last year. Its all potential anyways but potentially this starts what will hopefully be UM dominance starting soon.
My biggest problem with ESPN is that moreso than the other sites, they seem to have information that contradicts what I've heard elsewhere. Take Campbell for example: every indication is that he was being recruited as a DT. He's ranked by the other services as a DT. Why rank him as an OT? And there have been a number of other players where ESPN seemed to view them as another position than what they are being recruited as. I realize players often switch position, but if someone is being recruited as a DT and intends to play DT, what is the point of ranking him against other OTs? I'm not suggesting that they should change their opinion just to get in line with everyone else, but maybe they should adjust their opinion based on, y'know, reality.
ESPN also seems to have a tendency to rank players more on their technical level at their position than on their upside, while Rivals and Scout seem to place more emphasis on upside. So, I guess I would say that ESPN is probably better at predicting short term impact players than predicting who is going to overall have the most success at the college level over 3-4 years.
I read something interesting in "Meat Market." One of Ed Orgeron's coaches started picking apart a prospect's technical prowess, and Orgeron said, "Don't downgrade a player because of his technique. As a coach, you have to feel like you can coach him up." I think looking at high school technique is a bit overrated, because the coaching is often poor and it's for different schemes. As long as the kid is willing and able to learn - which you can't see on game tape very easily - then you just have to look at overall athleticism.
on the technique? Would you want to change the throwing mechanics of a QB who is extremely effective even if it's unorthodox (Wuerrfel for example or Vince Young)? Probably not unless you thought the upside was much greater and that it wouldn't screw the kid up, of which there are no guarantees.
I read that book too, and you get a sense that most coaches look for athleticism before they consider anything else. If the kid can move, has some decent hip action and has all the numbers they want, they figure they can coach a kid to where he needs to be. This isn't the NFL, where coaches may be stuck with a guy for years and where deficiencies in technique can be disastrous. In college, athleticism can still carry the day, and if a kid really never picks it up, he is usually gone in 3-4 years and you can always recruit someone new to take his place. I'm sure a high-technique kid is desirable, but coaches will always take chances on guys like Lewan who have the raw potential.
this post is whack. rivals puts a lot more effort into their calculations and upsides, while often and specifically providing the core video/incident/rationale of why they think it. scouts just tells you and expects you to agree because they're OMG SCOUTS. espn poaches their material, switches the numerals and pukes out a result. i need to put the word whack in here more because while i have never seen someone say it on this site, you say it twice in the first paragraph. so whack must be the word the kids are using nowadays.
on this site, since you've never seen it. Good point. And that evidence you list completely checkmates my point that people don't really know which recruiting site is more accurate other than having anecdotes. Congratulations.
I use Rivals. I typically have no idea how our recruits stack up between Rivals and Scout. I was somewhat turned off by the fact that Scout kept listing Beaver as a WR and Lalota as an OT for such a long time, but I don't have a problem with their rankings.
I think somebody brought this up the other day, and they said Rivals has done a better job of predicting the success of 5-star players.
Doesn't Scout also typically have a lot more 5-star players than Rivals?
this was probably already said but i'll go ahead and say it again. We just went 3-9 and got a top 10 recruiting class. that's absolutely absurd. i can't imagine how our classes will look once we're kicking ass again.
Kids see a great opportunity to play at a big time football power that's down and has room on the depth chart. ND was #2 at this time last year after 3-9. Rich Rod will have to follow up with another great class after a .500-.600 season in '09.
There is a weight of the evidence approach. When you have recruits who do really well in all-american games and they are 3* on one site but 4* on the other, I'll tend to give the nod to the site that saw them as 4* guys all along. It just seems to make sense to me. That was the case this year, with Rivals listing Gallon, Washington and Bell as 4* guys, but Scout insisting on keeping them at 3*. Those guys are not 3* recruits as I see it. Scout does indeed usually rank UM higher than Rivals, and I think Scout has pretty consistently OVER-rated our recruiting classes. The evidence has been apparent on the field.
As of 15 minutes ago, ESPN still was not showing that Qwash was Blue, when he has already signed. I find this interesting since he is one of their top 10 OG. Currently we are 14 on ESPN without Qwash and will surely improve. All things considered, I'll take 7 (rivals), 11 (scout), or 14 + (espn) - I think we did quite well.
ESPN hasn't updated their rankings yet, those were from Monday. I suspect we'll move up a bit there, as QWash, Stokes and Robinson are now three of our top 5 recruits according to them, and we picked up all three since their last rankings. Neither of the DTs we "lost" were in their top 150.
Scout now has us at 13. They apparently think that not only is PSU's class better than Michigan's, but so is aTm's and South Carolina's.
and it's really that you're a self-hating masochistic debbie downer?
Well reasoned sir.
Um, try reading again. I LIKE our class. The point that you apparently missed is that people who say Scout or ESPN or Rivals or Lemming suck based on nothing concrete should perhaps reconsider the strength of their opinion.
People say ESPN sucks at recruiting because they aren't that good, especially compared to Rivals and Scout, who have been doing it much longer, and do it as their main feature. I don't have a problem with them ranking people differently, because the rankings do involve opinion. They just don't cover it all that well, they don't report as much about it, and often they miss things going on because they just don't have the ties or experience.
I can't speak for anyone else, and I don't know enough about Lemming to judge him, but he was the main source in that DetNews article that said that MSU has a better recruiting class than Michigan, which was an amazingly stupid piece. The guy who wrote it actually had 3 rankings shown in the article, and 2 had Michigan significantly higher. I know Lemming didn't write it, but everytime someone does anything to perpetuate the "MSU kills scUM in state!! zomg rofflecopters!", I kill a puppy, and this article has killed so many puppies...so many....
i only trust MGoBlog
Conservative ESPN has us at 14. If that's their worst, I have no qualms or worries.
All of our undersized recruits were hammered by those that rank, yet they were recruited for a reason; they fit our scheme! They will be serviceable. Rich Rod obviously puts a premium on speed and athleticism and he is getting exactly what he wanted. Matt Barkley would have fit on this team about as well as AI fits on the Pistons.
We will get the most out of our players, because we will utilize their strengths...not simply chasing/recruiting best available.
We hammered RichRod for not being flexible enough to adjust to the talent provided, but now with the system already established we find ourselves with pieces that fit.
That works for me. I'm looking at a bowl game next year and a BCS (if it still exists) in three.
ESPN hasn't updated their rankings yet. We should move up, since we have gained 3 of their top 150 players since their last update and now have 7 of their top 150 players.
Scout's anti-Florida bias is pretty clear. Just compare the rankings.
Rivals: Florida State (6), Florida (10) and Miami (11)
Scout: Florida State (17), Florida (21)!!! and Miami (20)
Apparently our biggest crime was not signing more guys from the Midwest.
A collection of posts, many of which are well reasoned and provide evidence well beyond "ESPN is evil" or "Scout is whack" but I have yet to see you with anything positive to say about any of these analytical posts.
You excelled however at providing defensive replies to posters who took exception to your unattributed quotes that taken at face value, paint all the posters at MGoBlog as not having any valid reasoning to back up their info.
Now no doubt, there's plenty of homers on this site, that should be expected every time you log in, but give props where it's due.
And finally, anyone who has been looking at this site over the last few months has seen piles of posts that point out differences between the recruiting services, many of which were analytical and provided reasonable evidence. If the only item that resonates with you however, is an analogy to a crack whore, perhaps you might want to evaluate your own evidence evaluation capabilities.
It's certainly easier to respond to people that disagree or critique you. However, those responses were to people who frankly misunderstood my post, as I believe you do as well. Before re-stating it however, if several people misunderstood it then some of that responsibility falls on my writing.
Now, the point. It is that justifying an opinion of our recruiting by citing one service and ignoring/trashing another that disagrees, without evidence that shows the disagreeing services are unqualified or have a poor track record, is yes, homerism, or perhaps lazy thinking. To be clear, I like this class, but was not pronouncing it one way or another based on a recruiting service, and was quite literally wondering if there was evidence to back people who dismiss ESPN and Scout.
I was not criticizing all posters here. If i felt as you portray, that everyone here is a homer, I wouldn't enjoy coming here every day. To take one example, Chitown often posts reasoned critiques that show perspective and objectivity, and there are several others that do as well. I specifically asked if I was wrong in stating that I hadn't seen any evidence backing the opinions, And I must add, after reading the replies I'm not sure where you are finding the well reasoned evidence backing opinions of Scout or Rivals. There is not one piece of evidence listed in any post showing that one service or another has a better track record of predicting success. If you see one please point it out. The well reasoned posts to which you refer were addressing why each poster preferred one service or another, not showing why one had a better track record.
Perhaps not so much that would qualify as facts other than several posters pointing out how ESPN and to a lesser extent, Scout inexplicably list players at positions that they aren't being recruited for - which IMO might call into question the sagacity of the rest of their player evaluations.
You said you "never" see any facts or evidence being cited about these recruiting services and suggest that all claims that have been made one way or another are a result of homerism and suggest this is a bad thing. You are on a Michigan fan blog, what do you expect? A bunch of scientists gathering data and analyzing it with complete detachment? If the homers on this site don't drastically outnumber the statisticians, then our fans suck serious ass! Isn't emotion at least half of what goes into being a fan in the first place?
That said, many of the homers recognize this and turn to empirical evidence. Homer or no, you can do the same. You can go to Scout and Rivals, gather up all the 5* recruits on each site over the last 6 or 7 years and figure out which service had a higher percentage of future first round draft choices in their 5* rankings. Next, look at the 4* recruits and calculate percentages of first day draft choices. If you're really into it, you can work out an algorithm to account for the players still in college to increase your data pool. No membership to either site is required for this.
Since you've posed the question and haven't received a satisfactory answer, I suggest you do the legwork and enlighten us all as to which service has the better track record.
BTW, I might be wrong, but in your original post you wanted to know which site was more accurate, in the reply, you since modified it to 'track record' - these are two different questions. The former was addressed by numerous posters, the latter perhaps not so much. Gather that data and report back to us!
-self appointed homer
I think I erred terribly, I should have considered what you would have done, which apparently involves immediately diving into original research over a question you have, rather than asking people who have expressed a stronger opinion than yours many times, if they have substance behind their claims.
And thank you as well for pointing out the nature of this blog. I didn't realize that being partisan fans expressing emotion allowed a guy to make claims based on literally nothing but anecdotes. And that honest questions of those fans would result in a snarky smart assed remark without any foundation. But there you go, I should have realized that too.
I don't really need to do the research however, since given the answers it's clear that people all have their preferences and that all the services are arguably equal (though it seems Rivals has preponderance of fans) given that no one has seen evidence of a superior track record--or accuracy (given your false dichotomy) from any of them.
Which was the point of my original post, proved correct.
profound. If you wanted the actual answer to your question then you could do the research as this commentor guided. If you do not actually want an answer then you can discontinue this post or any other posts like it.
continuing on the path you are blazing, between statements without any logical foundation, to comments that make no sense. Quite a record of uniqueness. It is very simple, except to very simple people--I asked in a straightforward manner if there was research out there pointing one way or another, people gave their opinions, which I accepted. Then a guy says that they provided evidence when no one, including you, did. Fine, no problem, but nope, two jackasses had to continue by criticizing the whole impetus for writing. Sad, but legitimate, whatever. I never criticized anyone that wrote that they liked Scout or liked Rivals or even ESPN. I did respond to people that either mistakenly thought I trashed the class or then said I didn't want an answer.
I would love an answer, its right to ask, but since no one has one there you go.
I'm not sure exactly where I posted anything that warranted being referred to as a jackass, so I'll be sure to get my money's worth this time.
If all you wanted was to know whether someone had the data to show which recruiting service had the best track record for player ratings, you should have asked for that, but you didn't.
Instead you asked if this site is full of "hopeless homers" or does anyone have any real evidence. This is something only a dick such as yourself would do.
If there was still any doubt as to whether or not you're a total blowhard, all one has to do is look at EVERY response you've made to any post on the subject. You never once responded to someone who had a reasonable opinion on the scouting services, never once had an intelligent follow-up question for clarification, citation or expansion on anything. All you had was bile for anyone who suggested your original question was less than creditable.
Everything you've called others out for on this thread - 'snarky, jackass, lazy-thinking' applies to you in spades.
Next time you have a question, try asking it straight up you poor sad child. You'll be more likely to get a useful answer to your question.
Now by all means, get the last word and flame me to your shriveled hearts content. Just keep in mind - up until you called me a jackass, I had nothing ill to say.
was very moderate. I believe the only "confrontational" thing I said was that I thought you didn't get my point, which I then repeated for clarity's sake. In that post I also said that while I didn't see any evidence listed, if you did please point it out. I also said in that response that if more than 1 person was missing my point, then some responsibility had to fall upon my writing. Then I went back and edited my post for clarity, all due to your first post, which i believe I treated very fairly. None of those things were critical of you or your POV at all. But your response to that seemed pretty condescending and sarcastic to me, are you saying I'm mistaken? If I was then I withdraw it, if not then... anyway, regarding flaming, I gave already and you gave back, so I won't be returning fire.
does not use ESPN rankings often on this site and when he does he is sure to say that they should be taken with a grain of salt because they are new at recruiting rankings and don't really know what they are doing yet. I take Brians opinion over yours. He called the downfall of this years b-ball team and he predicted the fall of the Soviet Union. He >>> You. Fin.
Playboy to Penthouse and OUI. Sure,they all have pictures of naked women but Playboy just seems to have a nicer looking "brand" of girl. In the end, it's all about the breastesses.
in the previous post mentioned by the OP.
I don't think Todd McShay is credible because he "can break down film" and "seems smart in front of the camers". Sorry about that guys. You have convinced me with your sound logic.
What was your support for your opinion that he sucks "at his job" again?
just so damn smug! And there has to be some mathematical explaination for how bad his ties are.