Which Pay Site Is Best?

Submitted by SC Wolverine on May 24th, 2013 at 10:02 AM

If I was to pay a subscription for only one pay site, is there any consensus on which is best?  Or is there a breakdown of the relative strengths?  Thanks.



May 24th, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

is quickly climbing the ladder. The composite rankings are great (and free) and it's not like the other sites where they pretend Rivals and Scout don't exist. For strictly Michigan content, Sam Webb at Scout is probably the best 'insider'. 

In all honesty, any good info makes its way over here quickly, make a donation to Beveled Guilt in the amount you were thinking of spending in a subsription. 

Also, ESPN currently provides the most accurate rankings so keep that in mind.


May 24th, 2013 at 11:51 AM ^

Sam Webb is definitely the best insider but Scout's website looks like it hasn't been updated since 1998 so that's an issue. Rivals is good but I don't think their inside info is as good as it used to be. 247 seems like it's outworking the others right now. Can't go wrong with ESPN - you should be able to get a 3 year subscription for like $12.

Btw, there are a few really good commenters on Rivals who are fun to read, especially with regard to basketball (sane1, MHoops, etc). Hard to find guys who know basketball well on some of the UM boards.


May 24th, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

This happens every year.  You are already at the best site.  You probably won't like that answer, but you really are.  You'll just be paying for things you'll find mentioned here within seconds. 

Everything else there tends to be wildly premature speculation, which I will be happy to do for you if you'd like to pay me the subscription cost.

SC Wolverine

May 24th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

I agree completely about MGoBlog being the best site.  I am just subscribing to the idea that more is better.  My thought is actually prompted by Father's Day coming up.  I thought maybe I would ask for a 247 subscription as being better than a necktie or another Joe Banks gift card.  And it's really not recruting info that I need, since I am so well supplied here (I also am an ESPN insider by virtue of a magazine subscription I haven't paid for in five years.)  I more have in mind quality articles about the team during summer camp and the actual (much anticipated) season.

And if you supply wildly premature speculation here, I will happily read it -- anything to make the football season seem closer.


May 24th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

AFAIk, 247sports doesn't have coverage or "insider" reports about the actual team.  If you are looking for recruiting coverage and website you are probably better off with 247.

Rivals/Scout have guys who have been around the program for much longer and also have contacts within the program.


May 24th, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

If I were beginning a subscription today, I would pick 247.  It's easily navigable, has good information, and stays up to date.  Also, the mods don't seem like pricks there.

The Rivals mods are pretty prick-ish, and the info isn't as good as it used to be. However, they do have a good track record of rankings accuracy.

ESPN does a good job of updating people on the board via TomVH and writes a lot of good Michigan-related articles.  However, their rankings are somewhat questionable, and the ESPN site isn't as easy to navigate as 247 or Rivals.

Scout is terribly user-unfriendly, and Tom Beaver is kind of a jerk/moron, from most accounts; but they do have Sam Webb, who is the best Michigan-related reporter in the business.

(The above sites are listed in order from best to worst, in my opinion.)


May 24th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

For Scout, Sam is amazing...Tom Beaver is a douche. But for informational purposes, you can generally get the main componenets of what is happening in regards to Sam's recruiting info if you listen to the 5 to 10 minute recruiting roundup podcast on WTKA's website.

Mr. Rager

May 24th, 2013 at 5:18 PM ^

All differences aside - I think what you said here is 100% accurate.  Although I still probably pay for Rivals over 247.  Once the other sites steal their ideas (crystal ball, easy tracking of who is visiting a kid / where a kid is visiting, etc.) - they lose their competitive advantage.  


May 24th, 2013 at 10:13 AM ^

247 in my opinion as well. I just started my subscription there a few months ago and it was well worth it. They are always posting updates over there on football and basketball. The website is easy to use and like others have said, the composite ratings are great.


May 24th, 2013 at 10:14 AM ^

Sam Webb knows more than everyone else by quite a margin (IMO), so Scout is probably the best option.

That's really all I care about, not sure of the relative strengths of the other sites outside of recruiting though.

the monarch

May 24th, 2013 at 10:28 AM ^

I strongly advise against signing up for that site. I had a subscription and canceled it.

I currently subscribe to Rivals which is good--especially their "Inside the Fort" segments.


May 24th, 2013 at 10:31 AM ^

always has deals for their magazine (with a magazine subscription, you get insider for free). A few months ago slickdeals had a 3 year subscription for like $16. It certainly has content good enough for around a $1 a month...


May 24th, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

I have to second this.  On price alone, none can compare to ESPN when you get one of the $4 a year magazine deals.  There seems to be enough free info out there on the other sites in terms of searching for rankings and recruits that I don't see a reason to do more than the cheap ESPN.


And I just want to say that 247 is killing it with cool features.  I like scouts tracking of recent commits, but now 247 does that with a better format.  The composite rankings are nice, instead of censoring the name of your competition like Scout does.  And the crystal ball feature is pretty cool too.  Plus they seem to update rankings more and the player leanings with the warmer, warm, cool interest ratings.  Fortunately, all of the above is free so I find myself using their site the most.

Mr. Yost

May 24th, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

...NEVER! EVER! Pay for a ESPN Subscription.

Get ESPN the Magazine and inSIDER is free with all magazine subscriptions.


You can get a 3-year subscription for $10, $15, $20 depending on the sale. Regardless, it's a good deal. You get the magazine and the inSIDER material.

Even if you don't use or like inSIDER, it's worth it just to read all of the articles and fluff stuff on ESPN.

...and not just Michigan, it's for the entire site.


IMO, this is a no brainer for all sports fans. When you talk about best pay sites, I don't even include ESPN because you're barely paying for it. A one time purchase of the magainze gets you online content for years.

Between that and MGoBlog, there's really no need for anything else. If you REALLY have to have it, then I guess go ahead...sounds like 24/7, Rivals, and Scout all have their +'s and -'s.


P.S. - Personally, I hate Scout. I wasn't banned or anything, but I was there for may 5 years when it was AMAZING. Then in the mid/late 00's it took a horrible turn for the worst. Sure Sam is awesome, but in today's day and age, all of that content is 100% public in less than 5 minutes.

If you're paying for these sites, look at the message boards and their databases...because you're really not getting "premium" information that you couldn't get for free.


May 24th, 2013 at 10:26 PM ^

I quite enjoy ESPN insider.  In addition to Michigan recruiting, there's always great articles about non-recruiting Michigan things, Buster Onley's blog (I personally think he's a very good writer), great fantasy articles (Eric Karabel and Keith Law), and the "Rumors" section for each sport...and much more.  Even if you don't do the deal people talk about on here, it's still just $2.50 a month for 2 years.  Quite good value.  


May 24th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

If a recruit commits, you'll probably hear about within 30 seconds here actually instead of 30 minutes.  Especially in the social media age.  I don't think people pay for sites to hear the quickest info.  They pay for it to more hear a "background" story in terms of what is going on in the "background" of a developing recruiting story or perhaps something like a story developing about the team (nice having a subscription to Scout during the 2007 and 2010 coaching searches).


May 24th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

for posters to list all the porn sites i know of.

not sure if good or bad....

or for me or mgoboard...

/i can barely keep up with the ones i have, no need to list more


May 24th, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

No one has insider access or can see practices to report anything we don't already get here. There is a supposed insider on a free site out there, but there was some strange e-fallout with that guy and scout.com which never goes unmentioned which causes me to question the validity... So I'll just say you're already on the best site for all M info

Cali Wolverine

May 24th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

You get all info about Michigan recruiting here...and then some. Don't know why, but personally feel dirty paying for information about high school kids that finds its way onto this board anyway.