Well, yeah, of course it is. I mean, you have to have talent to be able to win, I get that. But I just think this whole recruiting ranking system seems kind of flawed.
First off, an admission. I am not a recruiting junkie. I kinda sorta follow it, and as an OSU fan, it's been impossible to ignore what Urban Meyer has done on the recruiting trail in his first two months on the job. But I don't watch the high school all star games, I don't know who the top rated players are at each position unless OSU is one of the schools a kid is interested in, and I don't know who's going where on official or unofficial visits.
I don't even really know the difference between an official and unofficial visit. And I'm at the point in my life where I really don't care if I ever know.
And honestly, I kind of look at these class rankings along the lines of grading an NFL draft about five minutes after the draft has ended. It seems kind of pointless, but it's become a big deal in the last 9 or 10 years.
So I figured we needed to chat about recruiting, and if the numbers really mean anything at the end of the day.
One of the things that jumps out at me in these recruiting wars is the disparate value placed on Kid X, no relation to Malcolm. The 'stars' rating seems every bit as arbitrary as a Judge Judy ruling, at least in some instances. There are three or four different 'major' recruiting services now, with Scout and Rivals seemingly the two most recognized, but 247 sports and ESPN are closing the gap. And one of them might have Kid X rated at three stars, one at four stars, and another at the coveted five star rank.
How can one service look at the same kid and come away with 'average', while another one has him as 'elite'? I don't get it.
There are teams like Ohio State and Michigan that, for the most part, consistently haul in top 10 or 20 classes year in and year out. But there are also schools like Wisconsin and Iowa, who are regularly well outside the top 25, and for the most part, they produce on the field year in and year out. Go ahead and add Michigan State to that list as well. Their recruiting numbers don't jump out at you, but the results on the field do, at least in the last couple of seasons.
So, you guys clue me in. What makes a good recruiting class? Sheer, SEC-like oversigning numbers that automatically drive your class ranking up? Is it getting the best players regardless of whether you 'need' them or not? I mean, OSU has signed three or four defensive ends in this class when I'm not sure they needed more than two. Or is it a coach and player being on the same page and getting players at positions of need that fit what the coach is trying to do?
It just seems like these recruiting numbers don't mean a lot at the end of the day, except as an arbitrary thing to point to and say 'woo, we won!'
Because just like every NFL draft class, when you go back and look at it five yeas down the road, invariably what we thought was true turns out not to be the case.
I don't know, maybe I'm just bitter that my mood will turn on the whims of 18 year old kids over the next three days.
So, where does the Big Ten stand with signing day on Wednesday? At least for this year, it looks like the Big 2 and Little 10, at least on paper. We all know that at the end of the day, you have to get it done on the field, but it's hard not to be impressed with what MIchigan and Ohio State have going on right now. Because at least in the recruiting game, it's them and everybody else. Here are your up to the minute standings, courtesy of scout.com:
3. Ohio State
38. Penn State