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  1. It seems that many Nebraska fans are absolutely sold on the star system...I see comment after comment after comment on message boards, via twitter, and other areas of the web where fans complain about not getting enough 4 and 5 star 'talent' to come play for the Huskers. My take on this is that the star system doesn't matter much. I'll provide my reasons below and then I'll provide a link to a very interesting statistical analysis below as well that shows how the star system has been an anomaly for many teams like Nebraska and Kansas State. That link will also offer some evidence that the star recruiting system really doesn't matter much. You might be saying "but what the hell does this guy know? Who is he to comment on the things he's commenting on?" Well, I was a college football player for division II NCAA football. I know, it's not Div I...but it was tough just the same and there are a lot of good athletes there...and I can tell you that my reasons are based on having this experience myself. Just read on and you'll see what I mean. Reason 1: These are kids in a new environment When a 17-18 year old kid goes to college there are 2 things he's thinking about: Partying and Girls. The distant 3rds is studies and football. Even scholarship athletes do this (personal experience). The kid is miles from home and out from under mother/fathers thumb for the first time ever....and thus, priorities are always eschew. So what does that mean for the star system? It means that a lot of kids will be busts. Now, this is only for a small percentage of kids so it's not a huge reason...it's just that I saw it happen to many talented members of the team around me. There were a couple of guys who probably could have been division I recruits on my team and they just went batcrap crazy and lost focus. So I've seen it happen....it takes strong will and discipline to keep on the right track in collegiate athletics. Reason 2: The players ratings come from a team effort When a player is rated on the star system, they're rated for their on-field performances. How much of that on-field performance is them just having a good line...or them just having a quarterback that can throw the ball accurately? I was vastly underrated in high school because I played for a team with a crappy line, a poor quarterback and a combined 5 wins in 4 years in high school. I went on to play college football and have an 800 yard season as a sophomore at receiver. I never had more than 200 yard season in high school. The difference was a quarterback who could throw. How many kids out there are missed or rated lower because their teams don't win? It really is out of the control for some of these kids...they'll be rated low because they don't post big stats because their team just doesn't win. The idea here is that a lower star recruit could be a 4-5 star on a team that wins...this throws a kink in the star system and I think this is a major reason the star system sucks. Reason 3: The opponents they received their star ratings against might have been weak I remember a game in high school where we played the conference doormat. I posted the best game of my life: 87 yards rushing, a 99 yard kickoff return, and 133 yards receiving with 2 total touchdowns. It was a pretty cool game to be a part of. What happens if a team plays in a very weak conference and gets 10 games against these types of teams? if I had gotten 9 more games like that one, I'd have been going to a division 1 school. How much of a 4 and 5 star's prowess is simply playing weak opponents? Is there anything that takes account of this? I'm not saying all of these kids are playing in weak conferences...I'm saying that stats can be fluffed up by playing teams that aren't good. Then when a kid gets into college, he buckles because the competition is up quite a few notches. This accounts for the 4 and 5 star busts. Reason 4: Star rating websites don't care about the kids...they care about money There is a lot of money to be made on the web and through media by these recruiting places. They need to create hype...it's what they do. If they have to overrate a player, they will in order to fabricate any type of situation to bring the almighty click. It pays a star rating website to have more 4 and 5 stars in the mix....and thus, they have an inherit bias that can prevail throughout their rating system. Is it there? Who knows. I do know there are a lot more 4 and 5 star kids this year than there were in the past 5 (generic observation). Reason 5: Star ratings sites rank kids based on who is recruiting them If you live in a small town as a high school kid and you're the Bubba Starling of that town...you might be a solid 4 star recruit had you been in a larger town. But what happens if no one knows about you? What happens if the only college recruiting you is a FBS school or two? Well, that means your star rating has just dropped. You might be a 4 star talent but you've now been relegated to 2 stars because no major programs are recruiting you. The ESPN 150 is done with this in mind as well. Complete and utter BS. These kids should be rated on their performance, not on who notices them. Yet Nebraska fans put so much stock in these ratings without even knowing things like this. If you think I'm full of it think of this: Georgia has a population of 9 million California has a population of 41 million Georgia has 18 players in the ESPN 150 California has 11 players in the ESPN 150 It's a statistical improbability that this would be true...but Georgia is a bigger football market (college) than California. Makes sense that ESPN would want to make it this way to capitalize on their money making ability. Reference for stats in Reason 5. Reason 6: Measuring heart, drive, ability to learn, discipline and determination to succeed is impossible It may sound like a cliche, but it's true. There are no ways to measure this. Especially important here is the ability to learn...because I know I needed to have a chip knocked off my shoulder and I needed to shut up and listen when I first made it into college ball. I had to learn in a hurry. My playbook went from being around 30-40 pages to over 200 when I got into college. It was hard and my ability to learn got me through it....but not everyone made it as well as I did. There were other more skillful players on my team who I beat out because I had the mental side of the game mastered compared to them. Recruiting websites do not take any of these things into account when rating a player. Summary of My Reasons I'm sure after reading some of these you might have a few more...please, post them. I'm sure some of you will disagree with what I've posted...please, post those disagreements. It's good to talk about this sort of thing. I feel the star rating system is flawed and will always be flawed. I've given the few reasons I can think of for why I feel it's jacked up. I also promised to post a link to an article I feel helps support this...so I'll segway into that. Statistical Analysis of Recruiting and Why Stars Don't Mean As Much as People Think I don't stress the Huskers not getting as many 4 and 5 star recruits as everyone else because we're performing above expectations based on our recruiting class. The article is found here: https://sites.google...-matter-sort-of What it says is as follows: Recruiting top line recruits is great but doesn't always equal championships and winning. The person points to a few teams to show this anomaly including Kansas State...who's had great success as of late despite less than great recruiting and also Nebraska...who's done the same. Take a read of that article and don't let his statistical analysis bog you down...I didn't know a lot of what he talks about (he's a college professor) but I do know his conclusions are pretty well spot on. He concludes that stars matter...sort of. He puts in a large plug for strength of schedule being a higher indicator...Nebraska does well on this conclusion while USC comes out as an under performer. Interesting stuff. It's a good read and I wanted to share it with everyone here...I think he makes a good argument that skilled players at an institution mean only so much...because you can underperform with talent and overperform with less talent. What do you guys think?
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