MinerDigs Star Gazers

MinerManiac

MI Hall of Famer
Jun 28, 2001
3,884
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This post isn't about astronomy, but the way so many MinerDigs posters concern themselves with stars you would think that they are astronomers. It's actually about the number of stars that recruiting sites give players, and about how so many posters on this board believe those star ratings to be a completely accurate assessment of a player's value

Every time I read someone go on about a player's or recruiting class's value based solely on star ratings I think back to a few events. The first is the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State versus Oklahoma. I remember seeing Barry Switzer make a prediction that Oklahoma was going to steam roll the Broncos, and used the differences in the types of athletes the schools recruited (he was referring to their recruiting rankings) as the basis for his argument. We all know how that worked out.

The second thing I think about is the 2011 Rose Bowl, TCU versus Wisconsin. Everyone remembers the President of the University of Wisconsin and his "Little Sisters of the Poor" comment, criticizing TCU's schedule, as they played in the MWC at the time. I obviously remember that quote, but I also remember a college football analyst (it might have been Switzer again, but my mind is fuzzy there) picking Wisconsin to win big, using recruiting rankings as his argument. Again, everyone knows the result of that game.

The third thing I think about was a post on this board from UTEPDefense, asking people to give Kugler time during his first season, comparing the talent that Price left for Kugler to the talent that Nord left for Price. Looking at the comparison, it was obvious that position by position the talent that Price inherited was far superior to the talent awaiting Kugler when he arrived. A Price supporter posted a rebuttal, comparing the star ratings of Nord's last few classes to those of Price's last few classes, but it was not, in my opinion, a good argument. No matter what the recruiting pundits thought of the players while they were in high school, on a college football field it was obvious that Nord's recruits were far superior to Price's recruits. Oh, and before people start saying that Kugler was a worse coach, and recruiter, than Price, I definitely agree. But that's not the point. UTEPD's talent comparison is still valid.

Now I'm not saying that star ratings are completely worthless. But they are flawed. It's an impossible taks to rank all of the incredibly large number of high school football players against each other based on their play in high school. Why? Several reasons. No one can possibly see every HS football game. The level of talent that one player plays with and against will be different than what a player at a different school plays with and against. One recruiting expert's three star performance might be another's two star performance, and yet another's four start performance. There's no consistency. And these are just a few of the issues when trying to compare the HS performances of an athlete in Texas to one in Georgia.

And comparing the players based on their HS performance is only part of the job when it comes to properly evaluating recruits. Some players grow into their bodies early, some develop later. Some have the drive and dedication to improve, some have gotten by on talent alone in HS and plan to do the same in college. Some have the intelligence to learn a playbook, and to know when to improvise, and some are as dumb as rocks. And these are just some of the other considerations.

I've said a couple of times that there are two ways for a coach to gain a reputation as a great recruiter: one is to bring in a large number of highly ranked players, the other is to find the diamonds in the rough, those players without a lot of stars next to their names who go on to become great players. Nord, we found out after he left, fit that second description.

It is with the above in mind that I look at the question of whether or not Dimel has improved the overall talent on this team. When I look at how well we were able to move the ball in the first halves against UNT and NMSU, and when I consider how well the defense played last year, I have to say yes, the talent is significantly better now than it was when Dimel took over, talent ratings be damned. When I look at how we've played in the second halves of our games this year, and, really, throughout Dimel's tenure, I realize why we aren't playing better: coaching. Dimel has certainly put us in a better spot than we were when he took over. But it is apparent that a new coach will be required to take us the the next level.

PS. Does anyone know what happened to UTEPDefense? I greatly miss his football analysis.
 

utep2step

MI Miner Maniac
Jul 10, 2001
18,448
6,220
113
This post isn't about astronomy, but the way so many MinerDigs posters concern themselves with stars you would think that they are astronomers. It's actually about the number of stars that recruiting sites give players, and about how so many posters on this board believe those star ratings to be a completely accurate assessment of a player's value

Every time I read someone go on about a player's or recruiting class's value based solely on star ratings I think back to a few events. The first is the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State versus Oklahoma. I remember seeing Barry Switzer make a prediction that Oklahoma was going to steam roll the Broncos, and used the differences in the types of athletes the schools recruited (he was referring to their recruiting rankings) as the basis for his argument. We all know how that worked out.

The second thing I think about is the 2011 Rose Bowl, TCU versus Wisconsin. Everyone remembers the President of the University of Wisconsin and his "Little Sisters of the Poor" comment, criticizing TCU's schedule, as they played in the MWC at the time. I obviously remember that quote, but I also remember a college football analyst (it might have been Switzer again, but my mind is fuzzy there) picking Wisconsin to win big, using recruiting rankings as his argument. Again, everyone knows the result of that game.

The third thing I think about was a post on this board from UTEPDefense, asking people to give Kugler time during his first season, comparing the talent that Price left for Kugler to the talent that Nord left for Price. Looking at the comparison, it was obvious that position by position the talent that Price inherited was far superior to the talent awaiting Kugler when he arrived. A Price supporter posted a rebuttal, comparing the star ratings of Nord's last few classes to those of Price's last few classes, but it was not, in my opinion, a good argument. No matter what the recruiting pundits thought of the players while they were in high school, on a college football field it was obvious that Nord's recruits were far superior to Price's recruits. Oh, and before people start saying that Kugler was a worse coach, and recruiter, than Price, I definitely agree. But that's not the point. UTEPD's talent comparison is still valid.

Now I'm not saying that star ratings are completely worthless. But they are flawed. It's an impossible taks to rank all of the incredibly large number of high school football players against each other based on their play in high school. Why? Several reasons. No one can possibly see every HS football game. The level of talent that one player plays with and against will be different than what a player at a different school plays with and against. One recruiting expert's three star performance might be another's two star performance, and yet another's four start performance. There's no consistency. And these are just a few of the issues when trying to compare the HS performances of an athlete in Texas to one in Georgia.

And comparing the players based on their HS performance is only part of the job when it comes to properly evaluating recruits. Some players grow into their bodies early, some develop later. Some have the drive and dedication to improve, some have gotten by on talent alone in HS and plan to do the same in college. Some have the intelligence to learn a playbook, and to know when to improvise, and some are as dumb as rocks. And these are just some of the other considerations.

I've said a couple of times that there are two ways for a coach to gain a reputation as a great recruiter: one is to bring in a large number of highly ranked players, the other is to find the diamonds in the rough, those players without a lot of stars next to their names who go on to become great players. Nord, we found out after he left, fit that second description.

It is with the above in mind that I look at the question of whether or not Dimel has improved the overall talent on this team. When I look at how well we were able to move the ball in the first halves against UNT and NMSU, and when I consider how well the defense played last year, I have to say yes, the talent is significantly better now than it was when Dimel took over, talent ratings be damned. When I look at how we've played in the second halves of our games this year, and, really, throughout Dimel's tenure, I realize why we aren't playing better: coaching. Dimel has certainly put us in a better spot than we were when he took over. But it is apparent that a new coach will be required to take us the the next level.

PS. Does anyone know what happened to UTEPDefense? I greatly miss his football analysis.
Thanks Maniac. Just for clarification, a rivals administrator was running this site for a while until one was installed ten or so years back. He did state that the stars are indicative of the players potential to play into the pro ranks. In other words, after running all the analytics and stats, they popped out a star ranking. FBS fans eat this stuff up like your favorite tacos. One major team I follow, UT, can't start or end a sentence on their Longhorn Network without saying "...former five star player, so n so.....former four star recruit, so n so..". It's annoying as hell, but I cheer them on. TAMU, same damn thing. Mid majors who land a four or five star come across thinking the Archangel Gabriel had come down and through the process of divine incarnation will be headed towards a promising future. On the flip side, 3 to 5 star recruits can also turn out to be a bust.

Kugler was correct, it doesn't mean anything. It's like a professor once told me: "The SAT's don't mean anything. It's just a measure of where your academic skills are (at that given point time). If you have a desire to get your college degree, that is a metric no system can measure".

But UTEP sure would like to land one 4 or 5 star recruit.
 
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Minerforlife

MI Hall of Famer
Sep 11, 2013
3,448
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This post isn't about astronomy, but the way so many MinerDigs posters concern themselves with stars you would think that they are astronomers. It's actually about the number of stars that recruiting sites give players, and about how so many posters on this board believe those star ratings to be a completely accurate assessment of a player's value

Every time I read someone go on about a player's or recruiting class's value based solely on star ratings I think back to a few events. The first is the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State versus Oklahoma. I remember seeing Barry Switzer make a prediction that Oklahoma was going to steam roll the Broncos, and used the differences in the types of athletes the schools recruited (he was referring to their recruiting rankings) as the basis for his argument. We all know how that worked out.

The second thing I think about is the 2011 Rose Bowl, TCU versus Wisconsin. Everyone remembers the President of the University of Wisconsin and his "Little Sisters of the Poor" comment, criticizing TCU's schedule, as they played in the MWC at the time. I obviously remember that quote, but I also remember a college football analyst (it might have been Switzer again, but my mind is fuzzy there) picking Wisconsin to win big, using recruiting rankings as his argument. Again, everyone knows the result of that game.

The third thing I think about was a post on this board from UTEPDefense, asking people to give Kugler time during his first season, comparing the talent that Price left for Kugler to the talent that Nord left for Price. Looking at the comparison, it was obvious that position by position the talent that Price inherited was far superior to the talent awaiting Kugler when he arrived. A Price supporter posted a rebuttal, comparing the star ratings of Nord's last few classes to those of Price's last few classes, but it was not, in my opinion, a good argument. No matter what the recruiting pundits thought of the players while they were in high school, on a college football field it was obvious that Nord's recruits were far superior to Price's recruits. Oh, and before people start saying that Kugler was a worse coach, and recruiter, than Price, I definitely agree. But that's not the point. UTEPD's talent comparison is still valid.

Now I'm not saying that star ratings are completely worthless. But they are flawed. It's an impossible taks to rank all of the incredibly large number of high school football players against each other based on their play in high school. Why? Several reasons. No one can possibly see every HS football game. The level of talent that one player plays with and against will be different than what a player at a different school plays with and against. One recruiting expert's three star performance might be another's two star performance, and yet another's four start performance. There's no consistency. And these are just a few of the issues when trying to compare the HS performances of an athlete in Texas to one in Georgia.

And comparing the players based on their HS performance is only part of the job when it comes to properly evaluating recruits. Some players grow into their bodies early, some develop later. Some have the drive and dedication to improve, some have gotten by on talent alone in HS and plan to do the same in college. Some have the intelligence to learn a playbook, and to know when to improvise, and some are as dumb as rocks. And these are just some of the other considerations.

I've said a couple of times that there are two ways for a coach to gain a reputation as a great recruiter: one is to bring in a large number of highly ranked players, the other is to find the diamonds in the rough, those players without a lot of stars next to their names who go on to become great players. Nord, we found out after he left, fit that second description.

It is with the above in mind that I look at the question of whether or not Dimel has improved the overall talent on this team. When I look at how well we were able to move the ball in the first halves against UNT and NMSU, and when I consider how well the defense played last year, I have to say yes, the talent is significantly better now than it was when Dimel took over, talent ratings be damned. When I look at how we've played in the second halves of our games this year, and, really, throughout Dimel's tenure, I realize why we aren't playing better: coaching. Dimel has certainly put us in a better spot than we were when he took over. But it is apparent that a new coach will be required to take us the the next level.

PS. Does anyone know what happened to UTEPDefense? I greatly miss his football analysis.
Great post Maniac!
 

develman

MI Hall of Famer
Jun 27, 2001
3,315
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I don't know I'll take 25 3 and 4-star recruits and you can have 25 0-star recruits a year and I'll kick your ass more times than not.
 

Taco1977

All Star
Jan 21, 2018
650
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Texas
Thanks Maniac. Just for clarification, a rivals administrator was running this site for a while until one was installed ten or so years back. He did state that the stars are indicative of the players potential to play into the pro ranks. In other words, after running all the analytics and stats, they popped out a star ranking. FBS fans eat this stuff up like your favorite tacos. One major team I follow, UT, can't start or end a sentence on their Longhorn Network without saying "...former five star player, so n so.....former four star recruit, so n so..". It's annoying as hell, but I cheer them on. TAMU, same damn thing. Mid majors who land a four or five star come across thinking the Archangel Gabriel had come down and through the process of divine incarnation will be headed towards a promising future. On the flip side, 3 to 5 star recruits can also turn out to be a bust.

Kugler was correct, it doesn't mean anything. It's like a professor once told me: "The SAT's don't mean anything. It's just a measure of where your academic skills are (at that given point time). If you have a desire to get your college degree, that is a metric no system can measure".

But UTEP sure would like to land one 4 or 5 star recruit.
If anyone on here is doubting the players athleticism. Just go into the weight room. You'll see at least 12 current players that I can remember on the records boards. Most of them are sophomores or freshman. This team has some great athleticism. Now we're just waiting for their football abilities to catch up.
 

MinerManiac

MI Hall of Famer
Jun 28, 2001
3,884
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I don't know I'll take 25 3 and 4-star recruits and you can have 25 0-star recruits a year and I'll kick your ass more times than not.
I get that your average 5 star player is better than your average 4 star, your average 4 star is better than your average 3 star, etc. Like I said, I'm not saying that star ratings are worthless. I do consider them, however, to be just one data point, and definitely not the be all end all. And I will say that after a player is in college they become meaningless. I will guarantee you that the average Price recruiting class had more cumulative stars than the average Nord recruiting class. But as the ratio of Nord's players to Price's players decreased so did Price's winning percentage.

I've seen people gush when a former four or five star athlete transfers into their program, even if he has contributed nothing at his former school. Hell, perhaps the most decorated HS football player to ever enroll at UTEP, even if it wasn't a straight line to get here, was Fred Rouse. He was supposed to be one of the top five or so wide receivers in the nation coming out of high school. I was excited when he transferred in, hoping that he could leave his off-field woes behind him. But, ignoring the off-field stuff and focusing on on-field play alone, I've seen numerous receivers a UTEP that were better than Rouse, and all of those guys had 0 to three stars next to their names coming out of high school.

My main points are that recruiting rankings aren't everything, and that there are coaches adept at discovering and developing underrated talent.
 

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