By 1:00 p.m. this afternoon the Ohio State coaching staff had assembled a class of recruits that virtually all Ohio State fans can get excited about and recruiting analysts at Rivals, Scout, and ESPN are lauding.
But if you read Bob Hunter's blog post yesterday you may think that there is nothing to be excited about. After all, Mr. Hunter brazenly proclaims, "Anyone who has followed this stuff even casually knows that the rankings don't mean anything."
Really?! So, there is no correlation between the year-to-year recruiting success of USC, Texas, and Florida and their on-field success. Does that mean that Hunter considers Pete Carroll and Mack Brown outrageously great coaches for producing so many wins with just average athletes?
Perhaps, Hunter was trying to say that recruiting is not everything, but he didn't. Or, maybe he was wanted to impress on his readers that focusing on particular player is silly. Okay, we all get that. Still, it is posts like this one that makes even the most experienced fan, even journalist, sound foolish.
We all understand that some three-star players turn into All-Americans and five-star recruits never play a down. So what? Unheralded individuals go onto surprise in every walk of life all the time. Some of the freshman that will attend MIT and Yale this fall will not turn out to be the next great composer, journalist, or transplant surgeons but that does not render those admission procedures obsolete.
For me, the most disappointing part of Hunter's post is that empirical data to contrary is so easily available. Matt Hinton, a.k.a Dr. Saturday, goes over the recruiting rankings every year and gives us insight into their effects. Only one week before Hunter posted his piece, Hinton did a hell of job pointing out that teams with "better" recruiting classes win more games and have a higher margin of victory, while five-star recruits have markedly better odds of becoming an All-American.
Just like every miss does not make the recruiting "science" bunk, one poorly conceived blog post does not make Hunter a bad journalist. And, as a fellow blogger, I am thankful for that.