TheCaneReport: Star Whores?
July 11, 2022
- EDITORIAL -
A fire storm roared across South Florida over the last 48 hours.
Five-star defensive end prospect Jayden Wayne announced his verbal commitment to Miami on Saturday. One hour later, 247Sports lowered Wayne to a four star. The reaction was swift and angry. Finger pointing came quickly. "Bias against Miami…again!"
Or was it?
First, we are fortunate and blessed to have so many professional media sites devoted to our beloved Miami Hurricanes. Each website brings value to our lives. Their staffs are hard-working professionals. What happened this weekend was not done on purpose. It appears to have been a royal screw up combined with horrible timing.
But let's talk about how to improve the rating & ranking system to avoid such happenings in the future.
For decades, media outlets have rated and ranked high school prospects. Each outlet gave their independent rating to each young man. Media outlets then gather all the verbal commitments of each school and averaged them using various statistical methods. They then force ranked all the schools.
These ratings and ranking have become so popular with fans that they have become a cornerstone of each outlet’s recruiting content. But controversy began with fans claiming bias against their school. And between fans themselves. “Star Whores” has been a common proclamation among fan bases. It’s become a negative badge of courage among fans.
Is being a star whore bad? If truth be told, we are all a “star whore.” Why? Our society is extremely competitive. We all want to be #1, whether in a spelling bee, business, or football recruiting. Ratings drive who is #1 in the rankings. We all want to be champions.
College football recruiting started as a fun exercise for fans. It’s grown be a competitive advantage or disadvantage for every school’s coaching staff. The current ratings and rankings systems are flawed and need to be improved.
Whether you follow ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals or On3, they each have their own evaluation process. That must change. The industry must agree to standard and consistent evaluation tools.
All outlets should use a standard grading system, Currently, we have 1-100 and 1- 6 ratting scales. All outlets must agree to a 1-100 rating scale.
A standardized industry rating matrix, by position, would bring a higher level of consistency to the evaluation process.
Judge classes based on quality alone. Quantity of recruits is a false indicator unless the quantity of recruits falls below an agreed upon level. Say 15 commits. However, it must be the same for each outlet.
Either agree to a standard grading curve system based on a consistent rating system or get rid of the star system all together.
For example, use only the top 5% scores, by position, for a 5-star designation. The next 5% should be considered a 4-star prospect. Again this letter system should be done by position. Finally, the next 10% of prospects, by position, should get the 3-star designation. The percentages can be debated but every outlet must agree to the standardized percentages needed for each letter grade. Below is my personal preference. It’s what I grew up with in school.
Five Star: 96.00 - 100.00
Four Star: 90.00 - 95.99
Three-Star: 80.00 - 89.99
Consensus Ranking: Average the above class ratings, using the above tools and processes, to get a class average. The average the media outlets’ class averages to get a consensus ranking.
Ratings are a subjective exercise. Talent evaluators are human beings. They are not all created equal. There will always be differences of opinion on prospects. But if you give the evaluators standardized tools and processes, the outcomes will be more consistent and fair.
That’s all college football fans want…consistency.