Daily Archives: March 17, 2008

“It drink pretty good, don’t it?”

Regular readers here know that I don’t post very much off topic stuff here, but every once in a while an opportunity arises that has to be shared. This is such a case.

First, it’s about beer, a subject near and dear to my heart. Second, it’s in Alabama, which ought to give you a hint about the level of intelligence you’re about to be subjected to. Third, it involves politicians, so double whatever you expected.

In other words, all the food groups are represented.

Just a little background: the Alabama Legislature is debating the passage of a bill that would allow craft beers (alcohol content greater than 6%) to be sold in the state.

You have to skip to the 5:33 mark on this YouTube clip to hear one of the great political speeches of this century, from Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery). It’s worth it. (Partial transcript appears below the clip.)

“What’s wrong with the beer we got? I mean, the beer we got drink pretty good, don’t it? I ain’t never heard nobody complain about the, uh, beer we have. It drink pretty good. Budweiser. What’s the names of some of them other beers?…”

Help a brotha out, man.  He’s against the bill because there’s already too many damned beer names to keep track of.

That made the Georgia Legislature’s car tag debate sound like the first act of Hamlet.

(h/t Hit & Run)

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Filed under General Idiocy, Political Wankery

What is the opposite of fireronzook.com?

Why, Tim Tebow Zone, of course.

The site is a cornucopia of riches, but don’t miss the poll question.

Oh, and feel free to comment while you’re there.

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Filed under Tim Tebow: Rock Star

Rating the rater of the raters

A few days ago, I linked to a post that explored the question of what sort of correlation existed between the rating services for high school football players and the players named to college All-American teams. I focused on two things in my post – whether Rivals or Scout proved better at talent evaluation in this context, and the spreadsheet compiled with the article that listed the number of players by school that were named to All-American teams.

What I didn’t address in my post was the larger question of whether there was a correlation between the number of stars awarded to a player and the likely degree of college success. I took a pass on that because the author acknowledged that there were limitations in his research, both in terms of the small sample size (he only looked at 2007) and also because he was unable to find data on groups other than the five star players.

Leave it to Sunday Morning Quarterback to fill in the gaps.

… It’s a shame he didn’t look closer at the Web sites, both of which very clearly do distinguish between the number of five-star, four-star and three-star prospects in any given class, if you add up each level from the sites’ team-by-team breakdowns; subtract those players from the class total, which is also available for each team, and you get the number of players rated two stars and lower. If you do that over the last five years for Rivals, the assumption of a “normal distribution” is fairly destroyed:

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Total % of Total
Total Recruits 2,648 2,644 2,907 2,700 2,812 1,3711 100
Five-Star 32 33 33 37 36 171 1.2
Four-Star 270 239 272 329 340 1,450 10.6
Three-Star 905 607 752 836 911 4,011 29.3
Two-Star or Lower 1,441 1,765 1,850 1,498 1,525 8,079 58.9

In the end, especially if you pull out the punters and kickers from the data (which is justified because it’s clear that those are positions that are poorly researched), it becomes clear that the services do have a clue about their evaluations.

  Number % of Total Odds vs. Rest of Level
Total All-Americans 232 100 1 in 59
Five-Star 19 8.2 1 in 9
Four-Star 53 22.8 1 in 27
Three-Star 81 34.9 1 in 50
Two-Star or Lower 79 34.1 1 in 102

In other words, a typical five-star player is something more than eleven times more likely to see his name appear on an All-American list than a two-star or lower kid.

Again, this just goes to show the difference between recruiting ratings on the macro level versus the micro level. There’s no certainty that any individual kid will live up (or down) to his ranking. But as a rule of thumb, those schools that sign more highly ranked recruiting classes consistently are going to wind up with more talent over the long haul than those that don’t.

Which is why the big schools lay out the big bucks for salaries, recruiting expenses and facilities. You do what you have to do to keep hauling in the big catches.

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Filed under Recruiting, The Blogosphere

Don’t shoot the Harbaugh.

Read that quote one more time:

“Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there,” he said, “but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them.”

Then read about kinesiology. Here’s the wrap up:

… Yet Basten can’t help but express concern for some of the athletes he teaches in his introductory courses, and worry about how they’ll fare as their academic careers at Michigan continue.

“I actually went to study table a few times because kids asked,” Basten said. “A lot of these kids, their reading levels couldn’t have been higher than sixth grade, seventh grade.

“I had one guy ask me what the word ‘bureaucracy’ meant, and how to sound it out. I was thinking: ‘How do they survive?’ I don’t know.”

The point here isn’t that Michigan is something worse than many, many others are. It’s that the school doesn’t look any better.

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Filed under Academics? Academics.