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.
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.
… 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:
% of Total
Two-Star or Lower
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.
% of Total
Odds vs. Rest of Level
1 in 59
1 in 9
1 in 27
1 in 50
Two-Star or Lower
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.
“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.”