Hey, I was reading Mgoblog’s review of the 2018 class and Brian (or Ace) keeps complaining about the slack/terrible job that the rating agencies are doing, as the fall into the tank. Apparently, they barely view Michigan players and only provide minimal effort. Here is an example of that criticism – https://mgoblog.com/content/2018-recruiting-luke-schoonmaker.
I think you and Brian should work out a deal so that your ratings (and comments) are included in the initial player write-ups and/or look-backs. Your ratings [for Michigan players] would be a good addition. They are well-documented, well-researched, well-founded [insofar as you are a coach with an experienced eye for rating talent], consistent, based on your own applied system, long-standing [insofar as you’ve been doing this now for years], and easily available for people to view. A win-win-win for Mgoblog, TTB, and fans.
Thanks for the e-mail and the compliments. I’m glad to know my thoughts are appreciated and respected.
Regarding the premise about recruiting rankings, I somewhat agree with MGoBlog. Brian has suggested over and over again that recruiting coverage has tanked a little bit. I think the tech bubble popped, and there was a glut of information. Websites and media coverage were getting bloated, which is why ESPN, Fox, Sports Illustrated, and others started cutting employees. ESPN seemed like an up-and-comer in the recruiting realm at one point when they had specific sites for team/recruiting coverage, and Chantel Jennings, Tom Van Haaren, and others were basically covering only Michigan. Meanwhile, Scout had Sam Webb, 247 Sports had Steve Lorenz, and Rivals had . . . kind of a rotating cast of characters.
Scout has been absorbed by 247, ESPN’s coverage of Michigan on Recruiting Nation was cut, and Rivals has lost some people. Rivals people have mentioned before that they basically bump up players who go to their camps and Five Star Challenge, which (rightfully) caused some people to distrust their evaluations. ESPN evaluates sophomores and juniors, and then doesn’t bother re-evaluating them again, even if the players have matured physically, added 25 lbs., or shaved off two-tenths of a second off their forty. In the last few years, it seems like recruiting coverage has gone from too much to . . . a lot of fluff.
I would feel guilty about propping up my own rankings as being superior to those national analysts’. I think 247 Sports is the cream of the crop right now and they pay the most attention. I also believe their recruiting analysts know more about football and player evaluation than the people at Rivals, and they seem to have more manpower than the recruiting division at ESPN. I try to do my best, but I’m only one man and this isn’t my full-time gig. (Full disclosure: I also feel a little guilty that I have yet to update my TTB Ratings for the 2018 class, which I hope to finish soon.)
As for combining with MGoBlog, that site has provided TTB with a lot of links and a forum on which to discuss football, which has probably directed a fair amount of traffic to my site. I appreciate what that site has done for me, even if it has been inadvertent. Several years ago, when MGoBlog was looking for someone new to cover recruiting, I volunteered my services. For whatever reason, that didn’t pan out. That’s a bit of a different topic, but I’m just not sure if the guys at MGoBlog would be totally down with it.
My TTB Ratings are also a bit flawed when it comes to meshing with the 247 Composite and/or helping with the star ratings, since I give only a numerical rating without stars attached. That’s probably an easy fix – I could easily assign a star value – but it would require a change.
Ultimately, I’m pretty satisfied with where the site is right now. I have at times purposefully avoided opportunities that I could have taken to expand the website, because it’s a lot to handle. Right now I’m not beholden to anyone except myself for the website, which is great because I’m at a place in real life where I have a lot of responsibility. MGoBlog can certainly use any of my information anytime they want, but I feel like my guilt would multiply if I had a gaggle of MGoBloggers hankering for rankings updates. The regular readers of TTB seem to have a pretty good understanding of what I do and what I can offer, and I’m just happy that there’s a community here that can just talk football and fandom.
Thanks again for the e-mail, and I appreciate all of you! It’s very humbling to think you took time out of your day to compose that e-mail. Sometimes on the internet, it feels like you’re the tree falling in the woods when nobody’s around to hear. I’m glad you people are around.
To hear me fall.
Okay, maybe that wasn’t a perfect analogy . . .