Since internet message boards have been around since roughly the early 17th century and their origins and evolution are largely unknown, they contain many great, seemingly unsolvable mysteries. A prime example are the message board debates you find on fan sites. Message board debates are quite common and nearly identical from team to team, from board to board, and from sport to sport.
On any given day you can choose a random SEC or ACC fan site message board, and find a debate raging about how many “stars” a recruit has, a heated discussion about the team’s uniforms, or a kerfuffle about whether we pull for or against our heated rival in the interest of “state pride.”
These, along with several other debates, are all – I believe you kids say IMHO – stupid, time-wasting, circular debates (no offense). Maybe they were once legitimate, but over time have become tedious and oh-so annoying. So, in my infinite wisdom, I will once and for all solve these debates in a clear and concise fashion that will leave no room for rebuttal. I will do this every Friday until I run out of ideas, so unless I can think of more the series will come to an end next week.
Installment one: The STAR Debate
You’ve seen it - A recruit commits to USC, with a star ranking of one or two and offers from East Tennessee State, Mars Hill, Georgia Southern and Florida A&M. Immediately there is an outcry, and then it’s game on.
Point: “Why in the world are we recruiting a guy with such a low ranking and offers from THOSE schools?!? Our recruiting sucks.”
Counterpoint: “Trust our coaches, they know what they’re doing.”
Point: “Yeah, but Georgia has 27 commitments with an average ranking of 4.2 stars!”
Counterpoint: “Ever heard of Ko Simpson? He was a 2 star.”
Point: “We’ll never get anywhere with a recruiting class of sleepers.”
Counterpoint: “How about Captain Munnerlyn? If he was a sleeper, I’ll take a team full of sleepers.”
Point: “Spurrier is out playing golf when he should be visiting recruits.”
Counterpoint: “Eric Norwood? Didn’t grow a right arm until the summer before his freshman year. Fact.”
Point: “Your mother is a poodle.”
Counterpoint: “I slept with your wife.”
OK, maybe I made up a couple of those, but it’s not that far off.
The verdict is really simple – stars matter, and stars don’t matter. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t like to reel in classes like Florida, Alabama or Texas every year. But unfortunately, and sit down for this, we’re not Florida, Alabama or Texas. Occasionally we’ll be able to land an Ellis, a Watson, a Summers, a Gilmore, a Lattimore (mixed bag, eh?) and hope they live up to their ranking and hype.
But because we are South Carolina, more often we have to round out our classes with some “undersirables”. Hopefully in that mix we find a gem like McKinley, Munnerlyn, Robinson or Simpson, but those guys are exceptions.
So debate away my friends, for the truth is star rankings are about as reliable as Brett Favre’s next retirement.
Next week: The Best USC Football Uniforms EVER