In Week 4 of Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Brandon Gould, challenges Correspondent Joshua Fidler, News Editor Hilarey Wojtowicz and Editor-in-Chief Caroline Russomanno to answer questions about which team brought in the best recruiting class in 2011, whether or not the new points system will work for NASCAR and if Fernando Torres was worth all the money Chelsea paid to get him.
1. National Signing Day for college football was last Wednesday. Which team pulled in the best recruiting class?
JF: I don’t think this question can be answered until Jadeveon Clowney and Cyrus Kouandjio fully commit to a school. Clowney is considered by many to be the top prospect, and some see him to be the next Mario Williams. All of that aside, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Florida State University got the best draft class this year. They have 12 of the top 150 recruits according to ESPN. That’s two more than the next best schools, the University of Alabama and University of Southern California. This could all change because of Kouandjio and especially Clowney who is expected to sign Feb. 14.
HW: Looks like Florida State University pulled in a solid recruiting class with 12 of the ESPNU 150 and a total of 29 commits. Of those 29, one ranked as a five-star, while 17 were four-star athletes. The Seminoles have had a solid team for a while now and with the additions of safety Karlos Williams, a scouts’ grade of 87, according to ESPN, Florida State is off to a good start for 2011. They definitely have the best recruiting classes of this year.
CR: So many schools signed many five-star and four-star players, that it was hard to choose just one. So, I decided to answer the question a little differently. Which team pulled in the best recruiting class for the team? My answer — Rutgers. Rutgers hasn’t been in the national spotlight since 2006, and since then, their biggest job has been to slowly rebuild what was lost. With the signing of only one five-star player, running-back Savon Huggins, it seems bleak, but I think the team they are putting together will benefit them in the future, especially with the addition of quarterback Gary Nova of Don Bosco. The Scarlet Knights are in it to win it again in a few years, and this class will help them do this.
BG: Caroline gets 3 for throwing me a curveball and picking Rutgers. Hilarey gets 2 for picking Florida State, who was ranked No. 1 by ESPN. Joshua gets 1 for pointing out that the classes aren’t set yet.
2. NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France recently announced that a new points system will be in place for the sport’s top three series, which he claims will make the sport simpler for fans to follow. Good idea or bad idea?
JF: I am all for making things easier for NASCAR fans. In a sport where the object is to drive in a circle, anything complicated can’t be too great for the sport. But in all seriousness I do believe that this is a good thing for NASCAR. You will always find die-hard fans who don’t want the sport to change. You found this in baseball when the wild
card was put into the playoffs. At first many were against it, but now it has been a huge success.
HW: NASCAR is honestly a confusing sport as it is, so maybe with this new points system there will be more fans because it will be easier to understand. The points system isn’t a bad idea because I think it will give the sport a little more excitement, especially for those die-hard fans that are out there. Brian France is only trying to help NASCAR and it looks like a solid plan.
CR: Considering I’m pretty sure I’ve never watched a second of NASCAR except for flipping through the channels and pausing briefly, I’ll say this is a good idea. After comparing the old system with the new system, I think it definitely sounds simpler (less points are awarded, making the points easier to follow). I think the most important thing that this new system is almost forcing on drivers is consistency. In the old system, the difference between first and last place in points was 20 percent. But under the new system, it’s only two. France said this would encourage consistency and I think that consistency is one of the most important things in sports.
BG: Joshua gets 3 because I think fans will indeed like this system once they get used to it. Caroline gets 2 for backing her argument up with percentages. Hilarey gets 1 for commending Brian France’s efforts.
3. Chelsea signed Fernando Torres from Liverpool for $79.5 million, which broke the English transfer record. Will Torres be worth it?
JF: Speaking financially, Torres is a great move for Chelsea. The revenue created by sale of his jerseys will help decrease the actual value that Chelsea is paying. I think the most exciting aspect of this transfer will be the pairing of Torres with Didier Drogba. Drogba is one of the top players in the game. Putting these two on the same team will cause havoc for defensemen and goalies everywhere. So in answering the question posed, he will do great, especially now that he is with Drogba.
HW: Chelsea signed Fernando Torres for $79.5 million in January. That is a lot of money, and I’m not saying that Torres isn’t worth it, but they would have signed him for even more in the summer if they had taken the chance then. Torres was worth more during the summer because he was playing better. As time went on, his heart wasn’t in Liverpool anymore and he even said himself that he needed to do what was best for him, which was signing with a team that would be winning games and would further his career as a player. $79.5 million is a lot, but I think he’ll be worth it because he’ll put everything he’s got into playing with Chelsea now.
CR: Torres wasn’t happy at Liverpool (I mean, he did declare publically that he wanted to move on and he put in a request for transfer — “The Decision”-esque, anyone?), so he’ll be pleased to be somewhere else, and he’ll play his hardest (Randy Moss style). But will his hardest be worth it for Chelsea? Besides the fact that they’ve said they expect to make back the $80 million solely on purchases of Torres’ No. 9 blue jersey, yes, I think he’s worth it. He’s a goal-netting machine, and he plays well under pressure (like in Spain’s 1-0 win over Germany in the UEFA Euro 2008 Final, where he scored the only goal). So, yes, he’s a great addition and asset to any team.
BG: Caroline gets 3 for addressing the potential jersey sales and for describing Torres as a goal-netting machine. Joshua pointed out that the combination of Torres and Drogba will be deadly, so he gets 2. Hilarey gets 1 for saying Torres would have cost more in the summer.
Caroline wins this week’s AtD, 8 – 6 – 4