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Missouri fans like to say “stars don’t matter.” Unfortunately, they haven’t mattered *enough*

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

I don’t know why this didn’t completely click in my head before, but thanks to Brian Austin at PowerMizzou, it has. He has recently been taking looks back at Missouri’s highest-rated players in each signing class, and yesterday he took a look at the 2014 haul, Missouri’s first after going 12-2 in 2013. Among the top seven recruits, three became part-time starters, and none became stars. That’s ... not the way that’s supposed to work.

Out of curiosity, then, I hopped over to the 247 Composite database (the one that I use for my S&P+ projections and, from my experience, the best overall predictor of success), and pulled Missouri’s 2013-16 classes.

Here are the top 25 players Missouri signed in that span, per composite rating. (A helpful hint: these ratings are set up like grades. 0.8950 or better = A-grade, or four-star recruits. 0.8600 or higher = more or less a B+.)

  1. 0.9918 -- Terry Beckner Jr. (2015)
  2. 0.9566 -- Darvis Holmes (2016)
  3. 0.9535 -- Drew Lock (2015)
  4. 0.9290 -- Andy Bauer (2014)
  5. 0.9078 -- Josh Augusta (2013)
  6. 0.8961 -- Brandon Lee (2014)
  7. 0.8959 -- Nate Strong (2016)
  8. 0.8922 -- Nate Brown (2014)
  9. 0.8903 -- Chase Abbington (2015)
  10. 0.8900 -- Ray Wingo (2014)
  11. 0.8893 -- AJ Harris (2015)
  12. 0.8841 -- Trent Hosick (2013)
  13. 0.8786 -- Marquise Doherty (2015)
  14. 0.8744 -- Marcell Frazier (2015)
  15. 0.8720 -- Clay Rhodes (2013)
  16. 0.8672 -- Eric Beisel (2013)
  17. 0.8670 -- Tre Williams (2016)
  18. 0.8664 -- Damarea Crockett (2016)
  19. 0.8656 -- Brendan Scales (2016)
  20. 0.8653 -- J'Mon Moore (2013)
  21. 0.8648 -- Malik Cuellar (2015)
  22. 0.8637 -- Terez Hall (2015)
  23. 0.8631 -- Lawrence Lee (2014)
  24. 0.8615 -- Johnathon Johnson (2015)
  25. 0.8609 -- Eddie Printz (2013)

By my count, that’s seven high-caliber starters (Beckner when healthy, Lock, Frazier, Crockett, Moore, Hall, Johnson), four part-time starters (Augusta, B. Lee, Brown, Beisel), and 10 guys who left before really seeing the field much (Holmes, Bauer, Strong, Abbington, Hosick, Doherty, Rhodes, Cuellar, L. Lee, Printz).

Holy crap, how did I not see this before? It’s one thing to sign lesser classes than your conference peers; it’s another to sign lesser classes and basically get A or B+ contributions from one-quarter of your A or B+ recruits.

When Gary Pinkel was at his peak, Missouri fans in the “stars don’t matter” chorus liked to point at all the low-rated guys who starred — the Sean Weatherspoons, Danario Alexanders, Michael Sams, etc. For recent Mizzou teams, stars haven’t mattered enough.

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