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Anatomy of a conspiracy theory

If there's one thing that I never expected to see, it was fans of another school alleging that Rutgers football has so much cachet and influence that the recruiting sites artificially pump up their recruiting class (which has been known to happen elsewhere). As of this moment, Scout.com ranks the Rutgers class 59th in the country, and it doesn't have a single four or five star commit in the team's class. That sound you just heard is of Urban Meyer struggling to contain his laughter.

But yep, the crackerjack sleuths at Syracusefan.com are on the case, claiming that Malcolm Cater's rating was increased just because he flipped from Syracuse to Rutgers. The only problem? It's not true, and took about two seconds to debunk. Scout.com started updating its (awful) state by state rankings this week, and New York's were changed on Monday as scheduled. The oddest part of all of this is that Scout's Northeast region analyst Bob Lichtenfels supports Pittsburgh, and their other NE writer, Matt Alkire, is a Notre Dame fan. Where's the incentive then to promote Rutgers? This the same network that downgraded Tom Savage to a three star prospect last year in the face of offers from nearly every program in the country too. To their credit though, Brian Dohn has turned Scarlet Report into the best of the three premium sites at the moment.

So yeah, while message boards are a very good source for aggregating information, they're collectively pretty nuts.