2008 Preseason Rankings Comparison
The preseason magazines are on the bookshelves and internet sites, and the only major preseason voter polls have been released. It is our recent tradition to provide a comparison ranking of those which are more widely accepted as valid.
One change this year is that Street & Smith's and The Sporting News have become one.
Street & Smith's parent company, American City Business Journals, bought The Sporting News in late 2007.
Their season preview is now on the newsstands bearing the Sporting News name.
The AP poll, though no longer a part of the BCS, still releases a preseason poll and regular weekly rankings. It could determine a number one team independent of the BCS. The Harris Interactive Poll, which replaced the AP in the BCS in 2005, will continue in that roll this year. Harris does not publish a preseason poll and will not release its first rankings until September 21.
There are often amazing similarities between the preseason "voter polls" (coaches, Harris, AP) and the preseason annuals which would seemingly defy logic. After all, there is an inherent difference between a "poll" and a "preseason magazine prediction". The magazines are picking where they think the teams will be at the end of the year. The polls are determining where the teams should be ranked to begin the year. The Congrove Computer Rankings (CCR) actually release one of each method. The CCR Preseason Rankings are the "projections" of what the rankings will look like at the end of the regular season, and the CCR Current Rankings are how the teams supposedly stack-up on day one of the season.
Who was better last year? 17 teams from Street and Smith's top 25 finished in the top 25 of either the AP or Coaches poll. Phil Steele and Athlon's were next with 16. Both CCR versions had 15 to tie with the Coaches Poll, the AP Poll, Lindy's and The Sporting News. The Gold Sheet brought up the rear with 14.
Here is a sampling of the preseason rankings, listed in alphabetical order of the teams that appeared on at least one published Top 25 list.