2009 Preseason Rankings Comparison
It is our recent tradition to provide a comparison of our Congrove Computer Rankings rankings, preseason voter polls, and a selection of widely-read season preview magazines.
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 27. The AP still releases a preseason poll and regular weekly rankings, and could determine a number one team independent of the BCS.
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 typically 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? The Congrove Computer Rankings ruled the roost. The CCR opening day Top 25 and Phil Steele's preseason forecast each had 16 teams finish in the top 25 of either the AP or Coaches poll. CCR's preseason projections had 15, along with Game Plan and Sports Illustrated. The consensus rankings (shown below in shaded gray) pegged 14 teams. Athlon's, Blue Ribbon/ESPN, Lindy's and the Sporting News each had only 13 teams. The AP preseason poll was correct with 14 teams while the Coaches' poll hit on 13 teams.
Here is a sampling of this season's rankings, listed in alphabetical order of the teams that appear on at least one published Top 25 list.