2014 Preseason Rankings Comparison
It is our tradition to provide a comparison of our Congrove Computer Rankings rankings, preseason voter polls, and a selection of widely-read season preview magazines.
This season, the College Football Playoff replaces the BCS. A 13-member committee will determine a "Final 4" for an end-of-season mini playoff. That same committee will release its weekly rankings beginning October 28. Its final rankings, playoff seeding and other bowl matchups will be announced on December 7.
The BCS operated from 1998-2013 using a selection of human polls and computer rankings to determine the final 2 teams to play in a title game. The human polls first consisted of the AP and Coaches Poll, but the Harris Poll replaced the AP in 2005 when the Associated Press told the BCS it did not have permission to utilize its rankings for that purpose. Harris never published a preseason poll and only released weekly rankings over the last 9 weeks of the season. (Harris has not publicly committeed to a 2014 poll). The AP continued to release a preseason poll and regular weekly rankings, and were free to 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 human are generally determining where the teams should be ranked to begin the year.
It is NOT the goal of The Congrove Computer Rankings (CCR) to try to match the rankings of the AP or Coaches' Poll, but rather to present a more accurate and unbiased ranking.
The CCR Preseason Rankings are the "projections" of how teams should perform through the regular season, and the CCR Current Rankings are how the teams stack-up on day one of the season.
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.