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2008
College Football
Season Preview

Preseason Rankings Comparison

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2008 Preseason Rankings Comparison

Updated 8/17/08

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.


Abbreviation descriptions
TSN/S&S - The Sporting News/Street & Smith's combined publication.
SI - Sports Illustrated
CCR Proj - Congrove Computer Rankings - Projected Final Regular Season Rankings.
CCR Wk. 1 - Congrove Computer Rankings - Opening Week Rankings.
Cons. Rank - Consensus rankings exclude both Congrove Computer Rankings to allow for comparison to the CCR.

Click on column heading to sort.


Team Coaches AP Athlon Lindy's Phil Steele TSN/S&S Game Plan SI Cons. Rank CCR (Proj.) CCR (Wk.1)
Alabama * 24 * 20 * 23 22 * 25 * *
Arizona State 16 15 15 14 * 17 18 16 19 * *
Auburn 11 10 8 13 12 16 9 7 10 * 14
Boise State * * * * * * * * * 18 *
Boston College * * * * * * * * * 12 20
BYU 17 16 14 12 17 19 25 17 14 13 21
California * * * * 20 * * * 33 * *
Cincinnati * * * * * * * * * 19 17
Clemson 9 9 10 9 5 7 8 11 7 22 24
Florida 5 5 1 6 1 9 5 5 5 6 5
Florida State * * * 25 24 * * * 29 * *
Fresno State 25 * 25 22 * 25 * * 24 23 *
Georgia 1 1 5 1 9 1 2 1 2 2 2
Illinois 19 20 16 18 * 10 20 23 21 * *
Kansas 13 14 13 15 * 12 17 15 18 5 4
LSU 6 7 9 7 13 5 11 9 8 16 6
Michigan 24 * * * * 18 * * 28 * *
Missouri 7 6 6 5 7 6 6 4 6 17 7
New Mexico * * * * * * * * * 24 *
Notre Dame * * * * 19 * * * 32 * *
Ohio State 3 2 2 3 2 2 3 2 1 1 1
Oklahoma 4 3 3 4 3 4 1 6 4 9 9
Oklahoma State * * * * * * 23 * 35 * *
Oregon 20 21 19 21 22 15 21 20 17 10 10
Oregon State * * * * * * * 18 30 * 18
Penn State 22 22 23 * 10 * 16 22 22 21 19
Pittsburgh * 25 * 23 25 * * 19 26 * *
Rutgers * * 22 * * * * * 34 * *
South Carolina * * * * 18 * * * 30 * *
Tennessee 18 18 17 24 23 22 19 12 16 * 12
Texas 10 11 11 8 15 11 13 13 11 8 8
Texas Tech 14 12 18 16 11 20 10 8 13 * 15
Tulsa * * * * * * * * * 20 *
USC 2 3 4 2 4 3 4 3 3 4 3
USF 21 19 20 19 8 21 15 21 15 25 11
Utah * * * * 14 * * 25 27 15 25
Virginia Tech 15 17 21 * 16 13 12 24 20 14 22
Wake Forest 23 23 24 17 * 24 24 * 23 7 23
West Virginia 8 8 7 10 6 8 7 14 8 3 13
Wisconsin 12 13 12 11 21 14 14 10 12 11 16


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