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2009
College Football
Season Preview

Preseason Rankings Comparison

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2009 Preseason Rankings Comparison

Updated 8/22/09

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.


Abbreviation descriptions
TSN - 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 Game Plan SI Cons. Rank CCR (Proj.) CCR (Wk.1)
Alabama 5 5 6 7 8 13 4 8 6 6 6
Arizona * * * * * * * * * 36 22
Boise State 16 14 12 13 12 14 7 9 11 11 12
BYU 24 20 * 25 15 22 * 22 23 19 25
California 12 12 11 12 9 21 9 21 13 17 17
Cincinnati * * 18 * * * * * 29 32 36
Clemson * * * * 25 * * * 36 42 42
Florida 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Florida State 19 18 15 18 * 17 19 16 17 16 16
Georgia 13 13 14 17 13 15 13 15 14 14 11
Georgia Tech 15 15 22 16 * 11 17 12 16 50 35
Illinois * * * * 19 * * * 30 62 55
Iowa 21 22 23 * 20 * 15 24 22 26 19
Kansas * 25 * 21 * 25 * 23 26 27 24
LSU 9 11 17 6 17 8 16 13 12 25 18
Miami, Fla. * * * * 21 * * * 33 59 40
Michigan State * * 20 24 * * 25 * 27 7 20
Mississippi 10 8 10 9 6 5 14 6 8 30 32
Nebraska 22 24 16 22 22 * 24 * 24 49 30
North Carolina 20 21 19 19 * 23 22 20 21 53 41
Notre Dame 23 23 24 * 7 18 12 25 19 45 47
Ohio State 6 6 5 8 10 9 10 10 7 9 8
Oklahoma 3 3 2 3 4 3 3 3 3 2 2
Oklahoma State 11 9 9 10 14 10 8 7 10 24 14
Oregon 14 16 13 15 * 7 21 11 15 34 13
Oregon State 25 * 25 * * 16 * 18 25 28 27
Penn State 8 9 7 11 5 12 11 14 9 15 15
Pitt * * * * 23 * * * 34 12 21
Rutgers * * * * 16 * 20 * 28 21 37
TCU 17 17 * 14 18 24 23 17 18 18 23
Temple * * * * * * * * * 22 66
Texas 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 4 3
Texas Tech * * * * * 20 * * 31 13 9
Troy * * * * * * * * * 23 43
Tulsa * * * * * * * * * 10 10
UCLA * * * * 24 * * * 35 73 72
USC 4 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 4 3 4
Utah 18 19 21 23 * 19 18 19 20 5 5
Virginia Tech 7 7 8 5 11 6 6 5 5 8 7
West Virginia * * * 20 * * * * 31 20 26


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