Let’s Talk About How Preseason Top 25 Rankings And AP Voter Confirmation Bias Hurts College Football


We need to talk about the AP rankings. 

What is it going to take for the people that are entrusted with these votes to not be enslaved to their own confirmation bias?

So what if you started the season by thinking Georgia was the best team in the country?

Carson Beck struggled to move the ball at home against South Carolina, and what you’re saying to the public is that it doesn’t matter how ugly a team comes up with a victory, you’ll ignore those warts because of the final number on the scoreboard.

And you know these rankings have me pissed because I’m about to pound the table for the school I hate the most.

Look at the domination of Washington. Domination

But Penn State and Ohio State get to be ahead of them in the rankings? For what?

And the worst part about it is if Notre Dame exposes Ohio State this weekend, it’s not going to be an abject lesson to the people that rank these teams with an overly obvious bias against the teams out west. 

It’s going to give them license to leapfrog Notre Dame over Washington, and probably USC too. 

And if Penn State gets baited into a rock fight with Iowa, and gets a 13-10 win, while Washington puts up another 500+ yards of offense on Cal, do you think you’re going to see these voters drop Penn State below the Huskies?

No, you won’t. 

And the reason why is simple- instead of judging these teams on their merits, AP voters are rooting for their preseason guesses to be correct. 

This is the toxicity of preseason rankings- you have people that don’t see every team making guesses based on a mix of the previous season’s results, and a quick glance at recruiting rankings, and then doing everything they can to justify that initial guess as the season unfolds. 

Anyone with half a brain knows that if the first AP poll came out after three weeks instead of before the season started, it would look extremely different than it does now.

You definitely wouldn’t have Tennessee ranked two spots above Florida just one day after Florida pounded them into dust. 

So if we know that to be true, why do we keep this ridiculous system in place?

For content? We have plenty of content.

People complain about the fanboy nature of modern media, and these AP voters might be able to walk around thinking they’re a cut above because they don’t openly root for the teams they cover.

But they’re still fans. Fans of themselves. And that fanboy nature is making the AP Poll look as useless as the Coaches Poll that gets filled out by grad assistants and sports information directors. 

Let that sink in.



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