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cruzer1

Pre-season rankings...

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....Are stupid.  Why rank teams before they have played a game?  Not even an exhibition, like UM vs. Hawaii?  Give them three weeks, then rank them (although strength of schedule is always a factor there, too).  This has bothered me for some time now.

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Yes, pre-season rankings are dumb. I don't think Michigan (who hasn't proven anything on the field) deserves to be ranked higher than Michigan State. But marketing and branding make it a reality for Michigan.

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30 minutes ago, Mr.TaterSalad said:

Yes, pre-season rankings are dumb. I don't think Michigan (who hasn't proven anything on the field) deserves to be ranked higher than Michigan State. But marketing and branding make it a reality for Michigan.

Or its because we beat them for 59 and a half minutes last year and lost less talent. Either way. 

I don't think rankings are important or anything at this point, but they're fun and mostly harmless. 

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I think if pre-season rankings are done, it makes sense to rank teams based on how the rankers think they will finish, rather than based largely on what they accomplished last season.  College teams often experience quite a bit of turn-over annually.

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I have no problem with preseason rankings. All the calls to wait on rankings until a later point in the season don't make a lot of sense to me. Any preseason bias would still be baked into a week 3 poll anyway. And the converse of that a week 3 poll, for example, could also overemphasize performance in those first three weeks.

I don't see what is so bad about ranking teams based on your expectation of their ability going into the year. If a team is getting "hyped," it's usually for a reason.

On the topic of Michigan, osu, and MSU, the current order seems pretty fair to me.

Michigan was a good team last year, and they bring back quite a few good players. They did lose their QB, but rudock was a work in progress when he took over last year, too. So the new starter for this year isn't exactly a downgrade.

OSU lost a lot, but their accumulation of blue chip talent year after year, and the quality of their team last year, makes me think they won't have problem being a very good team this year. Yet, they did lose a lot of great players, but that's why they aren't ranked in the top 3.

MSU at 12 or whatever it is seems perfectly fine. It might even be a bit high, but they deserve the benefit of the doubt given how they have been able to reload the past few years and stay competitive. Working against them, they did lose a fair amount of important players, in particular a very good quarterback. But they also struggled in way too many games last year. And they don't have the same level of talent accumulation like osu, so losing those very good players will probably have a bigger impact.

Obviously these rankings will end up being very wrong in a lot of ways, but I don't think they are any less effective than a poll in week 3 or 4.

Of course, the poll doesn't really matter as far as results are concerned. So feel free to ignore it.

But I don't have the ability to track every team in college football to know how they are expected to stack up, so I am happy that we get this sort of hive mind ranking at the start of the year to get a bit of guidance in that regard.

For example, I have heard some chatter about Tennessee's position in the poll. I wouldn't have even thought about them. But their position in the poll and the stuff I have seen since helps to realize that they may actually have a pretty good team this year.

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41 minutes ago, Nastradamus said:

Or its because we beat them for 59 and a half minutes last year and lost less talent. Either way. 

I don't think rankings are important or anything at this point, but they're fun and mostly harmless. 

Yeah, but at the end of the day one team got the win and one got the loss. A win's a win. It's not egregious though to have Michigan over State, I just would have personally ranked State ahead of Michigan given their performance last year and (in the words of Wojo) DeAntonio's track record of keeping the program strong year after year.

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Sure, and it deservedly changed the rankings last year based on the W/L record. That's not what the next season's rankings are about though. They aren't discussing the same teams. 

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I used to find preseason rankings annoying.  I think nowadays, voters are more apt to move teams around the rankings, particularly earlier in the season, than used to be the case.  I might be wrong about that, I don't know.

I guess they seem less annoying to me now, but still a bit pointless because nobody has played a down yet.

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3 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I think if pre-season rankings are done, it makes sense to rank teams based on how the rankers think they will finish, rather than based largely on what they accomplished last season.  College teams often experience quite a bit of turn-over annually.

Exactly my point.  You can't project how certain players (such as UM's QB) will play if they haven't played yet.

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Sure you can.  It basically boils down to making an estimate or guess at a level of performance based on what information you do have from practices and how highly they were recruited.

It might ultimately prove to be a bad guess, but it certainly can be attempted.

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3 hours ago, Mr.TaterSalad said:

Yeah, but at the end of the day one team got the win and one got the loss. A win's a win. It's not egregious though to have Michigan over State, I just would have personally ranked State ahead of Michigan given their performance last year and (in the words of Wojo) DeAntonio's track record of keeping the program strong year after year.

Anyone who watched that game knew what they saw--Michigan State getting beat all game and getting beat because of a special teams gaffe on the level that you will only see once every five years between the pro of collegiate level.

So, Michigan State loses their four-year starting QB, their top two WR, their three best OL, best DE and other key personnel--of course Michigan should be ranked higher. 

Michigan returns their entire RB rotation and adds arguably the best true frosh RB in the land.  Losing both Houma and Kerridge at FB will hurt more than most think.  They also return most of the OL, and many think it will be one of the top units--regardless of position--in the country (although I'm not one who shares this opinion, but they'll be top 10).  The top four WR and the best TE in the country all return.  The DL lost Henry to the draft but replaced him with the best true Fr in the country, and the rotation is still deep.  The LB corps will be faster with Peppers in the box, the secondary will be nasty once more.

The only question mark is QB, but it is hardly an unknown.  This is 2016, and players rarely offer genuine surprises to anyone who really follows player development from high school on up.  O'Korn put up very good numbers at Houston coming out of one of the best high school football programs in the country (Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas)--it is also where Rudock played.  When Michigan ended up with Rudock, it is no coincidence they also ended up getting O'Korn.  These kids are ready to play coming out of that HS program, and O'Korn proved that by putting up over 3100 yards and 28TD/10 INT.  Changing systems didn't agree with him, Michigan is happy to take him . . . MSU would be lucky to have him.

Speight could keep O'Korn from starting, but that isn't a knock--Wilton throws as good of a deep ball as anyone has at Michigan since Henne.  For those who like to look at star ratings, they see a three-star guy in HS--bid deal, right?  But the real deal was that Speight had a high ceiling as a tall guy who trew a pretty, easy-to-catch ball.  Think Grbac, if you can get some of that film.

Both of these quarterbacks have superior tools to Rudock.  It is very likely, however, that they fall 20-30 points below his ~150 IQ.  This puts more pressure on Harbaugh, but that's ok--that's who Harbaugh is.  Michigan's schedule is a cakewalk the first several weeks, which will all but insure they'll be undefeated going into Iowa City.  That's an upset waiting to happen, but that's also another conversation.

 

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47 minutes ago, cruzer1 said:

Exactly my point.  You can't project how certain players (such as UM's QB) will play if they haven't played yet.

I don't buy that.  These two have been measured against other quarterbacks and defenses hundreds of times since puberty.  O'Korn has been a starter, Speight exposed to high-leverage last season.  Both have near-ideal physical tools and skills to play quarterback for one of the best coaches of quarterbacks in the country. 

Projecting how Speight/O'Korn play really isn't difficult.  They will be game managers who get to throw behind a very good offensive line to an AA-caliber TE and two WR that will be drafted next year.  This isn't Rich Rod's Wolverines, which relied heavily on QB play, but what to expect in 2016 should be very close to the benchmark set my Rudock--add a few INT and TD to that and subtract some QB rating.

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Sure, but pollsters are that sophisticated.

Anyway, having an unknown at an important position is par for the course for a lot of teams. That doesn't mean a prediction or projection is worthless. You might know a little bit more after a few weeks but not much relative to what we know now.

Preseason rankings are what they are. And every ranking that comes after is going to be better than the one before, so where can draw a line?

Because it's basically just an opinion poll, there is really no sense in getting bent out of shape about it. It's not really important.

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6 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

Exactly my point.  You can't project how certain players (such as UM's QB) will play if they haven't played yet.

You can't ever be certain how a player will perform moving forward or what injuries a team might sustain.

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4 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

You can't ever be certain how a player will perform moving forward or what injuries a team might sustain.

Rankings should not be based on moving forward.  They should be based on the teams performance.  Injuries happen, but sometimes (like OSU in '14) teams are able to replace with better results.  Sometimes the younger talent is the better talent, but not always.  It is a ****-shoot all year.  The more data, the better.  Right now, they have no present data.  Last year's data should not be used.  Too many new players on every team.

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If rankings should not be based on moving forward, then why did you ask how to project players moving forward that haven't played yet?

Setting that aside, rankings are an estimate of the relative strength of teams, nothing more, nothing less.

Pre-season rankings are harmless.

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There are plenty of objective ranking systems that rank teams based solely on what they have done on the field.

The polls are not that.

Regardless, they do have data. Previous year performance is but one data point. Returning starters is another. Projecting new players is based on data.

As the season goes on you get more data.

But to act like there is nothing at the present to support a poll right now is just wrong.

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22 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

Exactly my point.  You can't project how certain players (such as UM's QB) will play if they haven't played yet.

What if you have their 40 time?

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Didn't someone start out as a preseason #1 and then forged themselves on to a 6-6 record?  Wasn't it USC?  Where is hongbit?

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On 8/24/2016 at 7:09 AM, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

If rankings should not be based on moving forward, then why did you ask how to project players moving forward that haven't played yet?

Setting that aside, rankings are an estimate of the relative strength of teams, nothing more, nothing less.

Pre-season rankings are harmless.

Maybe a little less so in the playoff age, but I disagree.  Because a loss tends to drop teams the same number of places each time.  A team loses, unless it's a massive upset they drop 4-5 places. And rankings are not relative strength only.  Where you were last week has a huge impact on it as well.  Look at this week:  where does Houston go after their win yesterday?  But Clemson will almost certainly stay #2, despite winning against a much weaker opponent.  

And since rankings also only change when a team loses, you only move up when someone ahead of you loses(unless you pull a Houston).  So starting higher means you you don't drop as low if you lose, and you get higher when things shake out.  Not to mention the stupid "early loss doesn't count but loss in November to anyone is fatal" mentality.  

So I wouldn't say harmless. 

 

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