The MaxDiff Poll After Week 2: Texas A&M Impresses Fans in Loss to Clemson

This Week’s Poll Specs

When was this fielded?: September 10, 2018
Number of respondents: 1,256
Research technique: Online quantitative survey using the MaxDiff Market Research Technique.

Interpreting the Scores: The MaxDiff scores for each team are indexed at 100. For example, LSU’s MaxDiff score of 153 means that team was ranked 53% higher than the average team in the exercise. It is important to note that these scores should not be interpreted as “votes.” See our explanation of MaxDiff if you would like more information.


FanJuicer’s “Big Six” Takeaways From This Week’s Poll

  1. Texas A&M is still the most underrated team in the AP.

    In last week’s poll, fans ranked Texas A&M as the most underrated team in the AP, and that trend continues this week, even after the the Aggies lost a thrilling game at home to #2 Clemson. Despite the loss, the Aggies didn’t just look like they belonged on the field with one of College Football’s Tier I teams, they were a two-point conversion away from taking the Tigers into overtime, where they likely win the game. For this reason, the Aggies remain high in the minds of fans.

  2. Fans agree with the AP Top 15, minus Notre Dame.

    The Maxdiff Poll’s Top 15 this week matched the AP exactly, with the exception being the placement of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish clocked in #8 in the AP, but registered four spots down in the MaxDiff poll at #12, which establishes Notre Dame as one of the more overrated teams in the minds of fans this week. My hypothesis is that Notre Dame’s relatively unimpressive 24 – 16 home win over the MAC’s Ball State caused some concerns for some, while Stanford, Washington, Penn State, and LSU had more impressive outings this past weekend.

  3. Oklahoma joins Tier I

    After thrashings of Florida Atlantic and UCLA in consecutive weeks, the Sooners enter Tier I in the minds of fans. So far, Oklahoma has looked like serious playoff contenders behind the stellar play of Kyler Murray, who has now inserted himself into the Heisman race.

  4. There is little separation at the top.

    Expect this to change soon as more games are played, and fans gain more information to inform their opinions.

  5. Newcomer Houston impresses fans in blowout victory.

    Making their 2018 debut in the AP and MaxDiff Polls this week are the Houston Cougars after an impressive 45 -18 beatdown of the Arizona Wildcats. Fans were even more impressed than the AP voters, placing the Cougars at #25 in our poll versus #29 in the AP, which establishes them as one of the more underrated teams in the minds of fans this week.

  6. Fans once again have no love for Utah.

    For the third week in a row, the Utes were rated as one of the most overrated teams in the AP. As I noted in last week’s poll, this continues a trend from last season where the Utes were perpetually considered overrated. I also noted that the Utes were¬†9 – 3 – 1 last season against the spread. Last week, the Utes covered a 10-point spread versus Northern Illinois in a 17 – 6 victory.



The MaxDiff Poll Versus the Spread?

Last season, I noticed a peculiar trend in the MaxDiff Poll in that the teams fans felt were OVERRATED in the AP tended to win versus the spread the following week, while teams fans felt were UNDERRATED tended to lose versus the spread. Using this pattern, last week’s poll made 10 predictions with six wins and four losses. Adding last week’s results to those from our first poll this season puts the MaxDiff Poll at 10 – 7 (59% hit rate) against the spread on the season so far.

Here are this week’s predictions:

  • NOTRE DAME (-14.5) over Vanderbilt
  • LOUISIANA MONROE (+26.5) over Texas A&M.
  • BOISE STATE (+3) over Oklahoma State
  • TEXAS TECH (-2) over Houston
  • NORTHERN IOWA (currently no spread) over Iowa
  • MIAMI (-10) over Toledo
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE (currently no spread) over Colorado
  • UTAH (+6.5) over Washington
  • OREGON (currently no spread) over San Jose State

How Do Fans Feel About Ohio State v. TCU This Weekend?