The Maxdiff Poll After Week 1: Almost 2,000 Fans Say Texas A&M is Underrated

This Week’s Poll Specs

When was this fielded?: August 4-5, 2018
Number of respondents: 1,905
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, West Virginia’s MaxDiff score of 130 means that team was ranked 30% 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. Compared to last week, there is less agreement among fans.

    Clearly defined tiers reflect a consensus among voters. Last week’s poll featured relatively distinct tiers, whereas in this week’s poll, you may notice that tiers III, IV, and V look more like a staircase than even tiers. I hypothesize that fans brought many different interpretations to last weekend’s games, which has resulted in in less agreement among fans compared to the preseason.

  2. Fans reward and punish teams quicker than the AP.

    Last season I found that fans were more likely to drastically move teams up or down after big wins or losses compared to the AP, which is more sluggish in terms of how quickly teams are rewarded or punished. It seems like this trend will carry over into this season as well. Fans’ ranking of Ole Miss this week provides a good example. After an unexpected clobbering of Texas Tech, Ole Miss clocked in at #32 in the AP this week, but shot up all the way to #26 in the MaxDiff Poll. Miami was on the other end of an unexpected clobbering at the hands of LSU. In the AP, the Hurricanes fell from #8 to #22, but in the MaxDiff Poll fans dropped the Hurricanes down from #10 last week all the way to #29. Which brings me to my next point. . .

  3. Fans think MIAMI is the most OVERRATED team in the AP.

    Fans felt after this weekend’s performance that the Hurricanes should have been punished in the AP even more than they were.

  4. Fans think TEXAS A&M is the most UNDERRATED team in the AP.

    The Aggies clocked in at #29 in the AP and #21 in the MaxDiff Poll, which establishes them as the most underrated team in the minds of fans for the time being. The Aggies can potentially improve those perceptions further with an upset win over #2 Clemson, who rolls into College Station on Saturday.

  5. Ohio State’s performance remedied some concerns.

    Ohio State’s ranking behind Wisconsin in last week’s AP and MaxDiff Polls raised a few eyebrows. I suspect that most ranked Wisconsin over the Buckeyes primarily due to the off field turmoil in Columbus. However, the Buckeyes’ performance in their home opener against Oregon State last weekend seems to have allayed those concerns. The Scarlet and Gray’s new quarterback Dwayne Haskins looked phenomenal while effortlessly posting five touchdowns in a blowout that positively reflected on every aspect of the Buckeyes’ offense. That performance was necessary to quell the doubts created by the Urban Meyer situation. For now, Ohio State reenters Tier I in the minds of fans, a spot that should seem familiar.

  6. Fans still have no love for Utah.

    Both last week and this week, fans ranked Utah as one of the most overrated teams in the AP. This continues a trend I noticed last season when the Utes were perpetually ranked lower in the MaxDiff Poll than the AP. The Utes were also 9 – 3 – 1 last season against the spread.


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 seven predictions with four wins and three losses. Here are this week’s predictions:

  • STANFORD (-5.5) over USC.
  • MICHIGAN STATE (-6) over Arizona State
  • BOISE STATE (-31) over UConn
  • OREGON (currently no spread) over Portland State
  • MIAMI (currently no spread) over Savannah State
  • UTAH (-10) over Northern Illinois
  • BOSTON COLLEGE (currently no spread) over Holy Cross
  • CLEMSON (-12) over Texas A&M
  • SOUTH ALABAMA (+32) over Oklahoma State
  • SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (currently no spread) over Ole Miss

How Do Fans Feel About Clemson v. Texas A&M This Weekend?


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