For the third consecutive season, I’ll be conducting FanJuicer’s College Football Maxdiff Poll. Over the past three seasons this poll has morphed into one of the top College Football fan polls on the Internet with participation available to the public. For the next 12 weeks, I’ll be releasing the survey link each Monday morning between 7 and 9 AM CST. If you’re interested in participating, simply check Reddit CFB each Monday morning or follow and check Fanjuicer’s Twitter to receive updates on when the poll is live. You can also sign up for the FanJuicer Online Panel to receive updates via email. Results are posted on Tuesday or Wednesday each week here on FanJuicer.com
This Week’s Poll Specs
When was this fielded?: August 20-21, 2019
Number of respondents: 2,448
Research technique: Online quantitative survey using the MaxDiff Market Research Technique.
Interpreting the Scores: The MaxDiff scores for each team are indexed against the average score of 100. For example, Washington’s MaxDiff score of 121 means that team was ranked 21% higher than the average team in the exercise. It is important to note that these scores should not be interpreted as “votes.” See my explanation of MaxDiff if you would like more information.
FanJuicer’s “Big Six” Takeaways From This Week’s Poll
- Fans mostly agree with the AP’s Top TenSimilar to last season’s first MaxDiff Poll, fans mostly agreed with the AP Top 10. The only difference is that Florida was two spots lower in the MaxDiff Poll than in the AP. Considering that this week’s poll was fielded before last Saturday’s showdown between the Gators and Hurricanes – which the Gators won in very ugly fashion – I don’t think fans were in the wrong. Don’t be surprised if the Gators fall in next week’s poll.
- Rank Army!Army was voted as the most underrated team in the AP for the first MaxDiff Poll of this season. The Black Knights were voted #27 in the first AP Poll, but clocked in at #22 in the first MaxDiff Poll. This isn’t too surprising as last year’s Army squad, who finished with an 11-2 record, was a darling among College Football purists/enthusiasts, a group on which the MaxDiff Poll’s weekly voter base strongly over-indexes.
- Fans think the AP voters are off when it comes to the Pac 12The rankings of the Pac 12 teams are perhaps the biggest discrepancy between the MaxDiff Poll and the AP this week. Oregon, who clocked in at #11 in the AP, was the highest ranked of the Pac 12 in that poll. However, the Ducks were voted as one of the more overrated teams by the MaxDiff Poll’s voters, who placed them in the #14 position. Fans actually voted Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies as the top ranked team in the Pac 12, placing them in the #12 spot. I’m not quite sure why fans currently are banking on the Huskies over the Ducks, but it will be hard for them to maintain that position if the Ducks are able to best the SEC’s Auburn Tigers on Saturday. Also from the Pac 12, Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars were voted as one of this week’s most underrated teams in the AP. The Cougars registered a #23 ranking in the AP versus a #19 placement in the MaxDiff Poll. However, unlike Oregon, it will be a few weeks before the Cougs have a chance to impress, as they open with New Mexico State on Saturday followed by a meeting with FCS squad Northern Colorado the following week. Mike Leach and company won’t be tested until September 13 when they square off against AAC power Houston, led by first year coach Dana Holgorsen, in what should be a high-scoring cross conference battle.
- Fans have faith in Gary Patterson and TCUPatterson, the winningest coach in TCU history enters his 20th season as head man in Fort Worth. The stability that Patterson has brought to the program over the past two decades is perhaps reassuring to voters. The Horned Frogs will face their first true test on September 14 when they travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on Jeff Brohm’s Purdue Boilermakers.
- Fans are not sold on Iowa or SyracuseSyracuse is coming off its first ten-win season since 2001, and at ACC Media Days the Orange were voted to finish #2 in the ACC behind only defending National Champions Clemson. Fans, however, are a little more bearish on the Orange, at least for now. Perhaps fans are factoring in the loss of four-year starting quarterback Eric Dungey. Although the Orange lose Dungey, the cupboard isn’t bare as four-star recruit Tommy DeVito will be taking the reigns behind center this season. In addition, the Orange will be coached once again by Dino Babers, who has become one of the more respected coaches in the ACC. If Babers is able to pull off another ten-win season in a very wide open ACC, he’ll likely have quite a few offers from bigger programs. In other words, Babers’ days in upstate New York may be limited.Iowa was also voted as one of the AP’s most overrated teams in this week’s MaxDiff Poll. Like TCU, the Hawkeyes are led by a long-time head coach in Kirk Ferentz who has made Iowa one of the more consistent Power Five programs. However, unlike TCU, this was not enough to reassure voters. It is worth noting that while Iowa and Wisconsin were ranked above Nebraska in both the AP and the MaxDiff Poll, the Cornhuskers were chosen by the Big Ten media to win the Big Ten West. It wasn’t just Big Ten media hyping the Cornhuskers – Nebraska was chosen by quite a few national publications to win the Big Ten West this year, including Athlon Sports and the highly respected Phil Steele. I suspect that these publications are taking into account the fact that the Cornhuskers have the easiest draw from Big Ten East crossover opponents. While the Cornhuskers do catch Ohio State, they have relatively favorable draws in Indiana and Maryland while the Badgers and Hawkeyes draw at least two games each against ranked crossover opponents.
- Fans are really not sold on Mizzou and Kelly BryantThe Missouri Tigers were ranked as the most overrated team in the AP this week. The Tigers will be led by Clemson transfer QB Kelly Bryant who went 12 – 2 as a starter for the ACC Tigers. It will be interesting to see how Bryant, who during his time at Clemson was known more as a threat with his legs than arm, fits into Derek Dooley’s pass-heavy offense in which Drew Lock put up right under 3,500 yards through the air last season.