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Preseason Prediction Accuracy (2022)

Note:

This year, three conferences (AAC, CUSA, PAC-12) switched from tracking conference standing as two independent divisions, to standing within the conference as a whole. AAC and CUSA made the call well in advance, but the Pac-12 reached their decision relatively late in the preseason. As a result, only seven predictors submitted picks with the Pac-12 lacking divisions.

There is a way to convert division-less predictions into divisional ones -- just filter out the members of each division into two separate lists. For example, if someone predicts the Pac-12 division-less as: 1. Oregon, 2. Utah, 3. UCLA... then we could sort Oregon as 1st in the North division, and Utah as 1st and UCLA as 2nd in the South division.

The downside of this is that it loses some "fidelity" of picks. It gives us an apples-to-apples way to compare standings to predictions, but only by converting to what is essentially a slightly lossy format. The other option would be to come up with a way to interleave the divisions into one division-less list, but that would be partially fabricating the predictions from some external source, which is even less desirable.

This issue has arisen once before (in 2020). When it did, I adjusted scores by a factor to ensure that the average score for divisional matched the average score for division-less picks. But this comes with two issues: (1) it implicitly assumes that the division-less predictions were on average as good as the divisional ones; and (2) it assumes that the "spread" between good and bad scores will be somewhat equivalent. After further thought, I've felt it best to do with the lower-fidelity (but more fair) scoring method.


This page ranks the accuracy of the preseason magazines' conference predictions for 2022, by comparing them to conference finish.

Lower scores indicate more accurate predictions; the lower the score, the closer the predictions were to the actual results. Magazines are sorted by total score for all conferences, with the best predictions (lowest total scores) at the top. The best prediction for each conference/division is highlighted in the list. For information on the scoring method, see the notes file.

Rank Magazine
(yellow=web, blue=PDF)
Total
Score
Amer.
Athl.
ACC
Atl.
ACC
Coa.
B1G
East
B1G
West
Big 12 Conf
USA
MAC
East
MAC
West
MWC
Mtn
MWC
West
PAC12
North
PAC12
South
SEC
East
SEC
West
Sun
Belt
East
Sun
Belt
West
1 McIllece Sports 160 234135 10221410 10224 231210 14
2 Autumn 11 162 227156 11211910 10244 22138 6
3 Steve Wrathell's CPA Rankings 164 189154 103199 10246 431210 8
4 Pick Six Previews 167½ 18154 14291510 10224 231311 8
5 Versus Sports Simulator 168 1810155 3113½10 10261 44157 7
6 CFB Model by Dunham 170 19½8166 2716½9 10126 731414
7 CollegeFootballNews.com 171 16½185 13½321110 9173 44138 10½
8t Athlon 172 1811158 8321610 11222 231312 7
8t Conference Media Day polls 172 1810156 10311110 11244 45139 9
10t DRatings.com 174 2412174 13261110 8240 431712 7
10t ESPN FPI 174 187144 16301711 8024 610811 8
12 Phil Steele 176 1910½144 13½301510 10214 441512 8
13 Lindy's 177 1813186 133169 10246 45138 11
14 CollegeFootballPoll.com 184 238158 4281311 9248 1221218 7
15 VSiN College Football Betting Guide 185 22141410 1728129 10242 451212 8
16 Arena Fanatic 188 18½10188 2821½14 10361 241211½ 13
17 CFB Home 193 1813188 1230236 13304 421314 12

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