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Preseason Prediction Accuracy (2020)


This page ranks the accuracy of the preseason magazines' conference predictions for 2020, 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.

Adjusted Score note: There are two adjustments made to scores due to the pandemic.

The first is an adjustment relating to the ACC playing without divisions, a decision that was made well after printed magazines were distributed. The average score for predicting the ACC as two divisions was 19.0. The average score for predicting the ACC as a single division was 44.1. For those who predicted the ACC as two divisions, I multiplied their accuracy score by 2.32 (44.1/19.0) so that the separate-division-prediction score was scaled to a similar range to those who predicted it as a division-less conference. For example, Phil Steele's accuracy score for all conferences other than the ACC was 123. His two-division prediction for the ACC scored 12 (Atlantic) + 4 (Coastal) = 16. His adjusted ACC score was 16 * 44.1 / 19.0 = 37.1. The sum of his adjusted ACC score (37.1) and his score for all other conferences (123) yields a total score of 160.1.

The second score adjustment is meant to handle predictors who did not predict one or more conferences. I scored each non-predicted conference as 1.1 times the average score of all predictors who did predict it -- this gave everyone who skipped predicting a conference a slightly-below-average score for that conference. There were three predictors who did not make predictions for the B1G, MAC, MWC, and Pac-12, which yielded a 68.0 adjustment. There were two predictors who skipped the MAC, MWC, and Pac-12, which yielded a 45.9 adjustment. And there was one predictor who skipped the MAC and MWC only, which yielded a 29.6 adjustment.

Rank Magazine
(yellow=web, blue=PDF)
Sub-
Total
Adj
Score
Amer.
Athl.
ACC
Atl.
ACC
Coa.
ACC
one
div
B1G
East
B1G
West
Big 12 Conf
USA
East
Conf
USA
West
MAC
East
MAC
West
MWC
Mtn
MWC
West
PAC12
North
PAC12
South
SEC
East
SEC
West
Sun
Belt
East
Sun
Belt
West
1 Phil Steele 123 160.1 19124- 851012 8477 7688 284
2 The Sporting News / Street and Smith 133 181.7 18129- 1012146 8368 61086 684
3 SportsFormulator 141 182.0 26--41 810146 8788 78810 274
4 Athlon 137 183.4 17146- 1012144 105810 71086 484
5 CFB Professor 143 185.0 2712842 126148 8798 9748 286
6 McIllece Sports 135 185.5 16--50½ 9101412 12456 8688 386
7 Lindy's 136 187.1 22166- 1212144 8576 7946 686
8 Versus Sports Simulator (formerly compughterratings.com) 143 191.0 25--48 1210146 8576 9768 686
9 CollegeFootballPoll.com 155 196.0 24--41 816166 12568 710810 676
Predictors omitting multiple conferences
1 Pick Six Previews 98 160.1 19122- 1010146 8DNPDNPDNP DNP944 284
2 Arena Fanatic 64.5 178.9 17146- DNPDNP147 8DNPDNPDNP DNPDNPDNP6 28
3 ESPN FPI 84 181.9 18--52 104146 10DNPDNPDNP DNPDNPDNP8 464
4 CollegeFootballNews.com 79 183.0 25--36 DNPDNP118 8DNPDNPDNP DNPDNPDNP7 686
5 DRatings.com 80 186.0 20--38 DNPDNP1010 14DNPDNPDNP DNPDNPDNP6 686
6 Autumn 11 101.5 196.0 17½--48 9161610 12DNPDNPDNP DNPDNPDNP6 483
Notes:
- Average score per conference - - 20.713.15.944.1 9.810.313.57.4 9.55.07.07.4 7.48.26.67.1 4.17.74.8
- Score for not predicting - - 22.814.56.448.5 10.811.314.98.1 10.45.57.78.2 8.29.07.37.8 4.58.55.2

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