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 December 26, 2003
 December 18, 2003 Jonathan's Journal

By: Jonathan Editor
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Jonathan's Journal For the second straight season, projected the college football season better than all of the big boys, including such magazines as The Sporting News and Athlon, as well as other college football websites like and

[ Updated January 1 ]


In 2002, edged out The Sporting News as the most accurate source for preseason college football conference predictions. Last year was only the third year for preseason projections from and just the first that the results were compared to those from other national publications and websites. You can read more about last year's prediction accuracy if you wish to before taking a look at this year's results.

There is one website,, that reviews the major publications' accuracy in predicting conference results. Though is apparently not qualified enough to be included in that listing, once the numbers are calculated, would have had the lowest score, and consequently the most accurate predictions, for the second straight season.

The website mentioned above uses a formula to calculate the accuracy of preseason predictions; lowest score is best. The closer a team finishes to the spot they were projected, the fewer points awarded for that team. For example, if Maryland was projected 3rd in the ACC and finished 5th, two points would be counted for UM. However, with that same projection and a 3rd place finish by the Terps, 0 points would be awarded for a perfect projection. A total score for each conference is given, and then those scores are added together to create the publication or website's total score.

Once the scores were calculated, had a score of 130 points, which topped the list. Wrathell's CPA Rankings earned a score of 138 to finish in second place. Other noteable scores were as follows: The Sporting News: 146, Athlon,, and Lindy's: 149, and 157.

Focusing on just the predictions made by, the most accurate conference was the Big XII. No points were awarded for either the conference's North or South divisions. The projections that were the worst rated included the PAC 10 and Big Ten each with 20, CUSA with 17, and the WAC with 16.

Here is an individual conference look at's projections as compared to those made by some of the previously mentioned publications and websites. The complete chart can be found at

Site/Pub Total ACC BEast Big10 B12N B12S CUSA MACE MACW MWst PAC10 SECE SECW SBelt WAC 130 8 9 20 0 0 17 8 4 12 20 2 3 11 16
TSN 146 15 6 19 6 2 18 6 6 7 20 0 7 10 24
CFN 149 8 11 16 6 6 21 10 4 9 19 0 7 10 22

So I guess the moral of the story is that the most money or the biggest name doesn't always get you the best value. Most preseason magazines cost around $6 at the local Books-A-Million, but for no cost at all, you can get predictions that are better than those you can find anywhere else right here at If you want to take a look back at the 2003 preseason conference previews, just click the links below, or you can always find this information on the left-hand column of the front page.

ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big XII | CUSA | Independents | MAC | Mountain West | PAC 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC


All of us here at want to take a minute to wish you a happy new year. We've had a great closure to 2003 with both Jarrod and Timo joining as columnists. We are all looking forward to starting off the new year with a ton of great college basketball. If you've ever got any comments or suggestions for us, don't hesitate to e-mail. We'll get back to you within hours in most cases. Thanks again to all of you who visit regularly, and please keep doing so. Happy Holidays!