College Basketball

College Basketball Rankings: Combined 2012-13 Preseason Top 25 Ranking

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers passes against Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on March 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Max RogersCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

How would a preseason ranking look if you took several of the published 2012-2013 men’s college basketball preseason rankings and combined them to form a single ranking?

Below is an attempt to do just that. There are obvious flaws in this setup, such as preseason rankings being released at different times. For example, a ranking released in late April would have not had the same information to construct it as one released just prior to the opening of the 2012-13 season. Added to this is the idea that earlier rankings may have influenced ones produced later on.

The inclusion and exclusion of various rankings in a combined ranking could also introduce bias/error. Deciding how to combine the chosen rankings introduces additional problems with interpretation.

Looking past those and a few other problems, an attempt at making a combined 2012-13 preseason Top 25 ranking was constructed using four previously published rankings—the method for which can be found below the combined ranking. While obviously far from perfect, it may help to provide a general overall sense of how teams have appeared to stack up against each other in the eyes of the media during the offseason.

With the start of the college basketball season quickly approaching, there are sure to be a lot of shifts in the rankings once teams actually start playing, so take them for what they are: opinions.

 

Combined Top 25 2012-13 Preseason Ranking

(Note: The constructed method used resulted in two three-way ties; *indicates a team that was included in three of the four top 25 rankings used to compile a combined ranking. Rankings above No. 25 were not included.)

 

No. 1 Indiana (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 1, ESPN No. 1, Sports Illustrated No. 1, Yahoo! Sports No. 1)

No. 2 Louisville (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 2, ESPN No. 2, SI No. 2, Yahoo! Sports No. 3)

No. 3 Kentucky (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 4, ESPN No. 3, SI No. 4, Yahoo! Sports No. 2)

No. 4 (tie) Michigan (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 5, ESPN No. 5, SI No. 9, Yahoo! Sports No. 6)

No. 4 (tie) NC State (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 9, ESPN No. 6, SI No. 5, Yahoo! Sports No. 5)

No. 4 (tie) UCLA (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 11, ESPN No. 7, SI No. 3, Yahoo! Sports No. 4)

No. 7 Ohio State (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 3, ESPN No. 8, SI No. 7, Yahoo! Sports No. 12)

No. 8 Kansas (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 12, ESPN No. 4, SI No. 8, Yahoo! Sports No. 10)

No. 9 Florida (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 16, ESPN No. 12, SI No. 6, Yahoo! Sports No. 7)

No. 10 UNC (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 13, ESPN No. 13, SI No. 12, Yahoo! Sports No. 8)

No. 11 Baylor (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: ESPN No. 11, SI No. 13, Yahoo! Sports No. 11)*

No. 12 Syracuse (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 7, ESPN No. 10, SI No. 17, Yahoo! Sports No. 15)

No. 13 Duke (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 6, ESPN No. 15, SI No. 14, Yahoo! Sports No. 16)

No. 14 Arizona (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 8, ESPN No. 17, SI No. 24, Yahoo! Sports No. 9)

No. 15 Missouri (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 10, ESPN No. 24, SI No. 10)*

No. 16 Memphis (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 15, ESPN No. 14, SI No. 16, Yahoo! Sports No. 19)

No. 17 (tie) Creighton (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 14, ESPN No. 18, SI No. 19, Yahoo! Sports No. 18)

No. 17 (tie) Gonzaga (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 21, ESPN No. 20, SI No. 15, Yahoo! Sports No. 13)

No. 17 (tie) Michigan State (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 22, ESPN No. 9, SI No. 18, Yahoo! Sports No. 20)

No. 20 Notre Dame (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 24, ESPN No. 19, SI No. 11, Yahoo! Sports No. 17)

No. 21 San Diego State (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 19, ESPN No. 16, SI No. 23, Yahoo! Sports No. 14)

No. 22 Wisconsin (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 17, ESPN No. 22, SI No. 20, Yahoo! Sports No. 25)

No. 23 UNLV (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 20, ESPN No. 23, SI No. 21, Yahoo! Sports No. 24)

No. 24 VCU (Top 25 preseason ranking positions: Sporting News No. 25, SI No. 22, Yahoo! Sports No. 22)*

No. 25 Teams included in only one or two of the four rankings used: Texas (ESPN No. 21, Yahoo! Sports No. 21), Cincinnati (Sporting News No. 18), Marquette (SI No. 25), Minnesota (ESPN No. 25), Murray State (Sporting News No. 23), Tennessee (Yahoo! Sports No. 23)

 

 

Ranking Methodology

1) The following four 2012-13 preseason rankings were used: Sporting News College Basketball Preseason Top 25 for 2012-13, ESPN Revised Way-Too-Early Top 25, Sports Illustrated Pre-Power Rankings and Yahoo! Sports Preseason Top 25 for 2012-13.

Both the published NBC Sports and Athlon Sports way-too-early rankings were considered but ultimately excluded, as they were published prior to a few major developments that shifted multiple major rankings.

A solid case could easily be made for the inclusion of the updated CBS Sports top 25 (and one) ranking, along with a few other preseason rankings that were also not included in this analysis.  

2) Each program was given an equal number of points for its rank in each of the preseason rankings. For example, a team ranked No. 17 would receive 17 points for that particular ranking (up to No. 25).

3) A program’s total points were then added up by combining the number of points it received by its placement in each of the four included preseason rankings. Total points were divided by the number of rankings the team was included in to come up with an average ranked score.

For spots No. 1-24, teams were required to be included in a majority of the rankings used (at least three of the four). All but three programs (Baylor, Missouri, VCU) in the top 24 of this combined ranking were in all four of the rankings used.

Team points calculation example: Indiana was ranked No. 1 in all of the included rankings, giving the Hoosiers a total of four points (1+1+1+1=4); this number was divided by four to get the team’s average score (4/4=1).

4) Teams were re-ranked based on their average score. Teams receiving a lower number of points earned a higher ranking spot.

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