Introducing the first-ever Pollspeak Top 25! Pollspeak has tracked many polls over the years, but this is Pollspeak's first time presenting its own rankings. The Pollspeak Top 25 will be published for college football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball this year. However, we can't take all the credit for these rankings. The Pollspeak Top 25 has technically existed for as long as Pollspeak has been around, but we've never made the rankings so easily accessible before.
The Pollspeak Top 25 is basically the average of the other polls that Pollspeak tracks. So for college football (for example) it uses the average of the six computer polls, the BCS Rankings, the Coaches' Poll, the Harris Interactive Poll and the AP Poll. Observant pollstalkers could always find the average at the bottom of team reports for every team. However, the teams were never ordered by their average before. In some respects, the Pollspeak Top 25 is a BCS alternative. However, instead of using a complex formula (where the human polls make up 2/3), the Pollspeak Top 25 just averages them all. So the Billingsley Report counts just as much as the Coaches' Poll in determining our rankings.
You will find the Pollspeak Top 25 on just about every page of Pollspeak,,, typically in the upper left or lower right. At the bottom of the rankings is a link that will show you more details about the rankings, including the polls used to determine them. Our inaugural rankings are for Week 6 of the 2011 football season. You can check out the detailed view here: First Pollspeak Top 25.
Note that a team that isn't ranked in every available poll will ALWAYS be ranked under those that are... even if their average seems higher. For example, let's say there are 10 polls being averaged, and the team ranked No. 24 has an average of 25.9 in the 10 polls. The team ranked No. 25 is only ranked in 9 polls, but has an average of 24.3. (For the purposes of Pollspeak, any team outside of the top 50 is considered "unranked.") You can't ignore that team No. 25 is unranked in one poll, but you can't give that team a "zero" for the one poll either. A zero would actually be a GREAT ranking (considering that lower numbers are better in rankings, i.e. No. 1 is the best.). You also can't give the team a 26 or 51 or whatever since they could actually be much lower than that.
So instead, the Pollspeak Top 25 first sorts all teams by how many times they were ranked. Then within that group, each team is sorted by its average. A team with 9 rankings will never be listed higher than a team with 10 rankings. This typically should not be a problem. However, in sports where some polls only cover top-25 teams (i.e. Baseball America), this might cause that poll has too much impact on our rankings. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
On that note, be sure to look for Pollspeak Top 25 rankings for basketball and baseball when those seasons start.