How College Football Preseason Polls Hurt And Help

Whenever the major NCAA football polls come out, many people rush to absorb this information. Major NCAA football polls tend to affect sports bettors, with both positive and negative influences. In this article, we’ll take a look at how these polls can be helpful and how they can cause casual bettors a few problems.

Public And Media Appeal

The first positive about NCAA football polls is that you’ll be able to get a good feel for how the media is perceiving teams, which will translate into how the public will perceive teams as well. Since the media and public perceptions affect the value in high profile games, getting an early feel for this will be helpful.

Under-The-Radar Teams

Since there are so many teams in NCAA football, major football polls can provide you with information on good teams that you might not have known about. Especially for casual fans, it can be tough to keep track of teams outside of the more popular conferences.

Public Excitement

If your NCAA football handicapping has caused you to become skeptical of the capabilities of a team, then a high ranking of that team from the major football polls should be a very good thing for you. Every year, a few teams who start off with a very high ranking simply don’t have the performances to back it up. Since high rankings draw public action, you may be able find great value on these teams.

Teams With More Motivation

On the flipside, teams who start off with lower rankings, and whom you also think should be ranked much higher, may take this as a sign of disrespect. As a result, these teams may be more motivated to prove the major NCAA football polls wrong, which could work out in your favor as well.


While the aforementioned four points highlighted the positives of major NCAA football polls, the following three points will take a look at the negatives. The first is that major football polls may not be that accurate. They’re often flawed and especially when the regular season has not yet begun, these polls tend to be best guesses. As a result, you should remain skeptical of what you read from these polls. If you’re relying on major NCAA football polls to shape your opinions and direct your beliefs when making your football picks, I’d strongly recommend against this course of action.

Weak And Inconclusive Information

Due to the fact that roster changes are so prevalent in NCAA football, new players are a major factor for almost every team. Since it’s difficult to gain a true representation of how these new players will be likely to perform when they enter the lineup due to the fact that the only statistics and information we have on these players are from their high schools, it’s iffy to judge how they will likely perform against the much higher levels of competition. Additionally, players who have been with the team for a couple of years but have not had much playing time will also be quite difficult to gauge.


Since major NCAA football polls come out a few weeks before the regular season begins, it may blind you to injuries, transfers, or notably slower or faster player development that occurs after the polls have been released. Since it’s almost unthinkable to bet on a regular season game a month or two before it’s being played, the same argument can be made for polls.

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