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Voter Bias in the Associated Press College Football Poll

Author

Listed:
  • B. Jay Coleman

    (Department of Management, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, jcoleman@unf.edu)

  • Andres Gallo

    (Department of Economics & Geography, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida)

  • Paul M. Mason

    (Department of Economics & Geography, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida)

  • Jeffrey W. Steagall

    (Department of Economics & Geography, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida)

Abstract

The authors investigate multiple biases in the individual weekly ballots submitted by the 65 voters in the Associated Press college football poll in 2007. Using censored Tobit modeling, they find evidence of bias toward teams (a) from the voter’s state, (b) in conferences represented in the voter’s state, (c) in selected Bowl Championship Series conferences, and (d) that played in televised games, particularly on relatively prominent networks. They also find evidence of inordinate bias toward simplistic performance measures—number of losses, and losing in the preceding week—even after controlling for performance using mean team strength derived from 16 so-called computer rankings.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Jay Coleman & Andres Gallo & Paul M. Mason & Jeffrey W. Steagall, 2010. "Voter Bias in the Associated Press College Football Poll," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(4), pages 397-417, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:11:y:2010:i:4:p:397-417
    DOI: 10.1177/1527002509346823
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lebovic, James H. & Sigelman, Lee, 2001. "The forecasting accuracy and determinants of football rankings," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 105-120.
    2. Rodney J. Paul & Andrew P. Weinbach & Patrick Coate, 2007. "Expectations and Voting in the NCAA Football Polls," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(4), pages 412-424, August.
    3. B. Jay Coleman, 2005. "Minimizing Game Score Violations in College Football Rankings," Interfaces, INFORMS, vol. 35(6), pages 483-496, December.
    4. Stern, Hal S., 2004. "Statistics and the College Football Championship," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 58, pages 179-185, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Randall W. Bennett, 2019. "Holdover Bias in the College Football Betting Market," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 47(1), pages 103-110, March.
    2. Matthew Kotchen & Matthew Potoski, 2011. "Conflicts of Interest Distort Public Evaluations: Evidence from the Top 25 Ballots of NCAA Football Coaches," NBER Working Papers 17628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Potoski, Matthew, 2014. "Conflicts of interest distort public evaluations: Evidence from NCAA football coaches," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 51-63.
    4. Sinkey, Michael, 2015. "How do experts update beliefs? Lessons from a non-market environment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 55-63.
    5. Stacey L. Brook & Xiaomin Gai, 2020. "How Do Outside Experts Evaluate Team Performance? An Empirical Analysis of Harris Poll Voting Behavior," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(8), pages 1590-1601, December.
    6. Rodney J. Andrews & Trevon D. Logan & Michael J. Sinkey, 2012. "Identifying Confirmatory Bias in the Field: Evidence from a Poll of Experts," NBER Working Papers 18064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Rodney J. Andrews & Trevon D. Logan & Michael J. Sinkey, 2018. "Identifying Confirmatory Bias in the Field," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 19(1), pages 50-81, January.

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