2013 AP College Football Rankings Visualization

Last year, over the course of the college football season, I created a couple of visualizations to track college football team rankings over the weeks of the season for both the AP and BCS polls. The results were a bit tedious to create and a bit garish to look at. While I occasionally enjoy ‘couch-gating’ on a lazy Saturday afternoon, watching college football, I get a bit bored if I’m not doing something in addition to watching. So, I decided to create the college football rankings visualization again.

What’s below is a first draft of the AP college football rankings for 2013. I decided to scale back on a few things to try to decrease the time involved and also the visual blitz on the eyes that a mix of college football team colors can bring. This year I’m only using one team color per team instead of using a primary and accent color. I’m sticking to just black and white for text colors. And, I’m going with single straight lines for connectors instead of the subway map style lines I used last year. I’m also toying around with the idea of a grunge background but haven’t settled on anything I really like yet for a background color. So, just grayscale background for now.


I think it’s somewhat amusing to consider what ‘conclusion’ some faulty thinking might draw from examining this visual. The dominance of teams with reddish-colors might lead some to conclude that a team’s colors can influence their success. Which leads me to an idea for another infographic that examines the number of college teams in the nation with given colors. I suspect that there’s just a high percentage of colleges that have red in the colors vs say yellow or green. So, many ideas for visualizations… so little time.