Podcast: The most thorough college basketball ranking system -- ever

How accurate can the most exhaustive preseason ranking system be? We're about to find out (Getty Images)

We're having a bit of a "Geek Week" for college basketball on CBSSports.com, and it starts with Monday's podcast. Tempo-free guru Dan Hanner is back on the show, and he's pimping the most thorough preseason ranking of college basketball teams ever done. Hanner's 1-345 rankings were released Monday on Basketball Prospectus, and in fact they'll be used in ESPN The Magazine's preseason college hoops edition.

But why is his system so extensive and accurate? And just how angry should Cincinnati, San Diego State and other fans be at their low projections? How happy or surprised will UCLA fans be? Today's pod is not nearly as numbers-heavy as you'd guess, either. Just a solid look ahead to the season. There's a method to these rankings, and the amount of non-statty consideration that goes into them should please many a number-hating hoophead.

Still, the most impressive thing about these rankings: Hanner predicted tempo-free stats for every single damn D-I player. He's insane. This has never been attempted before, and I'm now not certain I'd trust the man with my unborn children. He's a college basketball sociopath -- but we're all better for it.

#CBBGeekWeek: engage:

  • From the beginning: A little Hurricane Sandy talk and other kinds of introductions.
  • 2:40: What are the differences between Hanner's rankings, the forthcoming Thursday reveal of KenPom.com's rankings and order like the RPI? Simple to understand here, to be sure.
  • 5:40: Hanner's top 20 countdown. Who is where, and what surprised him?
  • 10:30: The snag in Wisconsin's ranking now that John Gasser is out for the year, and touch on how these rankings are put together and the credence given to "eye test" and true value to those who can intangibly estimate big years for players or teams if they're very familiar/intimate in coverage/relationship with teams.
  • 15:00: He has Louisville at 11, and I like that placement. Expanding on the Cards.
  • 19:45: UCLA at No. 3 in Hanner's ranking. Whoa.
  • 23:12: The surprises in creating this list. Who was higher or lower than guessed? Michigan is a standout, as are Cincinnati and San Diego State.
  • 30:00: Some of the Cinderella-type teams. Murray State, Davidson, Ohio, etc. Their ranking and the whatnots.
  • 34:00: What league will be the most unpredictable this year? Hanner thinks it'll be a major conference, and he's not taking the Big Ten.

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CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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