A s far back as I can remember visiting ESPN.com and other sports websites, I always found myself intrigued by the novelty of a “Way-Too-Early Top 25 Rankings” story for college football or basketball. It would be the morning after the national title game, and sure enough, a staff writer would have a story up ranking the top 25 teams for next season based on who was returning and the incoming recruiting class.
The lists typically gave you an idea of what storylines to monitor, and I used it as a quick refresher to get an idea about where the premier recruits would be playing next fall. These types of stories worked because people love lists. It’s why you see so many websites ranking this or that. They’re easy to understand, can provide offseason motivation and create dialogue.