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Bettor ranks: College football’s top 25

Oct 16, 2018

  • Phil SteeleESPN Staff Writer

    • ESPN Insider college football contributor
    • Has published his annual college football preview magazine for the past 18 years

Each week I will get the power ratings from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, ESPN’s Will Harris and Bruce Marshall of the Gold Sheet, then combine them with my power ratings to give you the consensus Vegas power ratings.

These ratings are less about a team’s record and more about the overall talent each team possesses, reflecting which team would be favored if meeting at a neutral site.

Here are the top 25 bettor power rankings.

Last updated: Oct. 15

Week 8 notes: Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State were separated by 0.2 points in the rankings last week. Week 7 saw four top-10 teams lose, and there were some close calls for the others. Clemson has the benefit of not playing in the upset-filled week and pulled into the No. 2 spot with a 1.2-point edge over Ohio State, which had a closer-than-expected game against Minnesota at home. Georgia fell to No. 8 in the AP poll but only to No. 5 in the Vegas rankings. All season Michigan has ranked higher in the Vegas poll, and despite one loss, the Wolverines currently sit at No. 4 in the Vegas rankings.

Once again, if you are an AP poll voter, you would have to rank Oregon ahead of Washington as it has the stronger record and won the head-to-head matchup. Had Washington faced Oregon at a neutral site last week it would have been a touchdown-plus favorite, and on the road at Oregon, the Huskies missed a game-winning field goal and lost in overtime by three points. Vegas would have the Huskies a slight favorite at a neutral site this week.

Three teams made big jumps in the Vegas rankings in Utah, USC and Texas Tech, with Utah making it into the top 20 and the other two just outside the top 25. Miami took the biggest fall, dropping eight spots from No. 14 to No. 22 after its loss to Virginia. Iowa State is just 3-3 and not even listed in “Others Receiving Votes” in the AP poll but has played the nation’s toughest schedule so far. The Cyclones check in at No. 24 in the Vegas rankings this week after their upset win over West Virginia.

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