2018 College Football Rankings, Week 11: AP Poll, Vegas Ratings, Playoff Top 25

2018 College Football Rankings, Week 11: AP Poll, Vegas Ratings, Playoff Top 25 article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jim Harbaugh, Mecole Hardman and Marquise Brown

  • College football rankings in 2018 will be on the move in a big way after this week with so many marquee matchups.
  • We're comparing the College Football Playoff Top 25, AP Poll and Vegas-style power ratings to find betting value before Week 11.

The first 2018 College Football Playoff rankings are out, and they’ll look a whole lot different come Tuesday night. Four ranked matchups served as elimination games, and a bunch more Top 25 teams lost.

Here, we’re comparing the College Football Playoff rankings to the AP Poll and our Vegas-style betting power ratings to see how different groups value each team.

2018 College Football Rankings, Week 11

Here are the rankings before Week 11. The College Football Playoff rankings won’t be out until Tuesday, so we’ll include the Coaches Poll here, as well, when released.

Remember, our power ratings are meant to be predictive and don’t care as much about wins and losses as the AP Poll voters of College Football Playoff committee.

Here were the rankings entering Week 10.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 1
  • AP Poll: 1
  • Vegas Rating: 1

Before Week 10: The undisputed top team in the College Football Playoff rankings and AP Poll will gets its best shot so far this season from LSU.

After Week 10: Alabama looks unstoppable and shows no signs of slowing down after dominating LSU in a 29-0 win.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 2
  • AP Poll: 2
  • Vegas Rating: 2

Before Week 10: Clemson seems to be hitting its stride at the right time, as the offense has posted dominant performances in consecutive weeks against Florida State and N.C. State. The Tigers will be a double-digit favorite in every remaining game until the College Football Playoff, should they get there.

After Week 10: Clemson’s offense is getting better every week, and the Tigers will be a double-digit favorite in every remaining game this season.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 3
  • AP Poll: 4
  • Vegas Rating: 8

Before Week 10: LSU absolutely deserves to be in the top four of both the AP Poll and College Football rankings, but our ratings have never seen the Tigers as a top-five team. We’ll find out this weekend what LSU is made of.

After Week 10: You can’t take away what LSU has done so far, but the Tigers were never a top-five team in our power ratings.

Notre Dame

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 4
  • AP Poll: 3
  • Vegas Rating: 7

Before Week 10: The Irish just need to keep winning to reach the College Football Playoff. They’re slightly outside the top tier according to our power ratings, more on par with Oklahoma and Ohio State than Clemson or Alabama.

After Week 10: Notre Dame is still behind Ohio State and Oklahoma in our power ratings, but the Irish are in better shape to reach the College Football Playoff.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 5
  • AP Poll: 5
  • Vegas Rating: 4

Before Week 10: We’ve had the Wolverines near the top of our ratings all year, and they’ve moved up in the AP Poll as they continue to win.

After Week 10: Michigan is in great shape to make the College Football Playoff as it continues to look better and Ohio State keeps trending down.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 7
  • AP Poll: 7
  • Vegas Rating: 5

Before Week 10: Oklahoma isn’t a lock for the College Football Playoff if it wins out. The Sooners will need a little chaos, like a Notre Dame loss or the Big Ten cannibalizing itself.

After Week 10: Oklahoma’s defense clearly isn’t getting any better, which could be a big problem down the stretch. Still, the Sooners rank in the top five of our power ratings.

Washington State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 8
  • AP Poll: 10
  • Vegas Rating: 13

Before Week 10: Washington State is a little bit overrated, according to our ratings, and faces a tricky test against a Cal team with a good pass defense.

After Week 10: Washington State took a big hit in our power ratings after a sloppy effort against Cal, dropping 10 spots from 13th to 23rd. That rarely happens after one game.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 9
  • AP Poll: 11
  • Vegas Rating: 41

Before Week 10: Kentucky is way, way overrated according to our betting power ratings, but the Wildcats continue to find ways to win sloppy games. This week, UK hosts Georgia.

After Week 10: Kentucky dropped one spot in our power ratings — from No. 41 to No. 42 — after a blowout loss to Georgia. The Wildcats were never a top-25 team based in their performance, though the wins were there.

Ohio State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 10
  • AP Poll: 8
  • Vegas Rating: 6

Before Week 10: The last we saw of Ohio State, it was getting its teeth kicked in by Purdue. The Buckeyes haven’t dropped too far in our ratings because they’re less reactionary to wins and losses like the AP Poll is.

After Week 10: Ohio State remains No. 6 in our power ratings despite some not-so-convincing wins.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 11
  • AP Poll: 13
  • Vegas Rating: 12

Before Week 10: The Gators’ loss to Georgia dropped them out of the top 10 of the AP Poll, and they won’t crack the College Football Playoff with two losses now.

After Week 10: Florida laid an absolute egg at home against Missouri on Saturday, and it will drop toward the back of the AP Top 25 because of it.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 12
  • AP Poll: 9
  • Vegas Rating: 22

After Week 10: UCF played Thursday against Temple. The Knights gave up more than 700 yards in a 52-40 win, which won’t do them in favors. They’re not in contention for the College Football Playoff.

West Virginia

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 13
  • AP Poll: 12
  • Vegas Rating: 14

Before Week 10: West Virginia is still alive in the playoff discussion, since it has only one loss. The Mountaineers close the season with Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

After Week 10: West Virginia beat Texas behind a last-second touchdown and two-point conversion. The Mountaineers moved up two spots in our power ratings because of it.

Penn State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 14
  • AP Poll: 14
  • Vegas Rating: 10

Before Week 10: Penn State isn’t in the College Football Playoff discussion, but can play spoiler against Michigan this week.

After Week 10: The Nittany Lions dropped four spots in our ratings after getting stomped by Michigan, and will be in the back end of the AP Poll come Sunday.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 15
  • AP Poll: 16
  • Vegas Rating: 9

Before Week 10: Utah has been underrated all season — like it usually is — but the College Football Playoff rankings and AP Poll still haven’t caught up to the Utes. They do face a tricky test at Arizona State this weekend.

After Week 10: Utah fell just one spot in our power ratings after losing to Arizona State this weekend.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 16
  • AP Poll: 19
  • Vegas Rating: 17

Before Week 10: Iowa lost a close game to Penn State, but didn’t drop too far in the AP Poll, weirdly enough. The Hawkeyes are right in line in all three rankings.

After Week 10: Iowa lost a heartbreaker to Purdue, which really puts it in bad shape in the Big Ten West. The Hawkeyes are 3-3, while Northwestern is 5-1 and Wisconsin and Purdue are 4-2.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 17
  • AP Poll: 15
  • Vegas Rating: 16

Before Week 10: Texas can knock West Virginia out of the College Football Playoff conversation with a win. The Horns are a short home favorite.

After Week 10: Texas dropped four spots in our power rating after losing to West Virginia, and with three losses, might not stay in the AP Poll or playoff top 25.

Mississippi State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 18
  • AP Poll: 21
  • Vegas Rating: 15

Before Week 10: The Bulldogs are still top 15 in our power ratings, and a win over Texas A&M got them back in the good graces of AP Poll voters and the College Football Playoff committee.

After Week 10: Mississippi State rolled Louisiana Tech and moved up six spots in our power ratings. The Bulldogs will play at Alabama next week as a three-touchdown underdog, in all likelihood.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 19
  • AP Poll: 22
  • Vegas Rating: 45

Before Week 10: The back end of the Top 25 is filled with teams that are lower in our power ratings, but just keep winning. At this point in the season, AP Poll voters are mostly looking for teams without many losses.

After Week 10: Syracuse survived against Wake on Saturday. Had the Orange hung on against Clemson last month, they would have controlled the ACC Atlantic.

Texas A&M

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 20
  • AP Poll: 25
  • Vegas Rating: 18

Before Week 10: Texas A&M has three losses, but they’re all to Top-25 teams, so voters have been kind to the Aggies.

After Week 10: The Aggies dropped four spots in our power ratings after losing to Auburn.

N.C. State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 21
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Vegas Rating: 33

Before Week 10: I’m not quite sure why N.C. State cracked the Top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings. The Wolfpack got blown out by Clemson and lost to Syracuse last week in their only two tough tests so far.

After Week 10: N.C. State rolled Florida State on Saturday and could be setting itself up for a New Year’s Six Bowl bid if it can win its final four games — Wake, Louisville, North Carolina and East Carolina.

Boston College

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 22
  • AP Poll: 24
  • Vegas Rating: 31

Before Week 10: Boston College can play spoiler against Clemson at home next week, but is a short favorite at Virginia Tech this week.

After Week 10: BC beat Virginia Tech to set up a ranked home showdown with Clemson next week. The Tigers will be a double-digit favorite based on our projections, but it will be their lowest spread left this season.

Fresno State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 23
  • AP Poll: 20
  • Vegas Rating: 32

Before Week 10: Fresno State’s lone loss is to Minnesota and the Bulldogs are very much in contention for the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six bowl spot.

After Week 10: UNLV was supposed to be a tricky spot for Fresno State on Saturday, but it responded to that talk by winning 48-3.

Iowa State

  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 24
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Vegas Rating: 28

Before Week 10: The College Football Playoff committee loves good wins, which the Cyclones got against West Virginia in dominant fashion. Despite three losses, we like ISU quite a bit, too.

After Week 10: Iowa State made a big jump in our power ratings after dominating Kansas. Altogether, the Cyclones’ body of work is pretty impressive, especially since freshman Brock Purdy took over at quarterback.


  • College Football Playoff Ranking: 25
  • AP Poll: 23
  • Vegas Rating: 42

Before Week 10: Virginia is playing over its head, but could win the ACC Coastal and play Clemson in the conference title game.

After Week 10: A loss to Pitt will knock the Wahoos out of the AP Poll and playoff Top 25, and the Panthers now control the ACC Coastal.

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