2019 College Football Rankings: CFP Top 25, AP Poll, Betting Power Ratings, Week 12

2019 College Football Rankings: CFP Top 25, AP Poll, Betting Power Ratings, Week 12 article feature image

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe Burrow

  • College football rankings are taking shape down the stretch of 2019, with LSU, Ohio State and Clemson out in front.
  • Our oddsmaker-style betting power ratings have the same top three, though Alabama is tied for the third spot with LSU.
  • We're comparing all three rankings to see which teams are overvalued and undervalued by the national media and CFP committee.

Freezing weather across the country can only mean one thing. College football season is coming to a close.

While this fills all of us with great sadness, it does mean we’re getting closer to bowl season and the College Football Playoff, two things gamblers should very much be looking forward to.

But who will be underrated come bowl season, and who should actually reach the College Football Playoff? Glad you asked.

Below, we’re comparing the Playoff Top 25, AP Poll, and our betting power ratings to see which teams are over and undervalued by the committee and national media.

Our full power ratings, available to Action EDGE members, are rooted in boxscore data and made with a Vegas touch, not dependent on wins and losses.

2019 College Football Rankings, Week 12

Comparing 3 Rankings


  • College Football Playoff: 1
  • Our Rankings: 3
  • AP Poll: 1

The Tigers deserve to be No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings and AP Poll because of their body of work, but we still have them as the No. 3 team in the country (actually tied with Alabama).

LSU would be a 4.5-point underdog to Ohio State on a neutral field and 4-point underdog to Clemson. They’d be a 5-point favorite over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Ohio State

  • College Football Playoff: 2
  • Our Rankings: 1
  • AP Poll: 2

Ohio State keeps rolling and would be favored over any team in the country on a neutral site.


  • College Football Playoff: 3
  • Our Rankings: 2
  • AP Poll: 3

Clemson has gotten back to business after a narrow victory over North Carolina, scoring 45 points and not allowing more than 14 in each of their last five games.

The Tigers have the best chance to reach the College Football Playoff of any team because they’ll be at least a three-touchdown favorite in all their remaining games.


  • College Football Playoff: 4
  • Our Rankings: 6
  • AP Poll: 5

Georgia controls its own path to the College Football Playoff, needing wins over Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and LSU in the SEC Championship Game to get there.

It won’t be easy, certainly, but the Dawgs are in the mix.


  • College Football Playoff: 5
  • Our Rankings: 4
  • AP Poll: 4

Unlike Georgia, Alabama’s path is a little unclear. The Tide are No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings but only have one more opportunity to get a Top 25 win — at Auburn to end the year. That would be their only signature victory of the season.


  • College Football Playoff: 6
  • Our Rankings: 10
  • AP Poll: 6

Oregon is rated lower than Utah in our ratings, but the Ducks are getting plenty of love from the CFP committee and AP Poll voters.


  • College Football Playoff: 7
  • Our Rankings: 7
  • AP Poll: 8

Everything is pointing toward a Utah-Oregon showdown in the Pac-12 title game, which could get one into the College Football Playoff if there’s some chaos elsewhere.


  • College Football Playoff: 8
  • Our Rankings: 23
  • AP Poll: 7

Minnesota is one of the most overrated teams in the country according to our ratings, which is why it’s an underdog to Iowa this weekend.

Like many other overrated teams, they can prove us wrong by beating the Hawkeyes and Wisconsin to end the season.

Penn State

  • College Football Playoff: 9
  • Our Rankings: 11
  • AP Poll: 9

The Nittany Lions were always a little overrated according to our power ratings, but came back to earth with a loss to Minnesota last week.


  • College Football Playoff: 10
  • Our Rankings: 5
  • AP Poll: 10

Oklahoma is underrated in the polls thanks to that loss to Kansas State, but I believe the Sooners still have a good shot to reach the College Football Playoff if they can win out.


  • College Football Playoff: 11
  • Our Rankings: 9
  • AP Poll: 11

Florida just keeps chugging along despite two losses. The Gators have only two games left — at Missouri and home against Florida State. With two wins, they could find themselves in a New Year’s Six bowl.


  • College Football Playoff: 12
  • Our Rankings: 8
  • AP Poll: 13

Auburn is underrated according to our power ratings, and can play spoiler at home against Georgia this weekend. We make Georgia a 2-point favorite, while they’re currently listed at -3.


  • College Football Playoff: 13
  • Our Rankings: 18
  • AP Poll: 12

The Bears are flying up our power ratings but are still a little bit overrated thanks to that unbeaten record. They can prove us wrong with an upset of Oklahoma this weekend.


  • College Football Playoff: 14
  • Our Rankings: 13
  • AP Poll: 15

Wisconsin needs Iowa to beat Minnesota this week, then beat the Gophers itself to reach the Big Ten Championship Game.

The Badgers are kind of an afterthought now after consecutive losses to Illinois and Ohio State, but could still make a New Year’s Six bowl.


  • College Football Playoff: 15
  • Our Rankings: 12
  • AP Poll: 14

Michigan has always been slightly higher in our ratings than in the other polls, but the gap is starting to shrink. The biggest tests left are Michigan State this weekend and hosting Ohio State after Thanksgiving.

Notre Dame

  • College Football Playoff: 16
  • Our Rankings: 15
  • AP Poll: 16

Notre Dame just can’t push into the top 15 in the polls because of its loss to Michigan, when the Irish got exposed in the trenches.


  • College Football Playoff: 17
  • Our Rankings: 32
  • AP Poll: 17

Cincinnati has been a bit of a boxscore fraud this year, getting outgained in recent wins over East Carolina in Houston.

That’s a big reason why the Bearcats haven’t cracked the top 25 in our ratings.


  • College Football Playoff: 18
  • Our Rankings: 30
  • AP Poll: 18

Memphis seems to be getting better every week, and has an inside track to winning the AAC West thanks to tiebreakers over SMU and Navy.


  • College Football Playoff: 19
  • Our Rankings: 20
  • AP Poll: 22

Texas is back in the top 25 of the AP Poll and CFP Top 25 thanks to a win over Kansas State, but the Longhorns have been floating around No. 20 in our power ratings for several weeks.


  • College Football Playoff: 20
  • Our Rankings: 19
  • AP Poll: 23

How are the Hawkeyes favored over top-10 Minnesota this week? Point spreads aren’t made with wins and losses, for one.

Iowa is pretty much eliminated from the Big Ten West race but can play spoiler against the Gophers this week.

Boise State

  • College Football Playoff: 21
  • Our Rankings: 41
  • AP Poll: 19

Like Appalachian State below, the Broncos are in the top 25 of both the CFP and AP Poll because they have only one loss.

But in our rankings, they come in at a modest 41st.

Oklahoma State

  • College Football Playoff: 22
  • Our Rankings: 26
  • AP Poll: 25

Oklahoma State is a hard team to handicap, since it feels like they can lose outright at anytime but also pull big upsets thanks to a dynamic offense. The Cowboys are safely in the back end of our Top 30 for now.


  • College Football Playoff: 23
  • Our Rankings: 35
  • AP Poll: 21

No one awards Comeback Team of the Year in college football, but Navy might be the leader in the clubhouse if they did.

One season after going 3-10 the Midshipmen are 7-1 and skyrocketing up every ranking system.

Kansas State

  • College Football Playoff: 24
  • Our Rankings: 33
  • AP Poll: 20

Kansas State didn’t fall out of either poll despite its loss to Texas, in which it was badly outplayed but also could have won the game.

Either way, the Wildcats are setting up to play in a nice bowl game in their first year under Chris Klieman.

Appalachian State

  • College Football Playoff: 25
  • Our Rankings: 58
  • AP Poll: NR

App State is as steady as ever, but the Mountaineers are nowhere near the top 25 in our power ratings, coming in at No. 58. They’re not even our highest-rated Sun Belt team, with Louisiana-Lafayette taking that honor by one spot.


  • College Football Playoff: NR
  • Our Rankings: 43
  • AP Poll: 20

SMU has been an automatic over team this season, going 9-1 to the over with the under under coming by half a point (34-31 win over Houston with a 65 total).

The Mustangs’ loss to Memphis hurt them in the AAC West standings, but their real divisional hopes will come down to a date with Navy next week.


  • College Football Playoff: NR
  • Our Rankings: 29
  • AP Poll: 24

Indiana has quietly put together an excellent season, losing only at Michigan State and to Ohio State. But it lost quarterback Michael Penix for the season this week.

The Hoosiers will turn to backup Peyton Ramsey, who has played plenty this year and in year’s past. They’re a two-touchdown underdog at Penn State on Saturday.

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