2018 College Football Rankings Before Week 7: AP Top 25 Poll, Coaches Poll, Vegas Ratings

2018 College Football Rankings Before Week 7: AP Top 25 Poll, Coaches Poll, Vegas Ratings article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jerry Jeudy, Travis Etienne and Greedy Williams

  • College football rankings in 2018 will move after Week 6 once again, as teams start to build résumés and pick up quality wins.
  • Here, we're comparing our Vegas betting power ratings, the AP Top 25 Poll and the Coaches Poll to see how each group is valuing teams.

College football rankings can shift in a big way every week, and Week 7 in the 2018 season is no different. If you’re betting, when should you take them seriously?

Here, we’re comparing The Action Network’s power ratings, the AP Top 25 poll and the Coaches Poll to see how oddsmakers value teams differently than traditional voters.

AP voters and Coaches Poll voters (often athletic department staffers, not actually the coaches) are usually reactionary to recent results. Wins and losses mean a lot more than the whole body of work.

Our power ratings, and other statistical systems such as S&P+ or ESPN’s FPI, are more based on a team’s performance in a game, not the final score. They’re also meant to be more predictive than the AP Top 25 Poll.

Here are each set of rankings after Week 6.

2018 College Football Rankings, Week 6

Biggest Ranking Discrepancies

Voters tend to be much more reactionary than our power ratings, which take longer into the season to evolve.

Oklahoma dropped at least five spots in both polls, but stays about the same in our power ratings.

The same goes for Auburn, which is on the fringe of the Top 25 at No. 21 in both polls. The Tigers landed at No. 10 in our power ratings.

Colorado continues moving up in the polls, but is No. 39 in our ratings. The Buffaloes are 5-0.

South Florida is the lowest-rated team to crack the Top 25 this year. The Bulls are 58th, but No. 23 in both polls this week.

All writing is based on data entering Week 6.


  • Power Ratings: 1
  • AP Poll: 1
  • Coaches Poll: 1

The Tide will occupy this spot until further notice. And they won’t really be challenged until a Nov. 3 date at LSU.

The Tide are 4.5 points better than the No. 2 team in our power ratings, meaning they’d be -4.5 against Ohio State on a neutral field.

Ohio State

  • Power Ratings: 2
  • AP Poll: 3
  • Coaches Poll: 3

It’s not entirely necessary at this point to try to separate Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia. They’re all in an elite tier behind Alabama.

But the Buckeyes showed their mettle in a comeback win over Penn State in Happy Valley on Saturday night, and put themselves in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten East.


  • Power Ratings: 3
  • AP Poll: 2
  • Coaches Poll: 2

This was supposed to be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Bulldogs, but there’s no reason to think they won’t reach the SEC title game. Like I said, there’s no reason to split hairs between Georgia, OSU and Clemson right now.


  • Power Ratings: 4
  • AP Poll: 4
  • Coaches Poll: 4

Clemson needed a game-winning drive from backup quarterback Chase Brice to beat Syracuse as a 24-point favorite. It lost quarterback Trevor Lawrence to a neck injury at the end of the first half.

Brice, a redshirt freshman, entered the season fourth on Clemson’s quarterback depth chart, but has been thrust into the starting role after Kelly Bryant and Hunter Johnson transferred.


  • Power Ratings: 5
  • AP Poll: 7
  • Coaches Poll: 5

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is the Heisman favorite, but Kyler Murray won’t be going away anytime soon. He’s completed 70.6% of his passes at 13.4 yards per attempt with 17 TDs and two INTs.

The Sooners play Texas on Saturday.

Notre Dame

  • Power Ratings: 6
  • AP Poll: 6
  • Coaches Poll: 7

Notre Dame controls its own destiny to the College Football Playoff after a decisive win over Stanford on Saturday. The Irish play Virginia Tech, their toughest test left, in Blacksburg this week.

Penn State

  • Power Ratings: 7
  • AP Poll: 11
  • Coaches Poll: 11

Penn State blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter against Ohio State on Saturday, proving that the Nittany Lions are right there, but not quite in an elite tier yet. They did move up four spots in our power ratings based on their performance.


  • Power Ratings: 8
  • AP Poll: 10
  • Coaches Poll: 10

Washington has quietly dominated with an excellent defense since a season-opening loss to Auburn.

The Huskies are allowing 4.24 yards per play, 10th-best in the country.


  • Power Ratings: 9
  • AP Poll: 15
  • Coaches Poll: 16

Michigan routinely checks in as one of the most underrated teams based on our power ratings.

But the Wolverines needed some good fortune to escape against Northwestern on Saturday. After this week, they have a three-game stretch against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State.


  • Power Ratings: 10
  • AP Poll: 8
  • Coaches Poll: 9

Auburn is one of the only hopes left of dethroning Alabama, but the offense hasn’t looked good enough to do it.


  • Power Ratings: 11
  • AP Poll: 14
  • Coaches Poll: 14

Stanford got rolled by Notre Dame on Saturday. The Cardinal had just 229 yards to Notre Dame’s 550 and they lost star running back Bryce Love to an ankle injury.


  • Power Ratings: 12
  • AP Poll: 16
  • Coaches Poll: 12

After a week off, the Badgers play at winless Nebraska. The BYU loss hurts, but if Badgers run the table and win the Big Ten Championship, Wisconsin should make the College Football Playoff.


  • Power Ratings: 13
  • AP Poll: 5
  • Coaches Poll: 6

LSU has may have the best résumé in the country, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers are one of the 10 best teams.

Yet they continue beating the teams they’re supposed to beat. The latest was Ole Miss, which Ole Miss beat 45-16.

Quarterback Joe Burrow had his first quality effort of the season, going 18 for 25 for 292 yards and three touchdowns.


  • Power Ratings: 14
  • AP Poll: 18
  • Coaches Poll: 18

Oregon bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to Stanford with a quality road win against a good Cal team. The Ducks will be in the Pac-12 picture all season.

Oklahoma State

  • Power Ratings: 15
  • AP Poll: 25
  • Coaches Poll: 21

The Cowboys rebounded from their loss to Texas Tech by convincingly beating Kansas. However, games against Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia still loom.

Texas A&M

  • Power Ratings: 16
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

Texas A&M has held its own against Clemson and Alabama, which is why it comes in at No. 18 on our power ratings.

Its performance as a whole has been pretty strong considering the level of competition, but a 3-2 record won’t get you ranked in the AP Poll.

Mississippi State

  • Power Ratings: 17
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

The Joe Moorhead hype train has been quickly derailed.

The Bulldogs have put up 13 points total in their last two games, and that 3-2 record won’t keep them ranked.


  • Power Ratings: 18
  • AP Poll: 17
  • Coaches Poll: 17

The Canes have taken care of business so far minus an opening loss to LSU, and face Florida State as an 11-point favorite on Saturday.

Michigan State

  • Power Ratings: 19
  • AP Poll: 20
  • Coaches Poll: 19

The Spartans are quietly lurking, and will probably upset someone to spoil their playoff chances.


  • Power Ratings: 20
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

Two losses at this stage will push you out of the polls. The Horned Frogs almost had a third against Iowa State last weekend.

West Virginia

  • Power Ratings: 21
  • AP Poll: 9
  • Coaches Poll: 8

The Mountaineers got their first real test this week against Texas Tech, which they passed on Saturday.

Still, WVU is overrated in our power ratings because the defense might not hold up.


  • Power Ratings: 22
  • AP Poll: 12
  • Coaches Poll: 13

The Knights might have overrated in our power ratings, but they’re rolling through everyone so far. Their biggest test will come next week at Memphis.


  • Power Ratings: 23
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

Missouri comes off a bye to begin a brutal four-game stretch — at South Carolina, at Alabama, Memphis, Kentucky.


  • Power Ratings: 24
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

Utah almost always finds itself in the Top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings, but never near the top. The Utes lost at home to Washington and Washington State, and are probably still a year away from serious contention in the Pac-12.

Arizona State

  • Power Ratings: 25
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

The Sun Devils have been more than competitive in every game, losing to Washington and San Diego State by seven points each.

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