2018 College Football Rankings After Week 9: AP Top 25 Poll, Coaches Poll, Vegas Ratings

Oct 28, 2018 1:05 PM EDT
  • The 2018 college football rankings will mean more after Week 9, when the first College Football Playoff Top 25 is released.
  • We're comparing our Vegas-style betting power ratings, the AP Top 25 Poll and the Coaches Poll to see how each group is valuing teams.

The 2018 college football rankings will have real meaning following this weekend. The first College Football Playoff rankings will be out on Tuesday, so we’ll hold you over by comparing the AP Top 25 Poll, Coaches Poll, and our Vegas-style power ratings.

There wasn’t much chaos last week outside of Ohio State’s loss to Purdue. The Buckeyes dropped in the AP Poll and Coaches Poll, while remaining in the top five of our power ratings.

But in Week 9, 11 ranked teams lost, which will create a shakeup in every poll.

2018 College Football Rankings, Week 9

Here are the AP Top 25 Poll, Coaches Poll and Vegas ratings after Week 9.

Here were the polls entering Week 9.

Our power ratings, along with other statistical systems such as Football Outsiders’ S&P+ or ESPN’s FPI — are more based on a team’s performance throughout the entire season. We’re not so worried about wins and losses, because we’re trying to project what will come next for these teams, not judge them on what they’ve already done.

Comparing AP Top 25 Poll, Coaches Poll, Vegas Ratings

All rankings are before Week 9. We’ll update when the polls are released on Sunday.

Alabama

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

Before Week 9: The Tide have a week off before traveling to LSU, where they will be a two-touchdown favorite in a top-five matchup. They’re reaching unprecedented levels of domination.

After Week 9: Nothing changes. Alabama is still No. 1, and it’s not particularly close.

Clemson

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

Before Week 9: It feels like Clemson should ease to the College Football Playoff given how down the ACC is. Its typical threats — Florida State, Virginia Tech and Louisville especially — are way down this year.

The Tigers are a 17-point favorite at FSU this weekend.

After Week 9: Clemson rolled Florida State, and will be a double-digit favorite in every game left.

Georgia

  • Power Ratings: 3
  • AP Poll: 7
  • Coaches Poll: 6

Before Week 9: I don’t think we know enough about Georgia this season. We’re still basing much of the Dawgs’ reputation on last season. We’ll find out against Florida this weekend.

After Week 9: Give Georgia a lot of credit for handling Florida like it did, setting up an SEC East-deciding showdown with Kentucky on Saturday.

Michigan

  • Power Ratings: 4
  • AP Poll: 5
  • Coaches Poll: 5

Before Week 9: After having Michigan in the top 10 and even top five of our power ratings all year, the AP Poll and Coaches Poll have caught up as the Wolverines piled on wins against big-name programs.

Michigan is off this week before hosting Penn State next Saturday.

After Week 9: Michigan was off, so the Wolverines don’t move up or down.

Ohio State

  • Power Ratings: 5
  • AP Poll: 11
  • Coaches Poll: 9

Before Week 9: Ohio State showed some cracks on defense earlier in the season, and Purdue blew those cracks wide open. OSU dropped in the AP Poll and Coaches Poll, but remained No. 5 in our power ratings.

The Buckeyes are off this week, then play on the road against an improving Nebraska team.

After Week 9: Ohio State was also off, which is good, since 10 ranked teams lost. Survival until Michigan is key for the Buckeyes.

Oklahoma

  • Power Ratings: 6
  • AP Poll: 8
  • Coaches Poll: 8

Before Week 9: Oklahoma needs major improvements on defense to be a serious College Football Playoff contender, but we think the offense is good enough to be one of the five best teams in the country.

After Week 9: Oklahoma rolled Kansas State and is in decent position to reach the College Football Playoff if its wins out. The Sooners will need Michigan or Notre Dame to lose again.

Notre Dame

  • Power Ratings: 7
  • AP Poll: 3
  • Coaches Poll: 3

Before Week 9: The Irish are probably a little overrated in the AP Poll and Coaches Poll at this point, but that’s no big deal for them — they just need to win out to make the College Football Playoff.

After Week 9: Just. Keep. Winning. The Irish handled Navy to setup a tricky showdown against Northwestern in Evanston next week.

Washington

  • Power Ratings: 8
  • AP Poll: 15
  • Coaches Poll: 13

Before Week 9: The offense is a little anemic, but the Huskies’ defense can hang with anyone in the country. They’re out of the CFP discussion thanks to two losses, but can still win the Pac-12.

After Week 9: Things have quickly come off the rails for Washington, which lost to Cal on Saturday.

Penn State

  • Power Ratings: 9
  • AP Poll: 17
  • Coaches Poll: 16

Before Week 9: Penn State and Washington have followed similar trajectories — two losses (one of those in the same week), accompanied by steep drops in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll.

The Nittany Lions haven’t looked good the past two weeks, but will have opportunities to move up in the polls with games against Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin upcoming.

After Week 9: Penn State survived against Iowa and can play spoiler against Michigan next week.

LSU

  • Power Ratings: 10
  • AP Poll: 4
  • Coaches Poll: 4

Before Week 9: All year, LSU has been overrated by AP Poll and Coaches Poll voters compared to our power ratings. Next week against Alabama, the Tigers will get to show who was right.

After Week 9: The Tigers were off this week before facing Bama.

Utah

  • Power Ratings: 11
  • AP Poll: 23
  • Coaches Poll: 24

Before Week 9: Should we be talking more about Utah? The Utes have just two losses and do just about everything well, including special teams. They control the Pac-12 South.

After Week 9: Utah smoked UCLA on Friday night and continues its ascension into the top 10 of our power ratings. AP Poll and Coaches Poll voters should catch up soon.

Oregon

  • Power Ratings: 12
  • AP Poll: 19
  • Coaches Poll: 21

Before Week 9: Oregon is a good example of how power ratings differ from voters. The Ducks basically beat Stanford in every way but on the scoreboard — which matters of course, but not necessarily when trying to predict future results.

So although it has two losses, Oregon is still No. 12 in our power ratings.

After Week 9: Oregon looked awful in a loss to Arizona after letting its Pac-12 North hopes slip away last week against Washington State.

Texas

  • Power Ratings: 13
  • AP Poll: 6
  • Coaches Poll: 7

Before Week 9: Texas has a tough test looming at Oklahoma State. It’s looking to bolster a body of work that includes a huge win over Oklahoma, but some sloppy efforts against Maryland, Tulsa, Kansas State and Baylor.

After Week 9: The Longhorns got exposed by Oklahoma State and their College Football Playoff hopes are dead.

Washington State

  • Power Ratings: 14
  • AP Poll: 14
  • Coaches Poll: 15

Before Week 9: Washington State would probably be higher in the AP Poll and Coaches Poll if it wasn’t in the Pac-12. Starting the season outside the Top 25 also hurts.

After Week 9: Wazzu pulled off a thrilling comeback win over Stanford and has an outside shot at the College Football Playoff. It hosts Washington in the final week of the regular season.

Florida

  • Power Ratings: 15
  • AP Poll: 9
  • Coaches Poll: 11

Before Week 9: The Gators are a little overrated according to our power ratings, and with a win over Georgia, might be even more overrated since they’ll jump into the top five.

After Week 9: Welp, that win over Georgia didn’t come. The Gators got beat in Jacksonville and will fall back in both polls.

Mississippi State

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

Before Week 9: It’s hard to justify having the Bulldogs this high with how bad the offense has been, but if quarterback Keytaon Thompson plays against Texas A&M this week and looks good, Mississippi State might finish strong.

After Week 9: Finally, a good win for the Bulldogs. They beat Texas A&M and might break back into the AP Poll and Coaches Poll top 25’s since so many other ranked teams lost.

Stanford

  • Power Ratings: 17
  • AP Poll: 24
  • Coaches Poll: 23

Before Week 9: Stanford is a short favorite over Washington State this weekend, which the average bettor can’t believe — 65% of bettors are backing the Cougars in this game as of Friday.

After Week 9: Stanford lost to Washington State and will drop out of the Top 25.

Texas A&M

  • Power Ratings: 18
  • AP Poll: 16
  • Coaches Poll: 17

Before Week 9: The Aggies being a short dog at Mississippi State may not make sense based on the AP Poll and Coaches Poll rankings — and the Bulldogs’ recent results — but our power ratings are right in line with oddsmakers.

After Week 9: Like everyone else in the back end of the AP Top 25 Poll, the Aggies lost on Saturday.

West Virginia

  • Power Ratings: 19
  • AP Poll: 13
  • Coaches Poll: 12

After Week 9: WVU smoked Baylor on Thursday, so we’ll see some adjustments in all their ratings on Sunday.

Wisconsin

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

Before Week 9: It’s clear this Badgers team has some issues, and faces a tricky test this weekend at Northwestern, which seems to play everyone close.

After Week 9: Man, Wisconsin is just a mess. The Big Ten West is wide open after the Badgers, Purdue and Iowa all lost Saturday. Northwestern leads the way.

Auburn

  • Power Ratings: 21
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: NR

Before Week 9: Auburn is still hanging onto a Top 25 spot in our power ratings, but the Tigers have some serious offensive issues.

After Week 9: Auburn’s one quality win, Washington, is looking worse and worse, but the Tigers can help themselves with a win over Texas A&M on Saturday.

Iowa

  • Power Ratings: 22
  • AP Poll: 18
  • Coaches Poll: 18

Before Week 9: Iowa hasn’t played a tough schedule so far and keeps rising in the AP and Coaches polls as it picks up wins. The Hawkeyes are at Penn State this weekend, and can prove they belong.

After Week 9: Iowa had plenty of chances to beat Penn State, but couldn’t do it, and will fall in the polls because of it. Results matter to AP Poll and Coaches Poll voters.

UCF

  • Power Ratings: 23
  • AP Poll: 10
  • Coaches Poll: 10

Before Week 9: Still overrated. The Knights continue to stay toward the back of the top 25 of our power ratings, and in the top 10 of the AP Poll and Coaches Poll.

After Week 9: Nothing much to speak of.

Miami

  • Power Ratings: 24
  • AP Poll: NR
  • Coaches Poll: 25

After Week 9: Miami turned in a poor effort at Boston College on Friday. The Canes have now lost six of their last eight games against Power 5 opponents, and will surely drop out of all top 25 rankings next week.

Michigan State

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

Before Week 9: Michigan State will be without some key pieces this weekend against a Purdue team that might be slightly hungover after beating Ohio State.

After Week 9: Michigan State is your zombie team of the year — back from the dead to beat someone when you expected the Spartans to roll over and quit with so many injuries.

Credit:

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Scarlett, Dexter Lawrence and Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Follow Steve Petrella on Twitter
@steve_petrella

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