The Playoff rankings are out and 50% of the conversation this week is about where the committee has each team ranked. First, on my radio shows and podcasts these past few weeks, I have mad ZERO comments about the rankings as they are meaningless at this point. When I did my weekly podcast with Stephen Hartzell and Wayne Cook for Learfield, we made a “No Playoff Rankings FREE zone”. There are two full weeks of football left, there will be upsets and everything will sort itself out. I will talk about the rankings the final week of November but honestly, I have not even looked at the rankings once. You can talk about strength of schedule, resume, and head-to-head matchups but the VEGAS power ratings tell you the true strength of every team. These ratings tell you who would be favored if the teams met and by how much. They have all those huge hotels and casinos in Vegas because they know who the best teams are.
When I worked for ESPN full time, I put out a weekly article entitled the Vegas Power Ratings. I still have all the sources that I used to produce that article as it featured my plus/minus ratings which closely resemble Vegas’s numbers as well as three different casinos including the fine folks over at the Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook @SuperBookSports.
This is not the AP poll but gives you an idea of how much teams would be favored over another team if they met on a neutral field. I use these to get an idea of lines on upcoming games. Keep in mind just because a team beat someone last week does not mean they would be favored over them in the Vegas ratings. I will update these each week during the year as always.
As an example, if Oregon played Washington on a neutral field, Oregon would be favored by 6, despite the fact Washington beat them at home (Oregon had a 541-415-yard edge). Alabama is a much better team now than they were at the beginning of the year. If Alabama played Texas on a neutral field today Alabama would be a 4-point favorite despite the fact Texas beat them soundly at home at the start of the year.
Here is the thirteenth edition of the 2023 Vegas Power Ratings!