The Vegas Top Ten

Every schedule is not created equally. Every division is not created equally.  Every conference is not created equally. Let's squash the myth once and for all that every champion from a power conference deserves a place in the college football playoff.  If that's what we're after, let's expand to 8 teams offering 5 automatic bids with 3 wild cards but for now that's neither the format nor a discussion worth having.  In the meantime the task we're left with continues to be the same: identify the top 4 teams, regardless of conference.

Since everyone has an absolute field day on Twitter claiming conference bias this and media bias that, I decided to talk to a handful of some of the sharpest bettors and bookmakers in the industry and get their rankings.  Alongside my rankings which you've seen all year, I included those of Kenny White (former owner of Las Vegas Sports Consultants now of DonBestAdvantage), PayneInsider (one of the leading sports bettors working closely with some of the east coast's sharpest betting groups), and Ed Salmons (chief college football oddsmaker at Westgate Superbook).  I mean if you bring in some of the best minds in the business we can't all be idiots right?

*indicates a tie in the rankings

As you see there are some pretty interesting differences between the committee's rankings and that of the various sports betting personalities.  Both Kenny White and PayneInsider fail to recognize TCU as a top 10 team. However Ed Salmons has the Horned Frogs in a flat footed tie with Baylor and Oregon for the distinction of 2nd best team in the land.  Mississippi St remains the most polarizing team in the nation with fans, given their tenuous hold on the 4th spot headed into the weekend.  The Bulldogs range anywhere from 3rd among the experts I spoke with to somewhere outside the top 10 going into the Egg Bowl.  Obviously the Bulldogs need to beat Ole Miss this weekend to even be considered for inclusion but it remains anyone's guess if 11-1 will even be enough to get them into the postseason.  Salmons' stance on Georgia was also different than the other 3 panelists; he didn't include them in his top 10 while White, Payneinsider, and myself list Georgia in our top 7.  Obviously no college football discussion would be complete with out mention of Florida State either.  I still had FSU the highest of anyone at 4 while Don Best Advantage ranked them 6th and Payneinsider listed them in a tie with Ohio St at 5.  Where did Salmons have them you ask? When I spoke to him last night he told me "somewhere in the 20's" revealing that FSU was beyond fortunate to still be undefeated.

Upset Alert: Texas +7 over TCU

I haven't been high on the Frogs for much of the season, openly saying for weeks this would be the week their national title hopes were dashed. Well unlike a lot of folks that won't back up their opinions with cash I'm calling for the outright upset (although Clay taking the points here has me concerned).  TCU is good against the run (21st nationally allowing 127.1 YPG) meaning Tyrone Swoopes will need a signature performance as Longhorns QB to lead the upset bid.  However it's not the Texas offense against the TCU defense that I'm interested in watching but rather how the burnt orange defense playing at home with a chance to spoil little brother's national title dreams holds up against Trevone Boykin and his talented cast of skill position players.  Many have called the first season in Austin under Charlie Strong a failure... a win over TCU, keeping their in-state rivals from realizing a playoff dream on national TV, will change a lot of that Thanksgiving night.

Upset Alert Current Record: 8-2 ATS, 3-7 SU

11/22: Iowa +10 over Wisconsin (Covered but lost)

11/15: Minnesota +12 over Ohio St (Covered but lost)

11/8: Utah +8.5 over Oregon (lost)

11/1: Navy +14 over Notre Dame (Covered but lost)

10/25: Penn St +14 over Ohio St (Covered but lost)

10/18: West Virginia +8 over Baylor (Won Outright)

10/11: Pass

10/4: Utah +13 over UCLA (Won Outright)

9/27: NC State +19 vs FSU (Covered but lost)

9/20: West Virginia +7.5 over Oklahoma (Lost)

9/13: South Carolina +6 over Georgia (Won Outright)


Written by
Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.