The Vegas Top 10

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Nov 1, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; A Mississippi State Bulldogs cheerleader during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports Marvin Gentry USA TODAY Sports

For the first time this season the playoff committee missed the mark with rankings.  Florida State continues to win… yes it’s ugly and they have their hands full this weekend against Miami but Oregon jumping over them is laughable.  If anything, FSU was in firmer control of their game against UVA than Oregon was on the road in Salt Lake City despite the final scores.  Regardless, if both teams win out (we’ll get to the math behind that soon) they’ll find themselves in the postseason. No matter the argument I’ll contend that every team in the top 8 controls their own destiny, win out and there will be enough dominoes falling around them to get into the national semifinals.  Before we get there, here’s my updated Vegas top 10 ready to be picked apart by rabid fan bases.

  Playoff Ranking Vegas Ranking
1 Mississippi St Alabama
Oregon Mississippi St
3 Florida State Florida State
4 TCU Oregon
5 Alabama Baylor
6 Arizona State TCU
7 Baylor Ohio State
8 Ohio State  Auburn
9 Auburn Ole Miss
10 Ole Miss  UCLA

For all my criticism of Ohio St and their paper-thin resume, I have to admit that I was definitely impressed with their win in East Lansing. That being said the entire conference is still a far cry from the other power leagues and I’ll remain skeptical until I see how the B1G performs this postseason.  

Also notice there is no Arizona St listed here in the top 10 despite their “resounding” win against Notre Dame.  Digging into that box score the game was a lot closer than it appeared, meaning I’ll remain skeptical of ASU knowing what still looms ahead.  UCLA is the most intriguing team for me right now given their current odds of 175-1.  While it’s a bit far fetched they get into the playoff, the right losses to the right teams and a lottery ticket suddenly has life.

Here are the current odds to win the national championship, updated after the playoff rankings were released (prices courtesy of 5dimes). 

Oregon  +375 
Alabama  +450
TCU +650
Florida State  +750
Mississippi St +750
Ohio St +800
Baylor  +1400
Arizona St +2600
Mississippi +2600
Georgia  +3500
Auburn +5000
Nebraska +5000
UCLA +17500

Here’s a snapshot of the top 8 teams with win probability data courtesy of our friends at the Prediction machine.

#8: Ohio St

Ohio State chances of winning out (regular season): 68.0% … Chances of winning out through B1G title: 34.9%

Hardest games remaining: 11/15 @ Minnesota, 12/6 Big Ten Title Game

Ohio St will need some help to get into the postseason. However they have a very manageable schedule themselves to put the pressure on the committee.  Win out, my gut tells me OSU finds a way to get in there as the 4 seed.

#7: Baylor

Baylor chances of winning out: 69.9%

Hardest game remaining: 12/6 vs Kansas St

Baylor has 3 games remaining, all at home, with a season finale against Kansas State their last chance to make a statement.  Will the KSU win mean as much to them then as it did to TCU this past weekend?  I’m not quite sure but a Bears team at 11-1 in my opinion are a better football team than the Frogs.

#6: Arizona St

ASU is 34.5% likely to win out through regular season and 13.2% likely to win out through the conference championship game.

Hardest (potential) games remaining: 11/28 @ Arizona, 12/5 vs Oregon

ASU still isn’t a top 10 caliber team in the eyes of oddsmakers.  You can’t take anything away from the way the Sun Devils are playing right now but including them in the top 6? Cmon now…win out and the tune will change a bit but I don’t see it happening.

#5: Alabama

Alabama chances of winning out (regular season): 44.9% … Chances of winning out through SEC title game: 32.0%

Hardest games remaining: 11/15 vs Mississippi St, 11/29 vs Auburn, 12/6 SEC Title

Win and you’re in… simple as that.

#4: TCU

TCU chances of winning out (regular season): 69.5%

Hardest game remaining: 11/27 @ Texas

TCU has put together an impressive season no doubt.  They have one major test left against their in-state rival Texas to close the regular season.  Talk about a big game to win an in-state battle and get into the clubhouse at 11-1, potentially cementing a postseason bid.

#3: Florida St

Florida State chances of going 12-0 are 21.5%. Seminoles chances of going 13-0 (through ACC title game) are 17.1%.

Hardest game remaining: 11/15 @ Miami

FSU’s profile has hit rock bottom in the eyes of the committee with the Noles dropping a spot despite grabbing their 25th win in a row.  Regardless of how the voters feel about the Seminoles, winning out will solve all their problems.

#2: Oregon

Oregon chances of winning out (regular season): 73.8% … Chances of winning out through Pac-12 Title… 53.5%.

Hardest game remaining: 12/5 Pac 12 Title Game

Aside from Marcus Mariota I’m still skeptical of the talent mix on this roster.  Oregon still has a “bad” loss dropping a 31-24 decision at home to Arizona as 3 touchdown favorites.  Injuries are starting to mount for the Ducks but as it stands right now if they finish the season 12-1 they won’t be kept out.

#1: Mississippi St

Mississippi State chances of going 12-0 = 11.3%. Bulldogs chances of 13-0 (through SEC Title Game) are 7.4%.

Hardest Games remaining: 11/15 @ Alabama, 11/29 @ Miss 

I don’t think MSU wins this weekend. Let’s put it out there.  However I still believe their potential resume at 11-1 without a birth in the SEC title game might be good enough to keep them in the playoff discussion.

Upset Alert: Minnesota +12 Over Ohio St

I had to reach this week to find a team that could be knocked from the top 10 this week.  How will OSU handle prosperity and duplicate the outstanding effort we saw last week in East Lansing? Maybe they don’t given the arctic chill and physical running game they’ll encounter against the Gophers.  Call it a longshot but this could be the game in the Big Ten that no one’s talking about this weekend.

Upset Alert Current Record: 6-2 ATS, 3-5 SU

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

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.