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?

  Playoff Ranking   Todd  Don Best Advantage   PayneInsider   Ed Salmons
1 Alabama  Alabama  Alabama  Alabama  Alabama
2 Oregon  Oregon  Oregon  Georgia  Oregon *
3 Florida St  Ohio St  Baylor  Mississippi St  Baylor *
4 Mississippi St  Florida St  Ohio St  Oregon  TCU*
5 TCU  Miss St  Georgia  Florida St*  Miss St
6 Ohio St  Baylor  Florida St  Ohio St *  Ole Miss
7 Baylor  Georgia  UCLA  Auburn  Auburn
8 UCLA  Wisconsin   Wisconsin  Wisconsin  Ohio St*
9 Georgia  UCLA  Oklahoma  Baylor  Kansas St*
10 Michigan St  TCU  Michigan St  UCLA  Oklahoma*

*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

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.