Vegas Poll

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There comes a time in every college football season when we’re forced to endure the unveiling of the BCS rankings, at least for one more year.  I’m taking this opportunity to get any lingering frustrations off my chest a week before the first BCS numbers are actually released.  In the betting community there is an alternative to this ridiculous somewhat arbitrary system that college football has accepted as the gospel; oddsmakers.  Depending on who you ask, power numbers (fancy oddsmaker/bettor talk for rankings) look very different from the AP and Coaches poll especially with half a season already in the books. The guys setting numbers for a living don’t have the luxury of evaluating teams incorrectly. There’s minimal debate on which hierarchy is more accurate and I introduce to you the Las Vegas power poll that we’ll roll out here at OKTC every Monday from now until we know which schools are headed to Pasadena for the national championship.

Before unveiling the top 15 teams in the country, those new to the Vegas poll need to realize our job in the desert isn’t to reward the most “deserving” teams with a place in the national championship instead it’s meant to identify the best teams. As you look through the schools listed below you’ll notice the similarities between the 3 polls stop after the top 2 spots.  There are major discrepancies from the 3 hole on down considering the AP ranks Clemson as the 3rd best team in the land yet the Tigers opened as 3 point home underdogs for this Saturday night’s clash with Florida State. I wonder why that’s the case if we’ve come to rely on the AP and Coaches poll as reliable power indicators for college sports.  Without further adieu, here are the 2 major polls (AP & Coaches) compared side by side with our Las Vegas Power Poll used by oddsmakers to set lines on every D-1 team.

(*Every oddsmaker does not use this set of rankings, this is our power poll)

  Vegas AP Coaches
1 Alabama Alabama Alabama
2 Oregon Oregon Oregon
3 Florida State Clemson Ohio St
4 LSU Ohio State Clemson
5 Stanford Florida State Florida State
6 Baylor LSU Louisville
7 Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas A&M
8 S. Carolina Louisville LSU
9 Ohio St UCLA S. Carolina
10 Georgia Miami FL UCLA
11 Wisconsin S. Carolina Miami FL
12 Oklahoma Baylor Baylor
13 Florida Stanford Stanford
14 Clemson Missouri Missouri
15 UCLA Georgia Texas Tech
T-22 Louisville    
T-24 Missouri    
T-26 Miami    
T-34 Texas Tech    


After a quick glance you’ll notice 4 teams; Louisville, Missouri, Miami FL, and Texas Tech aren’t held in the same regard by Vegas as they are by pollsters.  Honestly, after watching Tech a few times this year the fact they’re ranked 15th in the Coaches Poll because they’re undefeated is comical.  Call it a hunch but if Tech played road games at Arizona St and at Ohio State like the Wisconsin Badgers already did, they’d have 2 blemishes on their record too.  Our goal as oddsmakers isn’t to use the pointspread as a predictive measure of what will happen but rather to force bettors to make tough choices when they bet games. That’s exactly why you see the nation’s third best team (allegedly Clemson) as underdogs in their own stadium this very weekend.  Just do me a favor when a ranked team is an underdog to a side without an alpha numeric beside them in the popularity poll; refrain from calling it an upset if the favorite wins because it just makes you look like an idiot.

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.

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 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.