Week 14 Power Rankings, Ratings and Odds
There are only 10 conference championship games plus a rescheduled Akron vs. Buffalo game with the Bulls vying for bowl eligibility coming up this week. Only 84 of the 131 FBS teams still have games left to play. There are 41 bowl games after conference championships and Week 15 is reserved for Army vs. Navy, where neither team can reach bowl eligibility unless the Black Knights get a waiver from the NCAA for having two wins over FCS teams this season. It does look like we’ll have at least a couple of 5-7 teams bowling based on a lack of available programs with six wins.
I still do my power ratings for all 131 teams, though, because I use my end-of-season numbers as a guide for the upcoming season. Perhaps that carries a lot less weight with the transfer portal and all of the offseason craziness, but I still like to know where a team started, where it ended and how it looks going into the following season.
I’ll write up some parting thoughts on power ratings when I publish my bowl numbers, which will be subject to change as players sit out or opt to transfer and head coaches and coordinators are moving all around. We’ve already seen the coaching carousel heat up, with Willie Fritz to Georgia Tech, Luke Fickell to Wisconsin, Kenny Dillingham to Arizona State and the abrupt resignation of David Shaw at Stanford. Teams will be losing coordinators for some of these important games or at least have some noteworthy distractions.
Take a team like Tulane, for example. The Green Wave host the AAC Championship Game this week with Fritz already named the head coach at Georgia Tech. But, there’s obviously tons of motivation to win a conference crown. It’s the game after this one that you worry about, but you know it is a distraction for the players. Those things are not accounted for at all in a raw power rating, but absolutely should be part of the handicap.
Here are my Power Ratings for Week 14:
Here are my Week 14 power ratings adjustments:
Up: NC State +2, Boise State +1.5, Missouri +3, Colorado State +2, Nebraska +2.5, Florida +1.5, Oregon State +2, Purdue +4, Duke +2, South Carolina +2.5, Kentucky +1.5, Temple +3, Kent State +2.5, Georgia State +1.5, Akron +2, Michigan +2, BYU +2, Nevada +2.5, Notre Dame +2.5, Washington +1.5, Texas A&M +1.5, San Jose State +1.5, UTEP +2.5, Louisiana +1.5, Air Force +2, Arizona State +2
Down: Ohio -6 (Rourke injury), Ole Miss -1.5, North Carolina -2, Arizona -3, Arkansas -2, New Mexico -2, Iowa -2.5, Florida State -2, Cincinnati -5 (Bryant inj; Fickell; motivation), Oregon -3, Kansas -2.5, Indiana -2, Syracuse -1, Georgia -1.5, Wake Forest -1.5, Maryland -2.5, Clemson -2.5, Louisville -2, Liberty -6, UCF -3, East Carolina -3, Buffalo -1.5, Marshall -1, Ohio State -2, Stanford -3, UNLV -2.5, LSU -1.5, Oklahoma State -3, UTSA -1.5, Texas State -1.5, San Diego State -2
Injury: Toledo -6 (if Finn out), Coastal Carolina +8 (if McCall returns), Akron +3 (if Irons returns)
Some notes on the big movers:
Ohio -6: Kurtis Rourke is out for the season. Sure, Ohio beat Bowling Green 38-14, but backup CJ Harris was just 10-of-21 passing for 196 yards and had 12 carries for 65 yards. Bowling Green committed all four of the game’s turnovers. There are QB questions for both teams heading into the MAC Championship Game, but we know that Rourke is out. Dequan Finn may not be.
Liberty -6: The Flames just totally quit on the season with Hugh Freeze halfway out the door. Getting wrecked by New Mexico State is a really, really bad look. Liberty was outgained by 113 yards and gave up 49 points. That’s an unfathomably poor performance.
Cincinnati -5: I didn’t realize just how lackluster the Bearcats were without Ben Bryant. Now they’ll also say goodbye to Luke Fickell, who did an outstanding job recruiting. Expect a fairly big exodus via the transfer portal between now and the bowl game.
Purdue +4: It seems like Purdue has gotten back on track with Aidan O’Connell a bit healthier. My numbers have been low on Purdue for a little while now, so this is a bit of a correction to that, especially last week when I was way off on the Purdue/Indiana line.
Missouri +3: I’m not sure if Eli Drinkwitz’s job was on the line against Arkansas, but that was a nice win and a big offensive showing for a team that had a really strong defense throughout the season.
Oklahoma State -3: The Cowboys have lost four of five, including a loss to a West Virginia team with nothing to play for in the finale. Spencer Sanders didn’t play and he should be back for a bowl game, but I am not impressed with how Oklahoma State has finished up the season. Maybe they rally for a bowl game. We’ll have to see what the matchup is, but for now, I dropped them a bit.
Oregon -3: Can Bo Nix be healthy by the bowl game for the Ducks? My line wound up too high for the Civil War and I think it’s largely because of Nix’s status, but the Ducks also lost outright despite being +3 in turnover margin. Oregon State ran for over six yards per carry. Not a great look for Oregon in the finale.
Here are my Week 14 lines (did add HFA to some neutral-site games):
* unless noted, the game is played at the home team’s venue
Some games to consider:
Utah +3 (PK) vs. USC: I’ll wait and see if I can get a 3.5 here, as the hype train runs wild for USC. The Trojans probably do have a more impressive resume, but Kyle Whittingham as a dog of over a field goal in a big game seems enticing. I’m not rushing to bet on any game this week, but I’m watching this one.
North Carolina +8 (+4) vs. Clemson: Spencer Rattler just threw for 360 yards on Clemson. What’s Drake Maye going to do? I know the Tar Heels don’t have a good defense and really struggled in losses to Georgia Tech and NC State at home, but I see no reason for Clemson to be over a touchdown here.
We’ve still got plenty to talk about on the College Football Podcast and I’ll be on the Tuesday edition with Tim Murray. Rate, review, subscribe and check out the latest edition.