College Football Week 4 Rankings & Projections: Ohio State Still Climbing (2019)

Ohio State's destruction of Indiana moves them up to the favorite in the Big Ten (Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire)

In this post we highlight our biggest college football rankings and season projections changes heading into Week 4 of the season.

The highlights are below, but remember to check out the latest updates to our full college football projected standings and win totals and college football power ratings.

College Football Week 4 Ratings Updates

10 Biggest Ratings Increases for Week 4

Week 4 RankSchoolConferenceRatingRating ChangeTotal WinsTotal Win ChangeWeek 3 Result
99KansasBig 12- at Boston Col 48-24
50LA LafayetteSun Belt2.868.61.3W vs. Texas Southern 77-6
101Coastal CarSun Belt- vs. Norfolk St 46-7
58W MichiganMAC1. vs. Georgia State 57-10
82W VirginiaBig 12- vs. NC State 44-27
3Ohio StateBig Ten29.84.510.90.9W at Indiana 51-10
28TX ChristianBig at Purdue 34-13
47Arizona StPac- at Michigan St 10-7
107LibertyIndependent I-A- vs. Buffalo 35-17
73ToledoMAC- vs. Murray St 45-0
67NavyAAC- vs. E Carolina 42-10

Kansas got its first road win in over a decade, and did so in emphatic fashion, winning at Boston College by 24 points. That result rocketed Kansas up the rankings just a week after they lost at home to Coastal Carolina. Now (drum roll please) Kansas is not the lowest-rated Power Five school, as that honor goes to Rutgers.

It was a good week overall for the Big 12, as in addition to Kansas, West Virginia got their first win, and TCU picked up a big road win at Purdue. Kansas State (win at Mississippi State), Oklahoma (win at UCLA), and Oklahoma State (win at Tulsa) also improved their ratings by 2.0 or more points.

10 Biggest Ratings Decreases for Week 4

Week 4 RankSchoolConferenceRatingRating ChangeTotal WinsTotal Win ChangeWeek 3 Result
86Boston ColACC-5.9-8.64.5-2.5L vs. Kansas 48-24
76VA TechACC-2.6-5.85.6-1.1W vs. Furman 24-17
59NC StateACC1.1-5.36.6-1.5L at W Virginia 44-27
112Georgia StateSun Belt-15.1-4.94.9-1.3L at W Michigan 57-10
94WyomingMountain West-7.5-4.87.3-0.7W vs. Idaho 21-16
53IndianaBig Ten2.5-4.45.8-0.7L vs. Ohio State 51-10
111E CarolinaAAC-15-4.24.1-1L at Navy 42-10
79Arkansas StSun Belt-3.2-4.17.2-0.8L at Georgia 55-0
96GA TechACC-8.2-42.9-1.6L vs. The Citadel 27-24
9OregonPac-1219.2-49.3-0.5W vs. Montana 35-3

How bad is the ACC? The conference was already struggling before Week 3, and three ACC schools show up as the largest ratings declines heading into Week 4, while Georgia Tech also makes the list by losing at home to The Citadel. Our 2019 college football conference winner projections now have Clemson with an 87% chance to win the conference, and a 74% chance of going undefeated. The interesting question will be what happens with Clemson in the CFB Playoff if they do lose a game in the ACC.

Remember when Georgia State stunned Tennessee? Well, they lost to Western Michigan 57-10 and are back down among the bottom 20 teams in FBS.

The TR Top 25

These are predictive ratings, not rankings of what teams have accomplished by wins and losses. You can see the full 2019 college football power ratings here.

Several of the teams in the Top 25 have lost games, sometimes in upsets to teams below them in these ratings. Upsets happens, and if those results prove not to be anomalies as the season progresses, the ratings will adjust. Michigan State, Maryland, USC, and Mississippi State (barely) all remain in our Top 25 heading to Week 4 despite losses, usually of the close and sometimes excruciating variety.

3Ohio State29.8
7Oklahoma 23.1
8Notre Dame21.4
10Central Florida19.2
12Texas A&M18.3
13Penn State18.0
16Texas 15.2
17Michigan State14.4
20Washington State13.3
23USC 11.6
24Washington 11.2
25Mississippi State10.8

CFB Week 4 Projections Updates

Top Three Conference Championship Odds for Each Conference

ConferenceFavoriteOdds to Win2nd FavoriteOdds to Win3rd FavoriteOdds to Win 
Big 12Oklahoma57%Texas 18%Baylor/TCU7%
Big TenOhio State46%Wisconsin38%Penn State5%
Pac-12Oregon40%Utah 17%USC16%
AACCentral Florida59%Memphis13%Cincinnati6%
C USAMarshall25%Florida Atlantic22%Southern Miss21%
MACWestern Michigan26%Toledo26%Ohio23%
MWCBoise State35%Utah State18%Air Force16%
Sun BeltAppalachian St35%La Lafayette32%Arkansas State13%

The biggest climbers among the power conference teams in terms of conference title odds are the following: Clemson (ACC), Ohio State (Big Ten), Oklahoma (Big 12), Washington (Pac-12), and Georgia (SEC).

Several teams in the Big Ten East saw their title odds impacted negatively as Ohio State put up a second straight impressive performance. Add in losses for Maryland and Michigan State that lowered their ratings, and the Buckeyes were a big gainer this week.

The MAC and Conference USA are the most wide-open races as we get ready to enter conference play on a regular basis.

Biggest Increases in Odds of Going 6-6 or Better

RankTeamConference6 wins or betterchangeResult
47Arizona StPac-1282%41%W at Michigan St 10-7
107LibertyIndependent I-A75%37%W vs. Buffalo 35-17
101Coastal CarSun Belt62%30%W vs. Norfolk St 46-7
66MinnesotaBig Ten64%28%W vs. GA Southern 35-32
48DukeACC65%24%W at Middle Tenn 41-18
45TempleAAC94%22%W vs. Maryland 20-17
33NebraskaBig Ten72%22%W vs. N Illinois 44-8
51PittsburghACC60%21%L at Penn State 17-10
67NavyAAC73%20%W vs. E Carolina 42-10
90E MichiganMAC95%20%W at Illinois 34-31

While the bowl eligibility rules can be convoluted, and there is a possibility that a few schools could get into a bowl game with a losing record and have it decided by a variety of tiebreakers, generally you have to win 6 games to get an invite.

Here are the teams that have most improved their chances of getting to 6 wins with the results of the last week. Most did so by getting key swing wins or pulling upsets, though Pittsburgh saw their odds go up despite losing, because they only lost by seven points to Penn State. That’s little solace for Pitt fans knowing that their head coach opted to try for a FG from the Penn State one-yard line late in the fourth quarter when down by seven points.

Odds of Going 11-1 or Better in Regular Season

RankSchoolConference1 or fewer losses
10Central FLAAC69%
3Ohio StateBig Ten69%
7OklahomaBig 1263%
5WisconsinBig Ten57%
35Boise StateMountain West46%
8Notre DameIndependent I-A37%
46Air ForceMountain West19%
20Wash StatePac-1217%
74San Diego StMountain West17%
13Penn StateBig Ten16%

While factors like schedule strength and particular matchups will certainly play a role, one of the best indicators of being in the running for the College Football Playoff is being a Power Five Conference team that goes 11-1 or better.

(No team that has been 10-2 or worse before conference championship games has finished in the Top 4 in the CFP rankings yet.)

For those schools outside the Power Five, being able to get to 11 wins gives you a sense of who might get invited to one of the top BCS bowl games to play against the big boys.

Georgia and Notre Dame have a big matchup this week, and the winner should see their chances of getting to 11 wins shoot up even more, while the loser will have them severely impacted.

Playing in a college football pick’em contest or betting the games? Check out our Football Pick’em Picks and College Football Betting Picks.