Badgers Stunned, Pac-12 Playoff Hopes Rise — College Football Rankings & Projections Update (2019)

Justin Herbert and the Oregon Ducks have a path to the CFB Playoffs with a few more upsets (Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire)

In this post we highlight our biggest college football rankings and season projections changes heading into Week 9 of the 2019 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 9 Ratings Updates

10 Biggest Ratings Increases for Week 9

RankTeamConferenceRatingRating ChangeTotal WinsTotal Wins ChangeResult
76IllinoisBig Ten-3.844.81.4W vs. Wisconsin 24-23
81Ball StateMAC- vs. Toledo 52-14
38Air ForceMountain West6. at Hawaii 56-26
30App StateSun Belt8. vs. LA Monroe 52-7
96KansasBig 12- at Texas 50-48
36NavyAAC7. vs. S Florida 35-3
60UCLAPac- at Stanford 34-16
29VirginiaACC8. vs. Duke 48-14
108E MichiganMAC- vs. W Michigan 34-27
94VanderbiltSEC- vs. Missouri 21-14

Illinois pulled off the biggest upset in the Big Ten in many, many years when they beat Wisconsin on a last-second field goal 24-23. They closed as 28.5-point underdogs, and our ratings had Wisconsin as 37 points better on a neutral field. Since 1995, we have only one other record of a 4-touchdown underdog winning a Big Ten conference game — Illinois won as a 28-point dog at Michigan State back in 2006.

Ball State made a big jump in the MAC with a blowout win over Toledo, while Appalachian State continues to put up big results.

Vanderbilt shocked Missouri to move up, while Kansas nearly pulled off a big upset at Texas, only to come up short when the Longhorns got a field goal as time expired.

10 Biggest Ratings Decreases for Week 9

RankTeamConferenceRatingRating ChangeTotal WinsTotal Wins ChangeResult
99ToledoMAC-9.6-3.96.8-1.1L at Ball State 52-14
5WisconsinBig Ten25.6-3.79.7-1.2L at Illinois 24-23
49StanfordPac-123.0-3.35.3-1.1L vs. UCLA 34-16
57NorthwesternBig Ten1.4-3.24.1-0.6L vs. Ohio State 52-3
80HawaiiMountain West-4.6-3.17.9-0.9L vs. Air Force 56-26
25MissouriSEC10.7-3.17.8-1.3L at Vanderbilt 21-14
48DukeACC3.0-2.96.2-0.7L at Virginia 48-14
22TexasBig 1211.9-2.88.0-0.4W vs. Kansas 50-48
41TulaneAAC5.0-2.77.5-0.7L at Memphis 47-17
19Central FLAAC13.2-2.49.1-0.1W vs. E Carolina 41-28

Stanford is really struggling with injuries, especially at quarterback, and were beaten by UCLA.

In the Big Ten, Northwestern was the latest victim for Ohio State, losing by 49 points. Wisconsin dropped out of the top 4 in predictive rating with the loss to Illinois.

The TR Top 25

Note: These are predictive ratings, driven by margins of victory and not a team’s win-loss resume so far. You can see the full 2019 college football power ratings here.

1Ohio StateBig Ten38.6
5WisconsinBig Ten25.6
6Penn StateBig Ten25.1
7OklahomaBig 1224.5
11Notre DameIndependent I-A20.2
14MichiganBig Ten16.3
16IowaBig Ten13.5
18Texas A&MSEC13.2
19Central FLAAC13.2
20Michigan StBig Ten13.1
21Iowa StateBig 1213.0
22TexasBig 1211.9

The difference between Ohio State and the rest of the country continues to grow, as Alabama is the only team within 10 points of them on a neutral field in our ratings. Clemson moved back to No. 3 with their 45-10 win over Louisville, combined with Wisconsin’s loss.

Baylor just misses out on the Top 25 in our predictive ratings, but are undefeated. Other teams that are in the AP Top 25 and are outside our rankings include undefeated SMU (No. 33), Minnesota (No. 32), Appalachian State (No. 30), Boise State (No. 31), Arizona State (No. 44), and Wake Forest (No. 53).

CFB Week 9 Projections Updates

Top Three Conference Championship Odds for Each Conference

Conference1st FavoriteOdds to Win2nd FavoriteOdds to Win3rd FavoriteOdds to Win
ACCClemson92%Virginia6%No Carolina1%
Big 12Oklahoma75%Baylor13%Iowa State6%
Big TenOhio State74%Wisconsin17%Penn State8%
Pac 12Oregon59%Utah24%USC16%
C USALa Tech27%Fla Atlantic24%Marshall16%
MACBall State40%Ohio24%Western Michigan12%
MWCBoise State55%San Diego St13%Utah State10%
Sun BeltAppalachian St57%La Lafayette41%Georgia St1%

Texas dropped out of the top three in the Big 12 in terms of title odds, after a close call at home against Kansas. We now have them as a slight underdog at both Baylor and Iowa State in November.

Oregon solidified their Pac-12 North chances with the win at Washington.

Boise State lost their first game, at home to BYU, but it was out of conference, and they remain the Mountain West favorites.

There was a big shakeup in Conference USA with Marshall’s road win at Florida Atlantic. Louisiana Tech is now the favorite to win the conference, while Marshall is very much in the mix.

Ball State is now the favorite in the wide-open MAC after their big victory at Toledo, combined with Western Michigan getting upset at Eastern Michigan.

Biggest Increases in Odds of Going 6-6 or Better

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 their eligibility decided by a variety of tiebreakers, generally you have to win six games to get an invite.

Here are the teams that have most improved their chances of getting to six wins with the results of the last week.

RankTeamConferenceBowl EligibleBowl Eligible ChangeResult
108E MichiganMAC86%35%W vs. W Michigan 34-27
65BYUIndependent I-A91%28%W vs. Boise State 28-25
77VA TechACC84%23%W vs. N Carolina 43-41
81Ball StateMAC92%23%W vs. Toledo 52-14
86MarshallCUSA93%20%W at Fla Atlantic 36-31
46Kansas StBig 1285%20%W vs. TX Christian 24-17
35IndianaBig Ten95%18%W at Maryland 34-28
76IllinoisBig Ten18%18%W vs. Wisconsin 24-23
73Boston ColACC31%17%W vs. NC State 45-24
28Wash StatePac-1289%17%W vs. Colorado 41-10

Illinois’ chances of getting to 6-6 were less than 1% before the Wisconsin win. Now, a bowl game is at least in the realm of possibility. Indiana, meanwhile, got a big road win at Maryland and looks like they will be playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2016 (the last time the Hoosiers finished a year with a winning record was back in 2007).

Kansas State won a big swing game in the Big 12 against TCU, while Virginia Tech won a wild 6-OT game over North Carolina to move to 5 wins on the season.

Odds of Going 11-1 or Better in Regular Season

While factors like schedule strength and particular matchups 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.

RankTeamConference1 or 0 Losses
1Ohio StateBig Ten96%
7OklahomaBig 1284%
30App StateSun Belt72%
6Penn StateBig Ten61%
31Boise StateMountain West44%
26BaylorBig 1233%
11Notre DameIndependent I-A32%
33S MethodistAAC30%

Wisconsin’s loss to Illinois opens up the CFB Playoff picture and makes a second Big Ten participant unlikely. That result, combined with the Georgia loss a week earlier, also means the Pac-12 has a puncher’s chance of getting a team selected. Oregon won a big game at Washington while Utah crushed Colorado.

November 2nd sets up as a huge day in the Pac-12, for the conference’s outside hopes of crashing the CFB Playoff party. On that day, Oregon travels to USC and Utah plays at Washington. Right now, we give Oregon a 40% of winning out, and Utah a 36% chance of doing the same, and those are the biggest single hurdles for each. The Pac-12 teams still likely need at least one more upset of Oklahoma or Clemson to get into the conversation, but the opportunity is there.

Until Next Week…

Enjoy college football Week 9, and if you’re in a pick’em contest or planning on betting some of the Week 9 games, please check out our Football Pick’em Picks and College Football Betting Picks.