Week 4 college football power ratings and betting lines

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Adam Burke shares his weekly college football power ratings

The 2023 college football season looks like it’s just going to be one of those years. There may not be an elite team in the sport and there have been some very surprising results to this point. We’ve also seen some teams look great one week and look absolutely awful the next week.

 

The dispersal of talent around the country is a big part of the equation. With the NIL, transfer portal, and college football’s version of free agency, recruiting may not mean as much as it did in the past because you can just go out and buy players that another program developed. It certainly helps to bring in as many top players as possible, but talented dudes are getting fresh starts every year and the talent pool is widening.

It can be very difficult trying to rate teams with the variance from week to week. Missouri nearly lost to Middle Tennessee in Week 2 and then was the better team against a Kansas State crew that crushed Troy the week before. (Troy then lost to a watered-down James Madison team at home)

Florida State scored 111 points against LSU and Southern Miss before getting outgained 457-340 (6.0 to 5.8 YPP) against a Boston College team that lost to Northern Illinois, who lost to Southern Illinois and got soundly beaten by Nebraska.

Nevada lost 33-6 to Idaho two weeks ago before taking Kansas to the wire with the Jayhawks over a three-touchdown road favorite. The box score certainly looked a lot better than the score for Kansas, but still.

Texas beat Alabama on the road in Tuscaloosa and it was a 10-10 game against Wyoming after three quarters before the Cowboys wore down.

The team to beat for the last 15 years has seemingly been the Crimson Tide and they mustered 14 points and played two quarterbacks (who were both awful) in the win over South Florida, but we know there’s a ton of talent there and it needs to be respected.

Colorado should have lost to Colorado State, but Jay Norvell’s bad coaching decisions opened the door and the Buffaloes romped through it. That was a Colorado State team that gave up 50 to Washington State and held Colorado to seven offensive points through three quarters.

These are just some of the examples through four weeks. More are coming. With the number of games and the number of teams, it is inevitable. The trick is to figure out how to properly value the teams when those games come along and it is not easy.

Not only do you have to roll with the punches of the teams, but also try to think about the past results. Some wins that looked impressive at that time don’t look that impressive now. Some programs that have consistently had success are not having it this season and may be worse than originally thought. Other programs are soaring higher than anticipated, so not only are you living in the present, but you’re also rehashing the past.

I feel like I’ve been bobbing and weaving with my Power Ratings a lot. Some teams have consistently been moved up or down, but I feel like I’m just rearranging the furniture with some teams. I’ve bumped them up, slid them down, bumped them up. The truth for most teams at this point lies somewhere in between, but it has been a bit of a struggle trying to ascertain what’s real and what isn’t thus far.

Here are my Week 4 College Football Power Ratings: