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College Football Rankings: NCAAF Top 25 (After Week 13)

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines Football

Weekly college football top 25 rankings are a big part of every season, and Athlon Sports will update its top 25 following the games each weekend. The 13th weekend of the 2022 season was headlined by Michigan's dominant victory over Ohio State, USC's win over Notre Dame and big rivalry victories by South Carolina, Oregon State, Florida State, and Washington. Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC take the top four spots, with Ohio State at No. 5, Alabama at No. 6 and Tennessee at No. 7 in the post-Week 13 top 25 rankings. With the 13th week of the 2022 season officially in the books, here are the top 25 teams in college football:

College Football Top 25 Rankings (After Week 13)

1. Georgia (12-0)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets made things interesting early, but Georgia eventually got on track and pulled away for a 36-14 victory. Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV was limited to just 135 yards on 10 completions, while the ground game gashed Georgia Tech for 269 yards. The Bulldogs have won five in a row over their in-state rival.

2. Michigan (12-0)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Ohio State

For the second year in a row, the Wolverines delivered a statement win against their biggest rival. A 45-23 victory over Ohio State clinched a trip to the Big Ten title game and likely ensured Michigan is headed back to the College Football Playoff. A passing game that struggled to hit on big plays for most of the season answered the bell on Saturday, as quarterback J.J. McCarthy torched the Buckeyes for 263 yards and three scores through the air. Also, running back Donovan Edwards ran for two long touchdowns, and the Wolverines allowed only three points in the second half to a high-powered offense.

3. TCU (12-0)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Iowa State

After a handful of close calls this year, TCU didn’t have sweat much in Saturday’s 62-14 victory over Iowa State. The Horned Frogs scored two times on defense, and quarterback Max Duggan (17 of 24 for 212 yards and three scores) was outstanding once again.

4. USC (11-1)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Notre Dame

Quarterback Caleb Williams continued to state his case for the Heisman Trophy, and USC moved one step closer to the CFB Playoff with a 38-27 victory over Notre Dame. Williams completed 18 of 22 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown and ran for three other scores on the ground in an all-around brilliant performance. Stopping the run was a concern for the Trojans’ defense all year, but this unit limited the Fighting Irish to just 90 yards on the ground. With a win in the Pac-12 title game next Friday, USC would book a trip to the playoff.

5. Ohio State (11-1)
Week 13 Result:
Lost to Michigan

Different year, same problems for Ohio State against Michigan. The Buckeyes couldn’t stop the big plays on the ground or through the air by the Wolverines. And in the second half, Ohio State’s high-powered offense recorded only 177 yards after having 315 in the first two quarters. Ohio State’s playoff hopes aren’t over, but it needs a loss by USC on Friday night.

6. Alabama (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Auburn

Quarterback Bryce Young threw for 343 yards and three scores and added another touchdown on the ground to help Alabama ease past Auburn 49-27. The Crimson Tide have defeated the Tigers six times in a row in Tuscaloosa.

7. Tennessee (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Vanderbilt

No Hendon Hooker? No problem for the Volunteers in a 56-0 blowout of Vanderbilt. Quarterback Joe Milton threw for 147 yards, but the real story was Tennessee’s ground game that churned out 362 yards and six scores on just 31 attempts. The win over the Commodores should ensure the Volunteers are in a New Year’s Six bowl.

8. Penn State (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Michigan State

The Nittany Lions defeated Michigan State 35-16 to clinch victory No. 10 this year and the program’s first double-digit win total since 2019. Quarterback Sean Clifford threw for 202 yards and four touchdowns in his final start in Happy Valley. 

9. Washington (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Washington State

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. torched Washington State's offense for 485 passing yards and three scores, as the Apple Cup heads back to Seattle following a 51-33 win on Saturday night. The Huskies averaged 10.5 yards per play against one of the Pac-12's top defenses.

10. Clemson (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Lost to South Carolina

Any longshot CFB Playoff hopes Clemson harbored ended on Saturday after a 31-30 loss to rival South Carolina. The Tigers’ seven-game winning streak over their in-state rival was stopped due to a lackluster passing game (99 yards) and an inability to stop the Gamecocks’ passing attack (360 yards). Also, three turnovers contributed to the loss.

11. Florida State (9-3)
Week 13 Result
: Defeated Florida

Quarterback Jordan Travis accounted for 353 total yards and three scores to lead Florida State to a thrilling 45-38 victory over Florida on Friday night. The Seminoles defeated both Miami and Florida in the same season for the first time since 2016 to cap the program’s best year under coach Mike Norvell.

12. LSU (9-3)
Week 13 Result:
Lost to Texas A&M

Brian Kelly’s first year was a massive success with a trip to the SEC Championship up next, but the Tigers ended the regular season on a down note with a 38-23 loss to Texas A&M. LSU had no answer to slow down Devon Achane (215 rushing yards) and a handful of other small mistakes added up to the 15-point defeat in College Station.

13. Kansas State (9-3)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Kansas

The Wildcats are headed back to the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time since 2003 after Saturday night’s 47-27 win over rival Kansas. The victory was K-State’s 14th in a row over the Jayhawks. 

14. Utah (9-3)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Colorado

The Utes finished their regular season by beating Colorado 63-21 on Saturday night. However, the good news for coach Kyle Whittingham's team didn't stop there. With Oregon's loss to Oregon State and Washington's win over Washington State, Utah clinched a return trip to the Pac-12 title game.

15. Oregon State (9-3)
Week 13 Result: Defeated Oregon

Hopes of a victory seemed bleak when the Beavers trailed 31-10 to Oregon in the third quarter. However, a couple of timely stops, along with a prolific ground game (268 yards) allowed coach Jonathan Smith’s team to rally for a 38-34 victory. Oregon State’s nine victories in ’22 were the most since the ’12 season (9-4).

16. Oregon (9-3)
Week 13 Result:
Lost to Oregon State

The Ducks led Oregon State 31-10 and seemed in control of things late in the third quarter. However, a handful of mistakes, turnovers, and an inability to finish drives came back to haunt coach Dan Lanning's team in the 38-34 loss. 

17. UCLA (9-3)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated California

A prolific day on the ground (352 rushing yards) led the way for UCLA in a 35-28 victory over California. The Bruins' 9-3 record is the best mark of coach Chip Kelly's five-year tenure.

18. Tulane (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Cincinnati

A big day from running back Tyjae Spears (181 yards and two touchdowns) and the defense (held Cincinnati to 4.9 yards per play) lifted Tulane to a 27-24 win over the Bearcats. The Green Wave will host the American Athletic Conference Championship Game next week and get a chance at revenge after losing to UCF on Nov. 12. The victory gave Tulane its first season of double-digit victories since 1998.

19. Notre Dame (8-4)
Week 13 Result:
Lost to USC

Marcus Freeman’s first regular season concluded with a 38-27 loss at USC on Saturday night. The Fighting Irish made things interesting in the second half, but the defense had no answer to slow down USC quarterback Caleb Williams, while the offense couldn’t finish on a couple of drives and struggled to get the ground game on track (90 yards on 26 attempts).

20. South Carolina (8-4)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Clemson

A week after stunning Tennessee, Shane Beamer’s team notched its second major upset in a row by winning 31-30 against rival Clemson. Quarterback Spencer Rattler was sharp once again and connected 25 of 39 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Strong special teams play and timely defensive stops (three turnovers) also lifted South Carolina to the upset.

21. Texas (8-4)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Baylor

The Longhorns defeated Baylor 38-27 on Friday to improve their overall record to 8-4. The eight-win season was a step forward for second-year coach Steve Sarkisian but plenty of work remains for this program. Running back Bijan Robinson ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears in what could be his final game in a Longhorn uniform.

22. Mississippi State (8-4)
Week 13 Result
: Defeated Ole Miss

The Golden Egg returned to Starkville after Thursday night’s 24-22 win in Oxford. Mississippi State’s defense limited Ole Miss to just 74 rushing yards and stood tall when it mattered (forced three field goals). Quarterback Will Rogers was also solid (239 yards and two scores) in challenging weather conditions.

23. UCF (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated USF

The War on I-4 didn’t disappoint. UCF jumped out to a 31-7 lead but watched USF roar back to a 39-38 lead late in the fourth quarter. However, the Knights scored on a touchdown pass with 20 seconds left to end the Bulls’ upset bid and clinch a trip to the AAC Championship. The health of quarterback John Rhys Plumlee looms large going into next week’s game at Tulane.

24. Purdue (8-4)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated Indiana

The Boilermakers knocked off rival Indiana 30-16 and secured the Old Oaken Bucket on Saturday. However, that wasn't the biggest prize of the weekend for coach Jeff Brohm. Thanks to Nebraska's victory over Iowa, and Purdue's win over Indiana, Brohm's team is headed to the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time in program history. 

25. UTSA (10-2)
Week 13 Result:
Defeated UTEP

The Roadrunners join the top 25 after rallying from a 31-14 deficit to beat UTEP 34-31 on Saturday. The victory capped a perfect 8-0 season for UTSA in Conference USA games this year. Under coach Jeff Traylor’s watch, the Roadrunners are 22-4 over the last two seasons.

The Next Tier: Troy, North Carolina, Cincinnati, NC State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Boise State, South Alabama