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College Football Rankings: NCAAF Top 25 (After Week 2)

Stetson Bennett, Georgia Bulldogs 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 second weekend of the 2022 season was headlined by Appalachian State's upset of Texas A&M, Marshall's victory over Notre Dame, BYU's overtime win versus Baylor and Alabama's close call against Texas. Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan take the top four spots, with Clemson at No. 5 and USC at No. 6 in the post-Week 2 top 25 rankings. With the second 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 2)

1. Georgia (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Samford

The Bulldogs didn’t need to work hard to move to 2-0 and claim the No. 1 spot in the Athlon Top 25 after Week 2. The offense recorded 478 yards, and the defense limited Samford to only 128 yards in an easy 33-0 victory.

2. Alabama (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Texas

A win is a win, but Alabama was a big favorite and needed a last-minute field goal to escape Austin with the victory over Texas. Quarterback Bryce Young came up big when it mattered, and the defense limited the Longhorns to 5.5 play and made timely stops when needed. The Crimson Tide need better play up front and along the offensive line to win it all in 2022.

3. Ohio State (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Arkansas State

Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn’t play, but the Buckeyes didn’t miss their top target in a 45-12 victory over Arkansas State. Quarterback C.J. Stroud tossed four scores, and receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. continued his breakout season by catching seven passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.

4. Michigan (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Hawaii

As expected, the Wolverines had no trouble in Saturday’s weather-delayed win over Hawaii. After Cade McNamara started the opener against Colorado State, J.J. McCarthy got his chance to make a case for the starting quarterback job by completing 11 of 12 passes for 229 yards and three scores. And after McCarthy's standout performance (combined with a strong fall practice), coach Jim Harbaugh declared the sophomore as the team's starter next week. 

5. Clemson (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Furman

The Tigers had a short turnaround after playing on Monday night against Georgia Tech, so it’s not a surprise coach Dabo Swinney’s team looked a little sluggish at times. Furman outgained Clemson 384 to 376, but the Tigers won 35-12 on the scoreboard.

6. USC (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Stanford

Lincoln Riley’s Pac-12 debut was a successful one. Behind the standout play of quarterback Caleb Williams (341 yards), USC recorded 505 yards (eight yards a snap) and had a 41-14 lead in the third quarter before winning 41-28 over Stanford. The defense has work to do, but the Trojans can simply outscore most of the teams on their schedule.

7. Arkansas (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated South Carolina

Quarterback K.J. Jefferson had another standout performance, but the real story of the Razorbacks’ 14-point win over South Carolina was the play in the trenches. Arkansas ran for 295 yards behind Jefferson and running back Rocket Sanders, while the defense allowed only 40 rushing yards and generated six sacks.

8. Oklahoma (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Kent State

The Sooners only led 7-3 at halftime against Kent State, but coach Brent Venables’ squad picked it up over the final 30 minutes to secure a 33-3 victory. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed 21 of 28 throws for 296 yards and three scores, and the defense limited the Golden Flashes to four yards a play.

9. BYU (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Baylor

The Cougars vault into the top 10 after winning a physical 26-20 battle against Baylor in overtime. Quarterback Jaren Hall (23 of 39 for 261 yards and a score) was the difference in the game, while BYU's defense limited the Bears to just 2.9 yards per carry.

10. Kentucky (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Florida

Mark Stoops is now the winningest coach in Kentucky school history after Saturday night’s 26-16 victory over Florida. The Wildcats got just enough offense (272 yards) from quarterback Will Levis and a ground game that improved over the contest, while the defense limited the Gators to just 4.3 yards per play, forced two turnovers and returned an interception for a touchdown.

11. Tennessee (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Pitt

The Volunteers got revenge for Pitt’s win in Knoxville last season, overcoming a slow start to win 34-27 in the Steel City. Quarterback Hendon Hooker (325 yards and two scores) and receiver Cedric Tillman (nine catches for 162 yards and a touchdown) came up big for a Tennessee offense that recorded 416 total yards. 

12. Florida (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Lost to Kentucky

A week after scoring arguably the best victory in Week 1, Florida looked like a different team in a loss to Kentucky. Quarterback Anthony Richardson found no running room (four yards) and struggled through the air (14 of 35 for 143 yards). Also, one of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown and another resulted in a six-yard scoring drive for the Wildcats.

13. Utah (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Southern Utah

The Utes took out their frustration from the Week 1 loss with a 73-7 rout of Southern Utah. 

14. Baylor (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Lost to BYU

No shame in an overtime loss to BYU, but coach Dave Aranda's team needs more from its passing game (137 yards). 

15. NC State (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Charleston Southern

After a close call against East Carolina in Week 1, the anxiety level for the Wolfpack was significantly lower on Saturday. Quarterback Devin Leary tossed four touchdown passes and 238 yards to help NC State crush Charleston Southern 55-3. 

16. Oklahoma State (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Arizona State

Spencer Sanders accounted for over 300 yards of total offense and three overall scores to help Oklahoma State put away Arizona State in a 34-17 win. After struggling on defense in the second half of last week's victory over Central Michigan, the Cowboys limited the Sun Devils to 354 yards and just two third-down conversions on 13 attempts. 

17. Michigan State (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Akron

The Spartans look ready for next week’s showdown at Washington after an easy 52-0 win over Akron on Saturday. 

18. Miami (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Southern Miss

A 14-point third quarter helped Miami pull away for a 30-7 victory against Southern Miss. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke threw for 241 yards and a score, and the defense pitched a shutout of the Golden Eagles in the second half. After playing Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss, Miami will have a better idea of where this team stands with a trip to College Station to play Texas A&M on tap in Week 3.

19. Oregon (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Eastern Washington

Bo Nix’s five touchdown passes and a strong defensive effort (just 187 yards allowed) ensured new Oregon coach Dan Lanning was a winner in his home debut (70-14 over Eastern Washington).

20. Wake Forest (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Vanderbilt

Sam Hartman showed no rust in his return to the lineup by completing 18 of 27 throws for 300 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-25 victory against Vanderbilt.

21. Penn State (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Ohio

Freshman running back Nick Singleton recorded 179 rushing yards and two touchdowns to help Penn State cruise to a 46-10 win over Ohio. 

22. Texas (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Lost to Alabama

Let's give the Longhorns some credit in a losing effort and bump coach Steve Sarkisian's team into the top 25. Although Texas fell short against Alabama, Saturday's performance (and near victory) was impressive considering starting quarterback Quinn Ewers was lost in the first quarter due to injury. Let's see if the Longhorns can build from here. 

23. Mississippi State (2-0)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Arizona

Quarterback Will Rogers continued his hot start to the season by throwing for 313 yards and four touchdowns to beat Arizona 39-17 in Tucson.

24. Appalachian State (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Texas A&M

The Mountaineers join the top 25 after a stunning victory in College Station. Appalachian State's coaching staff had the perfect gameplan in place, controlling time of possession 41:29 to 18:31 and running for 171 yards against Texas A&M's standout defense. Also, Appalachian State's defense allowed only 186 yards (4.9 yards per snap) and just one offensive touchdown.

25. Cincinnati (1-1)
Week 2 Result:
Defeated Kennesaw State

Ben Bryant threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and Cincinnati’s defense held Kennesaw State to just 3.3 yards per play in a 63-10 blowout.  

The Next Tier: Ole Miss, Oregon State, Air Force, Florida State, Kansas State, Minnesota and North Carolina