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College Football Rankings: NCAAF Top 25 (After Week 3)

C.J. Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes 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 third weekend of the 2022 season was headlined by Penn State's road win at Auburn, Texas A&M rebounding to beat Miami, Appalachian State's last-second victory over Troy, and Washington's dominant home win against Michigan State. 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 3 top 25 rankings. With the third 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 3)

1. Georgia (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated South Carolina

Another week, another dominant performance by the Bulldogs. Georgia’s defense allowed just 4.8 yards per play to the Gamecocks and over 100 of the 306 yards allowed came in the fourth quarter when the outcome was no longer in doubt. Quarterback Stetson Bennett (16 of 23 for 284 yards and 2 TDs) and tight end Brock Bowers (five catches for 121 yards and two scores) led the way for the offense in a 48-7 win.

2. Alabama (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated ULM

The Crimson Tide took some of their frustration out from a sluggish performance at Texas by beating ULM 63-7 on Saturday. The offense averaged 8.6 yards per play behind a strong rushing attack (273 yards), and Alabama’s defense allowed only 169 yards to the Warhawks. 

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

Not much went wrong for the Buckeyes on Saturday night. Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba returned to the lineup after missing one game due to injury, helping the offense amass 763 total yards (9.8 per play) in a 77-21 victory over Toledo. Quarterback C.J. Stroud didn’t miss often (22 of 27) and threw for 367 yards and five scores.

4. Michigan (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated UConn

Total domination. That’s the best way to sum up Michigan’s win over UConn (59-0) to move to 3-0 on the season. The Wolverines have won their first three games by a combined score of 166-17.

5. Clemson (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Louisiana Tech

DJ Uiagalelei threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and guided the offense to an average of seven yards a snap in a 48-20 win over Louisiana Tech. The Tigers have two huge tests upcoming with Wake Forest and NC State up next.

6. USC (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Fresno State

The Trojans have scored at least 40 points in each of their first three games after a 45-17 victory over Fresno State on Saturday night. Defense (6.8 yards per play allowed) remains an issue, but USC’s offense won’t be easy to stop this year.

7. Arkansas (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Missouri State

The Razorbacks had to work harder than most expected in Bobby Petrino’s return to Fayetteville. Arkansas lost three turnovers and gave up too many big plays in the passing game, but quarterback K.J. Jefferson accounted for 425 yards and two scores), running back Rocket Sanders ran for 167 yards, and Bryce Stephens had a timely punt return for a score to lift the Razorbacks to a 38-27 win.

8. Oklahoma (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Nebraska

Nebraska jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but it was all Sooners the rest of the way. Oklahoma’s offense was rarely stopped by the Cornhuskers thanks to 580 total yards (6.9 per play), with 312 coming on the ground. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel accounted for 285 total yards and led seven scoring drives on the Sooners’ first 10 possessions.  

9. Kentucky (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Youngstown State

The Wildcats defeated Youngstown State 31-0 to pitch the program’s first shutout since 2009. Quarterback Will Levis threw for 377 yards and two scores, but the offense still has room to improve on the ground (103 yards) and in pass protection (four sacks allowed).

10. Tennessee (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Akron

Akron was Tennessee’s final tune-up before SEC play starts next week, and the Volunteers appear to be firing on all cylinders after a 63-6 win. The offense averaged nearly 10 yards a snap (9.7), while the defense limited the Zips to 276 yards and no play went longer than 24 yards.

11. Penn State (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Auburn

The Nittany Lions dominated Auburn 41-12 on Saturday. Penn State only outgained the Tigers 477 to 415, but coach James Franklin’s squad forced four turnovers and went five-for-five (compared to two of four for Auburn) in red zone trips. Running back Nick Singleton (124 yards and two scores) continued his breakout freshman campaign.

12. Oklahoma State (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff

As expected, the Cowboys had no trouble with Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Oklahoma State used 538 yards on offense and scored on four of its first five drives to pull away for an easy 63-7 win.

13. Utah (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated San Diego State

Kyle Whittingham’s team has rebounded from its opening week loss to Florida with back-to-back dominant performances against Southern Utah and San Diego State. In Saturday’s 35-7 win over the Aztecs, quarterback Cam Rising threw four touchdowns, and the defense allowed only 173 yards (3.1 yards per play).

14. Oregon (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated BYU

A 46-point loss to Georgia in the season opener skewed just how good Oregon can be in 2022 (and how wide the gap is to the Bulldogs to most of college football right now). The Ducks erased some of the bad feelings from the opener with a convincing 41-20 win over BYU on Saturday. Quarterback Bo Nix accounted for five touchdowns, and the defense held the Cougars to just 366 yards. 

15. BYU (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Lost to Oregon

Following up last week’s physical battle in overtime against Baylor with a road trip to Oregon was a tough assignment for coach Kalani Sitake’s team. Both sides of the ball had their share of issues in the 41-20 loss, as the offense was unable to establish the run (61 yards), and the defense allowed nearly seven yards a play (6.9). 

16. Washington (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Michigan State

The Huskies are one of college football's most-improved teams under new coach Kalen DeBoer and join the top 25 after a convincing 39-28 win over Michigan State. DeBoer has the offense rolling behind quarterback Michael Penix, who threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's victory.

17. NC State (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Texas Tech

A strong defensive effort helped NC State overcome a sluggish performance by its offense (270 yards) to beat Texas Tech 27-14. The Wolfpack returned one of their three picks for a score, sacked the Red Raiders four times and allowed just two third-down conversions. 

18. Baylor (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Texas State

The Bears were hungry to bounce back after last week’s overtime loss to BYU, and coach Dave Aranda’s team had no trouble with Texas State in a 42-7 win. Baylor churned out 293 rushing yards, and the defense limited the Bobcats to just 3.8 yards per snap.

19. Ole Miss (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Georgia Tech

With wins over Troy and Central Arkansas, Ole Miss was largely a mystery going into Week 3. And while Georgia Tech ranks among the worst Power 5 teams in 2022, several aspects of Ole Miss’ 42-0 victory on Saturday was noteworthy. Quarterback Jaxson Dart (10 of 16 for 207 yards) continues to look more comfortable under center, the ground game recorded 316 yards, and the defense limited the Yellow Jackets to 214 yards.

20. Wake Forest (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Liberty

The Demon Deacons were favored by double-digits but needed a stop on a two-point play to hold off Liberty in a 37-36 win. Quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 325 yards and three scores to overcome two picks and a lackluster ground game (21 yards). Four forced turnovers by Wake Forest’s defense was also instrumental in the win.

21. Texas (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated UTSA

No post-Alabama hangover for coach Steve Sarkisian’s team in a 41-20 win over UTSA. Despite quarterback Quinn Ewers sidelined due to injury, the Longhorns held off Roadrunners’ upset bid thanks to 298 rushing yards and a couple of timely stops and plays on defense. Hudson Card was steady (161 passing yards), but running back Bijan Robinson (183 yards and three scores) delivered to move the Longhorns to 2-1.

22. Florida (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated USF

USF was a 20-plus point underdog but nearly pulled off the upset in the Swamp. Florida’s defense was off balance all night, as the Bulls ran for 286 yards to control the time of possession (36:19). However, coach Billy Napier’s concerns weren’t limited to the defense. Quarterback Anthony Richardson struggled through the air (112 yards on 10 completions) and tossed two costly interceptions. A missed field goal by USF with less than 25 seconds left preserved the win for the Gators. 

23. Appalachian State (2-1)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Troy

With time winding down and just one play left, the Mountaineers appeared to be on their way to a letdown loss versus Troy after last week's win over Texas A&M. But coach Shawn Clark's team delivered one of the best moments of the college football season so far, as quarterback Chase Brice connected on a Hail Mary pass on the final play to win 32-28 over Troy. 

24. Florida State (3-0)
Week 3 Result:
Defeated Louisville

Despite losing quarterback Jordan Travis and standout end Jared Verse, the Seminoles found a way to earn a comeback win on the road in Louisville. Florida State is now 3-0 for the first time since 2015.

25. Cincinnati (2-1)
Week 3 Result: Defeated Miami (Ohio)

Thanks to a couple of turnovers and sloppy play early on, the Bearcats trailed Miami (Ohio) 17-7 early in the second quarter. However, coach Luke Fickell's team dominated the rest of the way, limiting the RedHawks to just 183 total yards in a 38-17 win.

The Next Tier: Michigan State, Oregon State, Miami, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Syracuse, Washington State, Kansas, Pitt, LSU, Mississippi State