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College Football Rankings: NCAAF Top 25 (After Week 4)

Hendon Hooker, Tennessee Volunteers 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 fourth weekend of the 2022 season was headlined by Tennessee's victory over Florida, Ohio State's blowout of Wisconsin, USC's road win at Oregon State, and Texas A&M's close victory over Arkansas. 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 4 top 25 rankings. With the fourth 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 4)

1. Georgia (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Kent State

Kent State gave Georgia a tougher battle than most expected, but coach Kirby Smart’s team still won by 17 in a 39-22 victory. The Bulldogs lost three turnovers and gave up 5.4 yards per play to the Golden Flashes, so Smart and his staff will have plenty to work on this week.

2. Alabama (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Vanderbilt

As expected, the Crimson Tide cruised to a big win (55-3) over Vanderbilt on Saturday night. Alabama has won three out of its four games this season by 50 or more points. The defense allowed only 129 yards to the Commodores, while quarterback Bryce Young was sharp (25 of 36 for 385 yards and four touchdowns).

3. Ohio State (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Wisconsin

Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s absence didn’t slow Ohio State’s offense on Saturday night. The Buckeyes simply recorded 539 yards (7.7 per snap) against a standout Wisconsin defense in a 52-21 victory. Quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 281 yards and five scores over 17 completions.

4. Michigan (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Maryland

Maryland represented a step up in competition from Michigan’s first three games (Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn) and gave coach Jim Harbaugh’s team all it could handle. The Wolverines used a strong effort (243 rushing yards) from running back Blake Corum to hold off the Terrapins’ upset bid, but the defense (397 yards allowed) needs work.

5. Clemson (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Wake Forest

Clemson has dominated Wake Forest in recent years, but coach Dabo Swinney’s team needed overtime to outlast the Demon Deacons 51-45 in Winston-Salem. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns and accounted for 52 yards on the ground to lead the Tigers to a victory. Injuries in the secondary were problematic for Clemson’s usually stout defense, as Wake Forest threw for 337 yards and drew several penalties on the defensive backs for pass interference.

6. USC (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Oregon State

The Trojans edged Oregon State 17-14 in a hard-fought battle in Corvallis to remain unbeaten. Quarterback Caleb Williams had an uneven performance (16 of 36 for 180 yards) but made a clutch run to convert a fourth down and later tossed a touchdown pass to Jordan Addison to secure the win. USC’s defense also forced four turnovers.

7. Tennessee (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Florida

The Tennessee-Florida series has been a one-sided affair with the Gators owning the Volunteers, but at least for 2022, the momentum shifted in favor of Rocky Top. Hendon Hooker threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns and added 112 yards and one score on the ground to lift Tennessee to a 38-33 victory over Florida. The defense gave up 594 yards but made enough timely stops to get the ball back to Hooker.

8. Kentucky (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Northern Illinois

The Wildcats continue to struggle up front in pass protection (five sacks allowed) and in rushing offense (103 yards), but quarterback Will Levis (303 yards) was enough to hold off upset-minded Northern Illinois for a 31-23 win.

9. Penn State (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Central Michigan

Quarterback Sean Clifford completed 22 of 34 passes for 217 yards and three scores to lead Penn State to a 33-14 win over Central Michigan. The Nittany Lions will be a big favorite next week over Northwestern and have a looming showdown against Michigan on Oct. 15.

10. Oklahoma State (3-0)
Week 4 Result:
Off Week

The Cowboys were off on Saturday and return to action on Oct. 1 at Baylor. 

11. Utah (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Arizona State

An injury to tight end Brant Kuithe was the only downside to Utah’s 34-13 win over Arizona State on Saturday night. The Utes face a critical four-game stretch in their quest to get back into playoff contention: Oregon State, at UCLA, USC, and at Washington State.

12. Oregon (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Washington State

A 29-point fourth quarter helped the Ducks escape Pullman with a 44-41 victory over Washington State. Oregon had to overcome early red zone woes (three field goals) and an interception returned for a touchdown to avoid the upset loss to the Cougars.

13. Washington (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Stanford

Michael Penix threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns to guide Washington to a 40-22 win over Stanford. The Huskies are 4-0 for the first time since 2017.

14. NC State (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated UConn

Quarterback Devin Leary threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns to lift NC State to a 41-10 victory over UConn. The Wolfpack’s schedule will get significantly tougher the next two weeks with a road trip to Clemson on Oct. 1, followed by a home matchup against Florida State on Oct. 8.

15. BYU (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Wyoming

The Cougars used a big night from quarterback Jaren Hall (337 passing yards and four touchdowns) to guide an offense that averaged 8.3 yards per snap in a 38-24 win over Wyoming.

16. Baylor (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Iowa State

After struggling in a road loss to BYU, Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns to lift the Bears to a 31-24 win in Ames. Next up: A huge showdown against Oklahoma State in Waco.

17. Texas A&M (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Arkansas

The Aggies return to the rankings after a key SEC West victory over Arkansas. Coach Jimbo Fisher’s team hasn’t solved all of its offensive woes, but running back Devon Achane came up big (159 rushing yards), and the defense returned a fumble for a touchdown to give Texas A&M just enough in a 23-21 win.

18. Arkansas (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Lost to Texas A&M

The Razorbacks suffered their first loss of 2022 in heartbreaking fashion. With a 14-7 lead and on the goal-line to score another touchdown, Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Texas A&M. The Razorbacks weren’t the same team after that but fought back for a chance to win. However, a field-goal attempt with under two minutes remaining hit off the top of the upright, dropping Arkansas to 1-10 against the Aggies in SEC play.

19. Oklahoma (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Lost to Kansas State

The Sooners suffered their first loss under new coach Brent Venables with a 41-34 defeat to Kansas State. Oklahoma struggled to contain K-State quarterback Adrian Martinez (372 total yards and five scores) and struggled on key downs (just four third-down conversions on 13 attempts) on offense.

20. Wake Forest (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Lost to Clemson

No shame for the Demon Deacons in a 51-45 overtime loss to Clemson. Quarterback Sam Hartman was excellent (20 of 29 for 337 yards and six touchdowns), but Wake Forest just came up short in overtime on both sides of the ball. 

21. Florida State (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Boston College

Quarterback Jordan Travis returned to the lineup after an injury against Louisville last Friday and guided the Seminoles to a 44-14 win over Boston College. Travis threw for 321 yards and a touchdown, and the defense limited the Eagles to just 235 yards.

22. Minnesota (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Michigan State

The Golden Gophers join the rankings after steamrolling Michigan State 34-7 in East Lansing. A balanced attack (268 through the air and 240 on the ground) guided the offense to 6.9 yards a snap, and Minnesota’s defense held the Spartans to 240 yards and allowed just two third-down conversions on eight attempts.

23. Ole Miss (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Tulsa

Lane Kiffin’s team completed its non-conference slate with a perfect 4-0 mark, but the Rebels had to work harder (35-27) than most expected against Tulsa. A stingy defense allowed 457 yards to the Golden Hurricane, with 262 coming on the ground. Kiffin and his staff have plenty to tune up before next week’s game against Kentucky.

24. Kansas (4-0)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Duke

Lance Leipold’s remarkable turnaround effort in Lawrence continued on Saturday with a 35-27 victory over Duke. The Jayhawks are now 4-0 for the first time since 2009. Also, quarterback Jalon Daniels (407 total yards and five scores) has been among the nation’s top offensive players in the first month of the season.

25. Cincinnati (3-1)
Week 4 Result:
Defeated Indiana

Ben Bryant threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns to lead Cincinnati to a 45-24 win over Indiana. After losing to Arkansas in the season opener, the Bearcats have quietly reeled off three wins in a row.

The Next Tier: Syracuse, Kansas State, Pitt, LSU, Mississippi State, Oregon State, Florida, TCU, Coastal Carolina, UCLA