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College Football Rankings: NCAAF Top 25 (After Week 5)

DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson Tigers 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 fifth weekend of the 2022 season was headlined by Clemson's victory over NC State, Alabama's road win against Arkansas, Georgia's rally at Missouri, and Ole Miss' victory versus Kentucky. Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan take the top four spots, with Clemson at No. 5 and USC at No. 6 in the post-Week 5 top 25 rankings. With the fifth 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 5)

1. Alabama (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Arkansas

The Crimson Tide had to overcome an in-game injury to quarterback Bryce Young, but big-time efforts from running back Jahmyr Gibbs (206 yards) and backup quarterback Jalen Milroe (77-yard run) prevented coach Nick Saban’s team from losing in Fayetteville. Alabama has now won 16 games in a row against Arkansas after Saturday’s 49-26 win.

2. Georgia (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Missouri

Upset avoided. The Bulldogs had an off performance for the second week in a row but rallied from a 16-3 deficit to win 26-22 in Columbia. Coach Kirby Smart’s team has room to improve up front (169 rushing yards on 35 carries) and in the red zone (four field goals), but the defense held Missouri to just 294 yards.

3. Ohio State (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Rutgers

As expected, Ohio State cruised to a 49-10 victory over Rutgers. Quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for only 154 yards and two touchdowns, but led by Miyan Williams (five TDs), the ground game accounted for 252 yards on 34 attempts to lead the offense. Ohio State has defeated Rutgers nine straight times by 22 or more points.

4. Michigan (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Iowa

Kinnick Stadium has been a tough place for Michigan to play in recent years, but the Wolverines avoided the upset thanks to a solid all-around performance on both sides of the ball. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for 155 yards, the ground game churned out 172 yards, and the defense recorded four sacks and allowed just 35 rushing yards.

5. Clemson (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated NC State

Another week, another big ACC victory for Clemson. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei turned in another standout performance (282 total yards and three overall scores), and the defense limited NC State to just four yards a play in a 30-20 win in Death Valley on Saturday night. Clemson’s defensive front was instrumental in the win, as this unit allowed only 34 rushing yards and sacked quarterback Devin Leary three times. After beating Wake Forest last week, the Tigers have already scored two huge victories against teams in the mix to push coach Dabo Swinney’s team in the Atlantic.

6. USC (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Arizona State

USC's offense is back on track after a sluggish performance at Oregon State. Quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 348 yards and three scores to guide the Trojans to a 42-25 victory over Arizona State on Saturday night. The defense gave up scoring drives to the Sun Devils on their first three possessions but played better into the second half. 

7. Tennessee (4-0)
Week 5 Result:
Off Week

The Volunteers were off on Saturday and return to action next week at LSU.

8. Oklahoma State (4-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Baylor

The Cowboys look like the best team in a wide-open race to win the Big 12 after coach Mike Gundy’s squad picked up a 36-25 road victory at Baylor on Saturday. Quarterback Spencer Sanders accounted for 256 total yards and two scores, while the defense made timely stops on key downs and forced two takeaways.

9. Penn State (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Northwestern

It wasn’t pretty, but the Nittany Lions edged Northwestern 17-7 to remain unbeaten. Running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen combined for 220 yards on 42 attempts, and Penn State’s defense limited the Wildcats to just 3.7 yards per snap.

10. Ole Miss (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Kentucky

Saturday’s win over Kentucky gave Ole Miss its first 5-0 start since 2014. The Rebels ran for 186 yards (4.8 yards per carry), and the defense forced a couple of takeaways with the game on the line to secure the victory.

11. Kentucky (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Lost to Ole Miss

Errors on special teams and fumbles on back-to-back drives to end the game cost Kentucky a chance to win in a 22-19 defeat in Oxford. Up next: The SEC home opener against South Carolina.

12. Utah (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Oregon State

The Utes converted four Oregon State interceptions into 21 points to pull away for a 42-16 victory in Salt Lake City. Utah has reeled off four wins in a row since losing to Florida in the opener. Also, coach Kyle Whittingham’s team has won each of its first two Pac-12 games by more than 20 points.

13. Oregon (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Stanford

Bo Nix's big night (302 total yards and four scores) helped Oregon avenge last year's loss to Stanford. The Ducks totaled 7.3 yards per snap and limited the Cardinal to just 332 yards of total offense in a 45-27 win. 

14. BYU (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Utah State

It wasn’t BYU’s best performance, but coach Kalani Sitake’s team eventually pulled away for a 38-26 victory over Utah State. Quarterback Jaren Hall threw for 274 yards and three scores, while the only touchdown the defense allowed in the second half came when the outcome was no longer in doubt. 

15. Wake Forest (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Florida State

The Demon Deacons rebounded in a big way from last week’s overtime loss to Clemson. Quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns to guide Wake Forest to a 31-21 victory over Florida State in Tallahassee. The Demon Deacons couldn’t afford to start 0-2 in ACC play if they wanted to push for the division crown once again, so the victory on Saturday could have larger implications for the conference title battle. 

16. NC State (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Lost to Clemson

There's no shame in losing a 30-20 road matchup against Clemson in Death Valley, but coach Dave Doeren's team needs more out of its offense (279 total yards) to rebound and push for double-digit victories this year. The Wolfpack's ground game managed only 34 yards over 21 attempts. 

17. Kansas (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Iowa State

Kansas’ high-powered offense was held in check (213 yards), yet coach Lance Leipold’s team found a way to win 14-11 over Iowa State. The Cyclones helped the Jayhawks with three missed three field goals, but the KU defense allowed just 26 rushing yards and didn’t give up much in the way of big passing plays. The Jayhawks are 5-0 for the first time since ’09.

18. UCLA (5-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Washington

A huge performance from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (368 total yards and four scores) and a couple of timely stops by the defense was enough for UCLA to beat Washington 40-32 on Friday night. The Bruins are 5-0 for the first time since ’13.

19. TCU (4-0)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Oklahoma

TCU joins the top 25 after a complete dismantling of Oklahoma. New coach Sonny Dykes has brought a much-needed spark to the offense, as this unit averaged 8.9 yards per snap and scored four times on plays of 60-plus yards. It wasn't just the offense contributing to the 55-24 win, as TCU's defense held the Sooners to just 355 yards over 81 snaps.

20. Washington (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Lost to UCLA

Washington dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten after a 40-32 loss to UCLA on Friday night. The Huskies recorded 416 yards on offense, but quarterback Michael Penix Jr. tossed two picks, and the ground game struggled with just 71 yards over 23 attempts. Washington’s defense also had its worst performance of the season, surrendering nearly seven yards per play (6.9) to the Bruins and allowing 10 third-down conversions over 14 attempts.  

21. Kansas State (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Texas Tech

Adrian Martinez ran for more than 100 yards for the second week in a row and lifted K-State to a 37-28 victory over Texas Tech. Martinez and running back Deuce Vaughn combined for 343 yards on the ground, and although the defense gave up 473 yards to the Red Raiders, this unit forced four takeaways and registered six sacks.

22. Cincinnati (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Tulsa

Luke Fickell’s defense dominated the line of scrimmage in Saturday night’s 31-21 win over Tulsa. The Bearcats recorded 11 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss, forced two takeaways and allowed only 36 rushing yards to the Golden Hurricane. Quarterback Ben Bryant threw for 166 yards and two scores to guide a Cincinnati offense that averaged 6.2 yards a snap.

23. Florida State (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Lost to Wake Forest

A 28-7 deficit was too much for the Seminoles to dig out of in Saturday's 31-21 loss to Wake Forest. Quarterback Jordan Travis threw for 281 yards and three scores, but Florida State's defense struggled in key situations (10 of 18 third-down conversions allowed), and kicker Ryan Fitzgerald missed two field goals.

24. LSU (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Auburn

The LSU-Auburn series has produced some wild endings and strange games, so it was no surprise Saturday night's matchup was a crazy affair. The LSU offense was outgained 438 to 270 and completed just 10 of 26 throws as a team, but the defense stepped up with a fumble return for a score and no points allowed in the second half. 

25. Mississippi State (4-1)
Week 5 Result:
Defeated Texas A&M

Thanks to a strong effort from quarterback Will Rogers (329 yards and three scores), the Bulldogs earned their second win in a row over Texas A&M with a 42-24 outcome on Saturday. In addition to Rogers' strong play, Mississippi State returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown and limited the Aggies to just 112 yards in the first half to set the stage for an 18-point win.

The Next Tier: Syracuse, Baylor, James Madison, Coastal Carolina, Washington State, Arkansas, Florida, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois