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College Football Rankings: NCAAF Top 25 (After Week 6)

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA Bruins 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 sixth weekend of the 2022 season was headlined by UCLA's win over Utah, Tennessee's blowout of LSU, Alabama's close call versus Texas A&M, and a dominant victory by Texas against rival Oklahoma. Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan take the top four spots, with Clemson at No. 5 and Tennessee at No. 6 in the post-Week 6 top 25 rankings. With the sixth 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 6)

1. Alabama (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Texas A&M

Nick Saban’s team had to work harder than everyone anticipated against Texas A&M, but a last-second defensive stand secured a 24-20 win. Jalen Milroe completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 83 yards on the ground in relief of an injured Bryce Young. However, Milroe had three of Alabama’s four turnovers, and as a whole, the offense averaged only 5.7 yards per attempt. Getting Young back in the lineup is a must if the Crimson Tide want to beat Tennessee next Saturday.

2. Georgia (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Auburn

Stetson Bennett’s long touchdown run (64 yards) and a strong defensive effort lifted Georgia to a 42-10 win over Auburn. The Bulldogs have won six in a row over the Tigers and each of the last three victories have been by 20 or more points.

3. Ohio State (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Michigan State

Thanks to 361 passing yards and six touchdown tosses from quarterback C.J. Stroud, the Buckeyes cruised to a 49-20 win at Michigan State. Stroud has passed for 12 touchdowns and 793 yards in the last two meetings against the Spartans.

4. Michigan (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Indiana

Indiana gave Michigan a battle for a half, but coach Jim Harbaugh’s team pulled away in the final two quarters thanks to clutch performances from quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running back Blake Corum. Also, the Wolverines allowed only 29 yards to the Hoosiers in the second half.

5. Clemson (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Boston College

Defense and DJ Uiagalelei led the way for Clemson in Saturday’s 31-3 win over Boston College. Uiagalelei accounted for nearly 300 total yards (289) and three touchdowns, while the Tigers allowed only 254 yards (3.5 yards a play) and recorded 11 tackles for a loss. 

6. Tennessee (5-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated LSU

Next Saturday’s matchup against Alabama loomed large for Tennessee, but the Volunteers took care of business at LSU. The Volunteers averaged 6.5 yards per snap behind quarterback Hendon Hooker’s 239 passing yards and Jabari Small’s 127 yards on the ground. Also, Tennessee’s defense generated five sacks and limited the Tigers to just 355 yards.

7. USC (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Washington State

Washington State gave USC all it could handle early on, but the Trojans used a strong second half effort on defense to pull away for a 30-14 victory. Running back Travis Dye (149 yards and a score) led the way on offense, while quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

8. Oklahoma State (5-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Texas Tech

The Cowboys are off to a 5-0 start for the second year in a row. The defense limited Texas Tech to just seven points in the second half to secure a 41-31 win in Stillwater. Quarterback Spencer Sanders accounted for 353 of Oklahoma State’s 434 total yards.

9. Penn State (5-0)
Week 6 Result:
Off Week

The Nittany Lions were off in Week 6 and return to action next Saturday at Michigan.

10. UCLA (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Utah

The Bruins are 6-0 for the first time since 2005. The combination of quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet guided the offense to 511 total yards (8.4 yards per play), and the unit never punted after the first two drives. UCLA’s defense also limited Utah to 192 rushing yards and did not allow a play longer than 25 yards.

11. Ole Miss (6-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Vanderbilt

No letdown for coach Lane Kiffin’s team in Nashville. A week after Ole Miss beat Kentucky, the Rebels overcame a slow start to win 52-28 over Vanderbilt. The offense averaged 9.9 yards per play and scored on seven of their last eight possessions. 

12. Oregon (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Arizona

Quarterback Bo Nix accounted for 335 total yards and three scores in Saturday’s 49-22 win over Arizona. The Ducks have won five in a row, led by an offense that has scored over 41 points and averaged seven yards or more in each of their last four games. 

13. TCU (5-0)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Kansas

In one of the games of the day, TCU and Kansas combined for 69 points and nearly 1,000 total yards (992). Coach Sonny Dykes’ team left Lawrence with a 38-31 victory to give the program its first 5-0 start since ’17. Quarterback Max Duggan threw for 308 yards and scored four overall times. Also, receiver Quentin Johnston delivered a big-time performance by catching 14 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown.

14. Wake Forest (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Army

A meeting against Army is always difficult in the middle of the season, but Wake Forest took control early and never looked back. The offense scored touchdowns on five of their first six full drives, while the defense held the Black Knights to just 225 rushing yards (4.2 a carry).

15. NC State (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Florida State

The Wolfpack rallied from a 17-3 halftime deficit to win 19-17 over Florida State. NC State's defense pitched a shutout and allowed only 93 yards in the second half. Quarterback Devin Leary left due to injury and his status is uncertain for the Week 7 matchup against Syracuse.

16. Mississippi State (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Arkansas

Quarterback Will Rogers torched the Arkansas defense for 395 yards and three touchdowns to give Mississippi State a 40-17 victory on Saturday. The Bulldogs have won back-to-back SEC games by 18 or more points.

17. Kansas State (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Iowa State

K-State snapped a two-game losing streak in the Farmageddon series by beating Iowa State 10-9 on Saturday night. The Wildcats held the Cyclones to three field goals after long drives, while the offense got just enough production, including an 81-yard touchdown catch by Phillip Brooks to score the one-point win.

18. Kansas (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Lost to TCU

Lawrence was the center of college football for a battle of unbeaten teams on Saturday, and despite an injury to quarterback Jalon Daniels, TCU-Kansas certainly delivered with a 38-31 finish. The Jayhawks fell short of getting to 6-0, but coach Lance Leipold’s team still deserves a spot in the top 25. 

19. Utah (4-2)
Week 6 Result:
Lost to UCLA

Utah’s hopes of running the table and a trip to the CFB Playoff are over after Saturday’s loss at UCLA. The Utes uncharacteristically had troubles against the run on defense (212 yards allowed), and the offense was unable to generate any big plays or get consistent production on the ground (4.5 yards a carry).

20. Syracuse (5-0)
Week 6 Result:
Off Week

The Orange were off in Week 6 and host NC State next Saturday.

21. Texas (4-2)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Oklahoma

The Longhorns join the top 25 after a complete (and dominant) performance over rival Oklahoma (49-0). 

22. Illinois (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated Iowa

The Fighting Illini join the rankings after a 9-6 victory over Iowa on Saturday night. Illinois gets Minnesota in a key Big Ten West Division matchup next week, but the status of quarterback Tommy DeVito is uncertain after suffering an injury against the Hawkeyes.

23. Cincinnati (5-1)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated USF

USF gave Cincinnati all it could handle, but coach Luke Fickell’s team used 221 rushing yards and a couple of stops in the second half to win 28-24.

24. Kentucky (4-2)
Week 6 Result:
Lost to South Carolina

The Wildcats clearly missed quarterback Will Levis in a 24-14 loss to South Carolina. The offense averaged only 4.7 yards per play, and the Gamecocks added to Kentucky’s troubles by recording six sacks and eight tackles for a loss.

25. Notre Dame (3-2)
Week 6 Result:
Defeated BYU

The Fighting Irish rejoin the top 25 after Saturday night’s win over BYU in Las Vegas. Coach Marcus Freeman’s team is trending the right direction with three consecutive victories after an 0-2 start.

The Next Tier: BYU, Tulane, Baylor, James Madison, Coastal Carolina, Florida, Purdue, Minnesota, North Carolina