Top 25 College Football Power Rankings Week 12: Washington Rises, Oregon, Ole Miss Fall

    Unless any shocking losses occur in the final weeks, the CFP is set. However, the top 25 of the College Football Power Rankings remain fluid.

    With two weeks before conference championships, the College Football Playoffs are largely set, barring any shocking upsets. However, the College Football Power Rankings remain fluid, with the Top 25 once again seeing old members fall out and new ones rise in.

    Week 12 Top 25 College Football Power Rankings

    1. Georgia Bulldogs

    When your leading rusher is a receiver with one 70-yard carry, it probably wasn’t a good night for your ground game. And when your QB throws two interceptions, it was likely a long day for the offense as a whole. But that didn’t matter for Georgia against Mississippi State.

    The defense held the Bulldogs to one offensive touchdown in their 45-19 victory. The other score came off a 63-yard punt return on the last play of the first half. Even without the offense humming, Georgia is the No. 1 team in the nation.

    2. Ohio State Buckeyes

    Ohio State beating a 3-6 opponent by 42 isn’t all that impressive. But this catch from Marvin Harrison Jr.Beyond impressive.

    C.J. Stroud threw five touchdowns. Miyan Williams took 15 carries for 147 yards and a score. And yet, Harrison’s catch was still the biggest takeaway from the Buckeyes’ victory over Indiana. He’s the WR1 whatever year her declares for the draft.

    3. Michigan Wolverines

    Michigan had 148 passing yards vs. Nebraska, their second-lowest output of the season. Yet, somehow, that was still two more yards than the Cornhuskers had of total offense. The Wolverines’ defense is one of the best in the country, and running back Blake Corum is the offense.

    I love Corum as much — if not more — than any other analyst, but can J.J. McCarthy and the passing attack keep pace with the Ohio States of the world? We’ll have an answer in a couple of weeks.

    4. TCU Horned Frogs

    The final score of 17-10 leads one to believe TCU vs. Texas was a close game. In reality, the Longhorns never held a lead at any point. And although the Horned Frogs scored their fewest points of the season, Texas didn’t have more than 3 until less than five minutes were remaining.

    MORE: CFB Week 11 Team of the Week

    Kendre Miller is lighting the country on fire, as he has rushed for a TD in every game this season and recorded 100+ yards in seven of his last eight. Sonny Dykes’ squad is rolling, and only Baylor and Iowa State stand in their way before the Big 12 Championship.

    5. Tennessee Volunteers (Last Week: 6)

    It didn’t take long for Tennessee to rebound from their humbling loss to Georgia last week. The Vols returned to their incendiary form on offense, torching an underrated Missouri defense for 66 points and 724 total yards. Oh, and Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt remain one of the top QB/WR duos in the NCAA.

    6. USC Trojans (Last Week: 7)

    In what feels like a lifetime ago, USC trampled Colorado 55-17 on Friday night. Yet, like OSU’s domination of Indiana, there is little to take home from the Trojans’ performance against a 1-9 squad.

    Although, defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu (2.5 sacks) is turning himself into a premier prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    7. LSU Tigers (Last Week: 8)

    If you didn’t get to watch LSU-Arkansas, you missed a 13-10 barn-burner. The two sides combined for a whopping 202 passing yards. Regardless, the Tigers came away with the W and have clinched their spot vs. Georgia in the SEC title match.

    8. Alabama Crimson Tide (Last Week: 10)

    Now for some actual fun-to-watch SEC football. Alabama narrowly survived Ole Miss 30-24, despite the Rebels having possession inside the Crimson Tide’s 20 with under two minutes left.

    MORE: CFB Week 11 Players of the Week

    In what has become somewhat of a rarity this season, Alabama’s defense came up clutch, particularly DL Byron Young, who sacked Jaxson Dart to force a game-sealing fourth-and-14. With the SEC title already out of reach, only one question remains: How much more of Bryce Young will we see this season?

    9. North Carolina Tar Heels (Last Week: 11)

    Another week, another episode of the Drake Maye Show. The phenomenal redshirt freshman has proven to be one of the best QBs in the country and a candidate to be the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    He’s 90% responsible for North Carolina‘s 9-1 record, willing the Tar Heels to victory week in and week out. But don’t forget about his top weapon in Josh Downs, who obliterated Wake Forest for 11 catches, 154 yards, and three TDs.

    10. Clemson Tigers (Last Week: 12)

    Although Clemson lost three fumbles, they comfortably handled Louisville 31-15. Will Shipley and Phil Mafah were the engines that powered the offense, combining for 203 rushing yards and two TDs.

    DJ Uiagalelei did enough to get the job done at QB, but the star of the day was LB Barrett Carter. The sophomore wreaked havoc on defense, notching two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, and an interception.

    11. Washington Huskies (Last Week: 17)

    The Pac-12 is going to Pac-12. Washington went into Autzen Stadium, and upset top-10 ranked Oregon, 37-34. It was an offensive shootout, with only one punt taking place across 19 possessions. QB Michael Penix Jr. and WR Jalen McMillan picked apart the Ducks’ secondary, with Penix surpassing 400 passing yards.

    After defeating Oregon and watching UCLA fall to Arizona, Washington is squarely in the Pac-12 race and could win the conference under first-year head coach Kalen DeBoer.

    12. Utah Utes (Last Week: 14)

    Sure, QB Cameron Rising had 200+ yards and three passing TDs, but RB Tavion Thomas was the MVP in Utah‘s 42-7 thrashing of Stanford. Thomas took 22 carries for 180 yards and two scores, and his numbers weren’t inflated by one run (his longest was 36 yards).

    This is one of the most complete teams in the country, and they aren’t even at full strength. The Utes will have the chance to showcase just how good they are against Oregon next week, although their luster has lost some glow after losing to Washington.

    13. Penn State Nittany Lions (Last Week: 15)

    0. That’s how many points Penn State allowed against Maryland in Week 11. The Terrapins had scored 20+ in all but one game this season, so the Nittany Lions’ shutout was all the more impressive.

    However, RB Nicholas Singleton has drawn the most attention after breaking Saquon Barkley’s school record for TDs by a freshman RB (9). And he could take the mantle for most rushing yards by a freshman, as he needs just 275 yards in the next three games.

    14. Ole Miss Rebels (Last Week: 13)

    Props to Ole Miss for sticking with Alabama through four quarters. I didn’t believe they had the defense nor the QB to keep the game tight all the way through, but they proved me wrong. In fact, you could argue Jaxson Dart had a better on-paper performance than Bryce Young.

    But when it mattered most, the difference between the two became starch as Dart crumbled on the potentially game-winning drive. Still, don’t let the loss detract from the ridiculous campaign we are witnessing from freshman RB Quinshon Judkins.

    He ran through the Crimson Tide for 135 yards and two TDs and now owns the school record for rushing TDs in a single season (15).

    15. Oregon Ducks (Last Week: 5)

    Well, Oregon, you can’t blame yourselves too hard. The Pac-12’s cannibalistic nature bites everyone; you were just next in line. But don’t blame the offense for the loss.

    Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington both rushed for 100+ yards. Troy Franklin turned five catches into 135 yards and a touchdown. And Bo Nix accounted for 339 total yards and three scores.

    It was the defense that damned the Ducks in Week 10, as they conceded 500+ yards and 37 points in just 25 minutes and only 23 first downs.

    16. UCLA Bruins (Last Week: 9)

    Oregon’s loss wasn’t entirely surprising, as Washington is one of the top teams in the conference. But UCLA‘s 34-28 loss to 3-6 Arizona is embarrassing — at home, no less.

    To be fair to all parties involved, Zach Charbonnet gave his all (24-181-3) on the ground for the Bruins, but the Wildcats’ passing attack was simply too much for the secondary to handle. With USC coming to town next week, it’ll be interesting to see which Southern California powerhouse prevails.

    17. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (Last Week: 21)

    Coastal Carolina announced star QB Grayson McCall would miss the rest of the regular season with a foot injury prior to Week 11, resulting in many writing off the Chanticleers.

    But they didn’t give excuses, besting Southern Miss 26-23, even with backup QB Jarrett Guest throwing two picks and owning a 50% completion rate. With Virginia and James Madison in their last two contests, CCU could end the year with 11 wins for the third straight season.

    18. UCF Knights (Last Week: 23)

    With John Rhys Plumlee running the offense, UCF is a different ball club. They dropped 38 points on top-25 ranked Tulane, the best defense in the AAC. Plumlee wasn’t exactly efficient through the air, but he ran the ball 18 times for 176 yards and two TDs.

    The defense did their part as well, and the Knights now find themselves atop the conference, with only Navy and USF in their way of the championship.

    19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Last Week: 22)

    Notre Dame QB Drew Pyne had the best game of his young career, completing 81% of his passes for 269 yards and totaling five TDs. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Fighting Irish couldn’t get anything going on the ground vs. Navy (66 yards), and the defense had their performance of the season.

    Although, Notre Dame’s 35-32 win was a tale of two halves, as the Midshipmen outscored the Irish 19-0 in the second half.

    20. Kansas State Wildcats (Last Week: 25)

    Kansas State has waffled between contender and pretender the last few weeks, but we saw more of the latter in a 31-3 victory over Baylor in Week 11. After completing 7 of 8 passes for a measly 25 yards, Adrian Martinez exited with an injury.

    MORE: PFN Mock Draft Simulator

    In came Will Howard, who threw for 196 yards and three TDs off the bench. But where the Wildcats won was on third down, where they went 8 of 13 compared to the Bears’ 4 of 12. At 7-3 (5-2 in conference), K-State is a game up on Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Texas with two weeks remaining.

    21. Florida State Seminoles (Last Week: Unranked)

    Following a three-game losing streak to ranked teams, Florida State has found its stride down the stretch. They’ve produced 38+ points in their three straight victories that followed, including a 38-3 annihilation of Syracuse.

    Louisiana shouldn’t provide much resistance next week, but the regular-season finale vs. in-state rival Florida will be a game to watch.

    22. UTSA Roadrunners (Last Week: Unranked)

    UTSA joins the College Football Power Rankings fresh off a 51-7 total team win over Louisiana Tech. The offense had 200+ yards passing and rushing, the defense secured five turnovers, and even kicker Jared Sackett nailed all nine of his kicks (three field goals and six extra points).

    The Roadrunners haven’t lost since Week 3 and are 6-0 in conference play. Back-to-back C-USA titles are well within reach.

    23. Illinois Fighting Illini (Last Week: 16)

    Illinois has now suffered back-to-back tough losses, and Michigan will likely knock them out of the College Football Power Rankings for good next week.

    The No. 1 defense in the country in points per game (10.4) and yards per game (232.2) struggled vs. two recent Shrine Bowl additions: Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell and TE Payne Durham. The Fighting Illini had a good run, but this is presumably their swan song in the Top 25.

    24. Tulane Green Wave (Last Week: 19)

    Tulane may have lost to UCF, but they are still a great football team. Michael Pratt and Co. did their best to keep it a game, but a 16-play, 75-yard, and eight-minute drive by the Knights in the fourth quarter crushed their hopes.

    Still, the Green Wave control their destiny, as they end the season with SMU and Cincinnati. If they win both contests, they book their ticket to the AAC title bout.

    25. Troy Trojans (Last Week: Unranked)

    With 22 total tackles vs. Army, Troy LB Carlton Martial eclipsed Luke Kuchely for the most career tackles in NCAA history (549) with a few games to spare. It was in a 10-9 winning slugfest for the Trojans, who have now won seven straight.

    And with only UL-Monroe (4-6) and Arkansas State (3-7) in their way, Troy could finish with their first 10+ win season since 2018.

    Teams on the Outside Looking In 

    • Cincinnati Bearcats
    • Minnesota Golden Gophers
    • Oklahoma State Cowboys
    • Wyoming Cowboys
    • South Alabama Jaguars

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