What changed in our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings after this week’s events? There were high-octane highlights and last-minute stands. At the end of it all, a lot of shuffling took place on our list. Here’s a look at the latest changes.
Week 6 College Football Rankings | 1-5
Which teams make up the top five in our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings? For the first time this season, a new team comes in at the top.
1) Georgia Bulldogs (+1)
At last, Georgia is on top. It’s a bit strange because offensively, Georgia isn’t an overwhelming threat. But the defense might be historically great, and no offense is safe from its domination. Georgia now has the inside track to a playoff spot after crushing Auburn, and after Alabama’s recent loss, they’re in the front seat. Not just in the SEC, but in the nation.
2) Oklahoma Sooners (+1)
Everyone and their third cousin had a trepidatious Oklahoma team losing to Texas in Week 6 — and for most of the game, it looked like it was going to happen. The Sooners were down 28-7 after the first quarter, and down 41-30 with one quarter left to play. But Caleb Williams replaced Spencer Rattler at QB, and the offense suddenly became much more potent. Oklahoma may have found new life heading into the second half.
3) Alabama Crimson Tide (-2)
The titans have fallen, and not in the game we expected. The nation — and perhaps Alabama itself — had already begun to look ahead toward the inevitable SEC Championship clash between Alabama and Georgia. But those plans were put on hold when an upstart Texas A&M squad led by backup quarterback Zach Calzada beat Alabama 41-38. Alabama’s playoff hopes aren’t dashed, but the prospective Georgia game now becomes a must-win.
4) Cincinnati Bearcats (–)
The Bearcats got the win they needed against Notre Dame. And then, for good measure, they beat Temple 52-3 a week later. Things are coming together on both sides of the ball for Luke Fickell’s squad. Desmond Ridder, Jerome Ford, and Alec Pierce constitute a strong offensive core. Meanwhile, Ahmad Gardner, Coby Bryant, Myjai Sanders, Malik Vann, Darrian Beavers, and Bryan Cook are just a few of the playmakers on defense.
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (–)
Iowa is the team coming off the big win, but for now, they won’t pass Ohio State in the standings. Ohio State may have one loss, but that loss came when the offense was still clicking with a young quarterback. C.J. Stroud has found his stride now, and the Buckeyes’ offense is once again a formidable threat. If they meet Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, it’ll be a must-watch spectacle.
Week 6 College Football Rankings | 6-15
Who falls into the 6-15 range? Can one of the rising Big Ten contenders replace Ohio State in the top five?
6) Iowa Hawkeyes (–)
Believe it or not, Iowa’s game against Penn State on Saturday was their toughest test of the year. Now, it’s smooth sailing for an undefeated Hawkeyes squad. In the final six weeks, Iowa plays Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska. Seeing how productive their defense has been, we might as well pencil them into the Big Ten Championship game.
7) Ole Miss Rebels (+1)
The clipboards are flying again now that the Ole Miss Rebels are coming off a valuable win against Arkansas. The victory bumps Ole Miss up one spot in our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings. While it’s unlikely that Ole Miss leapfrogs Alabama in the SEC West — given Alabama’s win over the Rebels — Lane Kiffin’s squad is in prime position to keep competing through season’s end.
8) Oregon Ducks (+1)
The Ducks were on a bye this past week — a much-needed rest for a banged-up defensive unit. They also got a small rankings boost, courtesy of the falling Penn State Nittany Lions. There aren’t any more ranked matchups on deck for Oregon, but that’s no reason to get comfortable. Oregon’s lone loss — a costly one — came against the 3-3 Stanford Cardinal.
9) Michigan Wolverines (+2)
Nebraska isn’t a bad team. They’re certainly not a good team, but they’ve given some good teams trouble so far this season. Michigan didn’t deliver a perfect outing against the Cornhuskers, but they still managed to will a win. As long as defensive stars like Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, and Daxton Hill keep making plays, Michigan will always be a tough out.
10) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (–)
We’ve said about all we can say about Coastal Carolina. They’re very good, but not great — but they’re great relative to other low-level Group of Five opponents. Coastal keeps winning the games they should win because there’s not a game they should lose on their schedule. That’s great, but they’re not moving up past this spot.
11) Penn State Nittany Lions (-4)
It was a classic, ugly Big Ten bout. And in the end, the better defense simply came out on top. Penn State lost a close battle with Iowa, and thus have their first blemish on record. The losses didn’t just come on paper, however. The Nittany Lions may also be without Sean Clifford for the foreseeable future, as he left with an injury. Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State remain on deck.
12) Arizona State Sun Devils (+2)
Stanford has surprised Pac-12 teams more than once so far this season, but the Arizona State Sun Devils weren’t phased by the challenge in Week 6. They beat the Cardinal comfortably by a score of 28-10, with an efficient showing on both offense and defense. Arizona State is around where they started the season — just outside the realm of the legitimate.
13) Kentucky Wildcats (+4)
They don’t get the most hype in the SEC, but Kentucky is quietly 6-0 as they move up our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings. The defense is underrated, and quarterback Will Levis seemed to bounce back against LSU with 5 total touchdowns. They’ll need Levis to be at his best next week. The Georgia defense has a habit of swarming teams into submission. The Wildcats must work to preserve their record.
14) Michigan State Spartans (+4)
The Spartans’ offense is firing like a V12 engine, with deadly efficiency in both phases. This past weekend, star running back Kenneth Walker III had 28 carries for 223 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Payton Thorne, meanwhile, had 340 yards and 3 touchdowns on 16 completions. If the Spartans can be consistent on defense, they’re a dangerous team in the season-ending stretch.
15) Florida Gators (–)
Florida shut out Vanderbilt 42-0 in Week 6, but we’re not sure if that warrants a move up in our Top 25 College Football Rankings. Florida is still a two-loss team, and their ceiling is a bit limited as a result. A win against Georgia in three weeks would change things — but the Gators haven’t seen anything like Georgia’s defense.
Week 6 College Football Rankings | 16-25
Which teams close out our Top 25 College Football Rankings after Week 6?
16) Arkansas Razorbacks (-4)
It came down to the final seconds, but Arkansas fell to Ole Miss in Week 6. Consequently, they’re also falling in our post-Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings. Sam Pittman clearly has the Razorbacks trending in the right direction, but in a year where they have NFL talent, they haven’t been able to come away with crucial wins. Ole Miss was just another example of that.
17) Texas A&M Aggies (+5)
We knew it might be premature to kick a talented Texas A&M team out of our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings. However, such a move seemed inevitable in Week 7 after the Aggies’ clash with Alabama. But the Aggies defied all expectations and beat Alabama at College Station. Their top-25 standing has been restored, along with their respect on the SEC landscape.
18) Texas Longhorns (-5)
All it took was one ill-timed fumble, and one long rushing touchdown by Oklahoma. It feels like Texas should be 5-1 right now and knocking on the door of the top 10. Instead, they choked away what would have been a massive win. It’s not enough to move Texas out, even with two losses, however. Steve Sarkisian’s squad is talented. Bijan Robinson is a generational talent at running back, and Casey Thompson is coming into his prime.
19) Clemson Tigers (-3)
Yes, Clemson was on a bye week. But with a record that’s far from inspiring, the Tigers are easily prone to drops down the board. In our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings, that’s exactly what happened. Texas A&M beat Alabama and skyrocketed. Meanwhile, Kentucky and Michigan State were both worthy of jumps. Clemson is vulnerable, and another loss may knock them out entirely.
20) SMU Mustangs (–)
SMU lives to see another day, but they cut it close against a 1-4 Navy squad in Week 6. It’s not enough to sound the alarm for the Mustangs, but they should be careful. Memphis, Houston, and UCF could all be potential upset threats in the coming weeks. After that stretch, SMU has a date with Cincinnati. There’s no margin for error for SMU if they want to keep moving up.
21) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (–)
In what’s become regular fashion for the Fighting Irish this year, Week 6’s game was a close outing against Virginia Tech. Although Notre Dame won, improving to 5-1 on the year, they’re not at the level they’ve been in years past. The victory keeps them from slipping any further, but Notre Dame has regressed in 2021.
22) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+1)
There’s never a dull moment with Sam Hartman and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Week 6 was just more proof of that, as Wake Forest bested the stingy Syracuse Orange in overtime. Wake Forest still has more to prove, but the team is undefeated and in position to potentially compete for the ACC. That’s an enviable position this late in the season.
23) Pittsburgh Panthers (+1)
Another bye week team, Pittsburgh is riding high after consecutive wins of 30+ points against New Hampshire and Georgia Tech. The bye week came at an opportune time for the Panthers. In their season-closing stretch, they play Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, and Syracuse.
24) Oklahoma State Cowboys (+1)
Oklahoma State moves up one spot in our Week 6 Top 25 College Football Rankings. That’s due to BYU falling out of the standings, however. There’s a reason Oklahoma State’s next opponent — Texas — is still ranked over the Cowboys. The Longhorns have talent mismatches all across the roster. It’ll be tough for the Cowboys to stay undefeated against Texas — on the road, no less.
25) UTSA Roadrunners (N/A)
CFB playoff committee! Make way for the UTSA Roadrunners! Undefeated teams dwindle every week, but six weeks in, Jeff Traylor’s squad is still 6-0, with wins over Illinois, Memphis, and the problematic Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. UTSA quietly has a lot of talent. On offense, the corps of Frank Harris, Sincere McCormick, and Zakhari Franklin is a lot to deal with. And on defense, Tariq Woolen and Rashad Wisdom set the tone.
- BYU Cougars
- NC State Wolfpack
- San Diego State Aztecs
- Liberty Flames
- UCLA Bruins
- Baylor Bears