College Football Rankings Week 7: A playoff competition begins to emerge

Looking back at the action, let's refresh our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings! A group at the front is starting to emerge.

College football Week 7 is in the books, and we’re back with another edition of our top-25 rankings. There wasn’t much movement up top this week, but farther down the board, some teams are positioning themselves to potentially make a run. Let’s take a look around the landscape with our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings!

Week 7 College Football Rankings | 1-5

Are there any changes in the top five in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings?

1) Georgia Bulldogs (–)

Some thought Kentucky might pose a threat to Georgia in Week 7. And for a little bit, it looked like the Wildcats were going to stick around. But the Bulldogs eventually pulled away and won 30-13. With that win, they’re now the only undefeated team in the SEC. And they’re absolutely deserving of that record.

2) Oklahoma Sooners (–)

In his first start at quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners, Caleb Williams tore apart a talented TCU secondary, to the tune of 295 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air, as well as an additional score on the ground. Williams is a clear upgrade over Spencer Rattler, and the offense is much more dangerous with him at the helm.

3) Alabama Crimson Tide (–)

Alabama bounced back after their loss to Texas A&M, cruising past the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a 49-9 outing. With their one loss, they won’t move up in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings. But the Crimson Tide we saw in Week 7 was the Crimson Tide we’re used to seeing.

4) Cincinnati Bearcats (–)

If Dillon Gabriel was healthy, this game might’ve been closer. Instead, Cincinnati demolished UCF 56-21. They found the end zone 8 times, with running back Jerome Ford accounting for 4 of them. On defense, Myjai Sanders and Ahmad Gardner helped secure a stifling effort. The Bearcats are right in the thick of things.

5) Ohio State Buckeyes (–)

Ohio State wasn’t going to be moving much in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings on the bye. But Iowa’s loss to Purdue only solidified Ohio State’s standing as the best team in the Big Ten. Michigan and Michigan State remain challengers, but the Buckeyes are still the ones to beat.

Week 7 College Football Rankings | 6-15

Which squads fill out the 6-15 range in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings?

6) Michigan Wolverines (+3)

Moving up three spots on a bye? Now, that’s a good deal for Jim Harbaugh and Co. The Wolverines didn’t play this week, but the defeat of Iowa opened up a window to claim a podium spot in the Big Ten. Michigan’s tough season-ending stretch, however, will truly test their mettle.

7) Ole Miss Rebels (–)

Lane Kiffin got a little more than he asked for in Week 7. Not only did his team dodge a tricky Tennessee team in a close win, but Kiffin himself also dodged golf balls, water bottles, and containers of mustard, among other things. Matt Corral was once again a dynamic dual-threat weapon. His presence usually makes Ole Miss tough to beat.

8) Oregon Ducks (–)

Picking the best team in the Pac-12 is like picking the best Halloween candy with nuts in it. They’re all going to be bad, and even the best ones will disappoint you. Oregon has quickly shifted to pretender status, and after beating lowly California by just one score, they’ve never been more underwhelming. Luckily for the Ducks, the rest of the league isn’t much better.

9) Iowa Hawkeyes (-3)

Iowa was right there. A Big Ten championship berth was in the palm of their hands. And then Spencer Petras had to hand the Purdue defense 4 interceptions in a 24-7 loss. Iowa is still tied for the lead in the Big Ten West, but Purdue also only has one loss, and now they have the tie-breaker against Iowa. The Hawkeyes have an easier season-ending stretch, but they can’t afford to lose again.

10) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (–)

Hi Coastal Carolina, nice to see you again. We still can’t move Coastal up past this point in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings. Their strength of schedule dictates that. However, if good teams keep losing, there could be an avenue for the Chanticleers to creep up the board. They just can’t miss a beat against their lesser opponents.

11) Penn State Nittany Lions (–)

Penn State embarked on a much-needed bye week this week after losing to Iowa 23-20 in Week 6. That loss doesn’t look as good anymore after Iowa’s defeat at the hands of Purdue. Nevertheless, the Hawkeyes’ defense remains a formidable entity. The challenges aren’t over yet for Penn State, however. Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State remain on deck.

12) Michigan State Spartans (+2)

I really thought I jinxed it. After celebrating Michigan State’s sudden re-emergence as a college football power, the Spartans almost lost to a 2-4 Indiana squad. I underestimated the Hoosiers’ defense, but I also didn’t expect Michigan State’s offense to look as out of sync as they did. Luckily, they have a bye week to recalibrate before a heavily anticipated battle with Michigan.

13) Kentucky Wildcats (–)

The Wildcats are SEC East challengers no more — at least, not for the time being. College football is always unpredictable, but Georgia has the talent to go undefeated the rest of the way through November. Still, Kentucky fought admirably. Will Levis played well amidst heightened pressure. The Wildcats could still be in the running for a New Year’s bowl game.

14) Texas A&M Aggies (+3)

It was a scary two-week stretch for Aggies fans a couple of weeks ago, but it’s all good now. Texas A&M is good again. This week, the Aggies comfortably beat a 3-4 Missouri Tigers team by a score of 35-14. The win moves Texas A&M up three spots in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings. Their upside is limited with two losses, but they still have talent.

15) Oklahoma State Cowboys (+9)

It appears I underestimated Oklahoma State as well — or perhaps I underestimated Texas’ propensity to collapse in Atlanta Falcons-like fashion. Texas had a strong hold on this game at one point, but the Cowboys’ defense generated a couple valuable and timely momentum swings, and Jaylen Warren’s near-200-yard outing sealed the deal. Oklahoma State is good. Not great, but good.

Week 7 College Football Rankings | 16-25

How do the rest of our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings shake out? Here’s a look at the final 10 teams that make the cut!

16) Pittsburgh Panthers (+7)

That’s right. The Pittsburgh Panthers are now the top-rated ACC team in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings. This comes after the Panthers stomped the respectable Virginia Tech Hokies 28-7 — on the Hokies’ turf. Kenny Pickett was once again productive, and the defense showed new life. Pittsburgh is the conference’s most dangerous team right now.

17) SMU Mustangs (+3)

The Mustangs were on a bye in Week 7, but they still move up three spots in our Top 25 College Football Rankings — courtesy of Florida, Arkansas, and Texas all plummeting down the board. Tanner Mordecai remains the engine behind the Mustangs’ explosive offense, but a late-season matchup with Cincinnati will ultimately dictate how high they can rise.

18) Arizona State Sun Devils (-6)

The Pac-12 continues to implode from within. Arizona State was viewed as one of the more respectable teams in the conference. However, in Week 7, the Sun Devils fell by 14 points to Utah. Utah is a solid team, but ideally, the Sun Devils would have been able to take hold and drive this one. Now Oregon is the undisputed leader in the Pac-12 clubhouse. They don’t deserve to be, but no one else is stepping up.

19) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+2)

It’s another two-spot jump for a team on a bye week. Like SMU’s rise, however, this one is also mainly procedural. The Fighting Irish have already proven they don’t belong far above this spot. Upcoming games against USC and North Carolina could be potential upsets waiting to happen.

20) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (+2)

Like Notre Dame, losses by other teams also bump up the Demon Deacons two spots in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings. Wake Forest is one of the few undefeated teams left in college football and the only such team in its conference. If Wake Forest can get past Clemson and NC State, they can run the table in the Atlantic Coast.

21) Auburn Tigers (N/A)

Through their two earlier losses, the Auburn Tigers felt like an underachieving team. The Tigers have talent across the board, and when he’s on, Bo Nix isn’t a bad player. Nix was on this past week against Arkansas. He threw for 292 yards and 2 scores on 80.7% of his throws and also ran for a third touchdown. Auburn is a solid team, and they get the respect they deserve after besting Arkansas.

22) NC State Wolfpack (N/A)

NC State was already a known contender heading into Week 7, but their 33-7 win over Boston College only reinforced their status. Devin Leary has been more consistent as of late and is providing quality quarterback play. On the line, Ikem Ekwonu consistently paves open lanes for his running backs. The Wolfpack is here, and the ACC is within their grasp.

23) Clemson Tigers (-4)

Sure, Clemson came away with a win in Week 7 — but it was another underwhelming 17-14 victory, this time against Syracuse. The Tigers remain in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings by the sole virtue of their talent. But right now, they’re the fourth-best team in the ACC at best, and they play Pitt next week. That game could get ugly if they’re not careful.

24) Baylor Bears (N/A)

Texas’ third loss helped loosen things up for Baylor, but the Bears also took control of their destiny with a strong win against BYU in Week 7. Quietly, the Bears are 6-1, and their lone loss to this point came at the hands of Oklahoma State. Baylor still has Texas and Oklahoma on the schedule, but there’s a chance they could leave the regular season with double-digit wins.

25) UTSA Roadrunners (–)

UTSA stays put in our Week 7 Top 25 College Football Rankings, after crushing yet another Group of Five foe. This time, it was a 45-0 shutout of Rice that reasserted the Roadrunners’ dominance. Frank Harris and Sincere McCormick were once again strong on offense, and the defense suffocated the Owls’ attack. For UTSA, an early-November clash against UTEP should be circled on the calendar.

Moving Out

  • Florida Gators
  • Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Texas Longhorns

Closing In

  • San Diego State Aztecs
  • UCLA Bruins
  • Houston Cougars
  • Purdue Boilermakers
  • Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
  • UTEP Miners

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.