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College Football rankings Week 6: Clemson and UCLA climb after Week 5

college football rankings Week 6

Week 5 of the 2022 college football season is in the books and it delivered a handful of teams in the top 25 rankings going down. Before diving into our Week 5 college football rankings, let’s review what transpired over the weekend.

It started early with the UCLA Bruins taking down the Washington Huskies, pushing UCLA into the top 25 rankings for the first time in a while. It means more representation for the Pac-12 Conference, which is looking quite deep this season. on Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners, Texas A&M Aggies, Baylor Bears and Minnesota Golden Gophers all experienced heartbreak.

As we look at the college football standings, no one is surprised that the Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State Buckeyes and Alabama Crimson Tide are at the top. However, there are also plenty of surprises including the Tennessee Volunteers and Syracuse Orange as two of the remaining undefeated college football teams.

Related: Hungry for more College Football news? Tap here for the hottest headlines breaking right now.

Let’s dive into our Week 6 college football rankings.

Dropped from Top 25 rankings: Oklahoma Sooners (12), Texas A&M Aggies (15), Arkansas Razorbacks (18), Baylor Bears (19), Minnesota Golden Gophers (21), Texas Tech Red Raiders (25)

25. James Madison Dukes (UR)

NCAA Football: James Madison at Appalachian State
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
  • James Madison Dukes record: 5-0
  • Week 6 Opponent: @ Arkansas State Red Wolves

The 25th spot in the college football rankings came down to James Madison vs Coastal Carolina. Ultimately, the team with a win over Appalachian State and a 31-point average margin of victory earns the nod. It’s fair to say the Dukes’ first season in the Sun Belt Conference is going perfectly and we can only hope both James Madison and Coastal Carolina are undefeated when they meet on Nov. 26.

24. Mississippi State Bulldogs (UR)

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Arizona
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Mississippi State Bulldogs record: 4-1
  • Next Opponent: vs Arkansas Razorbacks

After a tough loss in Week 3 to LSU, Mike Leach is getting the Bulldogs back on track. Mississippi State demolished Bowling Green and then easily handled Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies. It’s a nice step forward for the program, but contests against Arkansas, Kentucky and Alabama will determine how long MSU hangs around in the top 25 rankings.

23. LSU Tigers (UR)

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Auburn
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
  • LSU Tigers record: 4-1
  • Next Opponent: vs Tennessee Volunteers

A Brian Kelly-coached team is back in the top 25 rankings. The LSU Tigers trailed 17-0 at one point in this game, sparking fear that it would be a second ugly loss for LSU before the toughest stretch in its schedule. Fortunately for the Tigers, three unanswered touchdowns and some strong defense in the second half led the comeback. The best news of all, cornerback Sevyn Banks was cleared to leave the hospital after being taken off the field on a stretcher.

22. TCU Horned Frogs (UR)

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Christian
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
  • TCU Horned Frogs record: 4-0
  • Next Opponent: @ Kansas Jayhawks

The rebound season rolls on for quarterback Max Duggan. On a big stage, the senior decimated Brent Venables’ defense through the air (302 passing yards) and on the ground (116 rushing yards). The TCU Horner Frogs will now roll into Week 6 with a perfect record and Duggan is already on the verge of surpassing his touchdown total (19) from the 2021 season.

21. Kansas State Wildcats (24)

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Kansas State
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kansas State Wildcats record: 4-1
  • Next Opponent: @ Iowa State Cyclones

Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Adrian Martinez is on a tear right now. A week after he put this offense on his back and carried it into the college football rankings, the former Nebraska starter did it again. Martinez is now responsible for 319 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns in his last two games. Iowa State is going to have its hands in Week 6.

20. Washington Huskies (16)

NCAA Football: Washington at UCLA
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Washington Huskies record: 4-1
  • Week 6 Opponent: @ Arizona State Sun Devils

The Washington Huskies only remain in the top-25 rankings because of the chaos from this Saturday. Ignore the final score, Washington looked awful until the fourth quarter on Friday night. Two turnovers and nine penalties played a significant part in it, but this more so appears to just be the Huskies falling back to earth.

19. Syracuse Orange (UR)

NCAA Football: Virginia at Syracuse
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
  • Syracuse Orange record: 5-0
  • Week 6 Opponent: vs NC State Wolfpack

The Syracuse Orange finally get their due in the Week 6 college football rankings. We’ve been skeptical all year, with victories over below-average opponents and questions before the season hurting Syracuse. With that said, an undefeated record can only be ignored for so long. We’ll see if it lasts heading into late October with NC State, Clemson and Notre Dame waiting in the shadows.

18. Kansas Jayhawks (22)

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Kansas
William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kansas Jayhawks record: 5-0
  • Next Opponent: vs TCU Horned Frogs

The Kansas Jayhawks survived on Saturday because Iowa State couldn’t make its field goals. It’s nice to see the undefeated season stretch into early October, but the Heisman campaign for quarterback Jalon Daniels took a massive hit heading into Week 6. Kansas needs to do a lot better than a 30% third-down conversion rate to come out on top against TCU.

Related: Heisman Watch 2022

17. BYU Cougars (20)

NCAA Football: Utah State at Brigham Young
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
  • BYU Cougars record: 4-1
  • Week 6 opponent: @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Against a one-win Utah State program, the BYU Cougars needed quarterback Jaren Hall to lead a rally. It speaks to the inconsistency of this team that it couldn’t really put Utah State away until the final minutes of the third quarter. It doesn’t exactly bode well in advance of a Saturday night matchup against the Fighting Irish.

16. NC State Wolfpack (17)

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Clemson
Anderson Independent Mail-USA TODAY Sports
  • NC State Wolfpack record: 4-1
  • Next Opponent: vs Florida State Seminoles

There wasn’t a chance NC State would drop in Sportsnaut’s college football rankings after this performance. In one of the toughest environments in American sports to play, the Wolfpack took Clemson down to the wire. It’s a testament to the culture Dave Clawson built and we’d feel confident in NC State returning home and knocking down FSU.

15. UCLA Bruins (UR)

NCAA Football: Washington at UCLA
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • UCLA Bruins record: 5-0
  • Week 6 opponent: vs Utah Utes

Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the UCLA Bruins more than prove themselves. They took down the No. 16 team in our college football rankings and made it look easy. While the Washington Huskies made it close on the scoreboard, UCLA led 40-24 in the fourth quarter before it took its foot off the break. With Thompson-Robinson playing at a level we’ve never seen from him, Utah should be on upset watch next week.

14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (23)

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Florida State
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons record: 4-1
  • Next Opponent: vs Army Black Knights

For whatever reason, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons were an underdog against Florida State in Week 5. Sam Hartman and the Demon Deacons’ rushing attack proved why this is an underrated college football team. A close loss to Clemson followed by a road victory against the Seminoles demonstrates the new standard at Wake Forest. Anything but a 7-1 record for the Nov. 5 matchup against NC State would be a massive disappointment.

13. Kentucky Wildcats (9)

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Mississippi
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kentucky Wildcats record: 4-1
  • Week 6 Opponent: vs South Carolina Gamecocks

Two fumbles kept the Kentucky Wildcats from experiencing a historic ascension up the college football rankings. Will Levis is going to see Jared Ivey in his nightmares because there’s a strong likelihood Kentucky wins this one on the road if not for the strip-sack. The Wildcats should still be happy with a 5-1 record and it should be 5-1 after a Week 6 draw against South Carolina.

12. Utah Utes (14)

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Utah
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
  • Utah Utes record: 4-1
  • Next Opponent: @ UCLA Bruins

After only holding a 21-16 lead over Oregon State midway through the third quarter Cameron Rising and Jaylen Dixon took over the game for a decisive 42-16 victory. We’re seeing more consistency and bigger plays from this offense, both of which are going to be important if the Utes want to take down undefeated UCLA in the Rose Bowl Stadium.

11. Oregon Ducks (10)

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington State
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
  • Oregon Ducks record: 4-1
  • Week 6 Opponent: @ Arizona Wildcats

We’re already looking past Arizona in Week 6. No one anticipated a mid-October draw between Oregon vs UCLA would have this many combined victories. There is more than enough on the line, with the Pac-12 conference especially competitive this season at the top. Oregon’s quarterback and coaching advantage should give it an edge, especially with a raucous home crowd, but the 2022 season has proven wild things happen in the top 25 rankings.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (11)

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Penn State
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
  • Penn State Nittany Lions record: 5-0
  • Next Opponent: @ Michigan Wolverines (Oct. 15)

This is the dream scenario for James Franklin. The Penn State Nittany Lions’ defense is holding opponents under 15 points per game in the last four weeks and the team holds a 5-0 record. It provides all the momentum needed heading into the bye week and 13 days to prepare for the Michigan Wolverines could set up Penn State to deliver heartbreak for the faithful crowd at Michigan Stadium.

9. Ole Miss Rebels (11)

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Mississippi
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Mississippi Rebels record: 5-0
  • Week 6 Opponent: @ Vanderbilt Commodores

Ole Miss Rebels coach Lane Kiffin wasn’t especially pleased with his team’s performance, even in a win. Mississippi only committed three penalties and converted 50% of its third-down attempts, but a turnover and some mental mistakes are more than enough for Kiffin. Fortunately, drawing Vanderbilt means the Rebels can clean things up without fearing a potential loss.

Related: Lane Kiffin pushes Ole Miss player

8. USC Trojans (7)

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Southern California
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • USC Trojans record: 5-0
  • Next Opponent: vs Washington State Cougars

The USC Trojans are off to the 5-0 start that they paid for, with Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams meeting expectations for the most part heading into Week 6. We’re not anticipating Washington State will make things a fight to the finish in Week 6, but that Oct. 16 matchup in Utah is going to be a fantastic bottle with a top-10 spot in the college football rankings for November at stake.

7. Tennessee Volunteers (6)

Syndication: Gator Sports
Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Tennessee Volunteers record: 4-0
  • Week 6 opponent: @ LSU Tigers

Coming out of the bye week, the Tennessee Volunteers should feel very confident. Playing at Tiger Stadium is always a challenge, but the LSU Tigers lack the firepower to stick around with quarterback Hendon Hooker. Assuming Tennessee can come out on top in Week 6, it sets the stage for a phenomenal matchup for the third Saturday in October at Neyland Stadium against Alabama.

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8)

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Baylor
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys record: 5-0
  • Next Opponent: vs Texas Tech Red Raiders

A temporary dip in the college football rankings is forgotten as the Oklahoma State Cowboys reclaim their spot at No. 6 following a statement victory over previously-ranked Baylor. Spencer Sanders was the star on Saturday, but an even bigger takeaway was the Cowboys’ defense providing stops in crucial moments. Expect Mike Gundy’s team to handle its business back at home in Week 6 against Texas Tech.

5. Michigan Wolverines (4)

NCAA Football: Michigan at Iowa
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
  • Michigan Wolverines record: 5-0
  • Week 6 opponent: @ Indiana Hoosiers

The Michigan Wolverines haven’t fallen victim to the trap game this season, with Maryland the only opponent that made Jim Harbaugh sweat. Ir It shouldn’t be any different next Saturday against Indiana and this is an opportunity for the Wolverines’ defense to really iron things out before the marquee matchup in Week 7 of Penn State vs Michigan with a top-10 spot in the college football rankings at stake.

4. Clemson Tigers (5)

Syndication: The Greenville News
  • Clemson Tigers record: 5-0
  • Next Opponent: @ Boston College Eagles

The Clemson Tigers are starting to look more like the team of old. Wake Forest proved it’s a formidable foe last week and Clemson took them down on the road. Returning home against NC State, the Tigers’ defense rose to the occasion and quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei did just enough to push Clemson to a 5-0 record. Things should be a bit easier in Week 6 against Boston College.

Related: Clemson Tigers schedule

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (2)

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Ohio State Buckeyes record: 5-0
  • Week 6 Opponent: @ Michigan State Spartans

The Ohio State Buckeyes are a running back factory. Everyone knew about Tre’Veyon Henderson entering the season, but junior Miyan Williams is making the most out of his opportunities right now with consecutive monster performances. Set to face an underwhelming Michigan State program next Saturday, Ohio State’s offense should dominate once more.

Related: Ohio State Buckeyes schedule

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (3)

NCAA Football: Alabama at Arkansas
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
  • Alabama Crimson Tide record: 5-0
  • Next Opponent: vs Texas A&M Aggies

The Alabama Crimson Tide easily handled the Arkansas Razorbacks, once a consensus top-12 team in top 25 rankings. Unfortunately, the Bryce Young injury wipes away any good feelings around the program right now. Freshman Jalen Milroe displayed some nice flashes as the fill-in quarterback and Nick Saban hinted at some Jalen Hurts-lite comps, but this is still a massive blow before facing Texas A&M.

1. Georgia Bulldogs (1)

Syndication: Online Athens
  • Georgia Bulldogs record: 5-0
  • Week 6 Opponent: vs Auburn Tigers

Georgia Bulldogs thought the victory over Kent State was scary. In comparison to Week 5, that was a stroll in the park. Georgia needed to claw its way back against Missouri, a program that entered Saturday night with a 2-2 record. This is two consecutive “ugly” wins for Georgia, made worse by injuries. We still put the Bulldogs at No. 1 in the college football rankings, but the gap is narrow and it might only exist because of C.J. Stroud’s recent struggles and Young’s injury.

Related: College Football schedule