College football rankings: Ohio State tightens grip on No. 1

By RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer

The Ohio State Buckeyes are the best team in the country.

Both Georgia and Alabama, previous No. 1s here, have displayed flaws against teams who just aren’t talented enough to exploit them.

Georgia needed a big fourth quarter to make a 42-10 victory over Auburn look more impressive than it was, and Alabama nearly lost to the same Texas A&M team that has now lost three of its last six games, including one in which the Aggies put money in the bag against 3-3 Appalachian State.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes have not played with their complete assortment of offensive playmakers — wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Julian Fleming as well as running backs Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson — all at once. Yet they’ve done nothing but demonstrated dominance from Week 2 onward and the double-digit win they had over Notre Dame no longer looks like a stinker thanks to the Fighting Irish knocking off a ranked BYU squad on Saturday.

And Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud has been otherworldly during this stretch.

Against Michigan State, Stroud threw more touchdown passes (six) than completions (five), and his performance through the first half of the season makes him the front-runner to win the Heisman if his form holds.

Ohio State routs Michigan State in Week 6

RJ Young reacts to the Buckeyes’ victory over Michigan State.

Halfway through the season, it’s not just that Ohio State is the No. 1 team in the country. It’s that the Buckeyes are the only team that has proven worthy of the crown for the past two weeks.

1. Ohio State (6-0)

Defeated Michigan State, 49-20

Stroud completed 21 of 26 pass attempts for 361 yards with six TDs and an INT. Henderson added 118 rushing yards on 19 carries, and receivers Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison, Jr. each amassed over 100 receiving yards in a rout of the Spartans.

2. Alabama (6-0)

Defeated Texas A&M, 24-20

Alabama missed reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young but managed to survive a game that came down to the last play. The Tide turned the ball over four times and backup quarterback Jalen Milroe completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards with three TDs and an INT.

3. Georgia (6-0)

Defeated Auburn, 42-10

Georgia has not lost the Deep South’s oldest rivalry at home since 2005 and extended its winning streak against the Tigers to six.

4. Michigan (6-0)

Defeated Indian, 31-10

JJ McCarthy completed 28 of 46 for 304 yards with an INT while Heisman contender Blake Corum rushed for 124 yards on 25 carries as the Wolverines outscored the Hoosiers 21-0 in the second half in Bloomington.

Michigan looks dominant vs. Indian

Michigan looks dominant vs.  Indian

RJ Young discusses how the Michigan Wolverines rules over Indiana despite a scary moment on the Wolverines’ sideline.

5. Clemson (6-0)

Defeated Boston College, 31-3

DJ Uiagalelei passed for 220 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers pulled away late.

6. Oklahoma State (5-0)

Defeated Texas Tech, 41-31

The Pokes held off the Red Raiders to set up a showdown for Big 12 supremacy against undefeated TCU on Saturday.

7. Tennessee (5-0)

Defeated LSU, 40-13

The Vols handed LSU a loss for the first time since 2016, improving to 5-0 — their best start since 2016. Next week, Tennessee looks to earn its first win against Alabama since 2006.

8. USC (6-0)

Defeated Washington State, 30-14

USC running back Travis Dye has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of the Trojans’ five wins. He logged 27 rushes for 146 yards with a TD against Wazzu.

9. Penn State (5-0)


10. Mississippi (6-0)

Defeated Vanderbilt, 52-28

The Rebels bounced back from a 20-10 deficit to blow the doors off the Commodores. Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart threw for 448 yards with three TDs and two INTs in the win.

11. Oregon (5-1)

Defeated Arizona, 49-22

Bo Nix passed for 265 yards and rushed for three touchdowns in an easy win for the Ducks.

12. UCLA (6-0)

Defeated Utah, 42-32

The Bruins became the first Chip Kelly-led team to start the season 6-0 since his Oregon Ducks did in 2012. The Ducks ended the season as the No. 2 in the country and 12-1.

UCLA is for real!

UCLA is for real!

RJ Young talks about UCLA’s impressive upset victory over Utah, and explains why Chip Kelly’s Bruins are starting to look like a premier team.

13. TCU (5-0)

Defeated Kansas, 38-31

The Horned Frogs improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2017 when head coach Sonny Dykes was an analyst on TCU’s coaching staff.

14. Mississippi State (5-1)

Defeated Arkansas, 40-17

The Bulldogs took advantage of an Arkansas team playing without their talisman and starting quarterback KJ Jefferson. MSU quarterback Will Rogers threw for 395 yards while setting the all-time completion record for an SEC quarterback with 31 on 48 pass attempts against the Hogs.

15. Kansas State (5-1)

Defeated Iowa State, 10-9

Adrian Martinez passed for 246 yards as the Wildcats avoided the upset.

16. Syracuse (5-0)


17. Wake Forest (5-1)

Defeated Army, 45-10

The Demon Deacons led 38-0 entering the fourth quarter of a game that was never close.

18. North Carolina State (5-1)

Defeated Florida State, 19-17

With the game in the balance, the Wolfpack defense came up with a critical turnover in the waning moments of the game to earn its fifth win.

19. Utah (4-2)

Lost to UCLA42-32

The Utes gave up 30-plus points for the first time all season.

20. Kansas (5-1)

Lost to TCU, 38-31

The Jayhawks responded valiantly to the loss of their starting quarterback, Jalon Daniels, in the first half and fell just short of their sixth win.

21. Texas (4-2)

Defeated Oklahoma, 49-0

The Longhorns handed the Sooners their worst loss in the history of the Red River Rivalry, shutting out the Sooners for the first time since 1965 and putting up the largest margin of victory for Texas in this game.

Oklahoma blown out in the Red River Showdown

Oklahoma blown out in the Red River Showdown

RJ Young reacts to the Texas Longhorns’ 49-0 rout of Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown.

22. Minnesota (4-1)


2. 3. North Carolina (5-1)

Defeated Miami, 27-24

The UNC defense gave up 496 pass yards and 540 total to the Hurricanes, but the offense picked up the defense with 470 total yards, despite allowing five sacks of quarterback Drake Maye.

Maye finished with 19-for-28 for 309 passing yards, with two TDs and two INTs.

24. Coastal Carolina (5-0)

Defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 28-21

CJ Beasley rushed for 115 yards and a pair of scores on 15 carries in the victory.

25. Cincinnati (5-1)

Defeated South Florida, 28-24

A 35-yard TD run by Charles McClelland in the fourth quarter won it for the Bearcats.

Read more:

– Heisman Watch: Stroud dominates with 6-TD day

– Even at 6-0, No. 4 Michigan is hard to pin down

– Michigan pulls away to win an emotional game after assistant collapses

– Red River Showdown: With Quinn Ewers back, Texas routs Oklahoma

– College football top plays: All the best from a wild Week 6

– Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA to big win over Utah

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.

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