College News & Analysis

College Football Week 13: Top 25 Rankings

College Park, Maryland, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State and Michigan play in the game of the year: The Buckeyes and Wolverines rank second and third, respectively, setting up an all-time showdown this weekend.

USC joins the top five: The Trojans slot in at No. 5 after their 48-45 win over then-No. 16 UCLA.

Wait, could Alabama actually make the playoff?: The Crimson Tide sit at seventh and could potentially make the playoff if chaos ensues.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

We’ve made it to the final week of the 2022 college football regular season.

Before Week 13 commences, here is how I currently view the top 25 teams in the country. Please note this ranking is not the same as PFF’s power rankings.

1. Georgia Bulldogs (Record: 11-0, CFP Ranking: 1st)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

After a 16-6 win over Kentucky in Week 12, top-ranked Georgia just needs to beat Georgia Tech in Week 13 to lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs are favored by 35.5 points, according to BetMGM Sportsbook.

Even if Georgia loses to LSU in the SEC championship game, the playoff committee will still almost assuredly include the Bulldogs in the final four. 

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (Record: 11-0, CFP Ranking: 2nd)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. No. 3 Michigan Wolverines

Like Georgia, Ohio State needs only one more victory to essentially clinch a spot in the playoff.

Unlike the Bulldogs, the Buckeyes don’t have it easy in Week 13. Their contest with No. 3 Michigan promises to be the biggest game of the year so far. Not only would the winner clinch a spot in the final four, they’d also clinch a trip to the Big Ten championship game.

3. Michigan Wolverines (Record: 11-0, CFP Ranking: 3rd)

Week 13 Matchup: at No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes

The other half of the game of the year, third-ranked Michigan enters its colossal showdown with No. 2 Ohio State with a ton of injuries, including one to arguably the best player in college football.

Wolverines running back Blake Corum suffered a left knee injury in the win over Illinois in Week 12. He was able to return for one carry before sitting out for the rest of the game. Corum’s 96.1 grade this season is over two points higher than any other player in the country.

4. TCU Horned Frogs (Record: 11-0, CFP Ranking: 4th)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Every week seems like the one when TCU’s Cinderella run will come to an end. And every week, the Horned Frogs prove the nation wrong.

This past Saturday, TCU pulled out an absolute nail-biter over Baylor, 29-28. The Horned Frogs had to sprint kicker Griffin Kell on to boot the 40-yard game-winner as time expired.

Now, TCU just needs to beat Iowa State and likely Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game in order to secure a first-ever playoff berth for the program. One loss just about eliminates that possibility.

5. USC Trojans (Record: 10-1, CFP Ranking: 6th)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Trojans survived the first of what will be a brutal three-game stretch, beating then-No. 16 UCLA in a 48-45 shootout.

It won’t get any easier, though. Up next for the Trojans is a date with No. 15 Notre Dame, a top-five team in PFF’s power rankings. Then, USC will likely face No. 9 Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game. If the Trojans win both, they should lock up a spot in the final four.

6. LSU Tigers (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 5th)

Week 13 Matchup: at Texas A&M Aggies

LSU is looking to become the first two-loss team to make the College Football Playoff in its nine-year history. 

If the Tigers beat top-ranked Georgia in the SEC championship game, they’ll create a very interesting argument for the playoff committee. An SEC champion has never been denied an invite to the playoff.

7. Alabama Crimson Tide (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 7th)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. Auburn Tigers

Ok, hear us out. Alabama can still somehow make the College Football Playoff as a two-loss non-SEC champion.

As of right now, the Crimson Tide have a 1% chance to make the playoff, according to PFF’s power rankings. So you’re saying there’s a chance.

8. Clemson Tigers (Record: 10-1, CFP Ranking: 8th)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Clemson can very much make the playoff as a one-loss ACC champion.

The Tigers will likely need some help though in the form of a USC loss, a TCU loss and a Georgia win in the SEC championship game. Clemson would, of course, need to win the ACC championship over Drake Maye and No. 17 North Carolina, too. The Tigers would also need to avoid slipping up this weekend to South Carolina, which just decimated then-No. 5 Tennessee last week.

9. Tennessee Volunteers (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 10th)

Week 13 Matchup: at Vanderbilt Commodores

Speaking of that game, Tennessee saw its playoff hopes disappear against South Carolina in a 63-38 rout.

The Volunteers' defense couldn’t get a single stop against the Gamecocks. Tennessee allowed 0.486 expected points added per play, the most of any team in Week 12. Making matters worse is the fact that Volunteers star quarterback Hendon Hooker suffered a torn ACL in the loss.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 11th)

Week 13 Matchup: vs. Michigan State Spartans

Penn State falls victim to playing in a division with two of the top three teams in the country in Ohio State and Michigan.

Aside from the Nittany Lions’ losses to those squads, they’ve won their other nine games by an average of 26 points. If both the Buckeyes and Wolverines make the playoff, Penn State could be playing in the Rose Bowl.

11. Oregon Ducks (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 9th)

12. Kansas State Wildcats (Record: 8-3, CFP Ranking: 12th)

13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Record: 8-3, CFP Ranking: 15th)

14. Texas Longhorns (Record: 7-4, CFP Ranking: 23rd)

15. Utah Utes (Record: 8-3, CFP Ranking: 14th)

16. Florida State Seminoles (Record: 8-3, CFP Ranking: 16th)

17. Iowa Hawkeyes (Record: 7-4, CFP Ranking: NR)

18. North Carolina Tar Heels (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 17th)

19. Washington Huskies (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 13th)

20. Cincinnati Bearcats (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 24th)

21. UTSA Roadrunners (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: NR)

22. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Record: 7-4, CFP Ranking: NR)

23. Oregon State Beavers (Record: 8-3, CFP Ranking: 21st)

24. Ole Miss Rebels (Record: 8-3, CFP Ranking: 20th)

25. Tulane Green Wave (Record: 9-2, CFP Ranking: 19th)

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