AP Top 25 College Football Rankings – Week Six

AP Top 25
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Week after week, we seem to have a new ranking due to some upsets. This week we had some low-scoring affairs. Both of which had an effect on the AP Top 25. What are the reactions of each team? What’s next?

Others receiving votes: North Carolina, Baylor, Coastal Carolina, BYU, Notre Dame, Florida, Tulane, Purdue, Florida State, South Carolina, Washington State, Minnesota, Maryland, LSU, San Jose State


25. James Madison Dukes (5-0)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 6 Result: @Arkansas State – W 42-20

What’s next: @Georgia Southern (Saturday, 4 PM ET)

James Madison University (JMU) makes it debut in the AP Top 25 in its debut FBS season. Even though they are ineligible for a bowl game this season they sure seem to be making the most of their opportunities. The question now does JMU deserve to be anywhere near this national collection of the supposedly best 25 teams. The arguments for them are key victories this season for their schedule, so
far against Middle Tennessee State and Appalachian State, but even the contrarian has a fair argument that those wins do not stack up to the power 5 conferences’ strength of schedule and I will attempt to take further one more at JMU’s competition level. JMU is not the only undefeated team in their conference and division. Coastal Carolina is undefeated also and will faceoff with JMU in the last
game of the season for each of November 26. Coastal Carolina also defeated Army at the beginning of the season. That being said Coastal Carolina is also receiving votes, but the premise that JMU gets in while they do not seem slanted, but JMU has had the more convincing victories, so if that’s how we are going to evaluate so be it. We are going to learn a lot about JMU in the next couple of weeks as they face of Georgia Southern who upset Nebraska earlier this season and Marshall who upset Note Dame also earlier in the season. JMU will also get to test themselves with a game against ACC competition in Louisville. I am not trying to shortchange the Dukes’ accomplishments, but this is a tale as old as a time when once we start trying to evaluate non-power 5 schools it is not accurately assessed. As we have seen even with the example St. Thomas University-Minnesota making the jump from Division 3 to FCS where they have been competitive. In conclusion, with small sample sizes, there is not much difference between the athletes recruited at top Division 3 & 2 programs that are also competitive still at FCS & non-power 5
FBS programs at the end of the day it is about the infrastructure of the program and the coaching connected to it. – Branden Timm

24. Illinois Fighting Illini (5-1)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 6 Result: vs. Iowa – W 9-6

What’s next: vs. Minnesota (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

It has been eleven years since the Illinois Fighting Illini have been ranked in the AP top-25 and this is due to a couple of factors. The first being they are proving to be one of the strongest teams in arguably one of weakest division in the power-5 conferences. The Big Ten West has consistently been one of the weakest divisions since the Big Ten moved to the geographic model for divisions. Second year Head
Coach Brett Bielema has been through the ups and downs of being the head coach at Wisconsin where he has success in the league for a seven-year stretch then after a subpar 5 year stretch at Arkansas, he moved onto the professional coaching ranks as an assistant for the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Bielema is very seasoned and knows how to win especially in the Big Ten. This Illinois squad
also is led by a group of seniors in key positions, Tommy DeVito QB (Sr.), Chase Brown RB (Jr.), Brian Hightower WR (Sr.) and Kendall Smith DB (Sr.) to name a few. Illinois played in a low-scoring affair against Iowa where they pulled out the win 9-6. This coming weekend they will host another very senior-laden team, Minnesota who has had there share of struggles in the Big Ten West also losing to Purdue. Illinois will earn their keep in the top 25 if they pull out a victory this coming Saturday, but it will not be an easy task as they will be without Tommy DeVito at quarterback. – Branden Timm

23. Texas Longhorns (4-2)

Previous Ranking: Unranked

Week 6 Result: @Oklahoma – W 49-0

What’s next: vs. Iowa State (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

With Quinn Ewers back at the controls, Texas looks to be back to where they were when they went toe to toe with Alabama. In Ewers’ first game back from injury he threw for 289 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout 49-0 victory in The Red River Shootout. The Texas defense has been much improved from last years unit allowing just 17.8 points per game. This week the Longhorns welcome in 3-3 Iowa State, who lost a 12-9 slop fest against Kansas State last week. Texas is favored by more than two scores in this one but it also represents the classic look ahead game as they will visit number 8 Oklahoma State next week. – Jeremy Greenberg

22. Kentucky Wildcats (4-2)

Previous Ranking: 13 (dropped 9)

Week 6 Result: vs. South Carolina – L 24-14

What’s next: vs. Mississippi State (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

The little brothers in the SEC have a fighter’s chance to make some noise this season. They are 4-2 on the season, the only two losses being close games down to the wire with Ole Miss and South Carolina. Kentucky has blue blood and shows grit in every game, especially on the defensive side. It will be hard for them to stay ranked as their schedule will only get tougher in the SEC moving forward, yet if any team can survive, the Wildcats can.

21. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1)

Previous Ranking: 24 (Moved up 3)

Week 6 Result: vs. South Florida – W 28-24

What’s next: Bye

The Cincinnati Bearcats have been on a roll all season long, with a 5-1 record to this point. They barely escaped a close matchup with USF this past weekend. keeping their ranking intact. They have a pass-first pro-style offense that is efficient to say the least, averaging 300 yards a game in the air. They are one of the most fragile ranked team in the nation and will have to remain undefeated to have a chance at the playoffs. – Rowan Donaghey

20. Utah Utes (4-2)

Previous Ranking: 25 (dropped 9)

Week 6 Result: @UCLA – L 42-32

What’s next: vs. USC (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

The Utes dropped a hard-fought battle with UCLA and switched spots with them in the poll. Cameron Rising had no touchdowns in the passing game but picked up two with his feet. He will need to regain his form in the passing attack when the Utees play the Trojans.

19. Kansas Jayhawks (5-1)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 6 Result: vs. TCU – L 38-31

What’s next: @Oklahoma (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Kansas of old is officially in the past. It has been quite the season for the Jayhawks who have taken the nation by storm. Taking on TCU was no easy task and unfortunately, Kansas was not able to come away with a win to start 6-0. Still, 5-1 is quite the start for a team that hasn’t won five games in well over a decade. There is absolutely no quit in Kansas and they proved that after losing star QB Jalon Daniels at the end of the first half. They got some excellent work from backup Jason Bean who finished the game 16/24 with 262 pass yards and four pass TDs. Losing Daniels was a crushing blow, but they stood tall and went punch for punch with TCU. It was about as evenly matched as possible and they provided one of the most exhilarating second halves in College Football history. The top spots in the Big 12 are still very much up for grabs and expect Kansas to be in the race all season long. – Zack Cherney

18. Syracuse Orange (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 22 (moved up four)

Week 6 Result: vs. Wagner – W 59-0

What’s next: (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

Syracuse Orangemen have had a weird season. Nonetheless, they are undefeated and winning in convincing fashion. Sitting at 5-0, they have one of the toughest schedules ahead of them. Facing a number of ranked teams in the ACC, which will give them an opportunity to prove they are a serious team to be reckoned with in the 2022 college football season. – Rowan Donaghey

17. Kansas State Wildcats (5-1)

Previous Ranking: 20 (moved up 3)

Week 6 Result: @Iowa State – W 10-9

What’s next: Bye

Kansas State put their name on the scene after beating Oklahoma a few weeks ago and have not slowed down since. They count on their run game and run defense on both ends, on average recording a +117 over their opponents in rushing yards per game. Like all teams at this time of year, the hardest part of the schedule is in front of them. If this team can continue to dominate the line on both ends they will have a shot to be ranked all season. – Rowan Donaghey

16. Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-1)

Previous Ranking: 23 (moved up 7)

Week 6 Result: vs. Arkansas State – W 40-17

What’s next: @Kentucky (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

The bulldogs of Mississippi State are in the gauntlet called the SEC and so far they have looked like a legit candidate to challenge Alabama and Georgia for the number one spot in the conference. Both teams they will face in the next month. So far all of their wins have been by at least 18 points or more. With only one loss on the road against LSU, Mississippi State has proved they belong in the top 25. – Rowan Donaghey

15. NC State Wolfpack (5-1)

Previous Ranking: 14 (dropped one)

Week 6 Result: vs. Florida State – W 19-17

What’s next: @Syracuse (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

Surviving close games have been the pedigree for this team all season long. This past weekend against Florida State was no different. This team showed fight coming back from a double digit deficit late to win 19-17. The bulk of the load has been on the defense as they have gotten big stops when needed the most. Moving forward this is a dangerous team for any big school on the fringe to face. – Rowan Donaghey

14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1)

Previous Ranking: 15 (moved up one)

Week 6 Result: vs. Army – W 45-20

What’s next: Bye

After beating Florida State and Army in back to back weeks in contest that were not even close, Wake Forest has garnered national attention. On the season they have only lost one game, and that game was a shootout to Clemson, losing 51-45. They have shown that they can score the ball with the top teams in the country, their season’s success will come down to how well the defense can step up. They have a very good chance of running the table the rest of season and ending up as the biggest surprise this season. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons! – Rowan Donaghey

13. TCU Horned Frogs (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 17 (moved up four)

Week 6 Result: @Kansas – W 28-31

What’s next: vs. Oklahoma State (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

After absolutely destroying Oklahoma it was time for TCU to take on Kansas which proved much more difficult than in previous years. They stood tall at the end of a defense-heavy first half with a 10-3 lead. That shifted in the third quarter as they scored 21 points, but also gave up 21 points. They then matched each other again with one touchdown in the second half. It turns out the first-half touchdown was the difference in this incredible duel. QB Max Duggan once again showed up with lots of confidence with 308 pass yards, 55 rush yards, three pass TDs and one rush TD. The QB Duel was insane and Duggan came away on top. What proved more important than any offensive and defensive performance was the fact that they only had one penalty for five yards. They did not make dumb mistakes, they played incredibly smart and efficient football which helped them flow in a positive manner all game long. Watch out for TCU to reach the Top 10 soon. – Zack Cherney

12. Oregon Ducks (5-1)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 6 Result: @Arizona – W 49-22

What’s next: Bye

Since their loss to Georgia in Week One, the Ducks have scored a minimum of 41 points in every contest after. The most recent victim of Oregon’s dominant run game was Arizona. The Wildcats defense allowed the Ducks to rush for 310 yards and seven touchdowns. Bo Nix has led the Ducks back to where they were in the Preseason AP Top 25 poll. The Senior quarterback has eight rushing touchdowns over the course of the last four weeks. Who would’ve thought that the Ducks would be getting a bye before they take on the 6-0 UCLA Bruins.

11. UCLA Bruins (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 18 (moved up 7)

Week 6 Result: vs. Utah – W 42-32

What’s next: Bye

UCLA is an absolute menace in the Pac-12 this season. It is difficult to get many people to pay attention to teams in the Pac-12 outside of USC, Utah and Oregon who were surrounded by hype. Nonetheless, the Bruins have come out swinging through six games that have all resulted in victories. Coming into Saturday’s matchup against No. 11 Utah the Bruins were averaging 40.4 points per game whereas the Utes only allowed 14.4 points per game. The Bruins did not flinch against a great defense as they stacked up 502 total yards of offense. The biggest playmakers were QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson who went 18/23 for 299 pass yards and four pass TDs. Then there was running back Zach Charbonnet who went ballistic with 198 rush yards and one rush TD. Despite losing in time of possession by nearly eight minutes, giving up 10 more first downs and recording 11 penalties the Bruins took down the Utes with an extremely dominant second half. This Bruins team is going to be a great team to watch all season. -Zack Cherney

AP Top 25

Top 10

10. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 11 (moved up one)

Week 6 Result: vs. Northwestern – W 17-7

What’s next: @Michigan (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

It was a quick bye week and now Penn State is gearing up for the Big 10 matchup against #4 Michigan. This game will decide who is in the early running for the College football playoffs or for a bowl game. – Jeremy Adams

9. Ole Miss Rebels (6-0)

Previous Ranking: –

Week 6 Result: @Vanderbilt – W 52-28

What’s next: vs. Auburn (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

Ole Miss looks like the new juggernaut in the SEC. Lane Kiffin has this Rebels team looking sharp on both ends. The offense is becoming known for running up the score winning in a prominent fashion. As the defense continues to shut down opponents. The Ole Miss Rebels have no ceiling in 2022. As good as the SEC is, the Ole Miss Rebels are close to the top! – Rowan Donaghey

8. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-0)

Previous Ranking: 7 (dropped 1)

Week 6 Result: vs. Texas Tech – W 41-31

What’s next: @TCU (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

“Oklahoma where the grass is green”… at least for Okie State, that is. The Oklahoma State Cowboys stay alive in the top ten rankings this week but slid a spot to the eighth seed. The Big 12’s Cowboys survived a shootout with the Red Raiders, but the Cowboys prevailed in this battle of old west mascots. However, as they enter conference play, and face fellow ranked conference cohorts, it’ll be tough sledding moving forward. If they can navigate the waters coming, they can surely make a case for the playoffs. – Zach Espinoza

7. USC Trojans (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 6 (dropped 1)

Week 6 Result: vs. Washington State – W 30-14

What’s next: @Utah (Saturday, 8 PM ET)

Lincoln Riley’s Trojans keep rolling this week, beating Washington State 30-14. USC’s offense may be what has carried them to being a top-10 team, but their defense shined this week, led by junior DL Tuli Tuipulotu, who posted 4 tackles for loss and 3 sacks, adding to this defense’s country-leading sack total. On offense, the transfers were the shining stars of the game. Oregon transfer Travis Dye went for 148 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while Oklahoma transfer Mario Williams had 4 receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Their undefeated start will be in jeopardy this Saturday, however, as they get their biggest test of the season against a physical #20 Utah team led by QB Cameron Rising. – Nico Zambuto

6. Tennessee Volunteers (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 8 (moved up 2)

Week 6 Result: @LSU – W 40-13

What’s next: vs. Alabama (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

Rocky Top you’ll always be, home sweet home to me! After a blowout win in Baton Rouge last week, Neyland Stadium will be rocking as the sixth-ranked, undefeated Volunteers welcome in the third-ranked, Crimson Tide. Alabama has owned The Second Saturday in October rivalry of late as they have won the past 16 matchups. This could be the one that breaks the dubious mark as the Vols are flying high at 5-0, have their highest ranking since 2005 and expectations are sky-high. If Tennessee can somehow pull this one out, there will undoubtedly be some College Football Playoff talk surrounding the Volunteers, and rightfully so. – Jeremy Greenberg

5. Michigan Wolverines (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 4 (dropped 1)

Week 6 Result: @Indiana – W 31-10

What’s next: vs. Penn State (Saturday, 12 PM ET)

The Michigan Wolverines dropped a spot in the rankings, after a big win over an unranked Indiana. QB J.J. McCarthy threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, Blake Corum helped the run game as he went for 124 yards and a touchdown. Next week, Michigan takes on a tough Penn State. – Dacota Haynes

4. Clemson Tigers (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 5 (moved up one)

Week 6 Result: @Boston College – 31-3

What’s next: @Florida State (Saturday, 7:30 PM ET)

A sluggish Clemson offense finally did enough to pull away from the inspired Boston College Eagles. The Eagles celebrated the life of 9/11 hero Welles Crowther with the Red Bandana game. The Tigers defense ramped up the intensity in the second half, and was strong against the run the entire game. Clemson only allowed 30-34 rushing for the game. They pressured Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec into completing less than 50 percent of his passes. DJ Uiagalelei used his arm and legs to finally get the Tigers offense moving in the second half. The Tigers’ patchwork secondary will again be tested by a much improved Florida State team next Saturday night. Clemson’s offense will need to be ready to go right from the start to get out of Tallahassee with a win against the Seminoles. – Lee McManus

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 1 (dropped two)

Week 6 Result: vs. Texas A & M – W 24-20

What’s next: @Tennessee (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

After playing a tough Texas A&M team, the Alabama Crimson Tide fell to third this week. Which is the lowest they have been ranked this season. Without starting quarterback Bryce Young, Alabama has changed their game plan to consist of a run attack focused around Jahmyr Gibbs who rushed 21 times for 154 yards this last week. This week they play a very talented No.6 Tennessee Vols team that is coming off a beatdown by LSU. – Dacota Haynes

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 3 (moved up one)

Week 6 Result: @Michigan State – W 49-20

What’s next: Bye

The Buckeyes are back up at No.2 for the first time since the preseason poll. In their dominating win over the Spartans, it was all about the passing game. QB CJ Stroud threw for 361 yards and six touchdowns. As the Buckeyes move into their bye, they are 6-0. – Dacota Haynes

1. Georgia Bulldogs (6-0)

Previous Ranking: 2 (moved up one)

Week 6 Result: vs. Auburn – W 42-10

What’s next: vs, Vanderbilt (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET)

The Bulldogs jumped back out to their dominant selves that we are used to seeing this season. They only allowed 10 points to the Tigers. Stetson Bennett threw for 208 yards but the rushing attack struck into the endzone for the Bulldogs. Branson Robinson and Daijun Edwards led the attack with 181 yards combined. The latter had three touchdowns. This week should be another easy route for the Bulldogs as they take on Vanderbilt. – Dacota Haynes

TL//DR: These AP Top 25 rankings are based on the official website. The summaries are brought to you by our staff.

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