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

RJ Young

FOX Sports College Football Analyst

Ohio State continues to show me that it’s the best team in the country. 

With C.J. Stroud throwing for 354 yards, Marvin Harrison Jr. catching 10 passes for 185 yards, and J.T. Tuimoloau putting together the best individual defensive performance by any FBS player this season, the Buckeyes earned their first AP top-10 win of the season. On top of that, they did it on the road after falling behind by five early in the fourth quarter.

The Buckeyes squarely look like a team built for a national title run, but there is a long way to go as we head into the first week of the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings. 

And don’t forget — Michigan still looms on the schedule.

Ohio State rallies to beat Penn State

Ohio State rallies to beat Penn State

RJ Young reacts to Ohio State’s impressive victory against Penn State, including an incredible defensive showing from J.T. Tuimoloau.

1. Ohio State (8-0)

Defeated Penn State, 44-31

Turning a tight game into a blowout, courtesy of a 28-point fourth quarter in a hostile road environment? It doesn’t get much more impressive than that.

2. Georgia (8-0)

Defeated Florida, 42-20

The Bulldogs made a 28-3 halftime lead hold up, thanks in part to the running of Daijun Edwards, who gained 106 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.

3. Michigan (8-0)

Defeated Michigan State, 29-7

Things got ugly in the tunnel after the end of this heated rivalry game, but not before Blake Corum dropped a dominant 177-yard performance. 

4. Tennessee (8-0)

Defeated Kentucky, 44-6

The Volunteers are playing defense now? That’s an interesting development ahead of next week’s showdown against Georgia.

Are the Volunteers a true threat to Georgia?

Are the Volunteers a true threat to Georgia?

RJ Young reacts to Tennessee’s statement victory against Kentucky on Saturday.

5. Clemson (8-0)


6. Alabama (7-1)


7. TCU (8-0)

Defeated West Virginia, 41-31

The Horned Frogs rallied from a four-point deficit in the second half to earn their first win against the Mountaineers since 2017 and are off to their first 8-0 start since 2015. “Big Noon Kickoff” is heading to Forth Worth next weekend.

8. Oregon (7-1)

Defeated Cal, 42-24

Bo Nix might just be the best player in the Pac-12. Against a good Cal defense, he hit 27-of-35 passes for 412 passing yards with three TDs and two INTs.

9. USC (7-1)

Defeated Arizona, 45-37

The Trojans stayed in the Pac-12 title hunt with the win, as quarterback Caleb Williams completed 31-of-45 passes for 411 passing yards with five TDs.

10. UCLA (7-1)

Defeated Stanford, 38-13

Zach Charbonnet rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. 

11. Penn State (6-2)

Lost to Ohio State, 44-31

Though wide receiver Parker Washington played one of the best games of his career — 11 catches, 179 yards and a TD — the fourth-quarter avalanche from the Buckeyes proved too much. 

PSU coach James Franklin is 1-10 against top-10 teams and winless against Ryan Day at Ohio State.

12. Kansas State (6-2)

Defeated Oklahoma State, 48-0

K-State wrapped up the Oklahoma state championship with a skull-dragging of the AP-ranked No. 9 team in the country. The Wildcats beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma State by a combined score of 89-14.

Kansas State blows out Oklahoma State

Kansas State blows out Oklahoma State

RJ Young reacts to the Wildcats’ shutout of the Cowboys and explains why Deuce Vaughn is the man who can carry K-State.

13. Ole Miss (8-1)

Defeated Texas A&M, 31-28

Freshman tailback Quishon Judkins put the Rebels on his back with 34 carries for 205 yards and a TD in a win against the spiraling Aggies.

14. North Carolina (7-1)

Defeated Pittsburgh, 42-24

Drake Maye and the Tar Heels have quietly become a remarkably good program heading into a month that could see them playing in the ACC title game.

15. Utah (6-2)

Defeated Washington State, 21-17

Without Cam Rising at quarterback, the Utes proved capable of winning on the road against a tough Wazzu team.

Highlights: Utah handles Washington State

Highlights: Utah handles Washington State

The Utes defeated Washington State on Thursday as backup QB Bryson Barnes, playing in place of Cameron Rising, passed for 175 yards.

16. Illinois (7-1)

Defeated Nebraska, 26-9

Chase Brown carried the rock 32 times for 149 yards in the win. He has rushed for at least 108 yards in every game this season. After rushing for 1,005 yards in 2021, he’s already gained 1,059 before November.

17. Oklahoma State (6-2)

Lost to Kansas State, 48-0

Spencer Sanders and the Cowboys have some thinking to do after being completely outclassed by the Wildcats. 

18. LSU (6-2)


19. Tulane (7-1)


20. Syracuse (6-2)

Lost to Notre Dame, 41-24

The Fighting Irish managed to upset an ACC program that started the season 6-0 and gave Clemson its toughest game of the season.

21. Oregon State (6-2)


22. Liberty (7-1)


23. Kentucky (5-3)

Lost to Tennessee, 44-6

The Wildcats were dismantled by one of the best teams in college football. It just happens that two of the top five teams in the country are on their schedule — ouch.

24. Wake Forest (6-2)

Lost to Louisville, 48-21

The Demon Deacons committed eight turnovers in the second half of their loss against the Cardinals — the most by an FBS team in 15 years.

25. Texas (5-3)


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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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