Tomorrow’s Top 25 Today: Washington upsets Oregon, UCF scores major win as college football rankings change

With only two weeks left in the 2022 regular season, college football rankings have mostly settled. But when the updated AP Top 25 is released on Sunday, we’re expecting some random change after a busy 11-week week and results across the sport. Each AP’s top 25 team last week was in a four-match battle between the ranked teams which allowed for some movement up and down within the rankings.

The most notable moves will focus on Pac-12, where Washington will see a major boost after being upset by Oregon’s top-10 and UCLA will have to lose its home to unseeded Arizona. Georgia will remain in the lead, and will likely come close to the unanimous first-choice. Although both Ohio State and Michigan dominated wins, those games came home against teams with losing records, while the Bulldogs were impressive on the road against a team that will be in the postseason.

The TCU will likely move to third on some polls after a low-scoring win in Texas, but the disparity in voting points between Horned Frogs and Wolverines was too large last week to expect a change in the consensus ratings. When you have four matches between seeded teams, like a TCU win in Texas and Washington upset Oregon, there are sure to be some changes in the standings but not always a change in the ranked teams in the poll.

The Ducks won’t fall very far, and the Ole Miss isn’t likely to fall after both teams entered the weekend with only one loss and defeated them by a close margin. Texas faces a very different situation as the TCU defeat was Steve Sarkissian’s fourth loss this season, making the Longhorns the most interesting loser in the top 25 weekend from a ratings perspective.

Some of the more dramatic weekly adjustments should come near the bottom of the poll. North Carolina State’s loss to Boston College, Liberty’s loss to Ocon University and Illinois’ loss to Purdue will free up spots in the rankings, and Associated Press voters will get a variety of candidates for those final spots. This is especially true because some of the teams that were outside the top 25 last week suffered losses, including Kentucky, Wake Forest and Baylor.

Here’s how we think the new AP Top 25 will look on Sunday.

1. Georgia (last week – 1): No change to first place after Georgia took on the championship format on the road and bowed out to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs snatched SEC East for the fifth time in six years and will have a chance of winning it live with an 8-0 conference record next week against Kentucky in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.

2 – Ohio (2): There is no concern about the Buckeyes after their 56-14 win against Indiana, although there is some concern about injury issues on this team. TreVeyon Henderson never played again, and Meanne Williams left the game on the wagon, leaving the backroom running extremely weak by the end of the game. But as long as CJ Stroud (five touchdowns) and at least two wide receivers on this list are healthy, the Buckeyes are able to contend for a national championship.

3. Michigan (3): There is not much change in the Michigan position after the 34-3 result against Nebraska that pretty much hit expectations for how that game will be played.

4. TCU (4): The magical race of Sonny Dykes and the Horned Frogs continues with a win over Texas in Austin to seal a spot in the Big 12 title match and move the team to 10-0.

5. Tennessee (5): The 66-24 win over Missouri was a surrender contest with the Volunteers establishing the early lead and then hitting the gas any time the Tigers got close. Hendon Hooker threw for three touchdowns in his last game at Neyland Stadium, and the Vols put a number on the board that would keep voters (and most importantly the College Football Selection Committee) interested in their first four chances.

6. LSU (7): The 13-10 win in Arkansas wasn’t offensive, but Harold Perkins Jr. (four sacks, two forced tackles) was the better player on the field for either team. Now 6-1 in team play, the Tigers have their home-only final against UAB and left the regular season finale at Texas A&M ahead of the conference championship this weekend.

7. USC (8): The season-ending injury for RB Travis Dye overshadowed a good-looking result with QB Caleb Williams throwing three touchdowns and the Trojans winning over Colorado 55-17.

8. Alabama (10): The defense was strong to seal in a 30-24 win at the Ole Miss, forcing Alabama to hit the ball two times and two swings. Byron Young had 11 team-wide saves to go with two sacks and a forced tumble, resulting in a defensive front that was able to enjoy when the Ole Miss came into third and long positions.

9 – Oregon (6 years): The greatest strength of the Oregon ranking file is the win over UCLA because it provides an opportunity for the Ducks to remain one of the best two-loss teams in the country.

10 – Clemson (12): The 31-16 win against Louisville was a fitting moment for Clemson, who leaned on a run and totaled 248 dash yards and three touchdowns at 5.5 yards per carry.

11. Ole Miss (11): Rebels’ SEC West feud vanished at a close loss to Crimson Tide. Coach Lynn Kevin was fiery after the game, not interested in any trifles after another loss to Nick Saban. The Ole Miss is out of competition for the SEC and CFP, but he nonetheless put in a solid season and could end up in an important match.

12. UCLA (9): The end result for the Top 25 in Week 11 was bad for the Bruins, who lost at home to Arizona. It’s only the second loss of the season for UCLA, so there is high ground for how far the team has fallen in the rankings, but further damage has been done to Bruins’ Pac-12 championship hopes.

13. Utah (13): Although Stanford had a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, AP voters would wake up to a final score of 42-7 and keep Utah close to its former position. Utes are currently limited in their ability to go up with two losses and a head-to-head defeat against UCLA. However, while they had one of the best victories of any losing team as the only team to have defeated USC.

14 – Pennsylvania (14): The Nittany Lions eliminated Maryland State 30-0 to once again reflect themselves as the third-best team in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and Michigan. Sean Clifford exceeded 10,000 yards in his career, becoming the first Pennsylvania State signal caller to do so.

15. North Carolina (15): The Tar Heels snatched the ACC Coastal crown for the second time in the program’s history (for the first time since 2015) with a 36-34 win at Wake Forest. Despite a 9-1 contest for the conference championship, AP voters may still leave North Carolina behind with two other teams losing in the poll. Drake Maye was fantastic again as he completed 31 of 49 passes for 448 yards and three touchdowns with a 71 yard dash and other points as his Heisman Trophy increased his display another notch.

16- Washington (24): Michael Benicks Jr. provided the largest stage at over 400 yards, the results needed to help Husky achieve one of the program’s most iconic routes in the CFP era, 37-34 over Oregon.

17 – Notre Dame (20): The Fighting Irish advanced 35-13 and went on to win 35-32 against the Navy. Now 7-3 with four straight wins, Notre Dame is leading Boston College next week before the end of the regular season at USC.

18. UCF (22): The Knights jumped to center stage in the New Year’s Six Group Five Show with a 38-31 win at Tulane, replacing the Green Wave in the lead. John Rhys Plumley returned with three total touchdowns and 176 rushing yards.

19. Tulane (16): Now 8-2 with a win over Kansas State, it’s only fair that Tulane was disappointed in a must-see against the UCF. If the Green Wave wants another shot for the Knights, they can get it, but they’ll have to defeat SMU and Cincinnati in the last two games of the season to move into the AAC Championship game.

20- Kansas State (23): Another week with Kansas State had to overcome quarterback injuries, however, the Wildcats had the answer. Adrian Martinez left injured, but Will Howard interfered with three touchdown passes in the 31-3 win over Baylor.

21- Texas (18): Longhorns are in danger of falling out of the top 25 entirely just by incurring four losses. Our predictions are that the win at Kansas State, the near margin against the TCU and the lack of a consensus for the upcoming teams keep Texas in the top 25.

22- Florida (25).: The Seminoles are on alert now, after their 42-point win over Miami with a 35-point win over Syracuse. As LSU’s stock goes up, so does the Florida State’s profile, which while it has three losses also features a win over champion SEC West.

23 – Cincinnati (NR): Among the few teams outside the 25 spots to win in Week 11, expect the Bearcats to return to the rankings after improving to 8-2 with a victory over the ECU on Friday night.

24- UTSA (NR): The Roadrunners 8-2 just beat Louisiana Tech 51-7 for the team’s seventh straight win. UTSA is 6-0 in multiplayer and could pose a threat to the other teams in the running to host the New Year’s Six in the coming weeks.

25. Troy (NR): Like UTSA, Troy is sexy now with seven straight wins. It just improved to 8-2 by defeating the Army. A Sun Belt competition, Coastal Carolina or Oklahoma State, will likely get that spot, but we think a win over the Black Knights might attract enough attention to increase your voting points.

Expected to drop out: No. 17 NC State, No. 19 Liberty, No. 21 Illinois

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