College Football

College Football Rankings: Georgia stays No. 1, Iowa falls, Oklahoma State climbs in RJ Young's Top 25

October 17

By RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer

Editor’s note: Every Sunday morning during the college football season, RJ Young will release his updated Top 25 rankings.

On Friday night, Oregon barely beat California 24-17 in Eugene. Cal is 1-5 with a win against Sacramento State, which is bogus because everybody knows Sacramento ain't a state.

Does Oregon look like a playoff team? No. It squeaked by a bad Cal team and lost to a mediocre Stanford team.

But did Oregon beat Ohio State? Yes. That team beat Ohio State at the Shoe without presumptive 2022 No. 1 overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Does Ohio State look like a playoff team? Yes.

Does head-to-head matter, according to CFP committee protocol and my ranking criteria? Yes.

I want Oregon and Ohio State to win out because I want to watch the four-team College Football Playoff world burn.

It’s also the reason I perform a different ranking on the FOX Sports site and app each Sunday. My rankings move the eye test to the end of the line when evaluating teams — because I think playing the games has to matter. Otherwise, we’d all be here talking about who we think is good while not even considering head-to-head results and what players have decided on the scoreboard.

My rankings consider:

1. How many AP Top-25 teams (ranked at the time of the matchup) a team has beaten.

2. A premium placed on being undefeated. Power 5 teams, more than likely, play tougher schedules than Group of 5 teams.

3. Being undefeated supersedes strength of schedule, with the belief that winning every game is more difficult than losing a game to a good football team.

4. Results, résumé and winning matter. When two teams have identical résumés, that's when the eye test becomes necessary.

But that’s not the way the playoff does it, and it’s the reason I believe teams such as Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina and even Wake Forest could get the shaft if they run the table and go undefeated. Think about this:

In 2017, Central Florida ran the table and got the shaft. In 2010, Texas Christian ran the table and got the shaft.

In 2009, Boise State ran the table and got the shaft. In 2008, Utah ran the table and got the shaft.

In 2006, Boise State ran the table and got the shaft. In 2004, Utah ran the table and got the shaft.

I’ve tried to create a ranking in which that doesn’t happen and one that acts as a jumping-off point for a discussion about who would get in an expanded, 16-team playoff. That’s not what the CFP committee is trying to do, and I believe the sport is worse off for it.

Nobody wearing a suit and sitting in a boardroom at the Gaylord Texan should select who gets in a glorified invitational to play for the national title. The players alone should decide that. Everything else is partisan politics, and the players work too hard to be thwarted by those.

Here are my Top 25 teams in the country for Week 7:

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)
Defeated Kentucky 30-13

Top-25 wins: four

Georgia has beaten four Top-25 teams by a combined score of 111-26 through seven weeks.

2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0)
Defeated Texas 32-24

Top-25 wins: three

Oklahoma State has beaten three ranked opponents in a row, and all three come out of the Big 12. No one else in the country has done that. Oklahoma State has the best blind résumé of any team not named Georgia.

OSU is 6-0. Pay the Pokes their respect. 

Joel Klatt talks about the inefficiency of the Texas defense at the end of the game and Jaylen Warren's standout performance for Oklahoma State.

3. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0)
Defeated UCF 56-21

Top-25 wins: one

4. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0)
Defeated TCU 52-31

Top-25 wins: one

5. Michigan State Spartans (7-0)
Defeated Indiana 20-15

Top-25 wins: one

6. Michigan Wolverines (6-0)
Idle

Top-25 wins: zero

Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn break down the biggest surprises and disappointments of the season on "Big Noon Kickoff," including the undefeated Michigan Wolverines.

7. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-0)
Idle

Top-25 wins: zero

8. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6-0)
Idle

Top-25 wins: zero

9. San Diego State Aztecs (6-0)
Defeated San Jose State 19-13 (OT)

Top-25 wins: zero

10. SMU Mustangs (6-0)
Idle

Top-25 wins: zero

11. UTSA Roadrunners (7-0)
Defeated Rice 45-0

Top-25 wins: zero

SDSU has two wins against Power 5 teams, whereas SMU has just one (TCU), and UTSA has one (Illinois).

12. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1)
Defeated Mississippi State 49-9

Top-25 wins: three

13. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1)
Lost to Purdue 24-7

Top-25 wins: three

14. Baylor Bears (6-1)
Defeated BYU 38-24

Top-25 wins: two

15. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1)
Idle

Top-25 wins: two

16. Kentucky Wildcats (6-1)
Lost to Georgia 30-13

Top-25 wins: one

17. Ole Miss Rebels (5-1)
Defeated Tennessee 31-26

Top-25 wins: one

18. Oregon Ducks (5-1)
Defeated Cal 24-17

Top-25 wins: one

19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1)
Idle

Top-25 wins: one

20. North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-1)
Defeated Boston College 33-7

Top-25 wins: one

21. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1)
Idle

Top-25 wins: zero

22. Texas A&M Aggies (5-2)
Defeated Missouri 35-14

Top-25 wins: one

23. Auburn Tigers (5-2)
Defeated Arkansas 38-23

Top-25 wins: one

24. BYU Cougars (5-2)
Lost to Baylor 38-24

Top-25 wins: two

25. Utah Utes (4-2)
Defeated Arizona State 35-21

Top-25 wins: one

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast "The No. 1 Ranked Show with RJ Young." Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young, and subscribe to "The RJ Young Show" on YouTube. He is not on a StepMill.


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