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2022 College Football Power Rankings: Week 12

The top five remains the same, but the bottom half of this week’s top ten college football power rankings includes shuffling and a couple of new teams.


1. Georgia Bulldogs (10-0) | Last week: 1

Stetson Bennett threw a couple of interceptions, but Georgia racked up over 450 yards of offense while eventually coasting to a 45-19 victory at Mississippi State thanks to a 28-7 second half. The Bulldogs are locked in to face LSU in the SEC Championship Game, but they obviously can’t look past Kentucky this Saturday.


2. Michigan Wolverines (10-0) | Last week: 2

Michigan demolished Nebraska, holding the Cornhuskers to just 71 passing yards and 76 rushing yards in a 34-3 win to improve to 10-0—their best start to a season since 2006. The Wolverines continue to make it look like last season’s conference title and CFP campaign was just the start for a squad that’s here to stay under Jim Harbaugh.


3. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0) | Last week: 3

The passing attack led by C.J. Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr. got back on track in Ohio State’s 56-point outburst against Indiana, and the Buckeyes also did serious damage on the ground with both Miyan Williams and Dallan Hayden going over 100 yards with a score—and Xavier Johnson chipping in with a 71-yard touchdown run. The touchdown by Kamryn Babb, who has been through an unfathomable number of injuries throughout his career, was awesome to see.


4. TCU Horned Frogs (10-0) | Last week: 4

The defensive battle was surprising, but TCU found a way to beat Texas­—despite a late scoop-and-score that kept the Longhorns in the game late in the fourth quarter—to remain undefeated. TCU now heads to Baylor (last year’s Big 12 champs) for their final road game of the year.


5. Tennessee Volunteers (9-1) | Last week: 5

Tennessee promptly got back to looking like the offense we’ve seen all season, with 66 points, 724 total yards, and 9.7 yards per play while blowing out Missouri. Out of the SEC title game, the Vols are structured to put up the “style points” these final two regular season games while making a case they should make the CFP.


6. Clemson Tigers (9-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Last Saturday was a story of bounce backs for some top teams, with Clemson among them in jumping to an early 10-0 first quarter in a 31-16 victory versus an upset-minded Louisville squad. The Tigers seemingly wanted to re-establish the line of scrimmage, with Phil Mafah (10/106/1), Will Shipley (19/97/1), and D.J. Uiagalelei (15/32/1) pacing the ground game.


7. LSU Tigers (8-2) | Last week: 8 (+1)

In a surprising cold environment, LSU won a defensive game against Arkansas to lock up—with some help from Alabama later in the day—the SEC West title in Brian Kelly’s first season at the helm. You wouldn’t have believed the Tigers would be in the SEC title game a couple of months ago, but they’ve found a way to battle and win—with a clear path to the CFP if they can win out. LSU should handle UAB this week.


8. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-2) | Last week: 9 (+1)

A strong second half from Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide offense—and key stops by the defense, including to end the game—helped Alabama improve to 8-2. It’s been a more difficult season than in recent memory for Nick Saban (by their standards), and you could tell how proud he was of his team for getting the win both right after the stop and during his postgame interview.


9. USC Trojans (9-1) | Last week: NR

In a competitive Pac-12, 9-1 USC appears to have the clear best path to a playoff berth after Oregon’s loss to Washington. But this Saturday night at the Rose Bowl against UCLA is one of the most anticipated games of the year and should be a close one. The Trojans unfortunately lost running back Travis Dye for the season due to a leg injury, and Caleb Williams and the passing attack will need to keep performing at a high level.


10. Penn State (8-2) | Last week: NR

North Carolina and a few Pac-12 teams could all be here at No. 10, but Penn State’s only two losses this season were to top three teams in Ohio State and Michigan. The Nittany Lions are playing well, following up a 45-14 win over Indiana a couple of weeks ago with a 3-0 shutout versus Maryland last weekend. The defense has been exceptional in most games this year.