College football rankings: Georgia overtakes Alabama for No. 2, Washington continues to fall CBS Sports 131

The results of Week 6 in college football didn’t shift the landscape at the top of the rankings, but Texas A&M’s last-ditch effort in the end zone against Alabama showed just how small the margin can be for even the best teams in the sport. That narrow 24-20 win against the Aggies pushed Alabama ahead of Georgia in this week’s edition of the CBS Sports 131, our comprehensive rankings of every FBS team as voted on by experts at CBS Sports and 247Sports.

The Bulldogs regained some of the voter confidence that was lost in the upset scare at Missouri. A 42-10 win against Auburn closed the gap between the defending national champions and Ohio State, which took over the No. 1 spot for the first time last week and remains there after a 49-20 win at Michigan State in Week 6.

That these three teams are put under the strictest microscope by our voters is best represented by the fact that this is the sixth different combination of Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia at the 1, 2, 3 spots in the CBS Sports 131 for seven 2022 editions of the ranking. There is unanimous agreement that these teams are the highest level of the sport, but each week brings new evidence to consider when pitting them against each other.

Outside of the top 10 this week, I saw Mississippi State move up seven spots to No. 14 after its second straight double-digit win against a division opponent, following an 18-point win against Texas A&M with a 23-point win against Arkansas. Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip to Kentucky, which fell 20 spots in our rankings to No. 36 after a loss to South Carolina.

Illinois, Texas, James Madison and North Carolina jumped at least a dozen spots to crack the top 25 after conference wins in Week 6, taking up the ranking real estate that was made available thanks to losses to BYU, LSU and Florida State. All that turnover among one-loss and two-loss teams also provided somewhat of a soft spot for Utah, which fell 11 spots to No. 24 after a loss at UCLA.

For more on CBS Sports 131’s most notable week-to-week moves, see the Mover’s Report below the top 25 table.

College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports provide polls each week that are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-131 on our rankings page.

1 Ohio State 6-0 1
2 Georgia 6-0 3
3 Alabama 6-0 2
4 Michigan 6-0 4
5 Clemson 6-0 5
6 Tennessee 5-0 8
7 USC 6-0 6
8 Oklahoma State 5-0 7
9 Penn State 5-0 10
10 Be Miss 6-0 9
11 TCU 5-0 12
12 UCLA 6-0 14
13 Oregon 5-1 15
14 Mississippi State 5-1 21
15 Wake Forest 5-1 17
16 NC state 5-1 18
17 Kansas State 5-1 20
18 Kansas 5-1 13
19 Syracuse 5-0 22
20 Illinois 5-1 35
21 Texas 4-2 34
22 Baylor 3-2 24
23 James Madison 5-0 36
24 Utah 4-2 11
25 North Carolina 5-1 44

The biggest movers

  • No. 25 North Carolina (+19): A road win in Miami positions the Tar Heels as the ACC Coastal leaders, and a 5-1 record with the lone loss coming at Notre Dame would be viewed in the top 30 in almost any season at this point in the year. Drake May continues to look like one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC, and for the first time since the start of last season, this program has taken on the expectations of a conference title race.
  • No. 20 Illinois (+15): Speaking of conference title races, Year 2 of the Bret Bielema era got off to a fantastic start that included positioning the Fighting Illini in the thick of the Big Ten West race. Back-to-back wins against Wisconsin and Iowa have Illinois 5-1 with Minnesota coming to Champaign this weekend in one of the biggest home games in years for this program.
  • No. 21 Texas (+13): The return of Quinn Ewers and a 49-0 loss to rival Oklahoma has everyone adjusting the cap for the Longhorns in 2022. With a healthy quarterback, this could be the best team in the Big 12, but with one loss in the conference, there will already be a small margin to a fault as Texas looks to prove that state of the field in the second half of the season.
  • 23 James Madison (+13): Still undefeated after a win against Arkansas State, JMU has continued to operate at high levels of efficiency on both sides of the ball and demands attention with its success. There are big tests ahead with Sun Belt games against Georgia Southern and Marshall, but there’s a huge opportunity to make a national statement with a trip to Louisville in early November.
  • No. 24 Utah (-11): Although the Utes continued to battle back and forth with UCLA, it was a game in which the reigning Pac-12 champions constantly chased and never controlled. Things can improve with a win against USC, but even confidence in that outcome is somewhat shaken by Saturday’s loss.
  • No. 32 BYU (-13): Speaking of regaining confidence that can be shaken, BYU can do just that with a win against Arkansas in Week 7. If not, another drop in the rankings is certain due to the strength of schedule and the value of this overtime win against Baylor begins to increase fade throughout the season.
  • No. 37 LSU (-14): A loss to one of the best teams in the country doesn’t always lead to a dramatic adjustment in the rankings, but LSU looked out of sorts and uncompetitive against Tennessee at home. The Vols were just three-point favorites and won by 27, raising a real question about the strength of Brian Kelly’s squad when judged against other one-loss and two-loss teams.
  • No. 40 Washington (-14): It’s now a 28-point drop in a two-week window, as losses to UCLA and now Arizona State have changed how we view the Huskies in the national landscape. The fact that Michigan State keeps losing also hurts what was previously thought to be Washington’s best win streak, so this could be a team that will operate off the top 30 radar for a few weeks until it can step up the resume with more conferences wins.
  • No. 36 Kentucky (-20): The Wildcats remained ranked in the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll, but our voters were reluctant to pay as much attention to Will Lewis’ injury and the impact it had in the loss at South Carolina.

See the rest of CBS Sports 131: Teams Ranked 26-131

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