College football Power Rankings after Week 6

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Sunday, October 9, 2022
ESPN

Don't let the lopsided scores fool you: Some of the top teams in the Power Rankings were put to the test on Saturday.

Georgia was in a ... dawg fight ... over the first two quarters against Auburn before turning it on in a 32-point win. Clemson only held a 10-3 halftime lead at Boston College before scoring 21 straight points -- and blanking the Eagles -- during the second half in a big win, while Michigan used almost the exact playbook at Indiana. The Wolverines were even with the Hoosiers at the break but outscored Indiana 21-0 in the second half to remain undefeated. And Alabama needed a goal-line stand at the end to surviveTexas A&M.

Yes, some big teams were tested, and they passed, but the bottom half of the Power Rankings was shuffled following several losses from ranked teams, including Kentucky, Utah, BYU and Washington.

The defeats opened up plenty of room for turnover in the rankings, and new teams continue to pop up every week.

Here are the Power Rankings after all the Week 6 action.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes(6-0)

The Buckeyes were without running back Miyan Williams and saw TreVeyon Henderson get hurt against Michigan State, but it didn't slow the offense down. Ohio State won big against the Spartans, 49-20, and quarterback C.J. Stroud finished with 361 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. Stroud became the first player in Big Ten history with three career games featuring six passing touchdowns. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.hauled in seven catches for 131 yards and three touchdowns in the win. -- Tom VanHaaren

Up next:BYE

2. Georgia Bulldogs(6-0)

For two quarters on Saturday, it looked like defending national champion Georgia would slog its way through another closer-than-expected victory against an overmatched opponent. The Bulldogs punted on their first two possessions and missed a 47-yard field goal on the third. Quarterback Stetson Bennett was missing open receivers, and Georgia converted only three of its first 10 third-down plays. The Bulldogs took advantage of Auburn's failed fake punt to grab a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter and opened up a 14-point advantage at the half. Finally, things started clicking for Georgia's offense in the second half. Bennett scored on a 62-yard run and finished with 208 yards on 22 of 32 passing in a 42-10 rout of the Tigers. Georgia had 500 yards of offense, including 292 on the ground, and its offense started to look like the unit that was so impressive in the first three games this season -- Mark Schlabach

Up next:vs. Vanderbilt (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network/ESPN app)

3. Alabama Crimson Tide(6-0)

It turns out an Alabama offense without Bryce Young at quarterback isn't all that effective. Imagine that. Jalen Milroe stepped in as the starter and was shaky, to say the least, turning the ball over three times. Texas A&M capitalized, scoring 17 of its 20 points off of turnovers. But with Jahmyr Gibbs running the football and a stout defense, led by outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr., Alabama squeaked out a win. But one thing is certain: With a trip to No. 8 Tennessee next week, the Crimson Tide need Young back under center. -- Alex Scarborough

Up next:at Tennessee (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

4. Clemson Tigers(6-0)

Complete performances might be rare for this Clemson team, but the defense seemingly has turned a corner since the Wake Forest scare. The Tigers swarmed a banged-up Boston College offense, buying enough time for their own offense to get going. Will Shipley scored Clemson's first touchdown in the final minute of the first half, and the Tigers reached the end zone on their initial second-half possession as quarterback DJ Uiagalelei found Joseph Ngata for a 38-yard score. Tyler Davis led a pressuring defense that held Boston College to three points and 34 rushing yards on 30 attempts. -- Adam Rittenberg

Up next:at Florida State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN app)

5.USC Trojans(6-0)

There was no defensive turnover on Saturday night for Southern California (which still leads the nation in turnover margin), but the D came up big against Washington State, holding Cam Ward and the Cougars' offense scoreless in the first, third and fourth quarters on the Trojans' way to the program's first 6-0 start since 2006. On a night when 30 points from the Trojans' offense felt like a struggle and Caleb Williams only threw for 188 yards, running back Travis Dye carried a heavy load (149 yards on 28 carries) and scored once to keep Lincoln Riley's USC record intact. -- Paolo Uggetti

Up next:at Utah (Saturday, 8p.m. ET, TBD)

6. Michigan Wolverines(6-0)

The Wolverines were in a battle with Indiana, tied 10-10 after the first half, but Michigan broke away in the second half in a 31-10 win over the Hoosiers. Michigan running back Blake Corum took his first hand off for 50 yards and finished the game with 124 yards rushing and a touchdown. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy had his first 300-yard game passing with 304 yards and three touchdowns along with an interception. Michigan remains undefeated, and it has started the season 6-0 for the second time in two seasons. -- VanHaaren

Up next:vs. Penn State (Saturday, noon ET, Fox)

7.Tennessee Volunteers (5-0)

Not only did Tennessee move to 5-0 for the first time since the 2016 season with its 40-13 rout of LSU on Saturday, but it was the Vols' most lopsided road victory over an AP nationally ranked team since 1995, when the Vols beat No. 12 Alabama 41-14. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker continued his stellar play with 239 passing yards and two touchdowns, and he also rushed for 56 yards. It wasn't all offense for the Vols, who scored more than 30 points for the eighth straight game going back to last season. The defense played one of its most complete games of the campaign and sacked LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels five times. -- Chris Low

Up next:vs. Alabama (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

8. Ole Miss Rebels(6-0)

It wasn't pretty for the Rebels early, as they fell behind 13-3 in the second quarter to Vanderbilt. But the Jaxson Dart-to-Jonathan Mingo connection proved too much for the Commodores, and the Rebels rolled to a 52-28 road victory to go to 6-0 on the season. Mingo finished with nine catches for 247 yards and two touchdowns. His 247 receiving yards broke the Ole Miss single-game receiving record of 238 yards, set by Elijah Moore in 2020. Ole Miss finished with a season-high 591 total yards, but it also gave up 403 yards. -- Low

Up next:vs. Auburn (Saturday, noon ET, ESPN/ESPN app)

9.Oklahoma StateCowboys(5-0)

Down 31-23 late in the third quarter, Oklahoma State scored the last 18 points of the game to survive a stiff test from a fearless Texas Tech team, winning 41-31. The Cowboys'Spencer Sanders threw for 297 yards and a touchdown and rushed for a pair of touchdowns. While Texas Tech's new starting quarterback,Behren Morton, matched Sanders for most of the afternoon (with help from four fourth-down conversions), a second-half injury limited Morton's mobility, and Tech couldn't quite keep up. Both defenses stepped up late, but an ultra-physical Dominic Richardson touchdown iced the game. The Pokes are now 5-0 for the second straight season. -- Bill Connelly

Up next:at TCU (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN app)

10.Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0)

For the third time in four years (2019, 2021 and 2022), Penn State is off to a 5-0 start. And one of the biggest reasons for that is the marked improvement the offense has shown on the ground. A pair of 2022 ESPN 300 running backs, Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen, have made immediate impacts, combining for 766 yards and eight touchdowns for an offense averaging 34.4 points and 443.6 total yards. -- Blake Baumgartner

Up next:at Michigan (Saturday, noon ET, Fox)

11.UCLA Bruins (6-0)

The Bruins keep doing it. After upsetting Washington last week at the Rose Bowl, Chip Kelly's team ran it back and scored at least 40 points for the third straight week to upset No. 11 Utah and stay undefeated. While quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had four touchdowns (one on the ground) and averaged 16 yards per pass, it was running back Zach Charbonnet who ran for 198 yards on 22 carries and paced the Bruins' offense. UCLA's defense bent plenty of times on the day but made its impact count by forcing both a fumble and an interception off Utah quarterback Cameron Rising. -- Uggetti

Up next:BYE

12. TCU Horned Frogs (5-0)

The Horned Frogs are 5-0 and off to their best start since 2017 following a 38-31 victory at Kansas in one of Saturday's best games. Quentin Johnston was one of the biggest difference-makers in the game, with 14 catches for 206 yards -- and the game-winning 24-yard touchdown catch with 1:36 to play. Max Duggan threw for over 300 yards, but ultimately, Johnston was the matchup advantage that Kansas was unable to solve. -- Adelson

Up next:vs. Oklahoma State (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN app)

13.Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1)

Credit the Demon Deacons for not letting the Clemson overtime heartbreaker linger. After a convincing road win against Florida State, Wake Forest took control early against Army en route to a 45-10 win. The run defense held up (4.2 YPC) and Wake Forest's own run game got going behind Justice Ellison and Christian Turner (142 rushing yards, three touchdowns). Wake Forest held Army scoreless for three quarters, a stark contrast to last season, when it allowed 56 points, 31 first downs and 416 yards to the Black Knights. Quarterback Sam Hartman didn't need to do much but stretched the field when called upon, averaging 18.9 yards per completion with a 26-yard touchdown pass to A.T. Perry (118 receiving yards) to begin the second half. --Rittenberg

Up next:BYE

14.Oregon Ducks (5-1)

Oregon continues to look the part since opening the season in forgettable fashion against Georgia. The Ducks' 49-22 win versus Arizona again showed a balanced offense, as signal-callerBo Nix completed 20 of 25 passes for 265 yards and the team combined for 306 yards rushing. Defensively, the Ducks prevented Arizona from ever finding a groove, limiting the Wildcats to 356 yards of total offense. -- Kyle Bonagura

Up next:BYE

15.NC StateWolfpack(5-1)

There are prettier 5-1 profiles, but NC State has learned how to win under less-than-ideal circumstances. In a game delayed by a stadium-lighting problem, NC State played in the dark for the first half, trailing Florida State 17-3 and getting outgained 294-133 in total yards. The Wolfpack then lost starting quarterback Devin Leary to a shoulder injury in the third quarter. But Jack Chambers, an FCS transfer who walked on at NC State, helped the offense move just enough to rally, as coordinator Tony Gibson's defense blanked Florida State in the second half, allowing only 93 yards.Devan Boykin's interception in the end zone -- with the Seminoles in field goal range -- essentially sealed the 19-17 victory, NC State's second by two points or fewer. -- Rittenberg

Up next:at Syracuse (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network/ESPN app)

16. Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-1)

The Bulldogs are on a run and are solidly in the top 25. After losing at LSU three weeks ago, Mississippi State has won three straight games, against Bowling Green, Texas A&M and, after Saturday,Arkansas. The common denominator: Will Rogers and the passing game have shown up. Rogers broke the SEC career completions record while throwing for more than 350 yards in the 40-17 decision over the Hogs. -- Scarborough

Up next:at Kentucky (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network/ESPN app)

17.Kansas State Wildcats (5-1)

The Wildcats stayed unbeaten in Big 12 play as Adrian Martinez helped them grind out a win in Ames over Iowa State. Deuce Vaughn was held to 23 yards on 10 carries, but Martinez passed for 246 yards and rushed for 77. Phillip Brooks scored a touchdown on an 81-yard catch and run from Martinez on K-State's first drive, then the Wildcats didn't score again until a field goal with about seven minutes left in the game, but the defense held Iowa State to 276 yards, including 78 rushing on 24 carries. -- Dave Wilson

Up next:BYE

18.Syracuse Orange (5-0)

The Orange have started 5-0 for the first time since 1987. They've done it by doing what they've recently done under Dino Babers: running the football at will. After leading the ACC a season ago with 213.5 rushing yards per game, Syracuse is off to another solid start in that area by racking up 190.4 yards per contest through five games. Sophomore Sean Tucker has gone over the 100-yard rushing mark three times so far in 2022, highlighted by last week's career-high 232 yards in a 59-0 drubbing of Wagner. -- Baumgartner

Up next:vs. NC State (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ACC Network/ESPN app)

19.Kansas Jayhawks (5-1)

The undefeated ride ended for the Jayhawks in a 38-31 loss to TCU, but they gave it their all until the very end. With starting quarterback Jalon Daniels (shoulder) out for the second half, Jason Bean took over and nearly led Kansas to the win while throwing for 262 yards and four second-half touchdowns. The scoring went back and forth in the second half, but the mistakes Kansas made ultimately cost the Jayhawks, as TCU turned two turnovers into 14 points, one of the biggest differences in the game. --Adelson

Up next:at Oklahoma (Saturday, noon ET, ESPN2/ESPN app)

20.Utah Utes(4-2)

The trap game caught the Utes in a bad spot. A week before its much-anticipated matchup against USC, Utah dropped its second game of the season. What was expected to be an experienced team with a clear identity and a chance to repeat as Pac-12 champion looked lost Saturday as UCLA ran through the Utes' defense and controlled the tempo and style of the game. It was an uncharacteristic look for Kyle Whittingham's team, which certainly had plenty of opportunities to take control of the game and even had 10 more first downs than the Bruins. -- Uggetti

Up next:vs. USC (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, TBD)

21. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-1)

Cincinnati overcame an early 10-point deficit and eventually had to grind out a 28-24 victory over South Florida on Saturday. Senior running back Charles McClelland's 35-yard touchdown run with 9:24 to play gave the Bearcats the lead for good. McClelland's career-high 179 rushing yards and two touchdowns helped ignite the offense in the second half. Cincinnati managed just 162 total yards (60 rushing) in the first half, as senior quarterback Ben Bryant was intercepted twice, including on the Bearcats' first play from scrimmage. Bryant finished the game 15 of 21 passing for 178 yards with two scores and the two picks. -- Baumgartner

Up next:BYE

22. Texas Longhorns (4-2)

The Longhorns piled on free-falling Oklahoma, scoring their most points (49) in the 118-game history of the rivalry and handing the Sooners their third-worst margin of defeat ever as well as their worst shutout loss of all time (ahead of a 47-0 loss to Oklahoma State in 1945). Quinn Ewers made a triumphant return to Texas' starting lineup, throwing for a career-high 289 yards and four scores. The Longhorns held the Sooners to 195 yards overall, thanks to an anemic Oklahoma offense that featured five different players at QB, including a tight end, a wide receiver and a running back. The blowout win snapped Texas' four-game losing streak to the Sooners, and the final outcome also ended a nine-game streak of games being decided by eight or fewer points. -- Wilson

Up next:vs. Iowa State (Saturday, noon ET, ABC/ESPN app)

23.Baylor Bears(3-2)

The Bears were off this weekend after a 36-25 loss to Oklahoma State last week, their second defeat this season to a ranked opponent. (BYU beat them 26-20 on Sept. 10.) Baylor next travels for a Thursday night game against West Virginia in Morgantown, where the Bears have never won in five trips since 2012; but they beat the Mountaineers 45-20 last year in Waco, Texas. -- Wilson

Up next:at West Virginia (Thursday, 7 p.m. ET, FS1)

24. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6-0)

Not a single second of this game was pretty, but Jamey Chadwell's Chanticleers remained unbeaten with a 28-21 win at Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night. Grayson McCall threw for 246 yards (133 to Sam Pinckney), CJ Beasley rushed for 115 and the Chants scored on four of their first five drives to stake themselves to a 28-14 halftime lead. But the second half was a battle of attrition: ULM scored on the first drive of the third quarter, but the game's final 10 drives were scoreless. But hey, survive and advance. Coastal is 6-0 for the third straight season and 28-3 since the start of 2020. They don't all have to be pretty. -- Connelly

Up next:vs. Old Dominion (Saturday, noon ET, ESPNU/ESPN app)

25.Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-2)

The Irish were at a pivotal point headed into the game Saturday against BYU. Had they lost and dropped to 2-3, a disappointing start might have morphed into a lost season. Instead, a win against a ranked opponent has the potential to breathe life into the season. QB Drew Pyne completed 22 of 28 passes for 262 yards with three scores and an interception in a game that was controlled by Notre Dame from start to finish. --Bonagura

Up next:vs. Stanford (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

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