The results from Week 6 in college football did not provide landscape-shifting upsets at the top of the rankings, but Texas A&M’s final shot at the end zone against Alabama showed how thin the margin can be for even the best teams in the sport. That narrow 24-20 win against the Aggies resulted in Alabama getting jumped by Georgia in this week’s edition of the CBS Sports 131, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team as voted on by experts at CBS Sports and 247Sports.
The Bulldogs gained back some voter confidence that was lost in an upset scare at Missouri. A 42-10 win against Auburn narrowed the gap between the reigning national champions and Ohio State, who assumed 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 being put under the harshest microscope from our voters is best represented by the fact that this is the sixth different combination of Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia in the 1, 2, 3 spots of the CBS Sports 131 in seven 2022 editions of the rankings. There has been unanimous agreement in these teams being the top tier of the sport, but each week brings new evidence to consider when stacking them up against each other.
Outside the top 10 this week saw Mississippi State make a move up seven spots to No. 14 following his second straight double-digit win against a division opponent, following up an 18-point win against Texas A&M with a 23-point victory against Arkansas. Up next for the Bulldogs is a road trip to Kentucky, which dropped 20 spots in our rankings to No. 36 after a loss to South Carolina.
Illinois, Texas, James Madison and North Carolina all jumped at least a dozen spots to crack the top 25 after conference wins in Week 6, occupying rankings real estate that was available thanks to losses by BYU, LSU and Florida State. All that turnover among one-loss and two-loss teams also provided somewhat of a soft landing spot for Utah, which tumbled down 11 spots to No. 24 after losing at UCLA.
For more on the most notable week-to-week changes in the CBS Sports 131, check out the Mover’s Report below the top 25 table.
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-131 on our rankings page.
- No. 25 North Carolina (+19): A road win at Miami has positioned the Tar Heels as the ACC Coastal frontrunners, and a 5-1 profile with the only loss coming to Notre Dame will get top-30 consideration in almost any season at this point in the year. Drake Maye continues to look like one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC, and for the first time since he began last season, this program has taken on expectations for conference championship contention.
- No. 20 Illinois (+15): Speaking of conference title races, Year 2 of the Bret Bielema era has gotten off to a fantastic start that includes 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 thrashing of rival Oklahoma has everyone readjusting the ceiling for the Longhorns in 2022. With the quarterback healthy, this could be the best team in the Big 12, but with one conference loss already there will be a thin margin for error as Texas drives to prove that status on the field over the second half of the season.
- No. 23 James Madison (+13): Still undefeated after a win against Arkansas State, JMU has continued to operate with high levels of efficiency on both sides of the ball and demand attention with its success. There are big tests ahead with Sun Belt games against Georgia Southern and Marshall, but there’s a tremendous opportunity to make a national statement with a road trip to Louisville in early November.
- No. 24 Utah (-11): Although the Utes continued to battle in a back-and-forth with UCLA, it was a game where the reigning Pac-12 champions were constantly chasing and never really in control. Things can get righted with a win against USC, but even confidence in that outcome is somewhat shaken by Saturday’s loss.
- No. 32 BYU (-13): Speaking of getting back confidence that might be shaken, BYU can do just that with a win against Arkansas in Week 7. If not, another drop in the rankings is certain as the strength of the schedule and value of that overtime win against Baylor begins to fade throughout the season.
- No. 37 LSU (-14): Losing to one of the best teams in the country doesn’t always result in a dramatic ranking adjustment, but LSU looked out of sorts and not competitive against Tennessee at home. The Vols were just three-point favorites and won by 27, raising some real questions to the strength of Brian Kelly’s team when judged against other one-loss and two-loss teams.
- No. 40 Washington (-14): This is now a 28-spot drop over a two-week window as losses to UCLA and now Arizona State have changed how we see the Huskies in the national landscape. The fact that Michigan State has continued to lose also hurts what was previously viewed as Washington’s best win, so this might be a team that will operate off the top-30 radar for a couple of weeks until it can beef up the resume with more conference wins.
- No. 36 Kentucky (-20): The Wildcats remained ranked in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll, but our voters were not willing to give that much of a mulligan for Will Levis’ injury and the impact it had on the loss to South Carolina.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 131: Teams ranked 26-131