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Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 13

Wow. What an excellent slate of college football that graced the airwaves and football fields this past weekend. As we get closer and closer to the end of the season, each game is becoming exponentially more important, and the audience gets to witness the climatic bouts. PSA: there are two rankings- the Associated Press and the College Football Playoff rankings. As always, make sure to check out last week’s iteration. Remember, the AP college football top 25 rankings will more or less line up with the College Football Playoff rankings. However, it is the latter’s rankings that officially dictate the post-season matchups for the national title.

To catch up with the uninitiated, the top four in the AP college football top 25 rankings have been consistent for three weeks in a row now, including this week. And, they all managed to stay winning, but this past weekend was the closest any of those teams have come to losing. However, while the top four all escaped by the skin of their teeth, others were not so lucky. For example, previously fifth-ranked Tennessee, who has been the season’s biggest surprise, got obliterated by the Spencer Rattler-led Gamecocks.

Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 13
Credit: Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings

1. Georgia

Kirby Smart and company marched into Kentucky and took a win away from the SEC’s Wildcats. Once again, they remain atop the college football rankings and are looking to keep this honor. Additionally, being undefeated means they can conquer their opponents without the advantage of playing at home field. With that being said, the playoffs will be held on “neutral turf”, but the Bulldogs have shown they can adapt.

2. Ohio State

Don’t let the score deceive you. It came down to the last minutes in Maryland, and the Terrapins gave them a close contest. Don’t get me wrong, a win is a win, but it is a little concerning that Maryland gave the Buckeyes a scare. Not to take anything away from Maryland, but it’s possible that the Buckeyes ate too much of their own cheese and didn’t respect their opponent. Let’s hope any further hype they receive doesn’t go to their heads. After all, they have to face Michigan and that game will be a matchup with massive repercussions.

3. Michigan

The Wolverines escaped a nail-biter against Illinois. To those who are unaware, Illinois was previously ranked for a considerable period and the Big Ten West has been a surprisingly competitive division. With that being said, Big Blue closes its 2022 campaign against the Ohio State Buckeyes and it will decide both of their fates for the playoffs. Tensions will be high, coverage will have each team under the microscope, and the atmosphere will be electric. Ain’t no doubt about it, this is the game of the week.

4. TCU

It truly came down to the closing seconds in Waco. If a game ball was given, it should have gone to the kicker and field goal unit. In a display of incredible poise, they rushed onto the field and gave the Horned Frogs their eleventh victory of the season. It’s been a while since TCU has looked this good, but I am all for it. The Horned Frogs will most likely take the cake for the Big 12 title and are hoping to squeeze into the playoffs.

5. USC

Alright, I will admit when I’m wrong. The Trojans proved they are the real deal and beat the UCLA Bruins in primetime on Saturday night. I had initially been weary of the Trojans’ strength of schedule, but the victory against Chip Kelly’s ranked Bruins has catapulted them up the totem poll and has proven they can take on tougher opponents too.

6. LSU

The Tigers are red hot and soaring after toppling UAB this past weekend. It is a little concerning to see a power-five team beat up a group-of-five program, but at least they flexed their muscles. Additionally, any team who beats Alabama will stay high within the rankings. Brian Kelly is having tremendous success in his first year with the program and the future looks bright in Louisiana again.

7. Clemson

Oh my gosh, I’m so shocked. Eek! Look, they beat Miami! I hope the sarcasm in my tone is palpable. The Hurricanes are an aggressively average team this year, so no, I don’t think this warrants a top-10 rating for the Tigers. Does Dabo have dirt on someone in the AP?! Clemson has also been battling their own identity with the ups and downs at the QB position. There are many questions for Clemson and there are plenty of other programs who could take this spot.

8. Alabama

Okay now, this is embarrassing. The Crimson Tide smashed Austin Peay Governors, 34-0. It isn’t a good look when an SEC powerhouse has to right its recent wrongs by bullying an FCS school. Yes, I know the deal was made years prior, but with the way the season has turned out for Alabama, it’s embarrassing. No, I would not have imagined I would be saying this earlier this year. But somehow, we’re here. If some random series of unfortunate events play out and Alabama slips into the playoffs, I think Nick Saban should be investigated by the CIA or something for collusion.

9. Tennessee

As mentioned earlier, the Vols got absolutely demolished by the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. Perhaps the Volunteers were worried about the wrong USC. As the old saying goes, the fall is always hardest from the top, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that nobody predicted they would come as quickly as they left. What a whirlwind loss for a whirlwind year in Nashville. With two losses late in the season, I doubt they make the playoffs.

10. Oregon

The Ducks held off the mighty Utah Utes in a Saturday Night contest, 20-17. Oregon has proven it can handle the competition of the PAC-12. Who, all things considered, has exceeded expectations with their level of competition this year. The PAC-12 will look different in the future, but Oregon looks poised to be a top program in the newly reshaped conference. However, maybe their opening-day loss to Georgia is a foreshadowing they still can’t hang with other superior conferences like the SEC.

11. Penn State

I knew the college football ecosystem would restore itself eventually. The Nittany Lions are back in the top fifteen and nature is healing. However, they got this spot after bullying Rutgers, so maybe the brakes should be pumped before we hype up Penn State again. Penn State will always have a place in my heart, but this team will forever be a top-fifteen program that falls short of true greatness. Or perhaps it’s great that they are consistently good?

12. Washington

The Huskies dominated the Colorado Buffaloes, 54-7. But then again, seemingly everyone has beaten them. Truly, I don’t think this win is all that significant, but the Huskies have proven they can show up earlier this year. The Huskies have been a pleasant surprise this year. They’ve toyed with the rankings, spending time on and off the totem poll, but will most likely close the year on them and in a bowl game.

13. Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are a bit of an enigma. If you don’t believe me, go check out their schedule from this year and leave a comment with your thoughts below, or tag us on Twitter. Anyway, this is a team that’s lost to Ohio State, Marshall, and Stanford. The Buckeyes loss, I can certainly understand, but the fact they have been flustered by the Stanford Cardinal and Thundering Heard is suspect, to say the least. They narrowly escaped against Navy and are poised to finish the season against USC. Their battle against the Trojans will decide if they are legit.

14. Utah

Sadly, the Utes have fallen to the Ducks. Their previous outing against Oregon was probably the biggest game of the year, and tragically, they fell short. However, all things considered, the Utes have held their own in a changing PAC-12. Make no mistake, they’re still the best program in the state of Utah. The Utah State Aggies and BYU have a long way to go if they want to challenge the Utes. Utah gets to close its season with an easy contest against Colorado.

15. Kansas State

The Wildcats defeated West Virginia in a shootout, 48-31. Kansas State has managed to stay in the rankings despite some tough losses sprinkled throughout the year. But, they can bounce back after swallowing a loss, and that’s what makes them admirable. Additionally, their level of competition in the Big 12 has only proved how tough this team truly is.

16. Florida State

The Seminoles have been coming on strong to close the year. The Seminoles tranced the Louisiana Rajin’ Cajuns, 49-17. However, while the Sun Belt has been fun to watch this year, the Seminoles made short work of the Cajuns, and are red-hot as of lately. However, Florida State will play their in-state rivals, the Florida Gators to close the year. But, the Gators are coming off an embarrassing loss to Vanderbilt, so now is the time for the Seminoles to capitalize on their bruised rival.

17. UCLA

The Bruins dramatically lost to the Trojans on primetime television. However, they did prove they can hang with tremendous competition within their conference. The rivalry between UCLA and USC is a storied and notorious one, but last weekend’s outing proved that the rivalry is in good hands with Lincoln Riley and Chip Kelly. The Bruins close out their season against the California Golden Bears and will probably find themselves in a bowl game later this year.

18. North Carolina

Georgia Tech upset the Tar Heels, 21-17. This loss shot the Tar Heels down the rankings to eighteenth. While the Tar Heels have had an impressive year for a school that’s largely considered a basketball school, they will have a tough matchup next week against Clemson. The Tigers are vulnerable and the Tar Heels were riding high, but their momentum took a major hit with this recent loss. The good news is that the Tar Heels get a home-field advantage in this ACC showdown.

19. Tulane

The Green Wave crashed against SMU and handed the Pony Express a resounding loss, 59-24. If there was any doubt about Tulane, then they have surely silenced any critics lately. The Green Wave is empowered and racking up wins in a tough American Athletic Conference. However, their biggest loss this season was to UCF, and they face Cincinnati next week to end the season. The Knights have fallen in the rankings, whereas the Bearcats are rising them. So, it’ll be a climactic finish for both of their seasons next week!

20. Ole Miss

There was a point in time when the Rebels were knocking on the door of the elite four. But, as the season has progressed, their cracks have started to appear. The Rebels could not tame the Arkansas Razorbacks who handily beat them, 42-27. Ever since their first loss, the Rebels have teetered and stumbled. Previously, I said how a team handles its losses is what can make them climb the rankings again. Well, Ole Miss has not handled its losses with much grace, as the Rebels have fallen off the peak they created.

21. Cincinnati

The Bearcats get to close their season with a climatic matchup against Tulane. This clash of the titans has been brewing all year, as both programs are balling out. Both teams are coming off hearty victories, which only makes this contest all the better. Regardless of the outcome, both the Bearcats and the Green Wave have secured their bowl game eligibility and will most likely play in one.

22. Oregon State

The Beavers gnawed away at the Sun Devils and got themselves another victory, 31-7. Oregon State has put together quite the resume this season and is largely being slept on. But, they will need all the momentum they can get as they are set to face the Ducks next weekend. This in-state rivalry is a dramatic end to a stellar year for both teams. The Beavers have been impressive, but next weekend will be their biggest test by far.

23. Coastal Carolina

The Chanticleers did not play this past weekend, as their match against Virginia was canceled. Sadly, the Virginia football team lost three players to senseless gun violence and I think I speak for everyone at FlurrySports when I say that our hearts go out to the grieving family and friends of those affected. Coastal Carolina is set to close its season against James Madison.

24. Texas

In my mind, there is never a scenario in which Texas should be ranked. They’re the only team with four losses that have cracked the top twenty-five. There are plenty of other teams who could take this spot and I’m willing to bet they’d beat UT. The Longhorns are not, in fact, back, and they seem far from it. Their running back is good, but the rest of the team is questionable. Not to mention the rumors that their head coach may not last much longer at the helm.

25. UCF

The Knights beat Tulane earlier this season, yet find themselves behind them. In this case, UCF lost last weekend to Navy in a close contest, 17-14. The Midshipmen of Navy have played some tight games this year, and they managed to finish on top of the Knights. Disappointing, to be sure, but the Knights are lucky enough to stay in the rankings. The Knights get to finish their year against USF, which, all things considered, should be an easy win for Central Florida.

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