College football rankings: Ohio State, Michigan avoid upsets, prepare for battle

Ohio State hosts Michigan on Saturday in a College Football Playoff play-in game.

The programs will both be 11-0 when they meet for the first time since 2006. The last time this happened, the winner, the Buckeyes, played in the national title game and Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy.

This season, Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud or Michigan’s Blake Corum could win the award with a dominant performance in “The Game.”

Ohio State holds Maryland

Ohio State holds Maryland

RJ Young reacts to No. 2 Ohio State taking on Maryland in a tense Week 12 contest.

1. Agriculture (11-0)

Loser Kentucky, 16-6

Georgia’s defense held the Wildcats scoreless for three quarters and held on late as UK tried to mount a late surge. The Bulldogs have just one game before their date with LSU in the SEC Championship as they continue their quest to defend their national title and complete their first undefeated season since 1980.

2. Ohio State (11-0)

Loser Maryland, 43-30

Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison sacked Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa twice in the closing seconds of the Buckeyes’ victory. His second sack led to a forced fumble Steele Chambers returned for a TD and built a 13-point margin of victory in a game that had OSU flirting with defeat.

If the Buckeyes expect to beat Michigan in the Shoes on Saturday, they’ll have to start fast and finish just as strong.

3. Michigan (11-0)

Loser Illinois, 19-17

Without Heisman candidate Blake Corum for most of the second half, the Wolverines picked up their 11th win against a strong Illinois team in the Big House.

Michigan improved to 41-1 when leading at halftime under Jim Harbaugh — one more reason for the Buckeyes to get off to a fast start if they expect to win Saturday.

4. TCU (11-0)

Loser Baylor, 29-28

Sonny Dykes rolled the dice. On third-and-7 with 37 seconds left, down two from the Baylor 26 with no timeouts, he called a run play for running back Emari Demercado. It was brought down in bounds and Dykes pushed the field goal drive with the clock ticking down.

From 40 yards out, Griffin Kell nailed the kick and the Horned Frogs improved to 11-0 for the first time since 2010 with the win.

No. 4 Texas Christian stuns Baylor 29-28 | Number one college football

No. 4 Texas Christian stuns Baylor 29-28 |  Number one college football

RJ Young talks about no. 4 Texas Christian Horned Frogs stun the Baylor Bears 29-28 with a stunning two-minute drive and field goal to win with no time left.

5. USC (10-1)

beat UCLA, 48-45

With Tennessee’s loss, the Trojans appear to be just two wins away from securing their first CFP appearance — and the Pac-12’s first since 2016. Quarterback Caleb Williams continued to play like a Heisman contender, completing 32 of the 43 passes for 470 yards with two TDs and one INT.

The Trojans earned a spot in the Pac-12 championship game ahead of a tasty November non-conference game against Notre Dame.

6. Tennessee (9-2)

Lost in South Carolina, 63-38

South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler looked like a Heisman winner against the third-best team in the sport’s best league. He finished his best day as a Gamecock — of his career — with 438 yards through the air and six TDs to put a nail in the Volunteers’ CFP hopes.

South Carolina fans celebrate the upset of Tennessee

South Carolina fans celebrate the upset of Tennessee

Fans stormed the field after the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday.

7. LSU (9-2)

Loser UAB, 41-10

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels completed 22 of 29 passes for 297 passing yards with a TD in an upset win against the Blazers. With the division title clinched, the Tigers will look to get past Texas A&M and then defeat defending national champion Georgia for a chance to earn a CFP invite for the first time since 2019.

8. Alabama (9-2)

Loser Austin Peay, 34-0

The Crimson Tide performed exactly as you would expect an SEC power to against an FCS opponent.

9. Oregon (9-2)

beat utah 20-17

Oregon remains in the hunt for the Pac-12 title game with this win. With a win against Oregon State, the Ducks will have a chance to win the Pac-12 Championship against the best team in the conference they haven’t played yet – USC.

10. Clemson (10-1)

beat miami, 40-10

The Tigers completed an undefeated regular season – Notre Dame doesn’t count in their ACC tally – and prepare for an entertaining Palmetto State Championship showdown against South Carolina to end the regular season, followed by the ACC title game against North Carolina.

11. Notre Dame (8-3)

Loser Boston College, 44-0

The win was ND’s 28th straight against an ACC opponent and the fifth straight in which the Fighting Irish have scored at least 35 points.

12. Penn State (9-2)

Loser Rutgers, 55-10

Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton combined for 189 rushing yards on 20 carries with a TD in a lopsided victory that keeps the Nittany Lions’ Rose Bowl hopes alive.

13. Washington (9-2)

Loser Colorado, 54-7

The Huskies amassed 575 yards of offense — including 280 on the ground — to secure their first nine-win season since 2018 and a chance to win 11 games for the first time since 2016 — when they entered the CFP.

14. North Carolina (9-2)

Lost in Georgia Tech, 21-17

The Yellow Jackets fell behind 17-0 in the first half and scored 21 unanswered to knock the Tar Heels out of the CFP race.

15. Kansas State (8-3)

Loser West Virginia, 48-31

The Wildcats moved closer to securing the remaining spot in the Big 12 title game with the win. Quarterback Will Howard continued his excellent form completing 19 of 27 passes for 294 yards with two TDs and an INT.

If the Wildcats beat Kansas on Saturday, they will have a chance to play TCU for the Big 12 Championship.

16. All miss (8-3)

Lost in Arkansas, 42-27

Although the Rebels lost, Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins may have locked up the SEC Player of the Year Award and be a fixture on every First-Year All-American Team in the sport. He ran for 214 yards on 24 carries with one TD.

Judkins was outplayed, however, by Arkansas running back Raheim Sanders, who finished with 232 yards on 24 rushes with three TDs.

17. State of Florida (8-3)

Loser Louisiana, 49-17

Since the 34-28 loss at Clemson, the Seminoles have averaged better than 43 points per game and have scored at least 35 points in seven games this season – not including their 24-23 win against the SEC champion West Division LSU.

18. UCLA (8-3)

Lost to USC, 48-45

A valiant effort from five-year champion Dorian Thompson-Robinson was not enough for the Bruins to defeat their hometown rival. He finished 23 of 38 for 309 passing yards with four TDs and four turnovers against the Trojans.

USC wins wild one vs. UCLA

USC wins wild one vs. UCLA

RJ Young Reacts to No. 7 USC Trojans who defeated No. 16 UCLA Bruins in Week 12.

19. Jute (8-3)

Lost to Oregon 20-17

The Utes were eliminated from Pac-12 title contention with their loss to the Ducks. However, they are still in contention for their third 10-win season in four years.

20. Oregon State (8-3)

Loser Arizona State, 31-7

The win marked the Beavers’ first season with at least eight wins since 2012. With a win against Oregon in the bowl game that follows, the Beavers could reach 10 wins for the first time since 2006.

21. Texas (7-4)

Loser Kansas, 55-14

Bijan Robinson rushed for a career-high 243 yards against a Kansas bowl game, meaning if the Longhorns beat Baylor on Friday and K-State beats Kansas on Saturday, the Longhorns will have a second chance to beat the TCU in the Big 12 Championship. Game.

22. Coastal Carolina (9-1)

Game vs. Virginia canceled.

23. Tulane (9-2)

Lost in SMU, 59-24

Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt tallied six TDs in the win. With a win against Cincinnati next week, Tulane locks up a spot in the American Athletic Conference title game.

24. Troy (9-2)

Loser UL Monroe, 34-16

Kimani Vidal rushed for a career-high 242 yards to maintain his lead in the Sun Belt West Division as he looks to clinch a spot in the conference title game with a win against Arkansas State on Saturday.

25. Iowa (7-4)

Loser Minnesota, 13-10

Even though Minnesota running back Muhammad Ibrahim ran for 263 yards on 39 rushes, the Hokies pulled out a win to put themselves in position to win the Big Ten West title with a win against Nebraska on Saturday.

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RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.“Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.


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