College Football Rankings: B/R's Top 25 After Week 12
Week 12 might be best remembered as Statement Saturday.
Ohio State showed why it's always been the Big Ten favorite, Cincinnati provided a timely reminder about its upside and Alabama had a record-setting day on offense. Michigan State and Oregon, however, made it clear they won't be in the running for the College Football Playoff with ugly losses.
Some statements are good. Others are bad. And every one is reflected in the latest B/R Top 25.
Bleacher Report's panel of college football writers—David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Morgan Moriarty and Brad Shepard—each submitted a Top 25 ballot. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, followed by 24 points for second, 23 for third, etc.
B/R's Post-Week 12 Top 25
1. Georgia (Last week: 1)
2. Ohio State (4)
3. Alabama (2)
4. Cincinnati (3)
5. Michigan (6)
6. Oklahoma State (8)
7. Notre Dame (9)
8. Oklahoma (12)
9. Baylor (13)
10. Ole Miss (10)
11. UTSA (15)
12. Oregon (5)
13. Michigan State (7)
14. Texas A&M (14)
15. BYU (16)
16. Utah (24)
17. Houston (17)
18. Wisconsin (T-18)
19. Louisiana (20)
20. Pitt (T-21)
21. Iowa (T-21)
22. Wake Forest (11)
23. San Diego State (23)
24. North Carolina State (NR)
25. Clemson (NR)
Others receiving votes: Kansas State, Arkansas, Kentucky
Who's Hot: Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State isn't just hot.
Pick your favorite adjective: Sizzling, scorching, torrid. All of them apply to the Buckeyes' offense, which made No. 7 Michigan State look like a lower-division team collecting a paycheck.
C.J. Stroud completed 32-of-35 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns. The most ridiculous part, by far, is Stroud only handled one possession in the second half. Ohio State had built a 49-0 advantage heading into the locker room at halftime.
Overall, the Buckeyes put up 655 yards in the 56-7 dismantling of the Spartans. That massive performance followed a 59-31 victory over Purdue in which Stroud threw for 361 yards and five touchdowns, and Ohio State racked up 624 yards.
Ohio State hosts Michigan next weekend with a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game at stake. And if this blistering offense shows up again, the Buckeyes will undoubtedly be headed to Indianapolis.
Who's Not: Texas Longhorns
On a day that didn't include many surprises inside the poll, we're traveling outside the Top 25 for this selection.
If you've been following the 2021 season, you won't be surprised at the choice, either. Starting with the Oct. 9 collapse against Oklahoma, Texas has watched a promising 4-1 start disintegrate into what's probably be the program's worst season in 67 years.
Saturday afternoon, the Longhorns fell to West Virginia 31-23 and dropped their sixth straight game. Not since the 1956 campaign—when the team finished 1-9—had Texas lost six in a row.
What a disastrous debut season for Steve Sarkisian.
Holding a 4-7 record entering the finale opposite Kansas State, Texas is officially out of bowl contention. Plus, should the Longhorns fall to K-State next week, they might be headed to only the third eight-loss season in program history—and, again, first since 1956.
By the way, Sark's buyout is currently $20.6 million.
Fun Fact: Bryce Young Obliterates Bama Record in Win
Records are made to be broken, right?
Well, the single-game passing mark stood at Alabama for more than a half-century. Scott Hunter threw for 484 yards against rival Auburn in 1969. Mac Jones topped 400 yards in five games last season, but he maxed out at 464 in the CFP National Championship.
Bryce Young finally surpassed the mark Saturday against Arkansas.
But he didn't simply edge past Hunter's 52-year-old record. No, the redshirt freshman put up 559 yards during a 42-35 victory for the second-ranked Crimson Tide. Young threw five touchdowns in the win, putting an emphatic bullet on his impressive Heisman Trophy resume. He will undoubtedly be a finalist for the award.
Alabama closes the regular season at Auburn next weekend before meeting top-ranked Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. After that, we'll find out whether Young adds to his dazzling young career as the first Alabama QB to win the Heisman.
What to Watch For: Playoff Impact in Rivalry Week
Thursday and Friday have a few notable games, including the Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State on Thanksgiving. Ole Miss would improve to 10-2 and presumably lock up a New Year's Six bowl with a victory over the rival Bulldogs.
Saturday, the spotlight will be shining on The Game. Ohio State hosts Michigan in a battle to determine the Big Ten East Division—and the narrative of Jim Harbaugh's tenure entering the offseason.
Following that noon ET kickoff, attention will shift to Bedlam at 7:30 p.m. ET. Oklahoma State remains a CFP contender but needs to navigate Oklahoma, which has six straight wins in the series.
With the exception of No. 1 Georgia, nobody can effectively clinch a CFP berth next week. But any of Ohio State, Michigan or Oklahoma State could move within one victory of the Playoff.