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

Ohio State hosts Michigan on Saturday in a game that will serve as a play-in for the College Football Playoff.

The two programs will be 11-0 when they meet for the first time since 2006. The last time it 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 running back Blake Corum could win the award with a dominant performance in “The Game.”

Ohio State stops Maryland

Ohio State stops Maryland

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

1. Georgia (11-0)

defeated Kentucky, 16-6

Georgia’s defense held the Wildcats scoreless for three quarters and held on late as UK tried to surge late. The Bulldogs have just one game remaining 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)

defeated Maryland, 43-30

Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison sacked Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa twice in the waning seconds of the Buckeyes’ victory. His second sack led to a fumble return by linebacker Steele Chambers for a TD and created what would be a 13-point margin of victory in a game OSU flirted with losing.

If the Buckeyes hope to defeat Michigan in the Shoe on Saturday, they’ll need to start fast and finish just as strong.

3. Michigan (11-0)

defeated 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 the half under Jim Harbaugh, one more reason for the Buckeyes to start fast if they hope to win Saturday.

4. TCU (11-0)

defeated Baylor, 29-28

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

From 40 yards out, Griffin Kell nailed his 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 show

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

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

5. USC (10-1)

defeated UCLA, 48-45

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

The Trojans clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game before a delicious November non-conference bout 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 best league in the sport. He finished his career-best day as a Gamecock with 438 yards and six TDs to put a nail in the coffin for the Volunteers’ CFP hopes.

South Carolina fans celebrate Tennessee’s upset

South Carolina fans celebrate Tennessee's upset

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

7. LSU (9-2)

defeated UAB, 41-10

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

8. Alabama (9-2)

defeated 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)

Utah defeated, 20-17

Oregon continues its pursuit of the Pac-12 title with this win. With a win against loaded 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)

Miami defeated, 40-10

The Tigers finished an undefeated regular season (Notre Dame does not count toward their ACC tally) and are set for what should be a fun Palmetto State Championship matchup against South Carolina to end the regular season, followed by the ACC title game. against North Carolina.

11. Our Lady (8-3)

defeated 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)

defeated Rutgers, 55-10

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

13. Washington (9-2)

defeated Colorado, 54-7

The Huskies rolled up 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 made the CFP.

14. North Carolina (9-2)

Lost in Georgia Tech, 21-17

The Yellowjackets went down 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)

defeated 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 outstanding 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. be miss (8-3)

Lost in Arkansas, 42-27

Although the Rebels lost, Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins could have locked up the SEC Player of the Year Award and is a shot on every Freshman 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 carries with three scores.

17. State of Florida (8-3)

defeated Louisiana, 49-17

Since losing 34-28 against 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)

Loses to USC, 48-45

A valiant effort from fifth-year starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson wasn’t enough for the Bruins to eliminate their cross-town rival. He finished 23-for-38 for 309 yards passing with four TDs and four turnovers against the Trojans.

USC wins a wild one against UCLA

USC wins a wild one against UCLA

RJ Young reacts to the #7 USC Trojans defeating the #16 UCLA Bruins in Week 12.

19. Utah (8-3)

Lost at Oregon, 20-17

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

20. State of Oregon (8-3)

defeated State of Arizona, 31-7

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

21. Texas (7-4)

defeated Kansas, 55-14

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

22. Coast of Carolina (9-1)

game vs. virginia was cancelled.

23. Tulane (9-2)

Lost in SMU, 59-24

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

24. Troy (9-2)

defeated UL Monroe, 34-16

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

25. Iowa (7-4)

defeated Minnesota, 13-10

Despite Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim rushing for 263 yards on 39 carries, the Hawkeyes 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 i subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.

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