Stephen Vilardo’s 2022 Week 4 College Football Top 25

How the nation's top teams stack up after another week of upsets and near misses

Posted on September 19, 2022

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

There were some close games among my top-25 with some near misses on upsets this week. We also saw the teams at the top take care of business in dominant fashion.

Three weeks in, we can start to get a better feel for teams, and that has created some movement in a few spots, notably at the top.

Georgia has certainly cemented their case for the number one spot, at least for the time being. Let’s see how the rest of the teams stack up for Week 4.

1. Georgia Bulldogs 3-0 (Last week 3)

Last Week: Beat South Carolina 48-7

The Bulldogs have now outscored opponents 137-10 on the season.

Georgia finally allowed a TD, it took 179 minutes and seven seconds for the first one to come this season. Offensively, the Bulldogs have averaged 8.7 yards per game.

I’m finally jumping the Dawgs to the top spot; they have been the best team in the country so far.

Next Week: vs Kent State

2. Alabama Crimson Tide 3-0 (1)

Last Week: Beat Louisiana-Monroe 63-7

The Tide rolled past the Warhawks in quick order.

Alabama scored three non-offensive touchdowns and broke a 75-year-old school record for punt return yards with 262.

While opening a 21-0 lead, the Tide scored on offense, defense, and special teams in succession.

SEC play starts with Vanderbilt coming to Tuscaloosa this week.

Next Week: vs Vanderbilt

3. Ohio State Buckeyes 3-0 (2)

Last Week: Beat Toledo 77-21

CJ Stroud threw for five touchdowns and 367 yards, and Kyle McCord added another 115 in mop-up duty as the Buckeyes offense accumulated 763 yards of offense with 482 coming through the air.

It was the 45th consecutive win over an in-state opponent for OSU.

Ohio State had three receivers top 100 yards against Toledo. The 77 points were the most by an OSU team in the last 70 years.

Next Week: vs Wisconsin

4. Clemson Tigers 3-0 (4)

Last Week: Beat LA Tech 48-20

Things get a little more challenging for the Tigers as they travel to Winston-Salem.

Against LA Tech, the Tigers held the Bulldogs to just six yards on the ground.

Clemson put up 521 yards of offense, split evenly with 241 through the air and 280 on the ground.

Next Week: At Wake Forest

5. Michigan Wolverines 3-0 (5)

Last week: Beat UConn 59-0

The Wolverines have outscored opponents 166-17, though the strength of opponents has not been great, but the results have been.

Blake Corum ran for a Michigan record five TDs against the Huskies. The 17 points Michigan has allowed this season are their fewest through three games since allowing 10 to open the 2003 season.

The 166 points are the most the Wolverines have ever scored in their opening three games.

Next Week: vs Maryland

6. Oklahoma Sooners 3-0 (6)

Last Week: Won at Nebraska 49-14

The 49 points Oklahoma scored against Nebraska were the most the Sooners have ever scored in Lincoln.

OU has not allowed more than 14 points in any game this season.

Dillon Gabriel has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 29 of his career games and at least two TD passes in 23 career contests

Next Week: vs Kansas State

7. USC Trojans 3-0 (7)

Last Week: Beat Fresno State 45-17

USC’s offense continued to click against Fresno State and the Alex Grinch-led defense continued to create turnovers.

usc logoThe Trojan offensive attack was balanced against the Bulldogs rushing for over 200 yards and throwing for over 275.

Caleb Williams spread the ball around to his receivers and both Travis Dye and Austin Jones both ran the ball for over 100 yards.

USC has scored 40+ points in the first three games of a season for the first time since 2005.

Next Week: At Oregon State

8. Oklahoma State Cowboys 3-0 (8)

Last Week: Beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 63-7

The Cowboy defense held the Golden Lions to 230 total yards, including 87 in the first half.

After looking extremely vulnerable after the opener, OSU has only allowed 24 points in the last two games.

Oklahoma State has some positive momentum heading into their bye week with two weeks to prepare for Baylor and the Big 12 slate.

Next Week: BYE

9. NC State Wolfpack 3-0 (10)

Last Week: Beat Texas Tech 27-14

The Wolfpack won their 12th straight home game with the win over the Big 12 opponent.

NC State has two interceptions in every game this season.

The only other FBS team who has completed three games this season with two-plus interceptions in every game is Wisconsin.

Next Week: vs UConn

10. Kentucky Wildcats 3-0 (14)

Last Week: Beat Youngstown State 31-0

Kentucky won their 18th straight nonconference game, the longest active streak in the nation.

The win over YSU was the Wildcats’ first shutout since a 42-0 win over Miami (OH) in 2009.

UK has limited its last seven opponents to 21 or fewer points, its longest streak since doing so in eight straight games to open the 2018 season.

Next Week: vs Northern Illinois

11. Arkansas Razorbacks 3-0 (13)

Last Week: Beat Missouri State 38-27

The Razorbacks survived a scare from old head coach Bobby Petrino and his Missouri State team.

Arkansas trailed 27-17 with 12 minutes to go in the game before rolling off the final 21 points of the game to get the win.

A date with Texas A&M looms and the Hogs will have to be sharper next week.

Next Week: vs Texas A&M in Arlington

12. Utah Utes 2-1 (15)

Last Week: Beat San Diego State 35-7

The Ute defense was firing on all cylinders against the Aztecs.

Utah limited SDSU to just 12 passing yards and 91 total yards through three quarters.

Cam Rising was efficient and effective, throwing for four TDs and 224 yards. Utah averaged 5.9 per play on the day.

Next Week: At Arizona State

13. Mississippi Rebels 3-0 (16)

Last Week: Won 42-0 at Georgia Tech

Ole Miss collected their first shutout since 2014 and the 42-point win was the Rebels’ largest against a Power Five opponent since beating Mississippi State 48-0 in 2008.

The last time Ole Miss defeated a non-SEC Power Five opponent by more was a 1950 win over Boston College 54-0.

Next Week: vs Tulsa

14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons 3-0 (18)

Last Week: Beat Liberty 37-36

The win over Liberty was tight, but it gave the Demon Deacons their seventh consecutive win over an opponent from Virginia.

Wake will welcome Clemson to Truist Field in a showdown that will go along a long way in deciding the Atlantic Division of the ACC.

The Deacs will take an 11-game home-field win streak into that one.

Next Week: vs Clemson

15. Oregon Ducks 2-1 (23)

Last Week: Beat BYU 41-20

Following the season-opening loss to Georgia—now my No. 1 team—the Ducks have looked very good in their past two in Eugene.

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12This win against a very good BYU team came in dominant fashion, with the game being less close than the 41-20 score might indicate.

The win over the Cougars broke a four-game losing streak against ranked nonconference opponents.

Next Week: At Washington State

16. Penn State Nittany Lions 3-0 (25)

Last Week: Won at Auburn 41-12

Penn State racked up 477 yards of offense and the defense had four takeaways on the day as they dominated the SEC foe on the road.

The 41 points from PSU were the most against Auburn at Jordan-Hare by a nonconference opponent.

Next Week: vs Central Michigan

17. Texas A&M Aggies 2-1 (21)

Last Week: Beat Miami 17-9

Jimbo Fisher improved to 8-1 in his career against Miami as the Aggies regrouped after the loss to Appalachian State.

Texas A&M lost just about every stat category to Miami but outscored them by eight points and that’s the only stat that matters.

Next Week: vs Arkansas in Arlington

18. Miami Hurricanes 2-1 (9)

Last Week: Lost at Texas A&M 17-9

The Hurricanes could not find the endzone in College Station and it was costly.

Miami outgained Texas A&M 392-264 and only allowed 16 Aggie first downs but the Canes could not put the ball in the endzone.

Next Week: vs Middle Tennessee State

19. Tennessee Volunteers 3-0 (19)

Last Week: Beat Akron 63-6

The Vols got a convincing win over the Zips in a tune-up before the rivalry game with Florida.

Tennessee rolled up 35 points and 416 yards of total offense in the first half alone and cruised to 63-6 victory over Akron.

Tennessee is 3-0 for the first time since 2016.

Next Week: vs Floridav

20. BYU Cougars 2-1 (12)

Last Week: Lost at Oregon 41-20

The Cougars dropped their first game of the season to Oregon in a game in which they were limited to just 61 yards on the ground.

Jaren Hall did throw for 305 yards in the loss, giving him seven straight games with at least 250 yards through the air.

Next Week: vs Wyoming

21. Florida Gators 2-1 (17)

Last Week: Beat South Florida 31-28

Florida survived against USF as Spencer Schrader missed a 49-yard FG that would have tied it as time expired.

The Gators have yet to throw a TD pass this season, for a total of 12 straight quarters without a passing TD!

Next Week: At Tennessee

22. Baylor Bears 2-1 (22)

Last Week: Beat Texas State 42-7

The Bears rebounded from their loss in Provo with a win over Texas State.

Baylor accumulated 501 yards of total offense and 293 on the ground, marking the second time in three games in 2022 to reach over 500 yards of total offense and over 250 yards rushing.

BU is now 7-1 in September in the last two seasons.

Next Week: At Iowa State

23. Texas Longhorns 2-1 (24)

Last Week: Beat UTSA 41-20

The Longhorns got a challenge from the Roadrunners before wearing them down.

Bijan Robinson went over the 2,000-yard mark for his career, becoming the 20th Texas player to rush for 2,000+ yards in his career.

Robinson finished the day with three TDs and 183 yards on 20 carries.

Next Week: At Texas Tech

24. Washington Huskies 3-0 (NR)

Last Week: Beat Michigan State 39-28

I have doubted the Huskies, and I still have some concerns, but they have looked fantastic so far and are proving me wrong.

Michael Penix threw for a Washington-record 397 yards in the win over Michigan State and added his second four-TD game of the season.

Washington’s offense is fun to watch and looks unstoppable.

The defense is still the Washington defense—no issues on that side of the ball last season. I could see them continuing to climb this list as the season goes on.

Next Week: vs Stanford

25. UCLA Bruins 3-0 (20)

Last Week: Beat South Alabama 32-31

Win by one or 21, a win is a win…But is it? The Jaguars had 11 plays of 10-plus yards in the first half.

The foot of Nicholas Barr-Mira lifted the Bruins to the win with a last-second field goal capping off a fourth-quarter comeback.

The Bruins remain ranked on this list, but performances like this one against conference opponents will equal losses.

Next Week: At Colorado

Dropped Out: Michigan State

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