College football rankings: Michigan joins top 4, several new teams make list

By RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer

When Michigan needed a yard on fourth down in a close ballgame against an undefeated Big Ten opponent, Jim Harbaugh didn’t hesitate.

He called a run play for the man who has become not just the Wolverines’ talisman, but the reason they’ve gone from unranked to No. 4 in my top 25: Blake Corum.

And Corum rushed for a TD.

The Wolverines walked into the Big House thin at tailback with Donovan Edwards out due to injury and didn’t have anyone else the coaching staff felt confident in taking the ball.

With an Iowa squad playing its best defense in more than 65 years looming next Saturday (Noon ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app), the Wolverines will need Corum to continue to be heroic if they expect to remain in the final CFP spot.

Did Georgia show weakness against Kent State?

Did Georgia show weakness against Kent State?

RJ Young discusses Georgia’s less-than-dominant performance against Kent State.

1. Georgia (4-0)

Defeated Kent State, 39-22

After a ripe feting of the UGA — led by yours truly — the Dawgs played their worst football of the season against the Golden Flashes.

Georgia allowed more points to Kent State (22) than it did to No. 15 Oregon (3) South Carolina (7) and Samford (0) combined (10). In fact, only two teams have put up 22 points or more on Georgia in its last 19 games: 2021 Alabama and 2022 Kent State.

Georgia outgained Kent State 529 to 281 but committed three turnovers.

The Dawgs are STILL the No. 1 team in the country — for now.

2. Alabama (4-0)

Defeated Vanderbilt, 55-3

The Tide led Vandy 41-3 after three quarters, and backup quarterback Jalen Milroe came in for reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young after Young put up 385 passing yards and four TDs.

3. Ohio State (4-0)

Defeated Wisconsin, 52-21

Wisconsin had never given up more than 41 points in a game with Jim Leonhard as its defensive coordinator — he’s had that job for six years.

The Buckeyes scored 45 before the third quarter ended while quarterback C.J. Stroud completed 17 of 27 for 281 yards and five TDs. Two Ohio State tailbacks — TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams — each rushed for more than 100 yards.

4. Michigan (4-0)

Defeated Maryland, 34-27

Running back Corum put the Wolverines on his back with 30 rushes for 243 yards and two TDs in Michigan’s first win against a Power 5 team this season.

Blake Corum carries Michigan

Blake Corum carries Michigan

The No. 4 Michigan Wolverines outlasted the Maryland Terrapins in a tightly-contested Big Ten matchup, thanks in large part to Blake Corum.

5. Clemson (4-0)

Defeated Wake Forest, 51-45, 2OT

The Tigers survived an outstanding offensive showing from the Demon Deacons in which Sam Hartman, ranked No. 767 in the 247 Sports Composite 2018 class, nearly matched Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei blow-for-blow. 

Both QBs finished with more than 330 passing yards and at least five passing TDs in this thriller.

6. Kentucky (4-0)

Defeated Northern Illinois, 31-23

UK quarterback Will Levis has passed for at least 300 yards in three of the Wildcats’ four games this season. He threw for 300 yards just three times in all of 2021.

7. Oklahoma State (3-0)


8. Tennessee (4-0)

Defeated Florida, 38-33

Hendon Hooker has been so good that Tennessee might be thinking it can knock off Alabama on Oct. 15.

Against UF, Hooker threw for 349 yards and rushed for 112 more. He still hasn’t thrown an interception since Nov. 13, 2021, when he threw just one against Georgia.

Both the Gators (576) and Vols (594) put up more than 570 yards in a game best described as “defense-optional.”

Is Hendon Hooker a Heisman contender?

Is Hendon Hooker a Heisman contender?

RJ Young breaks down why Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker could be having a Heisman-caliber season.

9. Minnesota (4-0)

Defeated Michigan State, 34-7

Minnesota outgained Michigan State 312-45 in the first half, recorded 19 first downs to Michigan State’s three, and allowed the Spartans to run just 19 plays.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Ibrahim continued to make a case as the best back in the country by becoming the first player to rush for 100 yards against Michigan State in 16 games.

This is his 13th consecutive 100-yard rushing performance.

10. USC (4-0)

Defeated Oregon State, 17-14

It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but Heisman candidate Caleb Williams made the big plays when most needed as the Trojans pulled out a win in the difficult setting that is Corvallis.

11. Oklahoma (3-1)

Lost to Kansas State, 41-34

The Sooners gave up more than 500 yards and 41 points in a humbling loss after an outstanding performance against the nonconference portion of their schedule.

12. Penn State (4-0)

Defeated Central Michigan, 33-14

After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, the Nittany Lions scored 33 unanswered points to defeat CMU. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that’s the last cupcake on PSU’s schedule.

13. Oregon (3-1)

Defeated Washington State, 44-41

This game had more twists and turns than a piece of origami. The two teams tallied more than 1,000 yards of total offense — 628 of which came from UO — and an identical number of first downs (28) in the best Pac-12 game of the season thus far.

UO quarterback Bo Nix completed 33 of 44 passes for 428 pass yards, three TDs and one INT.

14. Brigham Young (3-1)

Defeated Wyoming, 38-24

Jaren Hall passed for 337 yards and four TDs to lead the Cougars.

15. Baylor (3-1)

Defeated Iowa State, 31-24

The Bears put together an impressive showing against a formerly undefeated Iowa State on the road. The Bears led 31-14 at the start of the fourth quarter.

16. Utah (3-1)

Defeated Arizona State, 34-13

The Utes have won three straight since losing at Florida in Week 1, and they’ve looked impressive in each. 

17. Mississippi (4-0)

Defeated Tulsa, 35-27

The Rebels defense stymied the Tulsa passing attack. Golden Hurricane quarterback Davis Brin walked into Vaught-Hemingway averaging more than 400 pass yards per game. Against Ole Miss, he completed just seven of 13 pass attempts for 112 yards with a TD.

18. North Carolina State (4-0)

Defeated Connecticut, 41-10

Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary made light work of the Huskies, completing 32 of 44 passes for 320 pass yards, four TDs and an INT in the win.

19. Texas A&M (3-1)

Defeated Arkansas, 23-21

A&M running back Devon Achane rushed for 159 yards on 19 rushes in a game the Aggies needed a missed field goal from Arkansas late to clinch the win.

20. Arkansas (3-1)

Lost to Texas A&M, 23-21

21. Texas Tech (3-1)

Defeated Texas, 37-34, OT

The Red Raiders notched their first win against Texas in Lubbock since 2008 in front of a sold-out crowd at Jones AT&T Stadium.

22. Washington (4-0)

Defeated Stanford, 40-22

Washington forced three turnovers, and QB Michael Penix Jr. passed for 309 yards and two TDs in a comprehensive victory.

23. Kansas (4-0)

Defeated Duke, 35-27 

The Jayhawks are 4-0 for the first time since 2009.

‘Rank Kansas!’

'Rank Kansas!'

RJ Young breaks down Kansas’ impressive victory against Duke and explains why the Jayhawks should be in the AP Top 25.

24. Kansas State (3-1)

Defeated Oklahoma, 41-34

Adrian Martinez played the best game of his career. He passed for more than 200 and rushed for over 100 and four touchdowns in K-State’s upset of the Sooners.

25. Iowa (3-1)

Defeated Rutgers, 27-10

The Hawkeyes scored two defensive TDs in their win against a previously undefeated Rutgers in Piscataway. Iowa’s defense has allowed just 23 points in its first four games — its fewest points allowed in the last 66 years.

Read more:

– Heisman watch: Bryce Young reminds us why he won it

– Michigan has weaknesses, but a true star to lead the way

– Top plays from Week 4: Michigan edges Maryland, Clemson wins thriller

– CFP, Heisman and other predictions from FOX Sports staff 

– Pac-12 is back in the spotlight, for all the right reasons

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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