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Friday, June 21, 2024

College football rankings: Defending champion Georgia is the top Dawg again


The Georgia Bulldogs saw the College Football Playoff selection committee’s ranking of Tennessee at No. 1, made like Michael Jordan and took that personally.

The defending national champions took an offense drawing favorable comparisons to 2019 LSU’s offense and didn’t even allow the Vols to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Kirby Smart’s DNA is all over this program in the form of a dominant defense and an offense that simply doesn’t get in the defense’s way.

UGA is the kind of team that only seems to play its best when its reputation is being questioned. Against Kent State and Missouri, the Dawgs produced clunkers, but they also won those games.

The Dawgs answered one of the sport’s burning questions: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Answer: The same thing that happens when a sports car runs headlong into a boulder — it gets torn in half.

Georgia is No. 1 again

RJ Young breaks down Georgia’s impressive victory over Tennessee.

1. Georgia (9-0)

Defeated Tennessee, 27-13

And it wasn’t that close.

2. Ohio State (9-0)

Defeated Northwestern, 21-7

With this win, the Buckeyes have scored 20 points or more in 70 consecutive games. That streak began after the Buckeyes lost to Oklahoma 31-16 in 2017. It also means the Buckeyes overtook Oklahoma, who had scored 20 or more points in 69 consecutive games from 2016 to 2021.

3. Michigan (9-0)

Defeated Rutgers, 52-17

After trailing 17-14 to start the second half, the Wolverines scored 38 unanswered to remain undefeated.

4. TCU (9-0)

Defeated Texas Tech, 34-24

The Horned Frogs began their season 9-0 for the first time since 2010. That year Texas Christian ran the table — 13-0 — and won the Rose Bowl.

TCU’s resilient victory over Texas Tech

RJ Young breaks down TCU’s win and analyzes the Horned Frogs’ case for the College Football Playoff.

5. Oregon (8-1)

Defeated Colorado, 49-10

Bo Nix has launched himself into the Heisman conversation with yet another outstanding performance. Against the Buffaloes, Nix became the second FBS player since 1996 and first since 2001 with two passing TDs, two rushing TDs and a receiving TD in the same game. 

Since losing to Georgia 49-3, the Ducks have scored 20 or more in every game they’ve played and look like the dominant team in the Pac-12.

6. Tennessee (8-1)

Lost to Georgia, 27-13

After putting together one of the best résumés in the sport, the Vols ran into an immovable object in the Georgia defense. Tennessee walked into this game averaging better than 49 points per game.

7. USC (8-1)

Defeated Cal, 41-35

Caleb Williams passed for 360 yards and scored five total touchdowns as the Trojans breezed to victory.

8. UCLA (8-1)

Defeated Arizona State, 50-36

The Bruins dominated on the ground, receiving 141 rushing yards from Kazmeir Allen and another 110 from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

UCLA’s Allen shows off ELITE speed in long TD

Kazmeir Allen couldn’t be stopped vs. Arizona State, bolting 75 yards to the house for a UCLA touchdown.

9. LSU (7-2)

Defeated Alabama, 32-31, OT

LSU coach Brian Kelly left Notre Dame just a year after playing in the College Football Playoff so that he could win games like this one.

After losing both a CFP semifinal and BCS national title game to Nick Saban and Alabama, he earned his first win against both in his first opportunity at LSU.

10. Alabama (7-2)

Lost to LSU, 32-31, OT

The win marked the first time the Crimson Tide has suffered two regular season losses before Thanksgiving since 2010. 

A weekend of big upsets

RJ Young reacts to the two biggest upsets of the week, as No. 10 LSU beats No. 6 Alabama in overtime, and unranked Notre Dame Fighting routs No. 4 Clemson.

11. Clemson (8-1)

Lost to Notre Dame, 35-14

The Tigers gave up 265 rushing yards, a pick-six and a punt return for a TD to the Fighting Irish.

12. Penn State (7-2)

Defeated Indiana, 45-14

PSU running backs Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton combined for 34 rushes for 159 yards and four TDs in a bounce-back win for the Nittany Lions against the Hoosiers.

13. Ole Miss (8-1)


14. North Carolina (8-1)

Defeated Virginia, 31-28

Heisman hopeful Drake Maye kept his hopes for the most-coveted individual trophy in the sport alive with another brilliant performance, throwing for 293 yards and two TDs while receiver Josh Downs caught 15 passes for 192 yards with a TD.

15. Utah (7-2)

Defeated Arizona, 45-20

Cam Rising returned to lead Utah to a workmanlike win against Arizona. Ute running back Ja’Quinden Jackson needed just 13 rushes to notch 97 rush yards and a TD.

The Utes rushed 306 as a team against the Wildcats.

16. Texas (6-3)

Defeated Kansas State, 34-27

Bijan Robinson put on a vintage performance with 209 rush yards on 30 carries against a Kansas State program that blanked Oklahoma State last week. With the win, Texas set itself up to play spoiler against TCU in Austin on Saturday.

Highlights: Texas topples No. 13 Kansas State

Bijan Robinson rushed for 209 yards and a touchdown to lead the Longhorns.

17. Tulane (8-1)

Defeated Tulsa, 27-13

The Green Wave looks like the best Group of 5 team in the sport and could very well find itself playing in the Rose Bowl in January.

18. Liberty (8-1)

Defeated Arkansas, 21-19

Just four years into playing an FBS schedule, the Flames walked into an SEC West program’s stadium and left with a win.

19. Illinois (7-2)

Lost to Michigan State, 23-15

The Spartans notched their first top-25 win this season with a startling performance against Illinois. However, the Illini still sit atop the Big Ten West and in a position to play in the B1G title game.

20. Kansas State (6-3)

Lost to Texas, 34-27

The loss marked just the third for a Wildcats team that has taken losses from three teams that have been ranked in the AP Top 25 at one point this season — Tulane, TCU and Texas.

21. Kentucky (6-3)

Defeated Missouri, 21-17

The Wildcats bounced back from a 38-point loss to the Volunteers with a defensive gem against the Tigers. Kentucky held Mizzou to just 236 yards and created two turnovers along with six sacks in the victory.

22. North Carolina State (7-2)

Defeated Wake Forest, 30-21

The Wolfpack defense forced three interceptions from Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman and gave up just 17 rushing yards in the game.

23. Coastal Carolina (8-1)

Defeated Appalachian State, 35-28

The win moved the Chants into first place in the Sun Belt. With one loss, Coastal Carolina is keeping pace with Tulane for the at-large bid in a New Year Six Bowl this season.

24. Central Florida (7-2)

Defeated Memphis, 35-28

UCF quarterback Mikey Keene completed 22 of 28 passes for three TDs and a pick in the win against Memphis.

25. Baylor (6-3)

Defeated Oklahoma, 38-35

Craig Williams rushed for 192 yards on 25 carries in the win. With games left against Kansas State, TCU and Texas, the Bears could play their way into the Big 12 Championship Game.

Read more:

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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