College football rankings: Washington, Oregon and the Year of the Pac-12

This is the Year of the Pac-12. That’s what Washington’s instant classic win against Oregon taught us this weekend.

In a game that featured a first among hated rivals — both 5-0 and ranked in the top 10 when playing each other — Oregon showed more than enough to be considered a team capable of winning the Pac-12 title in the conference’s final and most-loaded year.

This weekend Pac-12 teams not only littered the top 25 but proved to be deeper than the best league in the country — the SEC. 

Even after suffering a 28-point loss to Notre Dame, USC remains one of two undefeated programs in Pac-12 play, while both Arizona and Stanford proved that they won’t be easy outs with wins against an AP-ranked Washington State and Deion Sanders’ Colorado, respectively. 

For a conference that hasn’t seen a member invited to the College Football Playoff since 2016, it’s difficult to see how the Pac-12 could get skunked in 2023. 

It’s just that good.

Washington beats Oregon in 36-33 nail-biter

Here are my Top 25 rankings after Week 7.

1. Michigan (7-0)

Defeated Indiana, 52-7

The Wolverines scored 52 unanswered points against the Hoosiers.

What Michigan can take into the rest of the season

2. Georgia (7-0)

Defeated Vanderbilt, 37-20

Running back Daijun Edwards rushed for 146 yards on 20 carries for just his second 100-yard rushing performance this season and first since Sept. 16 against South Carolina.

3. Ohio State (6-0)

Defeated Purdue, 41-7

The Buckeyes defense has surrendered just 24 points in their last two games. Ahead of a matchup with undefeated Penn State, the Ohio State defense is the strength of a Ryan Day football team. And that is a scary thought.

4. Oklahoma (6-0)


The Sooners play host to UCF on Oct. 21.

5. Penn State (6-0)

Defeated Massachusetts, 63-0

The Nittany Lions get to earn this ranking against Ohio State when they walk into the Shoe for a showdown of unbeatens.

Penn State’s Daequan Hardy returns punt 56 yards for TD

6. Washington (6-0)

Defeated Oregon, 36-33

UW QB Michael Penix Jr. completed 22 of 37 passes for 302 yards with four TDs and an INT.

7. Florida State (6-0) 

Defeated Syracuse, 41-3

The Noles are 6-0 for the first time since 2015. They’ll attempt to move to 7-0 against Duke at Doak Campbell on Saturday.

8. North Carolina (6-0)

Defeated Miami, 41-31

UNC running back Omarion Hampton carried the ball 24 times for 197 rush yards with a TD, while wideout Tez Walker caught six passes for 132 yards with three TDs. Quarterback Drake Maye completed 17 of 33 passes for 273 yards with four TDs.

Are North Carolina and Drake Maye primed to win the ACC?

9. Texas (5-1)


The Longhorns will play Houston on Oct. 21.

10. Oregon (5-1) 

Lost to Washington, 36-33

Ducks receiver Troy Franklin caught eight passes for 154 yards with a TD, marking his fifth game with at least six catches, 100 receiving yards and a TD this season.

Watch the thrilling highlights from Oregon vs. Washington

11. Alabama (6-1)

Defeated Arkansas, 24-21

The win was the 200th for Nick Saban as head coach at Alabama and extended a 17-game winning streak for the Tide against the Razorbacks.

12. Notre Dame (5-2)

Defeated USC, 48-20

The Notre Dame defense became the first to hold USC to fewer than 40 points and the first to record three interceptions against reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams.

What to make of Notre Dame dominating USC

13. Duke (5-1)

Defeated North Carolina State, 24-3

The Blue Devils earned the win without talisman and quarterback Riley Leonard and did not surrender a point for the final three quarters of the game.

14. Ole Miss (5-1) 


The Rebels will play Auburn on Oct. 21.

15. USC (6-1) 

Lost to Notre Dame, 48-20

Williams played the worst game of his career, completing 23 of 37 passes for 199 yards with one TD, three INTs and a fumble. He was sacked six times, and the Trojans turned the ball over five times.

16. Oregon State (6-1) 

Defeated UCLA, 36-24

DJ Uiagalelei completed 14 of 24 passes for 266 pass yards with two TDs to keep the Beavers squarely in the hunt for a chance to play in the Pac-12 title.

How DJ Uiagalelei dominated UCLA

17. Utah (5-1) 

Defeated California, 34-14

The Utes have allowed just 73 points through six games. That’s the fewest a Utah team has allowed since 1994.

18. LSU (5-2)

Defeated Auburn, 48-18

The Bayou Bengals put up 563 yards in the win and have scored 48 or more in each of their last three outings against SEC foes.

19. Missouri (6-1)

Defeated Kentucky, 38-21

The Tigers have scored 30 or more in six out of seven games and at least 38 in each of their last three. With a win against South Carolina on Saturday, Mizzou could play Georgia for control of the SEC East.

20. Tennessee (5-1)

Defeated Texas A&M, 20-13

The Vols survived the Aggies with the second-fewest points scored by UT in a game all year. Next up: at Alabama.

21. Iowa (6-1)

Defeated Wisconsin, 15-6

Iowa punter Tory Taylor punted 10 times with an average of 50.6 yards per punt, and half of those punts landed inside the 20-yard line.

Highlights: See how Iowa shut down Wisconsin

22. Tulane (5-1)

Defeated Memphis, 31-21

The Green Wave outscored Memphis 14-0 in the fourth quarter as they look to be the Group of 5 New Year’s Six representative for the second year in a row.

23. Air Force (6-0)

Defeated Wyoming, 34-27

Air Force showcased the nation’s best rushing attack with 356 yards on the ground against the Cowboys.

24. James Madison (6-0)

Defeated Georgia Southern, 41-13 

The Dukes haven’t lost a game since November 5, 2022 — at Louisville.

25. Louisville (6-1)

Lost to Pittsburgh, 38-21

The Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season, despite outgaining the Panthers in total yards 444 to 288.

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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 and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.

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