Conference championship games are in the books and the College Football Playoff bracket has beens set with the entire 2022-23 bowl schedule, so the time has come to update the college football rankings one more time before the final release of the season.
For dozens of teams in the CBS Sports 131, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, there are no more data points for our voters to consider. But for Army, Navy and the teams competing in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 9, there is still work to be done to finalize your position in the rankings., plus the
Few teams made a stronger statement with their 13th game than Utah, who not only defeated USC for the second time in a season but did so emphatically with a 23-point win in the Pac-12 Championship Game. It's the second year in a row that Utah has won the Pac-12 and beaten an opponent twice to accomplish that feat, and our voters took note with a jump from No. 12 up to No. 7 in the CBS Sports 131.
In terms of the top four, our voters agreed with the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, slotting Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Ohio State in the same positions as the CFP Rankings. But another week to consider resumes, as well as the shuffling of teams moving up and down following the wins, led to some divergence outside of that top four. Our voters placed Tennessee ahead of Alabama, dropped USC behind Penn State and placed Clemson at No. 11 while the CFP Rankings moved the Tigers up to No. 7 after winning the ACC championship.
With less teams in action over Week 14's championship weekend, the movements were less dramatic than we find after a regular season Saturday, but there are still necessary adjustments following those results. Troy made a huge move up after a similarly dominant performance in the Sun Belt Championship Game, and of course there were teams that moved down after losses such as North Carolina, LSU and USC, which was our No. 4 team heading into the Pac-12 title game. For more on the notable adjustments in this penultimate release of the CBS Sports 131, check out the Mover's Report below the top 25 table.
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top 25 below and 26-131 on our rankings page.
- No. 23 Troy (+8): A fantastic Year 1 with Jon Sumrall concluded with a runaway win against Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt Championship Game, wrapping up an 11-2 campaign and clinching the program's first conference title since 2017.
- No. 7 Utah (+5): Back-to-back Pac-12 titles has firmly established Utah as the class of the conference. Last year, it was two wins against Oregon in the same season to propel the Utes to the Rose Bowl, and this year it was two wins against USC in the same season to set up another high-profile appearance in Pasadena, California.
- No. 18 LSU (-5): It's been tough to balance LSU's position in the rankings, considering the strength of good wins and two losses coming to other highly ranked teams (Florida State, Tennessee). But the loss to Texas A&M in the regular-season finale and now the loss count (4) broke some tiebreakers for our voters as the Tigers fell behind a couple three-loss teams.
- No. 10 USC (-6): With Utah making a big move up, it's tough to penalize USC too much for a pair of quality losses, but the peak position of No. 4 set up a dramatic fall following the disappointing defeat in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 131: Teams ranked 26-131