Another wild, wild week of college football concluded Saturday with five of the top 12 and six of the top 15 teams in the nation losing, including No. 3 Oregon, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 10 Florida, No. 12 Ole Miss and No. 15 Texas A&M. Needless to say, the race for the national title has thinned.
There are some longshot contenders that drastically changed their title hopes. Texas A&M's hopes are dashed, Clemson didn't gain any style points, and the likelihood of Florida digging out of its two-loss hole is pretty much non-existent. Oregon fell as the final Pac-12 unbeaten, and it may have taken the conference's College Football Playoff chances with it.
Let's have some fun and hand out grades for the first weekend of October.
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In order to determine which teams to grade each week, we consult the national title odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook prior to kickoff on Saturday. Each gets issued a report card for their effort in Week 5. For some, it may be their last as their odds will surely plummet after key losses.
College football grades: Week 5 report card
|7/4||A||Alabama controlled its game vs. Ole Miss for a full four quarters, and the running game was on point thanks to Brian Robinson's four touchdown runs. The defense let up late, which probably pleases coach Nick Saban because now he has something to yell about in practice. That's the only reason it didn't get extra credit.|
|9/4||A+||Georgia has two consecutive shutouts, its offensive line dominated a pretty darn solid Arkansas front seven, and the absence of quarterback JT Daniels was a non-factor. It's the most complete team in college football at the moment.|
|14-1||A||A 52-13 win over Rutgers typically doesn't move the needle, but this is still a halfway decent Scarlet Knights squad. C.J. Stroud threw for 330 yards and five touchdowns in an absolute beatdown that vaulted the Buckeyes back into the Big Ten East title conversation.|
|15-1||B||The Sooners messed around with Kansas State in the first half but pulled away for a 37-31 win. It was yet another instance of sleep-walking in the first half, which has become standard operating procedure for Lincoln Riley's squad. They have to clean that up if they're going to make a run for the college football playoff.|
|16-1||D+||The overtime loss to Stanford was a complete disaster. The Ducks had a 12-play, 31-yard drive stall out with 1:53 left and then let the Cardinal go 11 plays for 86 yards and the game-tying score with no time on the clock. Oregon couldn't muster anything in the overtime period after Stanford scored a touchdown in the top of the frame. Playoff hopes? They're not gone ... but they're close.|
|30-1||A-||Sean Clifford threw three touchdown passes, wide receiver Jahan Dotson's stellar season kept rolling and the defense posted a shutout over Indiana. It wasn't always pretty, but there was no reason for Penn State to do anything else.|
|30-1||F||So long, Notre Dame. We hardly knew ye. Wait, yes we did. Notre Dame is the same team that skated by the first month of the season with erratic play, and it came back to bite the Fighting Irish against No. 7 Cincinnati in the 24-13 loss. Their CFP hopes evaporated in the process.|
|40-1||F||The Rebels only lost by 21 to Alabama, but let's be real ... it was way worse than that. Coach Lane Kiffin lost sight of his game plan when he gave up on the ground game and went for it on fourth down about four too many times. Now they're a game back of Alabama and don't have the head-to-head tiebreaker.|
|50-1||A+||You couldn't ask for a better situation for the Bearcats. Not only did they dominate Notre Dame, but there have been a ton of dominoes that have fallen through the first five weeks of the season. They probably don't control their own CFP destiny, but they're getting close to it.|
|50-1||A||Spencer Petras threw three touchdown passes, the offense put up 51 points, and the Hawkeyes handed Maryland its first loss of the season on Friday night. It was important for the Hawkeyes to show off its offense because we already know that its defense is lights out.|
|60-1||F||The Gators lost at Kentucky for the first time since 1986 and now have two SEC loses on the season. They don't have any CFP hopes at this point. Florida committed 15 penalties for 115 yards in the game with eight false starts at Kroger Field. Yikes.|
|60-1||A-||Michigan absolutely dominated a Wisconsin team that has been a big disappointment this season. Yes, the Wolverines were thorough from start to finish, but I'm not sure that this win will look so great at the end of the season.|
|80-1||C-||Clemson skated by Boston College, which had the ball with under one minute to go with a chance to spring the upset. That's Clemson's DNA this year, which isn't going to give it any style points. It's unlikely that Clemson even has a chance in the race for the national title, but it kept those hopes alive on Saturday -- barely.|
|80-1||D-||The only reason that Arkansas doesn't get an "F" here is because the loss to Georgia -- a shutout -- was its first loss of the season, and it came on the road to a top-two team. Theoretically, it could run the table and give itself a shot at the national title. In reality, that's as likely as my hairline to suddenly stop receding.|
|80-1||C+||The Longhorns have a loss on the season and narrowly got past a mediocre TCU team on Saturday, but Oklahoma awaits next weekend. A big win in the Red River Showdown could vault them back into the title race in a hurry.|
|100-1||F||The Aggies suffered their second loss of the season -- and this one was extra embarrassing. The offense looked awful yet again, and they fell at home to a Mississippi State team that isn't exactly a powerhouse. Bye bye playoff.|
|100-1||F||LSU didn't have much of a chance to start, but the home loss to Auburn -- after getting out to a hot start -- coupled with the opening night loss at UCLA are more than enough to eliminate the Tigers from the national title hunt for good.|