The sixth week of the 2021 college football season is in the books, and it was another wild one. Top-ranked Alabama fell to unranked Texas A&M, Oklahoma came back from 21 down to topple Texas, Iowa won a top-five thriller over Penn State, and Georgia dominated Auburn on the Plains. A total of 40 ranked teams have lost through six weeks of the season, which has made this year feel a lot like 2007 -- when two-loss LSU won the BCS Championship Game over Ohio State.
The chaos of the season means that several teams are taking some disappointing report cards home, while others are going to get a little extra dessert from mom and dad for their work during Week 6. It also shakes up our expectations for who may be playing in the College Football Playoff at the end of the season, not to mention the national championship game a week later.
Here are this week's grades for each national title contenders based on their odds entering Saturday's action. Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
College football grades: Week 6 report card
|It'd be very easy to give Alabama an "F" after falling to Texas A&M 41-38, but let's take a closer look at the situation. The Crimson Tide got manhandled by the Aggies -- especially in the first half -- which played a massive role in the upset. But coach Nick Saban's team fought back, made it close and nearly pulled off the improbable win. There has been chaos all around college football, so a one-loss SEC champion Alabama would almost certainly get an invite to the CFP and have a chance at the title.
|The only reason that Georgia doesn't get an "A+" is because its defense -- gasp -- gave up an actual touchdown. Yes, that's the bar the Bulldogs have set. Georgia's the best team in the country and showed why on Saturday.
|Ho hum, just a 66-17 win over Maryland in which quarterback C.J. Stroud threw five touchdown passes. The hiccup against Oregon has left the Buckeyes a small margin for error, but Saturday's performance showed that they might be playing the best football in the conference.
|Caleb Williams came off of the pine like Jonathan Moxson in "Varsity Blues" to lead the Sooners to a wild, 21-point comeback win in a shootout in the Red River Showdown. That's the bright side. The defense gave up 516 yards to the Longhorns. That can't continue if the Sooners intend to win the national title.
|The Bearcats did what they had to do on Friday night when they dismantled Temple, 52-3. They have to continue to 50-burgers on lesser competition to get some style points to show the CFP Selection Committee that they deserve a shot at the title.
|The 23-20 loss to Iowa hurts, but the Nittany Lions still have a path to the CFP and are one of the best teams in the nation. If quarterback Sean Clifford wasn't injured in this one, who knows what would have happened. But we do know that a one-loss Big Ten champion will almost certainly get into the CFP, and that Penn State has proven throughout the season that it is a complete team.
|The Wolverines went into Lincoln and got a win in a hostile environment. That's the good news. The bad news is that they struggled to slow down Adrian Martinez and needed a late Martinez fumble to set themselves up for the game-winning field goal.
|The Hawkeyes need games like this. They need to show in big time situations that they can shine bright when the spotlight is on them. The path to the CFP is there, and if they can continue to gain confidence from games like this, look out.
|The one-loss Ducks didn't play on Saturday and will have to play the rest of the season without star running back CJ Verdell.
|The margin for error was already thin enough after the loss to Arkansas, but the Longhorns saw their national title hopes disappear in the meltdown against Oklahoma. Simply put, Texas is not back.
|The 52-51 loss to Ole Miss will make an SEC West title incredibly hard for the Razorbacks, much less an SEC title, CFP berth and two postseason wins.
|The Tigers were off on Saturday, so another massive let down was impossible. But hey, other title contenders fell, so at least Clemson didn't fall victim to even more college football chaos.
|The Fighting Irish survived a scare from Virginia Tech, but they're nowhere near a title contender at this point -- especially considering their quarterback issues. However, they found a way to get a win, which gives them a puncher's chance.
|Florida dispatched Vanderbilt with ease in a 42-0 win. But let's be real ... there's nothing that can be gained from a win over Vandy. Nevertheless, the Gators did what they had to do, and the defense was lights out pitching its first SEC shutout since 2019 ... vs. Vandy.
|I'm not sure how LSU had any national title odds coming into this game, but a 42-21 loss to Kentucky to fall to 3-3 will be the final nail in the coffin. It's safe to say that Kentucky will join the fray this week.
|The 52-51 win keeps faint hope alive for Lane Kiffin's squad, but the lack of a defense is incredibly concerning. Sure, the game was wild and an incredible experience on TV. But it wasn't the kind of performance that should instill faith in the Rebels.