Week 7 of the college football season is in the books, and the College Football Playoff race came into focus. Several teams, including Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State cemented their cases as true national contenders. Others, like USC and Louisville, had painful losses that hurt -- or eliminated -- their chances of making the field.
The winner of the weekend, though, was Washington. The Huskies topped rival Oregon 36-33 in the biggest game of the day, one that could go down as one of the most important of the season. The entire nation was focused on both Pac-12 teams, and they acquitted themselves well. In the end, it was Huskies quarter Michael Penix Jr who cemented himself in the Heisman Trophy race and led his team to a signature win that will sit well with the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
How did the CFP National Championship contenders grade out throughout Week 7? It's time to check out the report card for every national title contender with odds of +10000 better, according to the SportsLine consensus heading into Saturday's action.
College football grades: Week 7 report card
|Maybe the Kentucky game was the exception to the rule. Georgia got off to a slow start for the sixth time in seven games in a 37-20 win over Vanderbilt, one week after it torched the Wildcats. However, the defense was solid after getting into a 7-0 hole and controlled the game for essentially three quarters. The Bulldogs can't live like this, though. At some point, it'll come back to bite them.
|Whenever you can go a full day and not think about Michigan, you know that it was a good day for Michigan. Save for a trick play in the first quarter, the Wolverines defense was lights out in the 52-7 win over Indiana. J.J. McCarthy had as many passing touchdowns as incompletions (three). He doesn't have video game stats, but it's time to start talking about him as a Heisman Trophy contender.
|No Johnny Wilson, no problem for Florida State in the 41-3 win over Syracuse. Seminoles receiver Keon Coleman had nine catches for 140 yards and one touchdown in the 41-3 over the Orange. Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis had 284 yards passing and a touchdown, and the 'Noles defense allowed just 3.9 yards per play in the rout.
|The Buckeyes dominated Purdue 41-7 on Saturday afternoon despite missing multiple players with various injuries. Quarterback Kyle McCord tossed three touchdowns and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. broke the century mark; the defense held the Boilermakers to just 3.7 yards per play. It was total domination by Ryan Day's crew.
|Penn State has essentially been "three yards and a cloud of dust" all year, but that changed in the 63-0 win over UMass when the Nittany Lions averaged 6.8 yards per play. The defense gave up just 109 yards to the Minutemen and had 14 tackles for loss.
|I only give one "plus" in the weekly report card, but Washington deserves it. The Huskies' 36-33 win over Oregon was a statement game for a team that hasn't been getting the national recognition that it deserves. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns against a quality Ducks defense.
|Oklahoma had a bye.
|Oregon's loss to Washington hurts and left little margin for error in the race for the CFP. Ccoach Dan Lanning committed to going for it on fourth down,. With that said, the Ducks played their hearts out and quarterback Bo Nix had 337 yards passing. This was a heavyweight fight, the Ducks just couldn't get the job done in the final round.
|Alabama's 24-21 win over Arkansas showed many of the same problems that have haunted the Crimson Tide all year. Quarterback Jalen Milroe was sacked five times and only completed 48% of his passes on the evening. However, the defense came up when it mattered most and the Tide preserved its status as the SEC West frontrunner.
|The Trojans got exposed in the 48-20 loss at Notre Dame. The offense gave up a whopping 11 tackles for loss and six sacks, and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams threw three picks. This won't sit well with the CFP Selection Committee.
|Texas had a bye.
|LSU has a defense. No, really, it has a real defense. It gave up just 293 yards in the 48-18 win over rival Auburn. Oh, and the offense kept clicking with quarterback Jayden Daniels leading the way with 325 yards passing and three touchdowns. This was a complete performance for a team that desperately needed one.
|Call this the breakout game for North Carolina wide receiver Tez Walker, who had three touchdowns on six catches for 132 yards in the 41-31 win over Miami. The defense struggled a bit, so that's why the Tar Heels don't get an "A." However, if this is the offense coach Mack Brown is going to see from here on out, the defense only needs to be adequate for the Heels to stay in the CFP race.
|Louisville's first loss of the season came to Pittsburgh. That's right, the same Pitt team that came into the game with only one win. The 38-21 loss by the Cardinals included three turnovers resulting in 14 points for the Panthers. The Cardinals have been overachieving, but things came crashing down against the Panthers.