Week 3 of the college football season is in the books, and the race for the national title is officially on. Saturday brought us plenty to break down, including blowout wins from some of the top contenders, pretenders exposed as frauds and pesky underdogs that gave hope that perhaps Cinderella is lurking in the shadows.
No. 1 Georgia earned its first conference win in emphatic fashion, No. 2 Alabama had no problem with a lesser opponent and No. 3 Ohio State's offense looked as lethal as it ever has. Meanwhile, No. 13 Miami's big opportunity to make a statement fell flat on its face and No. 10 Arkansas had way too much trouble with an FCS foe.
It's time to hand out grades to the teams that were in the mix for the College Football Playoff National Championship according to odds posted by Caesars Sportsbook prior to the start of Week 2 action.
College football grades: Week 3 report card
|9/5||A-||The No. 2 Crimson Tide took care of business in the 63-7 win over UL-Monroe, which included a pick six from Will Anderson Jr. and a blocked punt for a touchdown. But quarterback Bryce Young threw two interceptions, which isn't exactly what you want to see against a cupcake.|
|5/2||A+||No. 1 Georgia's defense gave up an actual touchdown. The horror!!! It came in the fourth quarter of the 48-7 win over South Carolina when the game was way out of reach, though. So we'll give the Bulldogs a pass on that. This game, like their other two games, was essentially over when they came out of the tunnel prior to the opening kickoff.|
|13/4||A||The No. 3 Buckeyes scored touchdowns on 11 of their 13 drives in the 77-21 win over Toledo, with one of those two empty drives coming at the end of the game. That was against a Toledo team that entered the day tied for No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense (5.0 points per game).|
|12-1||B-||The 48-20 win over Louisiana Tech looks dominating on the scoreboard, but the No. 5 Tigers only led 13-6 at halftime and starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei only completed 59% of his passes. Clemson has a lot of work to do in order to be mentioned in the same conversation with Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State.|
|16-1||B+||USC's offense was lights out in the 42-17 win over Fresno State. But the Bulldogs managed to rattle off several chunk plays even after quarterback Jake Haener left the game with a lower body injury. I'm still in wait-and-see mode with the No. 7 Trojans.|
|30-1||A+||The No. 4 Wolverines' 59-0 win over UConn was as emphatic of a win as any in the Jim Harbaugh era. Yeah, it was UConn, and the Huskies are the punchline to a bad joke. But this would have been a great performance against air, much less an alleged college football team.|
|40-1||A+||The No. 6 Sooners must have checked out the two-touchdown spread oddsmakers gave them going into the rivalry game with Nebraska and got offended, because the 49-14 win was a historic beat down. The 49 points are the most they've ever scored in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the biggest win in the series since 1949.|
|75-1||F||The sportsbooks gave the No. 10 Razorbacks respect this week, but Sam Pittman's crew didn't seem to have any interest in actually accepting. They needed a 10-point, fourth-quarter comeback to escape the "clutches" of a Bobby Petrino-coached Missouri State team that came to play in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Simply put ... national championship teams don't have games like that.|
|75-1||A+||I don't care that the 63-6 win came over lowly Akron. The No. 15 Volunteers racked up 676 yards, averaged 9.7 yards per play and -- most importantly -- looked elite on defense. The last point is important because three solid defensive performances to start the season prove that this is a complete team that is capable of big things.|
|75-1||B+||The No. 8 Cowboys can't get an 'A' due to my arbitrary and completely made-up rule that prevents teams that play FCS opponents from doing so. With that said, a 63-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and a four-touchdown performance from quarterback Spencer Sanders will do nicely.|
|100-1||B-||The No. 21 Longhorns pulled away from UTSA in the second half on the shoulders of running back Bijan Robinson's Heisman-like half. But the two teams were tied at halftime and there was a clear hangover for the Longhorns after last weekend's four-quarter battle with Alabama.|
|25-1||B-||The secondary was lights out in the 17-9 win over No. 13 Miami despite four massive losses before and during the game. But, the offense for the No. 24 Aggies had just 264 yards, which is not something that championship-caliber teams should do.|
|100-1||B-||I was fully on board the Utah bandwagon before the season, but its offense has looked sub-par against both of its FBS opponents. Saturday's 35-7 win over San Diego State saw the No. 14 Utes fail to break the 400-yard mark.|
|100-1||B||The Seminoles lost quarterback Jordan Travis and defensive lineman Jared Verse, and still managed to hang on to a 35-31 win over Louisivlle on Friday night. I have my doubts on the long-term sustainability of the Seminoles defense, but the offensive performance sans Travis was very impressive.|
|100-1||A+||Yeah, it was Georgia Tech. But the 42-0 win on The Flats included 316 rushing yards from the No. 20 Rebels offense and a defense that allowed just 3.2 yards per play. That tells me that this is a complete football team.|
|100-1||F||The pass defense woes from last season popped up again in the 38-28 loss to Washington. The No. 11 Spartans allowed Michael Penix Jr. to slice and dice their secondary to the tune of 397 yards passing. Yikes.|
|100-1||A-||The No. 22 Nittany Lions lit up Auburn 41-12 in a hostile atmosphere at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but this is the worst Auburn team since Gene Chizik's last year in 2012. Don't get me wrong, Penn State looked great and winning in the way that they did is something that championship-level teams do. but let's hold off on overreacting to one win.|
|100-1||F||No. 13 Miami didn't score a touchdown and coach Mario Cristobal's game management was abysmal, but at least the defense looked good in the 17-9 loss at No. 24 Texas A&M.|