The penultimate weekend of the regular season was one that provided plenty of drama at the top of the College Football Playoff rankings.
No. 2 Ohio State squeaked by Maryland, No. 3 Michigan needed a field goal in the final minute to top Illinois and No. 4 TCU walked it off with a field goal as time expired against Baylor. No. 5 Tennessee might have had a chance to sneak into the top four had it topped South Carolina, but its defense got lit up by Gamecocks Spencer Rattler in a 63-38 beatdown.
No. 7 USC won a thriller over crosstown rival and 16th-ranked UCLA 48-45 in another wild shootout that not only clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game for the Trojans, but notched a win that will surely impress members of the CFP selection committee.
How did the CFP contenders grade out in Week 12? Let's hand out report cards for notable teams around the country based odds from Caesars Sportsbook heading into the weekend.
College football grades: Week 12 report card
|91/100||B-||The Bulldogs settled for three first half field goals and only had one touchdown in the 16-6 win over Kentucky in Lexington. They were never really threatened, but it was a sloppy performance by an offense that typically puts games like that away early.|
|11/5||C+||Don't let the 43-30 score fool you ... Maryland had a legit chance late to pull off the upset. The Buckeyes needed a 1-yard fumble return for a touchdown with nine seconds left to ice the game away. It wasn't a crisp game by any stretch of the imagination.|
|15/2||C-||The Wolverines needed a field goal with nine seconds left to pull off the 19-17 win over Illinois. The home crowd certainly helped down the stretch, but it was concerning that they came out flat in the friendly confines of the Big House.|
|12-1||F||The Volunteers defense gave up six passing touchdowns to Spencer Rattler and allowed South Carolina to score touchdowns on all eight of its red zone trips in the 63-38 loss in Columbia. The Volunteers could have won out and likely made the CFP, but that's a pipe dream now.|
|22-1||C||The Horned Frogs scrambled for the game-winning field goal as time expired in the 29-28 win over Baylor. The Horned Frogs couldn't get the Bears offense off the field for three quarters, which is concerning moving forward since they've made a habit of playing up and down to their opponents.|
|30-1||A||It was a cold and rainy night in Baton Rouge, but that didn't bother a Tigers team that topped UAB 41-10. They were two-touchdown favorites going in, but Jayden Daniels threw for 297 yards, rushed for 111 and sliced and diced the Blazers all night.|
|30-1||A||The Trojans needed a win over a ranked team to put on their resume, and they got a big one over UCLA in the 48-45 win. Quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 470 yards and the offense put up 649 in a wild one in the Rose Bowl. They took advantage of the big stage to show that they are a true contender for the CFP.|
|50-1||A-||Miami is a shell of itself, but the Tigers made them look like a pile of dirty South Beach sand in the 40-10 win. The Tigers defense held the Hurricanes to 98 total yards ... including eight in the first half ... in an absolute beat down.|
|50-1||F||The Tar Heels were sneaking around the periphery of the CFP race with an ACC Championship Game vs. Clemson on the horizon ... and then wet the bed in the 21-17 home loss to Georgia Tech. The high octane offense was held to 365 yards and quarterback Drake Maye's Heisman campaign came to a screeching halt.|
|150-1||B+||Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was hampered by a leg injury that made his rushing ability a non-factor. Yet, he was still able to get his team the win over a very solid Utah team. The Ducks are in position to make the Pac-12 Championship Game heading into the rivalry game vs. Oregon State.|
|150-1||B-||The Utes' offense couldn't get into a rhythm in the loss at Oregon. Autzen Stadium is a tough place to play, and they stayed in it until the bitter end. It was a must-win situation, and the Utes' offense simply couldn't get out of its own way at times.|
|200-1||D+||The Bruins were essentially out of the CFP race, but could have kept their remote chances alive with a win over USC. The 48-45 loss showed that the offense is still dynamic and dangerous, but the defense wasn't able to hold up in a must-win situation.|
|500-1||B+||The Huskies did what good teams are supposed to do in the 54-7 win over lowly Colorado. They could have earned an A if they did this against a good team, but the Buffaloes are nowhere close to one.|