Week 4 was the most anticipated yet of the 2023 college football season, and with six games between top-25 teams, there were plenty of high-impact results. No. 6 Ohio State topped No. 9 Notre Dame 17-14 in South Bend on a last-second touchdown by DeaMonte Trayanum in a tight game between two College Football Playoff hopefuls. The win not only keeps the Buckeyes directly in the playoff hunt, but proves this defense is capable of playing at an elite level.
Elsewhere, No. 10 Oregon ran No. 19 Colorado and coach Deion Sanders out of Autzen Stadium in a 42-6 blowout that wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated. Ducks quarterback Bo Nix out-classed Buffaloes star Shedeur Sanders and elevated himself squarely into the Heisman Trophy conversation.
How did the CFP National Championship contenders grade out throughout Week 4? It's time to check out the report card for every national title contender with odds of +4000 better, according to the SportsLine consensus heading into Saturday's action.
College football grades: Week 4 report card
|23/10||B+||It's really hard to fall in love with Georgia because it has struggled out of the gate in all four games. The Bulldogs were only up seven points deep into the second quarter against lowly UAB in the 49-21 win. Will the inability to start fast come back to haunt them? That remains to be seen. It's clear, though, that slow starts are a part of this team's 2023 identity.|
|4-1||A-||Michigan fell into a 7-0 hole early but responded with 31 straight points in a vintage Wolverines victory over Rutgers. The Michigan offense wore down a Rutgers team that, surprisingly, isn't half bad.|
|17/2||A+||It takes a lot to go into hostile territory, take gut punch after gut punch and still find a way to get the win over a heated rival. That's exactly what Florida State did in the 31-24 overtime win over Clemson. Oddsmakers pegged this as a close game prior to kickoff, and Florida State found a way to get it done in the end.|
|10-1||A+||The defensive slugfest in South Bend ended with the Buckeyes pulling out a dramatic 17-14, last-second win over Notre Dame. They converted 10 of 17 third-down opportunities in a hostile environment and didn't get rattled on the 15-play, 65-yard game-winning drive that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by Trayanum with one second left.|
|10-1||A||The Longhorns ripped off 21 points in the second quarter as part of a 38-6 win over Baylor. Quarterback Quinn Ewers threw for 293 yards and running back Jonathon Brooks hit 106 yards rushing in a balanced offense that looked as dangerous as any in the country.|
|14-1||D+||A title contender should never struggle against a team like Arizona State, which might be the worst team in the Pac-12. The Trojans got the 42-28 win on the road, but there was nothing about it that should inspire any confidence in this team moving forward.|
|18-1||A+||Penn State's domination over Iowa in the 31-0 shutout was almost comical. Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar threw four touchdowns and the defense allowed just 76 yards. These teams could have played 12 quarters and Penn State still would have notched the shutout.|
|18-1||B||All is not lost, Notre Dame fans. The Fighting Irish are still squarely in the mix for the CFP. They went toe-to-toe with another top contender and came one second short in the 17-14 thriller. The margin for error is now razor thin, but that was a great game played by two incredible football teams.|
|22-1||A+||Is Washington the best team in the country? A case can certainly be made. The Huskies scored 14 points before taking an offensive snap and then rolled over, around and through a wildly overmatched Cal team 59-32. It's time to fear the Huskies. They are for real.|
|22-1||C+||The Tigers needed a field goal with five seconds left to notch a 34-31 home win over Arkansas and claim the Golden Boot. Credit is due to LSU for overcoming a slow start getting the offense cranked up, but the defense couldn't stop a nosebleed in the fourth quarter.|
|30-1||A+||Oregon heard the Colorado hype and eliminated it early in the first quarter of its 42-6 rout. It was 42-0 late in the third quarter, and let's be honest, the Ducks could have put up 50 or 60 on the Buffaloes if they wanted.|
|30-1||A-||The Crimson Tide silenced a lot of critics -- myself included -- in the 24-10 win over Ole Miss. The defense held the potent Rebels offense to just 4.6 yards per play and 301 total yards.|
|35-1||B+||The Sooners went to Cincinnati and knocked off the Bearcats in their first game as a member of the Big 12. Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel threw for 322 yards and the defense held the Bearcats to 4.8 yards per play. However, the game was in doubt early in the fourth quarter against a below-average Bearcats squad.|
|35-1||B-||Clemson had every chance to beat Florida State, but simply couldn't close the deal. The Tigers gave up a 56-yard scoop-and-score to tie it late in the third and then missed field goal at the end of regulation that would have likely won the game. In overtime, quarterback Cade Klubnik made an awful decision on an RPO. Late-game decision-making and execution matter.|