Six ranked-on-ranked matchups headlined Week 7 in college football, the biggest of which was in Knoxville, Tennessee, where No. 6 Tennessee stunned No. 3 Alabama in a 52-49 thriller that will resonate on Rocky Top for a long time. The Volunteers moved to 6-0 with the win and firmly entrenched themselves in the College Football Playoff race.
The Big 12's showcase game between No. 8 Oklahoma State and No. 13 TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, was a wild one as well with the Horned Frogs taking the 43-40 win in double overtime and keeping their conference and national title hopes intact.
Elsewhere, No. 5 Michigan also made a big statement with a 41-17 win over No. 10 Penn State in one of the most dominating defensive performances of the year. That solidifies the Wolverines and Ohio State as the two top teams in the Big Ten East heading into the second half of the season.
Now, let's hand out grades for the nation's top national title contenders according to the odds laid out by Caesars Sportsbook prior to the Week 7 action.
College football grades: Week 7 report card
|2-1||n/a||The Buckeyes were off on Saturday.|
|11/5||C-||Alabama's defense got torched by a Tennessee team that just wouldn't let up. The Crimson Tide committed a record 17 penalties in the 52-49 loss. One of the sloppiest games of the Nick Saban era.|
|11/5||A+||The Bulldogs gave up just 150 yards and only 45 on the ground in the 55-0 win over Vanderbilt. This looked a lot like the Georgia defense of last year, which was one of the best we've seen in college football in a generation.|
|12-1||B-||The Tigers jumped up to a 34-14 lead on Florida State midway through the third quarter but gave up two touchdowns in the fourth and held on for a 34-28 win.|
|16-1||C||Defense was a myth in the Trojans' 43-42 loss to Utah. USC isn't out of the CFP race by any stretch, but that isn't a championship-caliber defense.|
|20-1||A+||The Michigan defense was flat out filthy against a 10th-ranked Penn State team that had a lot on the line. The Wolverines only gave up 268 yards in the 41-17 win, and held the Nittany Lions passers to a 41% completion percentage. Total domination.|
|40-1||A+||If you beat Alabama, you get an A+. It's an official rule of the weekly grades story. If I could give more "pluses" to Tennessee, I would. The Volunteers lit up Alabama's defense in the 52-49 win on Rocky Top and deserves to be ranked in the top three.|
|60-1||n/a||The Bruins were off this weekend.|
|60-1||C+||The defense struggled in the 43-40, double-overtime loss to TCU. It was the Pokes' first loss of the season, so in theory, it doesn't eliminate the them from College Football Playoff contention. But they're far from a complete team right now.|
|60-1||F||The offense was dreadful in the 41-17 loss to Michigan, the defense couldn't stop a nosebleed and the Nittany Lions were exposed as a pretender in the Big Ten East.|
|75-1||n/a||The Ducks were off this weekend.|
|75-1||C+||The Rebels rushed for a whopping 448 yards in the 48-34 win over Auburn. However, the defense let a Tigers offense that has no identity stay in the game until late in the fourth quarter.|
|75-1||A+||The 43-40 win in double overtime further establishes the Horned Frogs as a real threat in the national title race. The spotlight was shining bright, and Sonny Dykes' crew thrived on a big stage.|