USA TODAY Sports spent the 2021 college football season taking careful notes on the 130 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. With the year complete, let’s hand out some letter grades.
It’s time for a final round of report cards for the FBS, with marks ranging from the rare A+ to the utter failure that is an F grade.
Seven teams ended up drawing an A+, led by national champion Georgia. Another six teams finished with an F, including Southern California, which fired coach Clay Helton in September games and lost eight games for the first time since 1991, and Texas, which suffered through the program’s longest losing streak since 1956.
Multiple national brands landed with a D grade, including Nebraska and Stanford. Auburn, Florida and LSU earned a D+.
Don’t forget that all report cards are graded on a relative curve. As one example, consider Old Dominion and North Carolina. While both teams finished 6-7, that record at ODU represents a far more successful season than the same at UNC.
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Likewise with South Carolina and Iowa State. For the Gamecocks, going 7-6 in coach Shane Beamer’s first season earns an A grade. But for the Cyclones, going from No. 8 in the preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll to 7-6 represents a missed opportunity for the program and draws a D+.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College football season grades from Georgia, Cincinnati and USC