On any given Saturday, only half of the teams playing will come out winners, the others are losers, and the players and coaches that make up the games are usually a mixture of both.
That's where we come in. Beyond the box score, we decide who won, who lost and who flat out embarrassed himself on college football Saturday.
Sun Belt Conference: For the second consecutive week, the Sun Belt Conference bested the SEC thanks to Western Kentucky's 32-31 upset of Kentucky. Last week, Louisiana-Monroe upset Arkansas and nearly upset Auburn this week, but lost 31-28 in overtime. Could the Sun Belt be the new non-AQ power conference?
Johnny Manziel: Texas A&M's redshirt freshman quarterback was good against Florida last week, but was great against SMU on Saturday. Manziel had 418 total yards and six touchdowns in three quarters in a 48-3 win over the Mustangs.
Penn State: After a long wait, Penn State can finally talk about something positive -- its 34-7 win over Navy. It was the Nittany Lions' first win in the Bill O'Brien Era and the first win since beating Ohio State on Nov. 19, 2011.
Minnesota: The Gophers' 28-23 win over Western Michigan gave them their first 3-0 start since 2008. That's quite an improvement for a team that won just three games a year ago. If there's one downside, it's that quarterback MarQueis Gray suffered an ankle sprain in the victory.
Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse (US Presswire)Robbie Rouse: Rouse set the Fresno State all-time rushing record during a 69-14 win over Colorado. Rouse finished the day with nine carries for 144 yards, including a 94-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter that gave him the record. Rouse had four touchdowns on the day.
Louisville: Charlie Strong's Cardinals are off their best start (3-0) during his three-year tenure and might have a Heisman contender in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has flown under the radar through the first three weeks, but completed 23 of 28 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns against North Carolina. Bridgewater is completing 81.7 percent of his passes this season.
Brendan Bigelow: Bigelow, a running back at Cal, came into Saturday's game an unknown, but after rushing for 160 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries, Bigelow should have cemented a spot in the Bears' starting lineup moving forward. His first carry against Ohio State went for an 81-yard touchdown.
John L. Smith: I think everyone thought Alabama would beat Arkansas on Saturday, especially with Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson sitting out, but I don't think anyone thought it would be the 52-0 drubbing that it turned out to be. It was the first time since 1966 that Arkansas had been shutout at home and the loss led to an impassioned postgame news conference by Wilson, who said he'd get the team and the fans back on track, not John L. Smith.
USC QB Matt Barkley (US Presswire)Matt Barkley: Last week he was a winner, this week he's a loser after completing 20 of 41 passes for 254 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked five times, including twice on USC's final drive, as the Trojans fell 21-14 to Stanford. Not only is Barkley now 0-4 against the Cardinal, he also likely lost his Heisman bid.
[Pat Forde: Stanford owns better football program than USC]
Conference USA: While Conference USA won some games this weekend, it didn't get the signature win for which it was hoping, and Houston and SMU both were blown out. Marshall had a chance to beat Ohio and ruin its dream of a perfect season, but fell short. After Western Kentucky's win over Kentucky, Conference USA becomes the worst conference in the country.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies were embarrassed Saturday by a Pittsburgh team that had lost to Youngstown State and Cincinnati in grand fashion the previous two weeks. The loss will almost certainly drop the Hokies out of the national rankings. Prior to this game, the Hokies had won 13 consecutive true road games, the longest streak in the FBS.
Colorado: Is it possible that Colorado could find itself in this category every week? Well, if it continues to lose 69-14 like it did to Fresno State, then yes. Fresno State dominated the Buffs to the point where it looked like Colorado stopped trying after it went down 35-0 in the first quarter. The way the Buffs are playing, the Pac-12 has got to be second-guessing its decision on expansion.
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