Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25 from this past weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the AP standings entering the games.
MAKING STATEMENTS#12 Georgia 45, #16 Clemson 21: Todd Gurley (Watch Highlights) inserts himself prominently in the Heisman picture with a school-record 293 all-purpose yards, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, as the Bulldogs dominate a touted Clemson squad.
#6 Auburn 45, Arkansas 21: The Razorbacks stayed close with the Tigers for one half of play, but then Auburn took control in the second half with junior college receiver D'haquille Williams arriving on the SEC scene with nine catches for 154 yards and a touchdown.
#17 Notre Dame 48, Rice 17: After sitting out last season due to academic issues, Everett Golson steps up with five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) as the Fighting Irish roll over defending Conference USA champion Rice.
#21 Texas A&M 52, #9 South Carolina 28: The Aggies snap the Gamecocks' 18-game home winning streak with an explosive offensive performance led by new quarterback Kenny Hill, who breaks Johnny Manziel's school-record for passing yards with 511.
FOURTH-QUARTER FUN#5 Ohio State 34, Navy 17: Despite the loss of star quarterback Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes close with a 21-3 run to close the game in a road victory over a tough Navy squad.
#13 LSU 28, #14 Wisconsin 24: Things seemed hopeless for LSU as Wisconsin was playing stout defense and Melvin Gordon (140 rushing yards) was controlling the game with his legs, but a Colby Delahoussaye field goal kick-started a memorable rally capped by a 28-yard go-ahead TD run by Kenny Hilliard (110 rushing yards) to extend the Tigers' national-best regular-season non-conference winning streak to 46 games.
#18 Ole Miss 35, Boise State 13: The Rebels and Beau Wallace (25-of-36, 387 yards, 4 TDs) scored 28 fourth-quarter points to likely spoil Boise State's hopes of crashing the College Football Playoff.
HOLDING ON#1 Florida State 37, Oklahoma State 31: Jameis Winston throws for 370 yards and also runs for a 28-yard score and Rashad Greene collects 203 receiving yards to help the defending champion Seminoles break open a three-point game in the fourth quarter.
#2 Alabama 33, West Virginia 23: Bama churns out yards on the ground with both T.J. Yeldon (126) and Derrick Henry (113) going over 100 yards as the Crimson Tide hold off a scare from the Mountaineers and Clint Trickett, who throws for a career-high 365 yards.
#7 UCLA 28, Virginia 20: UCLA, kicking off an early game on the East Coast (9 a.m. Pacific), can't get its offense on track, but the defense scores three touchdowns as the Bruins escape Charlottesville.
#25 Washington 17, Hawaii 16: After trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, the Huskies score 17 unanswered points, including a 91-yard connection between John Ross and Jeff Lindquist, then held off the Warriors down the stretch for a victory in Chris Petersen's debut as the Washington coach.
BIG BLOWOUTS#4 Oklahoma 48, Louisiana Tech 16: The defending Sugar Bowl champion Sooners scored 31 points before the Bulldogs cracked the scoring column as Keith Ford had a standout game with 51 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards and Trevor Knight threw for 253 yards.
#10 Baylor 45, SMU 0: The quick-strike Baylor offense continues to overwhelm foes as it piled up 24 first-quarter points, but more surprising was the Bear defense, which held the Mustangs to just 67 yards. The big question from this game is star Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, who injured his back and is listed as day-to-day.
#15 USC 52, Fresno State 13: Cody Kessler throws for 394 yards and four touchdowns and the Trojans run a Pac-12 record 105 plays as head coach Steve Sarkisian picks up a blowout victory in his debut as the USC coach.
#22 Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7: Under-the-radar Heisman contender Ameer Abdullah runs for 232 yards and Jordan Westerkamp has a sensational behind-the-back catch, while the Cornhusker defense holds the Owls to just 200 total yards.
FCS FRAYS#3 Oregon 62, South Dakota 13: Marcus Mariota, who throws for 267 yards and three touchdowns while running for one more, sets the Oregon record for career touchdowns as the Ducks run away from the FCS Coyotes.
#8 Michigan State 45, Jacksonville State 7: The biggest question in this game came when Spartan quarterback Connor Cook suffered an early leg injury, but he recovered and completed all but one of his passes, including three scores in Michigan State's 11th straight win.
#11 Stanford 45, UC Davis 0: Ty Montgomery returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown and adds five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown while the Cardinal defense allows just 115 total yards in a win over the FCS Aggies.
#19 Arizona State 45, Weber State 14: The FCS Wildcats are no match for a Sun Devil team coming off a 10-win season as D.J. Foster runs for 147 yards and three scores and Taylor Kelly throws for 238 yards in one half of action.
#20 Kansas State 55, Stephen F. Austin 16: Jake Waters threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 55 yards and another two scores as the Wildcats cruised to a blowout victory over the Lumberjacks.
#23 North Carolina 56, Liberty 29: Marquise Williams passes and runs for third-quarter touchdowns to key a 35-7 closing surge to break open a tight game against the Flames.
#24 Missouri 38, South Dakota State 18: Maty Mauk finds Darius White for a 44-yard touchdown connection just 50 seconds into the game and Zach Zenner runs for 103 yards as the Tigers cruise over the Jackrabbits.
SUGAR BOWL SPOTLIGHT EVENTIn addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with nearly 50 other events throughout the year. Each week, we will spotlight one event in the weekly recap. This week's spotlight event is the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic, one of the top road races in the country. The Allstate Sugar Bowl joined the Crescent City Classic as the flagship Title Sponsor of the annual 10K road race and its other road-race activities in November of 2012. This Easter weekend tradition, which featured nearly 25,000 participants in 2014, has become a New Orleans signature event, both as a competitive road race and for its festive post-race celebration. The Classic has been praised in every major running publication as "one of America's fastest 10K's," and as "the originator of the post-race festival."
Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Picks of the Week, including impressive off-field performances, great games, illuminating features and top highlights, such as this week’s look at an FCS classic showdown between Jackson State and Florida A&M. The Tigers trailed 17-16 with 1.6 seconds left, but LaMontiez Ivy launched a 60-yard Hail Mary which was batted multiple times before dropping into the hands of DeSean McKenzie for the win.
BOWL PROJECTIONSAllstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2015
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Oregon vs. Florida State (no change)
FoxSports.com (Stewart Mandel): Florida State vs. Georgia (no change)
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy): Georgia vs. Oregon (replacing Oklahoma vs. Alabama)
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach): Florida State vs. Texas A&M (Texas A&M replaces Alabama)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Florida State vs. Oklahoma (Oklahoma replaces Ohio State)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Florida State vs. Georgia
Phil Steele: Florida State vs. UCLA (UCLA replaces Oklahoma)
NFL.com (Mike Huguenin): Florida State vs. Oklahoma
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Alabama vs. Oregon
USA Today: Florida State vs. Alabama
#SUGARSTATS ON TWITTEREach week, the Allstate Sugar Bowl (@sugarbowlnola) will ask fans to make specific stat predictions on Twitter using the hashtag #sugarstats. One weekly winner will be rewarded with sweet Sugar Bowl swag. This week's question is, "Which FBS quarterback will throw for the most yards this week?" Be sure to tag your response with #sugarstats for a chance to win.
VOTE FOR MANNING STARSCollege football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week . The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for that you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
MANNING AWARD STARS OF THE WEEKWhile 32 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at some of this week's top quarterback performances (follow the Facebook link above to vote):
Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
(46-of-56, 569 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 93.5)
Doughty shocks the defending MAC champions by setting school records for passing yards and TDs while leading the Hilltoppers to school records for FBS points and yardage in a 59-31 win over Bowling Green.
Dane Evans, Tulsa
(31-of-53, 438 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT, QBR: 68.7)
Evans, who tallies career-highs in nearly every category, leads the Golden Hurricane to a TD and two-point conversion to force overtime, then tosses the game-winning TD pass in the second OT of a 38-31 win over Tulane.
Everett Golson, Notre Dame
(14-of-22, 295 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 95.9)
Golson, who sat out last season due to academic suspension, comes back strong, throwing for two touchdowns while running for an additional three touchdowns in a 48-17 victory over defending Conference USA champion Rice.
Connor Halliday, Washington State
(40-of-56, 532 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 80.1)
Halliday tallies his third career 500-yard game, but it's not enough for the Cougars as Rutgers holds on for a 41-38 win in Seattle.
Kenny Hill, Texas A&M
(44-of-60, 511 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.5)
Making his debut in place of a Heisman Trophy winner, Hill set the school record for passing yards while leading the Aggies to a shocking 52-28 blowout win over No. 9 South Carolina on the road.
Taysom Hill, BYU
(28-of-36, 308 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.5)
Going on the road to open the season, Hill continues his dual-threat assault on opponents, adding 97 rushing yards and two more TDs as the Cougars top UConn, 35-10.
Cody Kessler, USC
(25-of-37, 394 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 96.7)
Kessler, who also rushes for a touchdown, tallies a career-high in passing yards and matches his best in TD passes as the Trojans dominate Fresno State, 52-13.
Anu Solomon, Arizona
(25-of-44, 425 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 87.3)
Solomon debuts by setting the school's freshman record for passing yards, including a 92-yard touchdown connection, while leading the Wildcats to a school-record 787 yards of offense in a 58-13 rout of UNLV.
TOP UPCOMING GAMES(Rankings are from current AP Poll)
Arizona at UTSA (Thu., 7 p.m., Fox Sports 1): Arizona and head coach Rich Rodriguez had a great effort out of redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon in his debut in a rout of UNLV, however, UTSA could be a surprise team from Conference USA - the Roadrunners, coached by former Miami head man Larry Coker are in just their fourth year of existence but they have more starters returning than any team in the country and rolled over Houston in their opener.
#14 USC at #13 Stanford (Sat., 2:30 p.m., ABC): An early-season marquee game in the Pac-12 features the Trojans, who exploded for 52 points against Fresno State against a Stanford squad that put up 45 points of its own while pitching a shutout against UC-Davis.
Georgia Tech at Tulane (Sat., 3 p.m., ESPNNews): The Green Wave will be playing its first on-campus home game since 1974 as it opens Yulman Stadium against Georgia Tech, a foe from the early days of the SEC when both were conference members. Tulane is coming off a tough overtime loss to Tulsa, but the Wave did see eye-opening appearances from local redshirt freshmen Sherm Badie (John Curtis, 215 rushing yards) and Tanner Lee (Jesuit High, 262 passing yards, 3 TDs).
#15 Ole Miss at Vanderbilt (Sat., 3:30 p.m., ESPN): The Rebels pulled together for a strong fourth quarter to top Boise State in their opener, while Vandy will be looking to recover from a mistake-filled loss to Temple.
#7 Michigan State at #3 Oregon (Sat., 5:30 p.m., FOX): In an old-fashioned Rose Bowl match-up, the Spartans, who won the Granddaddy last year, head west to take on the high-scoring Ducks.
Michigan at #16 Notre Dame (Sat., 6:30 p.m., NBC): The last scheduled meeting between the two storied rivals features a Notre Dame team that looked very strong in its opener with quarterback Everett Golson returning after a one-year academic suspension against Michigan, which gained a measure of revenge against Appalachian State which scored one of the biggest upsets in college football history in 2007.
Virginia Tech at #8 Ohio State (Sat., 7 p.m., ESPN): Ohio State handled its first game without star quarterback Braxton Miller in its opener, but now they face an always-tough Hokie team led by veteran head coach Frank Beamer.