One of the frequent, correct critiques of the way college football is covered is that too much focus is placed upon the race for the national championship. One hundred thirty teams compete in FBS with 130 goals for their respective seasons, and only a handful involve the Playoff.
As such, each week we'll crown our National Champion of the week, coordinators of the week, and hand out awards to that week's standouts.
National Champion of the Week: Fresno State
Rivalry games are the best part of college football, and one-sided rivalry games are an interesting subgroup within that category. UCLA clearly doesn't care about Fresno State, but Fresno State throws every punch it has at UCLA, as evidenced by the Bulldogs now 4-game winning streak in this series.
Washington transfer Jake Haener led the charge, throwing for 455 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Ronnie Rivers led all rushers with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and two Bulldog receivers went over 100 yards.
The Bulldogs led 23-10 at the half and 26-17 entering the fourth quarter, but two UCLA touchdowns within one minute's time vaulted the Bruins ahead, 30-26. Battling through obvious pain, Haener hit Erik Brooks for a 19-yard touchdown with 2:55 left to put Fresno ahead 33-30, but No. 13 UCLA see-sawed back in forth with a 15-yard Dorian Thompson-Robinson pass with 54 seconds to play.
Against a lesser team, that would've been that. But Fresno State needed only 40 seconds to move 75 yards in six plays, notching the winning score when Haener found Jalen Cropper for a 13-yard score with 14 seconds left in the game.
"I think the quarterback is a special player," Chip Kelly said. "We threw everything at him. We blitzed him, played cover zero, rushed three and dropped everyone else back into coverage. I think we threw the entire kitchen sink at him and he handled everything."
Fresno State concluded non-conference play at 3-1, losing only to No. 4 Oregon in a game the Bulldogs led in the fourth quarter. The UCLA win marked Fresno's first win over a top-15 opponent since 2004. Haener's 1,464 passing yards are the most in FBS thus far.
Kalen DeBoer's team headed back up the 5 with a victory and a $1.1 million check, and left this vicious tweet behind.
Offensive Staff of the Week: Ole Miss
We expected Ole Miss to have its way with Tulane's defense, but this was a level beyond simply overwhelming an overmatched opponent.
Lane Kiffin's offense scored 61 points, set a program record with 41 first downs, and its 707 scrimmage yards are the fourth most in school history -- and the Rebels did almost all of that damage in three quarters.
Matt Corall bolstered his dark horse Heisman candidacy by tying a school record with seven total touchdowns. The junior California native completed 23 of his 31 passes for 335 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for 68 yards and four touchdowns. Jerrion Ealy led all rushers with 103 yards on 15 attempts, and overall the Rebels rushed for 372 yards and six touchdowns on 6.1 yards per attempt.
The 40-point victory looks even more by impressive in comparison to Oklahoma's performance against Tulane two weeks ago. The modern standard-bearer for offensive efficiency, Oklahoma gained 277 fewer yards, 17 fewer first downs, and scored three fewer touchdowns against this same Green Wave defense. The Sooners scored all 40 of their points in the first three quarters too, but their fourth-quarter goose egg wasn't self-inflected; they won the game 40-35.
Through three games, Ole Miss ranks sixth in the country in total rushing yards, 12th in passing yards, first in total offense -- by 35 yards per game -- and first in scoring.
3-0 for the first time since 2015, Ole Miss now has two weeks to prepare for its trip to No. 1 Alabama.
Defensive Staff of the Week: Minnesota
Yes, we know Colorado's offense is not exactly, uh, Ole Miss, considering the Buffaloes will open next week's Arizona State game on a 77-minute, 36-second scoring drought. But it's still hard to imagine a defense shutting down its opponent to the extent the Gophers did in their 30-0 victory in Boulder:
-- 62 total yards
-- Zero total yards in the first quarter, seven in the first half
-- 45 total snaps, 19:47 total possession
-- 1.4 yards per play
-- Six first downs
-- 2-of-14 on third/fourth down
-- minus-21 rushing yards
-- Four sacks
-- Four forced fumbles, two recovered
Colorado's longest drive covered 29 yards -- in nine plays. Its second-longest drive traveled 15. No others went longer than eight, and four of their 11 possessions ended behind where they started. The Buffaloes ran eight plays in Gopher territory.
Not only did CU not so much as attempt a single field goal, punter Josh Watts touched the ball more than any Buffalo besides quarterback Brendon Lewis and Drew Carter.
"We weren't blitzing much at all, and we were getting pressure with four. Our guys were getting off blocks," PJ Fleck said afterward. "We knew if we can contain 12 (the Colorado QB) in the pocket and shrink the running lanes for him. Remember, I think some of their best plays to happen are their second play. Once the first play breaks down and 12 gets out of the pocket. That's where a lot of things are created for them, and we knew if we could keep those running lanes small, and not rush past the passer. Keep it condensed. We'd be able to force him into ill-advised throws, and then also be able to rally around and get them on the ground."
Colorado's 63 total yards were its fewest since the 2004, which also happens to be the last time Minnesota shut out a Power 5 opponent.
The Super 16: This week's NFF-FWAA Super 16 ballot
5. Texas A&M
8. Penn State
11. Ole Miss
12. Ohio State
13. Coastal Carolina
16. Michigan State