It only took until Week 3 to turn college football on its head

It certainly wasn't how Ole Miss (or Alabama) drew it up.

The No. 15 Rebels faced third-and-1 at their 34-yard line on their opening possession of the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Already trailing by a touchdown, the No. 2 Crimson Tide needed a stop.

They thought they had it.

The Rebels snapped the ball over quarterback Chad Kelly's head. Somehow, Kelly was able to collect the errant snap, but then threw into double coverage as he got leveled by two Crimson Tide defenders.

Two defenders converged on Rebels receiver Laquon Treadwell as the ball fell to him. The ball was tipped in the air and bounced off the helmet of Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. What happened next will likely never be forgotten by anyone who was there to witness it.

Somehow, the ball bounced directly into the hands of receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, who caught the tipped pass and ran into the end zone for an improbable 66-yard score, giving the Rebels a two-touchdown lead.

Ole Miss held off a furious Crimson Tide rally in the fourth quarter for a 43-37 upset, which gave the Rebels back-to-back victories for the first time in a series that dates to 1894. The loss ended the Tide's 17-game home-winning streak, which was tied with Baylor for the longest in FBS.

"The message right before the game was, 'You don't have to be something you're not this time,'" Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. "We've recruited well. We built a program, hopefully, that is now relevant in the SEC."

The Rebels' bizarre touchdown -- which will probably be forever known as "Tip Six" -- was a microcosm of an action-packed and unpredictable third Saturday of the 2015 season. Like Adeboyejo's touchdown, the day kind of bounced off our heads, landed in our laps and left us wondering what in the heck to do with it.

By the time the dust settled, two top-10 teams were no longer undefeated, defending national champion Ohio State had a full-blown quarterback controversy, preseason darling Auburn was left bruised and battered and a pair of high-profile coaches were trading barbs.

Make no mistake: For only the third weekend of the season, it was a huge day filled with big performances by individuals and teams, large personalities and what now looks like one fat mess. College football doesn't always deliver when we're expecting it, but that certainly can't be said about what we witnessed on Saturday.

It was a helluva a lot of fun -- unless you root for the Texas Longhorns or you're Bret Bielema.

The upsets, improbable plays and memorable performances also left us pondering one big question: Which teams are really contenders for the second College Football Playoff?

The No. 1 Buckeyes, who looked like the most complete team in the country heading into the season, can't seem to settle on a starting quarterback.

Cardale Jones, the hero of the inaugural College Football Playoff, was benched for the second week in a row after throwing two interceptions against Northern Illinois. J.T. Barrett went the rest of the way in a much-closer-than-expected 20-13 victory over the Huskies, but he wasn't much better. The OSU quarterbacks combined to complete 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Going into the season, it seemed a quarterback controversy was about the only thing that could derail the Buckeyes' hopes of winning back-to-back national championships. That certainly seems to be where OSU is headed now.

After the Buckeyes sputtered on offense for the second game in a row, OSU coach Urban Meyer can't be in a joking mood. In fact, Meyer was left wondering if he needs to choose one quarterback and stick with him.

"There might be some truth to that," Meyer told reporters after the game. "Not that I'm going to call some armchair [analysts] and ask them what they think, but I do believe in game reps. That's how players get better, and that's something that I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about."

Ohio State isn't the only team with quarterback problems. Alabama benched Florida State transfer Jake Coker, who started the first two games, and gave sophomore Cooper Bateman the start. Neither quarterback was very effective against the Rebels, as they combined to throw three interceptions.

Alabama's poor quarterback play wasn't the only problem. The Crimson Tide fumbled away the opening kickoff and one more, and Ole Miss scored 24 points off five turnovers.

All of the sudden, Ole Miss, LSU and Texas A&M look like the teams to beat in the SEC West. Auburn, which was a popular choice to win the SEC during the preseason, lost 45-21 at LSU. Tigers sophomore Leonard Fournette ran for a career-high 228 yards on 19 carries with three touchdowns, the highest rushing total by a player in coach Les Miles' tenure.

It wasn't as much about Fournette's total as the way he gained the yards, running over, through and around Auburn's shockingly porous defense. He averaged 12 yards a carry in a performance that will put him at the front of the Heisman Trophy race.

Georgia's Nick Chubb probably isn't far behind, after running for 159 yards with two touchdowns in a 52-20 rout of South Carolina. It was Chubb's 11th consecutive game with at least 100 yards. His performance wasn't a surprise, but UGA quarterback Greyson Lambert's record-breaking performance was completely unexpected.

Lambert, who transferred to Georgia from Virginia in June, broke an FBS record by completing 96 percent of his passes. He threw for 330 yards with three touchdowns on 24-for-25 passing and completed 20 passes in a row to set a UGA single-game record.

"I did not expect any of that to happen," said Lambert, who started 0-for-7 in a 31-14 win at Vanderbilt last week. "I'm still trying to comprehend all of it, but it's definitely a blessing. I just thank God for this whole experience."

Talk about unexpected quarterback performances. Notre Dame sophomore DeShone Kizer replaced injured starter Malik Zaire against Virginia last week and threw the winning touchdown with 12 seconds left. He was even better in his first start, completing 21 of 30 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown to lead the No. 8 Fighting Irish to a 30-22 win over No. 14 Georgia Tech.

Stanford's 41-31 upset at No. 6 USC might not have been completely unexpected, given how many times the Trojans have slipped over the past few seasons, but the Cardinal were all but left for dead after a 16-6 loss at Northwestern in their opener. Quarterback Kevin Hogan completed 18 of 23 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns.

Crosstown rival UCLA nearly joined USC in the loss column on Saturday night before surviving a 24-23 victory over No. 19 BYU at the Rose Bowl. The No. 10 Bruins managed to survive even after freshman quarterback Josh Rosen threw three interceptions. Tailback Paul Perkins rushed for a career-high 219 yards with one touchdown.

By the time BYU finally ran out of miracles, we could all finally catch our breath. It was one wild day.

"There's no such thing as an upset in big-time college football," Stanford coach David Shaw said.

If that's the case, the craziness is only getting started.

Playoff teams after Week 3

1. Michigan State: We'll have to wait until Nov. 21 for the Spartans and Buckeyes to settle it on the field. I'll take Michigan State for now because of quarterback Connor Cook, who threw for 247 yards with four touchdowns on 15-for-23 passing in a 35-21 win over Air Force.

2. Ohio State: After three games, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer has exactly what he didn't want: a quarterback quandary. The good news: Ohio State has three straight games against Western Michigan, Indiana and Maryland to figure it out.

3. TCU: The Horned Frogs defeated SMU 56-37 on Saturday but lost starting cornerback Ranthony Texada, who suffered a season-ending knee injury. He is the sixth TCU defensive starter lost to injury or defection.

4. Ole Miss: I wasn't buying Ole Miss after it put up 70-plus points against FCS member Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State. It's difficult not to believe in the Rebels after they beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the best road win of the season so far.

Next four in contention

1. Baylor: The Bears didn't play on Saturday and have an extra week to prepare for next week's home game against Rice.

2. Georgia: UGA fans were anxious about the Bulldogs' passing game, but Greyson Lambert more than silenced his critics for at least a week. Georgia plays FCS foe Southern next week before an Oct. 3 showdown against Alabama at Sanford Stadium.

3.Notre Dame: Notre Dame's defense certainly looked legitimate slowing down Georgia Tech's triple-option offense for the first 58 minutes. The Yellow Jackets went oh-fer on their first nine third-down plays.

4. LSU: Who needs a quarterback when you have Leonard Fournette? The Tigers can work on their passing game the next five weeks, when they'll be heavy favorites, before playing at Alabama on Nov. 7.

Heisman candidates

1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU: Fournette was a man among boys in LSU's 45-21 win over Auburn, running for 228 yards with three touchdowns on 19 carries. It was the seventh-highest total in LSU history, and he averaged 12 yards per carry, most by a Tigers player with at least 15 attempts in a game.

2. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: Chubb ran 21 times for 159 yards with two touchdowns, leading Georgia to a 52-20 victory over South Carolina, its most lopsided win ever over a Steve Spurrier-coached team. Chubb gained 100 yards for the 11th straight game and surpassed 2,000 career yards in his 16th college game.

3. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU: Boykin is heating up after a slow start in the opener against Minnesota, scoring 10 total touchdowns in the past two games. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 454 yards with five touchdowns and one interception against SMU. He also ran for 50 yards with one score.

4. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: The Texas Tech transfer set an OU record with 572 yards of total offense in a 52-38 victory over Tulsa. Mayfield completed 32 of 38 passes for 487 yards with four touchdowns and ran for 85 yards with two scores.

Tweets of the night

1. It's already campaign season in South Florida.

2. Better luck next time, kid.

3. We prefer to call them smart guys (or your future bosses).

4. Kliff Kingsbury doesn't mince words

Best moments

1. Ryan Switzer was styling and profiling after setting a UNC single-game record with 168 yards on five punt returns, including an 85-yard touchdown, in the Tar Heels' 48-14 victory over Illinois.

2. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald chilled after his team's 19-10 victory at Duke, which moved the No. 23 Wildcats to 3-0.

3. We're going streaking? No, Will Ferrell only led the Trojans onto the field.

4. Samajie Grant leapfrogged a Northern Arizona defender for a 14-yard gain. When caught on camera on the sideline, he made sure to let his mother know he loved her.

Best plays

1. High snap over quarterback's head. Check. Throw a prayer up into double coverage. Check. Bounce the ball off the defender's helmet. Check. You'll want to watch Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly's 66-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Adeboyejo over and over again (unless you're a Tide fan).

2. Michigan State's Aaron Burbridge made a spectacular diving catch -- and managed to get his left foot down -- for one of his three touchdown receptions in the Spartans' 35-21 win over Air Force.

3. Texas A&M freshman defensive lineman Daylon Mack tackled Nevada's tailback -- and quarterback -- for a 5-yard loss.

4. Kids at home: always keep your eyes on the ball. Miami's Deon Bush made a nice interception off a deflected ball while lying on the ground.

Worst plays

1. UConn passed up a chance at a potential 42-yard field goal and failed miserably on a fake field goal with 53 seconds to go in its 9-6 loss at Missouri. We're not questioning the decision, only the execution.

2. And, no, UConn, this isn't how you protect a punt from your end zone.

3. Central Michigan's Mitch Stanitzek had an ugly helmet-to-helmet hit on Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey, knocking him out of the game. Stanitzek was ejected for targeting.

4. Air Force got a little bit too cute on a fourth-down play against Michigan State.

Quotes of the night

1. "There might be some truth to that. Not that I'm going to call some armchair [analysts] and ask them what they think, but I do believe in game reps. That's how players get better, and that's something that I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about." -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, on his quarterback quandary.

2. "I laughed at it. Words are words, and this game is about playing." -- LSU's Leonard Fournette, after Auburn defensive back Johnathan Ford earlier in the week said stopping him "shouldn't be difficult, that much of a challenge."

3. "I said, 'Nothing-nothing, and we're at home.' That's what I said. 'Nothing-nothing, and we're at home. Don't worry about it.' Everybody was relaxed, I looked over and the whole offense was on the field, out through the numbers. I think they wanted the ball." -- Miami coach Al Golden, on his team's mindset heading into overtime after the Hurricanes blew a 23-point lead in the fourth quarter. They won 36-33 in overtime.

4. "I didn't feel great about the 42-yarder. I didn't feel great about the battery. I didn't feel great about the guts of the protection. I didn't want to put it on [kicker Michael Tarbutt] at that point." -- UConn coach Bob Diaco, on why he tried a fake field goal in the final minute at Missouri.

Stats that matter

1. 527: Texas freshman Jerrod Heard set the school record for total offense in a single game, finishing with 527 in the Longhorns' gut-wrenching 45-44 loss to California. Heard threw for 364 yards on 20-for-31 passing and had 163 rushing yards on 24 attempts with three touchdowns. The previous record of 506 was set by Vince Young against Oklahoma State in 2005.

2. 91: Notre Dame's C.J. Prosise had a 91-yard touchdown run in a 30-22 victory over Georgia Tech, the second-longest scoring run in the school's storied history. Prosise finished with 198 yards with three touchdowns on 22 carries.

3. 24: It had been 24 years since Syracuse started a season 3-0 -- until it defeated Central Michigan 30-27 in overtime at the Carrier Dome. The Orange are 3-0 for the first time since 1991 and only the fifth time in the past 50 years.

4. 16: Points allowed by Northwestern in its first three games, the fewest since 1948. The Wildcats allowed a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter, the only touchdown they've surrendered this season.