Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of the game. Any game, for that matter.
Some fall on the sabermetric side of things, while others like to keep it simple and use the ol' eyeball test. In the football world, that means total offense, total defense and points scored versus points per play and defensive efficiency ratings. Rational and logical arguments can be made for the legitimacy and relevance of both sides of the stats spectrum.
With that in mind, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:
11,625: Aaron Murray's SEC-record career passing yards
He has started every game of his career (45) and has proven he can lead his team to victory from behind in the fourth quarter. And his name now stands alone atop the SEC passing record book. With a modest 196 yards against Tennessee, he passed fellow Georgia passer David Greene (11,528) for No. 1 all-time in SEC history. He is a few games away from breaking Danny Wuerffel's all-time SEC TD record (114), Tim Tebow's all-time SEC total offense record (12,232) and would finish one win behind Greene's all-time SEC wins record should he win every game the rest of the season. It would make him the SEC's most prolific quarterback by a wide margin and the NCAA's No. 5 winningest signal caller in history (41 wins) behind only Boise State's Kellen Moore (50), Texas' Colt McCoy (45), TCU's Andy Dalton (42) and Greene. For what it's worth, however, only Dalton appears to have any NFL upside whatsoever.
6-0: Kevin Hogan's record against ranked teams
There may not be a better clutch performer at quarterback than Stanford's Kevin Hogan. He has never lost a game as a starter in his career (10-0), including six wins over ranked opponents. His first four career starts came against No. 13 Oregon State, No. 1 Oregon on the road, No. 15 UCLA on the road and No. 17 UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game. He won them all. He has continued to improve in his first full season under center, topping No. 23 Arizona State easily and outlasting No. 15 Washington this weekend. It's a good thing he can handle the pressure because the Cardinal's schedule the rest of the way is brutal — road trips to Utah, Oregon State and USC to go with home games against No. 2 Oregon, No. 12 UCLA and Notre Dame. Stanford has won 13 straight games and Hogan has lead the charge in most of them.
202: Consecutive Marcus Mariota passes without an INT
Not to be outdone in the Pac-12 North, Mariota is making a case that he is the nation's best player. He scored seven total touchdowns (five passing, two rush rushing) and accounted for 398 total yards of offense (355 passing, 43 rushing). That gives the Oregon quarterback 59 total career touchdowns (46 passing, 12 rushing, one receiving) in just 18 career games. More impressive, he has just six interceptions in those 18 games and has yet to throw a pick in 2013. In fact, he hasn't thrown an interception in his last 202 pass attempts. And while that might be three games worth of play-calling for Cal or Washington State, it's eight games for Oregon. Mariota is 17-1 as a starter, and his last interception came in the only loss of his career — the 17-14 OT loss to Stanford last season. Nov. 7 cannot get here soon enough.
864: Baylor's Big 12 record yards of total offense
If the Ducks are the nation's best offense, the Bears aren't too far behind. The list of superlatives this team is acquiring is astounding. Art Briles' bunch posted 458 yards rushing and 396 yards passing for a Big 12 record 864 yards of total offense. That would be a record in every other conference in the nation except the Pac-12. Baylor has scored at least 70 points in three straight games and has the three top yardage totals of the year nationally: 864 against West Virginia, 781 against UL Monroe and 781 against Buffalo. Quarterback Bryce Petty is leading the nation in efficiency (229.61) at a clip that would obliterate the NCAA single-season record (Russell Wilson, 191.8). Last but not least, tailback Lache Seastrunk has a nation's best eight consecutive 100-yard games and is No. 2 in the nation at 147.3 yards per game.
63: Largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent
Jameis Winston and the Seminoles put on a show in Doak Campbell this weekend against the Terrapins. They announced their national title aspirations with authority by posting the worst defeat of a ranked team in AP Poll history. The 63-0 blanking of No. 25 Maryland ties UCLA's 66-3 pounding of No. 11 Texas in 1997 for the largest margin of victory over a ranked team. Winston was magical, completing 23 of 32 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns. Remember this is just his fifth start and marquee Heisman moments loom against Clemson, Miami and Florida. But just for fun, take at look at thisinteresting comparisonthrough five games:
Jameis Winston, 2013
Johnny Manziel, 2012
17 and 18: The nation's longest losing and winning streaks
Southern Miss lost yet another heartbreaker after winless FIU kicked a game-winning field goal with just under seven minutes to play on Saturday. The loss pushes the nation's longest active losing streak to 17 games with little hope for Eagles fans to look forward to in 2013. According to Covers.com, the only game Southern Miss might be favored in is a home game with North Texas coming in three weeks. There is a chance at a second consecutive winless season. On the flip side, Ohio State outlasted Northwestern to extend the nation's longest active winning streak to 18 games. Coincidentally, Michigan owns the nation's longest home winning streak at 18 games as well. Should both continue to win, the Wolverines' 20-game home winning streak would come face to face with the Buckeyes' 23-game overall winning streak on the season's final weekend in Michigan Stadium.
1-16: Indiana's record against Penn State
Kevin Wilson lost a critical swing game with Navy and was uninspiring at home against Missouri, so he needed a marquee victory for his resume. His offense scored 21 points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter and pulled away in impressive fashion against nemesis Penn State. The two programs have played 17 times with every one coming in conference play since PSU joined the league in 1993. Saturday's convincing 44-24 victory was Indiana's first-ever against the Nittany Lions. Wilson's squad has been excellent on one side of the ball, leading the Big Ten in total offense (535.0 ypg) and trailing only Ohio State in scoring (44.4 ppg). That said, this game merely keeps IU's bowl hopes alive with more survival games directly ahead — four of the next six will come on the road against Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State.
0: Teams that have beaten USC and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks
Arizona State had plenty of chances to beat Notre Dame on Saturday in AT&T Stadium but came up short. After a dominating offensive performance from Taylor Kelly and Marion Grice last weekend against USC, the Sun Devils committed critical turnovers in the final quarter of the 37-34 loss. It was the 12th time a team had to face the Trojans and the Irish on back-to-back weekends and none have ever beaten both. Only three, including the Sun Devils, even won the first half of the difficult duo of games. Todd Graham's team continues to play inconsistent football and, frankly, should have three losses already.
17: Unbeaten teams left in college football
The beauty of college football lies in its simplicity. Win all of your games and you probably will play for the national championship. From the BCS automatically-qualifying conferences, only Auburn in 2004 and Cincinnati in 2009 were perfect and left out of the BCS title game. So who is left after six weeks of play? Clemson (5-0), Miami (5-0) and Florida State (5-0) are a formidable unbeaten trio in the ACC but could play a complete round robin by season's end. Louisville (5-0) won't be the only team to give Houston (4-0) a loss this year in the AAC. Michigan (5-0) and Ohio State (6-0) are the lone remaining perfect teams in the Big Ten. Oklahoma (5-0), Texas Tech (5-0) and Baylor (4-0) all have yet to face each other in the Big 12. Top 12 teams Oregon (5-0), Stanford (5-0) and UCLA (4-0) give the Pac-12 tremendous depth at the top of the league. And Alabama (5-0) and upstart Mizzou (5-0) are the last standing unbeatens in the SEC. After six weeks of the best tournament in sports, college football is down to just 15 power conference teams left without a loss. And all but two — Alabama-Missouri and Clemson-Miami — are guaranteed to face each at some point during the regular season. For the record, Fresno State (5-0) and Northern Illinois (5-0) have established themselves quickly as the top two BCS Busters in 2013.