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Ranking college football's 16 remaining unbeaten teams

TCU kept its unbeaten season churning with its most impressive win yet, a rout of Oklahoma. Emil Lippe/Getty Images

A week after Week 4 trimmed the list more than expected, college football's unbeatens held strong in Week 5. While projections entering the weekend suggested we would lose about seven of the 21 unblemished teams, we instead lost only five. Washington (to UCLA), NC State (to Clemson) and Kentucky (to Ole Miss) lost to fellow unbeatens, and while Florida State and Minnesota both fell victim to upsets, those defeats were offset by upset victories for TCU and Oklahoma State.

On paper, our friends might mostly hold steady this week. We will definitely lose at least one team from the list because Kansas hosts TCU (and ESPN's College GameDay) in Lawrence. But two of the other 14 are idle, and the sportsbooks favor 10 others by at least 10 points. Only UCLA (+3 vs. Utah) and Tennessee (-3.5 at LSU) appear to be in danger.

Five weeks in, we are left with the Stupendous 16. A week from now it might be the Fabulous 14 or Thunderous 13. We know inherently that most of these teams will lose in the coming weeks but until they do they can keep dreaming. The out-of-nowhere dream season is one of the sport's greatest storylines, and we've still got a few of them brewing.

Let's rank the remaining unbeatens!


16. Coastal Carolina

SP+ and FPI rankings: 57th and 80th, respectively

Odds of reaching 12-0, per SP+: 2.2% (last week: 3.0%)

What they did in Week 5: defeated Georgia Southern 34-30. Down 30-28 with less than a minute left, the Chanticleers prevailed thanks to CJ Beasley's touchdown and one of the most clutch hurdles you'll ever see.

Why they're ranked here: Jamey Chadwell's Chants have yet to play a team ranked higher than 84th in SP+, and they've needed clutch plays to win tight games against two of them. We knew this season could be a struggle because of the amount of production they lost from last year's 11-2 squad. Indeed, the defense is currently just 90th in defensive SP+ and 80th in points allowed per drive, and Coastal has allowed at least 24 points in every game despite a turtle-slow tempo.

But you know what the best kind of struggle is? The kind where you keep right on winning. It has required heroics from quarterback Grayson McCall, Beasley and others, but Coastal has come through, and with upcoming games against Louisiana-Monroe (117th in SP+) and Old Dominion (90th), the Chants could keep this going a little while longer.