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Why 15 different teams can say they're among college football's five best programs

Numbers never lie, but they do tell a convenient truth. 

Yesterday we took one look at the hottest team in college football, and now we've tackled that same question from another angle. We wanted to know college football's five best teams over different timeframes, and then monitor how that changed over time. We started with the last five games, then went back to 10, then 15, all the way back to the last 50 games.

The result? A total of 15 different programs can lay a legitimate claim to be listed among college football's five hottest programs. And they're all right. It all depends on how you slide the scale. 

FIVE GAMES

1. 

Central Florida

5-0

 

Florida State 

5-0

 

Louisville

5-0

 

Michigan State

5-0

 

South Carolina 

5-0

TEN GAMES

1.

Florida State

10-0

 

Michigan State 

10-0

3.

Auburn

9-1

 

Central Florida

9-1

 

Louisville

9-1

 

South Carolina

9-1

FIFTEEN GAMES

1.

Florida State

15-0

2.

Louisville

14-1

 

Michigan State 

14-1

4.

Alabama

13-2

 

Baylor

13-2

 

Central Florida

13-2

 

Ohio State

13-2

 

Oregon

13-2

 

South Carolina

13-2

TWENTY GAMES

1.

Florida State

19-1

2.

Ohio State

18-2

3.

Alabama

17-3

 

Central Florida

17-3

 

Clemson

17-3

 

Louisville

17-3

 

Northern Illinois 

17-3

 

Oregon

17-3

 

Stanford

17-3

TWENTY-FIVE GAMES

1. 

Florida State

23-2

 

Ohio State

23-2

3. 

Alabama

22-3 

 

Louisville

22-3

 

Northern Illinois 

22-3

 

Oregon

22-3

THIRTY GAMES

1. 

Florida State 

28-2

2.

Alabama 

27-3

3.

Northern Illinois 

26-4

 

Oregon

26-4

 

South Carolina 

26-4

FORTY GAMES

1. 

Alabama 

36-4

2. 

Oregon

35-5

3. 

Florida State

34-6

 

Northern Illinois 

34-6

5. 

LSU

33-7

 

South Carolina 

33-7

 

Stanford

33-7

FIFTY GAMES

1. 

Oregon

44-6

2.

Alabama

43-7

3.

Northern Illinois 

42-8

 

Stanford 

42-8

5.

Boise State

41-9

 

Florida State 

41-9

 

LSU

41-9