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Surveying the undefeated teams remaining in FBS

The first half of the 2019 season has seen chop the field of undefeated teams from 130 all the way down to 12. And as much as I'd love to sit here at the exact midpoint season and tell each of those 12 teams that number will hold until Selection Sunday on Dec. 8, that would be a lie. The schedule guarantees at least five of them will lose between now and then, and history dictates the carnage will be much higher.

The 2018 season saw four teams traipse through the regular season unbeaten, but that was the most in nearly a decade:

2018: 4 (Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, UCF)
2017: 1 (UCF)
2016: 2 (Alabama, Western Michigan)
2015: 1 (Clemson)
2014: 1 (Florida State)
2013: 1 (Florida State)
2012: 2 (Notre Dame, Ohio State)
2011: 1 (LSU)
2010: 3 (Auburn, Oregon, TCU)
2009: 5 (Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Texas, TCU)

Here's a look at the 12 remaining teams and their odds of remaining that way through the rest of the regular season. Games against fellow unbeatens are in italics.

American
No. 19 SMU (6-0)
The road ahead: vs. Temple, at Houston, at Memphis, East Carolina, at Navy, Tulane, AAC Championship
Prognosis: Undoubtedly the biggest surprise on this list, Sonny Dykes' Mustangs have already won three 1-score games, including a 43-37 triple-overtime win that saw SMU overcome a 21-point fourth quarter deficit. The Ponies have four 1-loss teams remaining, including a 5-1 Temple team that's 2-0 against the AP Top 25 so far this year. Enjoy this feeling while it lasts.

ACC
No. 3 Clemson (6-0)
The road ahead: at Louisville, Boston College, Wofford, at NC State, Wake Forest, at South Carolina, ACC Championship
Prognosis: One word, four letters -- w-o-o-f. Dabo Swinney and company better hope they already laid their egg in that 21-20 escape at North Carolina back at Sept. 28, because this team will (or at least should) have to put together its second straight unbeaten season to reach the Playoff.

Big Ten
No. 4 Ohio State (6-0)
The road ahead: at Northwestern, vs. No. 6 Wisconsin, Maryland, at Rutgers, vs. No. 7 Penn State, at No. 16 Michigan, Big Ten Championship
Prognosis: Ohio State is fortunate enough to get them both at home. I think this is the best team in the country right now, and the Buckeyes' schedule will give them plenty of opportunities to prove it.

No. 6 Wisconsin (6-0)
The road ahead: at Illinois, at No. 4 Ohio State, No. 23 Iowa, at Nebraska, Purdue, at No. 21 Minnesota, Big Ten Championship
Prognosis: Look, beating Ohio State once is incredibly difficult, and doing it twice will be near impossible, so Paul Chryst and company either need to make sure their one win comes in the rematch in the Big Ten title game or hope there's chaos elsewhere. It's not fair at all, especially when you look two spots above to see Clemson's schedule, but that's reality.

No. 7 Penn State (6-0)
The road ahead: vs. No. 16 Michigan, at Michigan State, at No. 21 Minnesota, Indiana, at No. 4 Ohio State, Rutgers, Big Ten Championship
Prognosis: Unlike Wisconsin, Penn State's season really will be on the line when they go to the Horseshoe on Nov. 23. The score of the last three PSU-OSU games: 24-21, 39-38 and 27-26.

No. 20 Minnesota (6-0)
The road ahead: at Rutgers, Maryland, vs. No. 7 Penn State, at No. 23 Iowa, at Northwestern, vs. No. 6 Wisconsin, Big Ten Championship
Prognosis: Minnesota has actually won eight straight games dating back to last season and will likely run it to 10 before stuff gets real. The Gophers' first four wins all came by one score before blowing out Illinois and Nebraska. Going undefeated would obviously be great, but the real goal here should be to beat Wisconsin and Iowa in the same season for the first time since 1990 and winning the program's first Big Ten division championship.

Big 12
No. 5 Oklahoma (6-0)
The road ahead: West Virginia, at Kansas State, Iowa State, at No. 18 Baylor, TCU, at Oklahoma State, Big 12 Championship
Prognosis: Following last week's affirming, 9-sack performance in the win over No. 15 Texas, the only angst the folks in crimson are feeling these days is toward the programming folks at ESPN and FOX: counting ahead to the WVU and K-State games, OU is on a streak of five straight games and counting with 11 a.m. kickoffs and that number will probably grow because FOX's Big Noon Kickoff will be the OU Noon Kickoff any time they cover a Big 12 game for the remainder of the year.

No. 18 Baylor (6-0)
The road ahead: at Oklahoma State, West Virginia, at TCU, vs. No. 5 Oklahoma, vs. No. 15 Texas, at Kansas, Big 12 Championship
Prognosis: Baylor probably should have lost to Texas Tech, but they didn't and now this team has a real chance to at least reach the Big 12 Championship. Obviously all eyes point toward the Nov. 16 game with OU, but the most pivotal game is actually the following week against Texas. Five teams in the Big 12 have one or zero losses in conference play, and the Bears already own a win over one of them (2-1 Iowa State). If Matt Rhule and company are able to beat Texas on Nov. 23 and form holds elsewhere, Baylor could probably afford to lose to OU and another game to force a rematch with the Sooners for the Big 12 title.

Mountain West
No. 14 Boise State (6-0)
The road ahead: at BYU, at San Jose State, Wyoming, New Mexico, at Utah State, at Colorado State, MW Championship
Prognosis: There isn't one single game that has red blinking lights surrounding it, but playing only two home games after Oct. 12 is a challenge in and of itself. Bryan Harsin has already won two Mountain West titles and a Fiesta Bowl in his six seasons in Boise, but he hasn't checked the "Undefeated Season" box in the Living Up to Chris Petersen's Insane Standards check list.

SEC
No. 1 Alabama (6-0)
The road ahead: Tennessee, Arkansas, No. 2 LSU, at Mississippi State, Western Carolina, at No. 11 Auburn, SEC Championship

No. 2 LSU (6-0)
The road ahead: at Mississippi State, No. 11 Auburn, at No. 1 Alabama, at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Texas A&M, SEC Championship
Prognosis: The last AP No. 1 vs. 2 regular season game was No. 2 LSU's 9-6 win over No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5, 2011. That also happens to be the last time LSU beat Alabama. That game led to a rematch in the national championship game and the eventual creation of the College Football Playoff. The national title game that year was in New Orleans; this year's title game is also in New Orleans. If one of these teams winds up at 13-0 and the other 11-1, both could and easily make the Playoff and we could see history repeat itself all over again.

With one caveat, though: this year's 1 vs. 2 Game of the Century won't end 9-6.

Sun Belt
No. 24 Appalachian State (5-0)

The road ahead: Louisiana-Monroe, at South Alabama, Georgia Southern, at South Carolina, at Georgia State, Texas State, at Troy
Prognosis: Hey, App State beat North Carolina by more than Clemson did. Put the Mountaineers in the Playoff.

Okay, App State isn't going to the Playoff, but this team could reach a New Year's Six bowl by winning out and getting help elsewhere in the Mountain West and American. Eli Drinkwitz's team plays a road heavy schedule -- four of their last seven and three of their last four are away from home, including a Nov. 9 game at South Carolina -- but App has already won in Chapel Hill in September and at Louisiana-Lafayette last week.

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