Taking stock of the 17 undefeated teams remaining in college football

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A week ago there were 25 undefeated teams left in college football. Week 5 saw that number cut by a third. With five games pitting undefeated vs. undefeated this week, the maximum number of unbeaten teams left alive by Sunday morning is 12, but considering this week's slate we could easily be in the single digits.

The maximum number of undefeated teams the schedule allows by season's end is nine, but history tells us the final number will be much closer to one or zero.

American

Cincinnati's 50-28 loss at Ohio State means there are no undefeated teams left in the American.

ACC

Florida State: 4-0
Next game: vs. Wake Forest
Best chance for a loss: vs. Notre Dame (Oct. 18)
Prognosis: For the second week in a row, the defending champs looked vulnerable, and for the second week in a row the defending champs escaped alive. This next two weeks should - should - be cakewalks, but this is a team that plays to its competition until it can't anymore.

Georgia Tech: 4-0
Next game: vs. Miami (Oct. 4)
Best chance for a loss: vs. Miami (Oct. 4)
Prognosis: Georgia Tech was off last week, allowing the Yellow Jackets an extra week to prepare for Miami. Considering they've lost five in a row to Miami, this was fortuitous timing.

Big 12

Baylor: 4-0
Next game: at Texas
Best chance for a loss: at Oklahoma (Nov. 8)
Prognosis: Baylor is ranked in the top 10, Texas is unranked. Baylor is a 16-point favorite over the Longhorns for the second year in a row. And no one blinks an eye. My how times have changed.

Oklahoma: 4-0
Next game: at TCU
Best chance for a loss: at TCU
Prognosis: Oklahoma had a week off before Saturday's trip to Fort Worth. Problem is, TCU played SMU, so the Horned Frogs essentially did, too.

TCU: 3-0
Next game: vs. Oklahoma
Best chance for a loss: vs. Oklahoma
Prognosis: TCU gave Oklahoma a stiff challenge each of the teams' two meetings since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, 24-17 in Fort Worth on the final day of the 2012 season, and 20-17 in Norman last year. Those TCU teams struggled to move the ball. This one hasn't - so far. We'll see how much of a difference Doug Meacham has really made with TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin on Saturday.

Big Ten

Nebraska: 5-0
Next game: at Michigan State
Best chance for a loss: at Michigan State
Prognosis: No one has paid much attention to Nebraska this season - at least not when they're escaping overtime against McNeese State - with good reason. They've beaten Florida Atlantic, McNeese State, Fresno State, Miami and Illinois. That changes with a win over Michigan State on Saturday night.

Conference USA

Marshall: 4-0
Next game: at Old Dominion (Oct. 4)
Best chance for a loss: at Old Dominion (Oct. 4)
Prognosis: If the Thundering Herd survive their next two - at Old Dominion, vs. Middle Tennessee - I think they cruise to the season finale against Western Kentucky.

Independents

BYU: 4-0
Next game: vs. Utah State (Friday)
Best chance for a loss: at Central Florida (Oct. 9)
Prognosis: I don't know what to think about this team. Taysom Hill is really good, and the Cougars have the ability to physically overwhelm every opponent left on their slate. But I don't think the defense is 12-0 material, and they commit too many penalties.

Notre Dame: 4-0
Next game: vs. Stanford
Best chance for a loss: vs. Stanford
Prognosis: No one has come within 16 points of the Fighting Irish this year, but then again their best opponent thus far has been Syracuse. That changes Saturday.

MAC

There are zero undefeated teams remaining in the Mid-American Conference. #SadMACtion.

Mountain West

There are zero undefeated teams remaining in the Mountain West Conference. #SadMWaction.

Pac-12

Arizona: 4-0
Next game: at Oregon (Thursday)
Best chance for a loss: at Oregon (Thursday)
Prognosis: This goes one of two ways. Either the Wildcats are gone from this list and receiving zero votes in both polls, or they're still here and ranked among the Top 15 nationally.

Oregon: 4-0
Next game: vs. Arizona (Thursday)
Best chance for a loss: vs. Arizona (Thursday)
Prognosis: A trip to the Rose Bowl with No. 8 UCLA and a certain visit from College GameDay waits on the other side of this game, but Oregon must first contend with the team that beat them 42-16 last November.

UCLA: 4-0
Next game: vs. Utah
Best chance for a loss: vs. Utah
Prognosis: This was going to be a fun undefeated undercard to what's happening elsewhere on Saturday, until Utah blew a 21-0 lead and lost to Washington State at home. Still, this Utes bunch is capable of taking down UCLA if they provide the type of effort they did in their last home game, a 42-35 squeaker over Memphis.

SEC

Alabama: 4-0
Next game: at Ole Miss
Best chance for a loss: at Ole Miss
Prognosis: Here's what Alabama has waiting after Saturday: a trip to the same Arkansas team that nearly beat Texas A&M on a neutral field, a Texas A&M whose offense has bedeviled Nick Saban the past two years, a constantly improving Tennessee team, a visit to LSU, a home game with Mississippi State, Western Carolina, and then Auburn.

Auburn: 4-0
Next game: vs. LSU
Best chance for a loss: vs. LSU
Prognosis: Here's what Auburn has waiting after Saturday: a trip to Mississippi State, a home game with South Carolina, a visit to Ole Miss, a home game with Texas A&M, a visit to Georgia, Samford, and then a visit to Alabama.

Missississippi State: 4-0
Next game: vs. Texas A&M
Best chance for a loss: vs. Texas A&M
Prognosis: What Mississippi State has waiting afterSaturday: Auburn, a visit to Kentucky, home games with Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin, a visit to Alabama, a home date with Vanderbilt, and then the Egg Bowl in Oxford. Much lighter load than the two schedules above, but the degree of difficulty for reaching Atlanta unbeaten feels about the same.

Ole Miss: 4-0
Next game: vs. Alabama
Best chance for a loss: vs. Alabama
Prognosis: The Rebels remaining slate after Saturday's visit by Alabama: at Texas A&M, vs. Tennessee, at LSU, vs. Auburn, vs. Presbyterian, at Arkansas, vs. Mississippi State. The Rebels play four Top 15 teams in the next five weeks, plus a Tennessee team that nearly knocked off Georgia.

Texas A&M: 5-0
Next game: at Mississippi State
Best chance for a loss: at Mississippi State
Prognosis: Finally, Texas A&M's remaining schedule after Saturday's trip to Starkvegas: Ole Miss, at Alabama, vs. Louisiana-Monroe, at Auburn, vs. Missouri, vs. LSU. Only two road games, but those road games happen to be against two of top five teams in the country.

The point of this exercise? If any team survives the SEC West and whatever the SEC East throws at them in Atlanta unscathed, and then beats the No. 4 team (let's not kid ourselves, this would be the Playoff's No. 1 team) and then the winner of the No. 2 vs. No. 3 semifinal, we're talking about possibly the greatest season in college football's modern era.

Sun Belt

There are zero undefeated teams remaining in the Sun Belt Conference. #SadFunBelt