The third week of the college football season did little to break the sporting hierarchy on the field. The top eight teams in the AP poll won their games with an average score of 57–12, and the only two teams to lose in the rankings (BYU and Miami) lost on the road to the other teams in the rankings (Oregon and Texas A&M). So it was about the same orderly weekend as you will see.
Why did it seem so wild then? Because of everything else. Rising teams such as Penn State, Washington, Oregon and LSU have hinted that these rebounds have picked up speed. Many games ended far from the scatter (Tulane upset Kansas State and UNLV beat North Texas, for example). And… well… some commands just kept going without losing.
Perhaps the most unexpected moment of this young season: Kansas, Duke, Rutgers, Indiana, Syracuse and Tulane remain undefeated. In football! Some of them have yet to score particularly impressive victories, but (a) some have, and (b) who cares??? Kansas, Duke, Rutgers, Indiana, Syracuse and Tulane all in 18-0!!! Only 25% of FBS are stain-free after three weeks, and this group includes several stories of underdogs.
We celebrate these events while we can. Let’s both honor the memory and rank the remaining invincibles. (What criteria do I use for this? A combination of computer ratings and my own opinion. I usually stick with mostly what the numbers say, but reserve the right to overreact to things.)
33. Coastal Carolina (3-0)
SP+ and FPI ratings: 70s and 92s respectively
The strength of the SP+ chart to date: 118 place
Chances of reaching 12-0 on SP+: 1.1%
What they did in week 3: defeated Buffalo 38-26
Why they are still invincible: The attack is still effective. The Chanticleers are averaging 35.7 points per game and 6.8 yards per game, and in the win over Buffalo they are averaging 9.5 yards per game. The reason why Coastal won with only 12? Four lost fumbles.
Why are they here: The defense is giving up too many plays (they are 93rd in SP+ defense), and while the win over Buffalo was a good step forward, Coastal was lucky to beat Gardner-Webb in Week 2. a pretty hefty points deduction right there.