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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

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