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Coastal Carolina’s Remarkable Resume

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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The impact of the Chanticleers can be found all through the polls, directly and indirectly alike.

Some, just off first glance or visceral consideration, might be dismissive of Coastal Carolina's overall resume. Such a distinction deserves more discussion. The Chancticleers should be emerging as more of a national contender and their body of work, meaning who they have played and how, in addition to them being a perfect 10-0, is actually a big reason why.

With notable triumphs over BYU and Louisiana, Coastal Carolina now has two wins over teams slotted in the top 20 of the latest College Football Playoff poll. Remember, the lone losses for both the Cougars and the Ragin' Cajuns, who are a combined 18-2 overall, are to the Chanticleers. For point of reference, Alabama and Notre Dame also have a pair of victories over teams in the top 20 of the playoff rankings, while Clemson, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Florida all have one.

In a few weeks, Coastal Carolina will get another opportunity at a ranked win as the Sun Belt Championship Game will feature the Chanticleers and Louisiana, round two.

None of this means Coastal Carolina has necessarily played one of the toughest schedules in the country. What it does show, though, is that there in conviction behind the Chanticleers and their national standing.

Even if it may not initially seem like it, both of Coastal Carolina's signature wins are among the best in the country. The rankings reflect that. BYU entered last weekend at eighth in the Coaches Poll, right behind Florida, Texas A&M and Cincinnati. Two games before losing in Conway, the Cougars had overwhelmed nationally-ranked Boise State 51-17 in Idaho. Louisiana opened the season with a 17-point thumping at Iowa State, a team now 7th in the latest playoff slottings.

The impact of the Chanticleers can be found all through the polls, directly and indirectly alike.  

Not only has Coastal Carolina taken on two highly-rated opponents, they made a statement with both performances. Of teams who have played multiple ranked sides, only Northwestern and Wisconsin have been more dominant defensively than the Chanticleers, allowing just 22 points per game in those two contests. Coastal Carolina held BYU's Heisman Trophy candidate Zach Wilson to merely one total touchdown.

In matchups with teams with winning records, the Chanticleers, who have played five such foes, are giving up only 16.2 points per game, the best margin of any team ranked in the College Football Playoff poll.

Impressively, Coastal Carolina currently has four victories over opponents with at least seven wins: BYU, Louisiana, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. Those teams are a combined 32-9. The Chanticleers defeated the Eagles with their backup quarterback. Coastal Carolina beat ranked Louisiana on the road. The Chanticleers also easily defeated Kansas for the second straight year, which is not a highlight or high point on the schedule; it is, however, an identifier that shows that Coastal Carolina is playing Power Five teams out of conference.

Through it all, the Chanticleers are 8th in the country in margin of victory, one spot behind Notre Dame, winning their games by an average of 20 points each week.

It's not just that Coastal Carolina is undefeated, which is obviously impressive as it is; how the Chanticleers are winning and who they are winning against is part of their remarkable profile as well. This is a resume more than worthy of a second look.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports