Make way BYU. Coastal Carolina is coming through.
The Cougars (9-1) found out the hard way on Saturday that Jamey Chadwell’s Chanticleers are more than an easy win. Coastal Carolina (10-0) won a fantastic game — if chippy — against BYU, punctuated by a last-second defensive stop at the 1-yard line to preserve a 22-17 upset.
The win was reflected in Tuesday’s latest College Football rankings, one in which the Chanticleers and Cougars switched places: Coastal Carolina jumped from No. 18 to No. 13, taking BYU’s previous ranking, while the Cougars fell into the Chanticleers’ previous spot.
With the latest rankings, Coastal Carolina is the second-highest-ranked outside the Power 5 and Notre Dame. Only Cincinnati, which fell a spot to No. 8, is ranked higher from among the non-traditional powers.
Below are the full top 25 rankings, straight from the Playoff selection committee:
Coastal Carolina is in good position ahead of bowl season as one of only nine remaining undefeated FBS teams (and only one of two with double-digit wins). The season isn’t over yet, however: The Chanticleers have two games remaining against Troy (5-5) and No. 19 Louisiana (9-1) in the Sun Belt championship game; Coastal Carolina beat the Ragin’ Cajuns 30-27 on Oct. 14 in Lafayette, La. As it stands, they could be the only 12-0 team after championship weekend.
The Sun Belt has primary contractual obligations with five bowls: the Myrtle Beach Bowl; the New Orleans Bowl; the Camellia Bowl; the Cure Bowl; and the LendingTree Bowl. The Sun Belt champion has typically gone to play in the New Orleans Bowl, but the quick turnaround (from Dec. 19 to Dec. 23) might be too much for the Chanticleers to handle. Other options include the Camellia Bowl (Dec. 25) and Cure and LendingTree bowls (Dec. 26).
If the Chanticleers can somehow jump over No. 8 Cincinnati, however, they would be the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion, earning a New Year’s Day 6 bid in the process.
Hey, no one expected Coastal Carolina to start 10-0 this season, either.