Ohio St. chases perfection, others enjoy it while it lasts

Seventeen teams have made it through the first third of their schedules with 4-0 records. Here are five with shots to make it unbeaten through the regular season and five that probably will have their bubbles burst.

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First, the ones with a chance:

OHIO STATE

Why Buckeyes keep winning: The defending national champions, winners of 17 straight, are the most talented team in the country.

Why they might not: If they don't shore up some inconsistencies on offense.

Next tough test: Nov. 21 vs. Michigan State.

Star, so far: Adolphus Washington has played the best on a defensive line stocked with NFL talent.

MISSISSIPPI

Why Rebels keep winning: Chad Kelly keeps chucking it for 300 yards a game to a wealth of receivers.

Why they might not: If they're as flat as they were against Vanderbilt, they won't make it through the SEC unscathed.

Next tough test: This week at Florida.

Star, so far: Kelly, the first-year starter, has thrown 10 TD passes.

UTAH

Why Utes keep winning: A favorable schedule, and fourth-year starting QB Travis Wilson keeps the offense moving like it did against Oregon.

Why they might not: The Utes' defense is stout up front, but the secondary is vulnerable to the big play.

Next tough test: Oct. 10 vs. California.

Star, so far: Wilson has completed 68 percent of his passes and thrown for 4 TDs and run for 67 yards a game and 3 TDs.

NOTRE DAME

Why Irish keep winning: The replacements for the long list of injured players keep performing at a high level, particularly QB DeShone Kizer.

Why they might not: More injuries, and if the secondary keeps giving up big plays.

Next tough test: This week at Clemson.

Star, so far: Kizer, who has started the last four games after being the No. 3 QB in the spring, is hitting 68 percent of his passes with 5 TDs against 2 picks.

GEORGIA

Why Bulldogs keep winning: Greyson Lambert comes anywhere close to matching his interception-free, 77-percent passing.

Why they might not: The defense has had a tendency to lose focus at times, and even a brief letdown gets you beat in the SEC.

Next tough test: This week vs. Alabama.

Star, so far: There are several to choose from, but RB Nick Chubb is averaging 150 yards a game and has gone over 100 in 12 straight games.

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Some teams bound to get beat:

INDIANA

When it could happen: This week against Ohio State.

Why: The defense has given up 499 yards a game against weak opposition.

Why they might keep winning: QB Nate Sudfeld maintains his 7-to-1 TD-to-interception ratio.

Star, so far: UAB transfer Jordan Howard is running for 169 yards a game.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

When it could happen: This week against Louisville.

Why: The record is built against overmatched competition. The Wolfpack were 4-0 at time this last year before going 3-5 in the ACC.

Why they might keep winning: The rushing game keeps generating 250 yards a game and the defense holds steady.

Star, so far: Matt Dayes has run for 100-plus yards in all four games.

UCLA

When it could happen: Oct. 15 at Stanford.

Why: Bruins have to go to Utah in November, and as good as QB Josh Rosen has been, he's still a freshman, and he won't navigate the Pac-12 without throwing in a clunker somewhere.

Why the Bruins might keep winning: Rosen keeps growing and the defense is able to manage without Myles Jack.

Star, so far: Except for his struggles against BYU, Rosen has lived up to his five-star recruiting rating.

MICHIGAN STATE

When it could happen: Oct. 17 at Michigan.

Why: The injury list seems to get longer by the week, and pass defense is a major concern.

Why the Spartans might keep winning: The Connor Cook-led offense keeps scoring 30-plus points a game.

Star, so far: WR Aaron Burbridge has more than twice as many catches (24) as the team's No. 2 receiver.

TCU

When it could happen: Nov. 7 at Oklahoma State.

Why: The defense isn't as good as expected, and it's playing in a conference whose calling card is high-scoring offenses.

Why the Horned Frogs might keep winning: QB Trevone Boykin and WR Josh Doctson keep putting up crazy numbers.

Star, so far: Doctson already has 35 catches, most of any receiver at a Power Five school, and he already has six TDs.

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