As our countdown to the first full week of college football turns to five days, we salute the five teams that have bounced back from September losses to win the national championship outright in the poll era.
One loss can be devastating for teams with national title hopes, but Ohio State and Alabama have proved that it's better to lose early than to lose late in the College Football Playoff era. The 2014 Buckeyes and 2015 Crimson Tide are two of five teams to win the national championship outright after losing in September. Urban Meyer's 2008 Florida Gators also accomplished the feat, as did Miami in 1983 and Notre Dame in 1977.
After the Gators' 31-30 loss to Ole Miss on Sept. 27, 2008, Tim Tebow made "the promise" that no one in the nation would work harder than him and his teammates the rest of the year. The team responded by running the table and beating Oklahoma 24-14 to win the national title.
Six years later, coach Urban Meyer's Ohio State squad fell to Virginia Tech 35-21 on Sept. 6, 2014. The Buckeyes would also lose quarterbacks Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett to injury, but that didn't stop third-stringer Cardale Jones from finishing off a championship run that included a 59-0 rout of No. 13 Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and wins over No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
Last year, Alabama became the fifth team -- third since 2008 -- to lose in September and go on to win the national championship outright. The Crimson Tide fell to No. 15 Ole Miss 43-37 on Sept. 19. Many wrote off the Tide and questioned whether the Alabama dynasty was over. But Alabama would respond with a title run that included eight wins over AP Top 25 opponents, an FBS record.
The moral of the story? Don't worry if your team loses next month.
In case you missed any part of our countdown:
6 days: Christian McCaffrey's six games with 300-plus all-purpose yards in 2015
7 days: UNC's Ryan Switzer has seven career punt-return touchdowns
8 days: Alabama's record eight wins vs. AP Top 25 teams last season
9 days: Nick Saban is 9-0 against his former assistant coaches
10 days: Temple's 10 sacks in win over Penn State last season
11 days: Navy won a school-record 11 games last season
12 days: Alabama has won 12 straight games, the longest active FBS streak.
13 days: Lucky number 13 for a trio of teams last season.
14 days: Boise State has played in 14 straight bowl games.
15 days: Kansas has lost 15 straight games, the longest active FBS streak.
16 days: Peyton Manning wore No. 16 for Tennessee.
17 days: TCU QBs completed 17 of 17 passes in a game in 2012, an FBS record.
18 days: Ohio State has won an FBS-best 18 consecutive road games.
19 days: There are 19 head coaches at their alma mater this season.
20 days: It has been 20 years since Florida won its first national championship.
21 days: Oklahoma led the nation in average scoring margin (21.5) last season.
22 days: Ohio State has been in the top 10 of the AP poll for 22 straight weeks.
23 days: Virginia Tech has played in an FBS-best 23 straight bowl games.
24 days: In the first game of the historic rivalry, Navy beat Army 24-0.
25 days: Michigan's Desmond Howard won the Heisman 25 years ago.
26 days: Arkansas State led the nation with 26 interceptions in 2015.
28 days: Adrian Peterson wore No. 28 for Oklahoma.
29 days: Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium opened in 1929.
30 days: Miami's Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman 30 years ago.