When the college football season began, most people thought the usual teams would be in the playoff picture at the end of the season. Those teams include Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
The 2021 college football season has shown us that there are only two great teams in Alabama and Georgia and many really good teams. There is a good chance we could at least get two new teams in the college football playoff.
One of the teams in the hunt to make the college football playoff for the first time is the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats are a member of the AAC (American Athletic Conference). They are also a group of five teams, and a group of five teams has never made the playoffs before. However, that could change this year because there has already been a lot of chaos this year.
The power five schools and BYU are the Bearcat’s biggest obstacle from reaching the playoff. Right now, there are only a few schools that are undefeated in the power five. The good news is that all these schools will eventually all knock each other out of the race to make the college football playoff. BYU has a tough schedule and some injury issues that they will probably not be able to overcome.
The Bearcats challenged themselves in their non-conference schedule by playing at Indiana and Notre Dame. They won both of those games by double digits. The Bearcat’s win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was one of the season’s most impressive wins. Winning the Indiana game was nice but winning in South Bend, Indiana, against the Fighting Irish was a solid statement to the college football world. The Cincinnati Bearcats are coming, and they are not backing down. Notre Dame and Indiana may not be good teams when the season is over, but Cincinnati can only worry about what they can control.
Cincinnati will probably need two things to happen for them to make the College Football Playoff. The first thing they have to do is go undefeated because they are a group of five teams, they do not have the margin for error a power five team has, and they are trying to make history. The second thing they need is for many teams in the power five to have multiple losses.
The AAC is not an easy conference to win, but if the Bearcats can continue to play solid defense, they should be fine. The college football world will be paying close attention to the college football playoff committee’s first rankings in the first week of November to see where the Bearcats are ranked. That will let everyone know where the Bearcats are at and how much work they have to do.
Finally, the BCS rankings are no longer used to decide who plays for the national championship, but they still impact today. The teams that have made the playoffs have all been in the top four of the final BCS rankings. The Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked number five in the first BCS rankings.
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Photo courtesy of Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports.