My Bearcats campaign

Undefeated Cincinnati is looking forward to back-to back wins against Tulsa.


Michael Slaten, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Logan Holgorsen – Houston Cougars football vs. Cincinnati Bearcats on Oct. 12, 2019.

Matt McGrath, Staff Writer

In a year of uncertainty, one thing that has taken drastic changes to formality is the world of college football, tampering with capacity laws and pre-made scheduling. Teams unexpected to succeed have taken the country by notice, with a group of five teams such as BYU, Coastal Carolina, Tulsa, and Liberty posing quite impressive showings this season. However, one GO5 team has taken precedent over others: the American Athletic Conference’s Cincinnati Bearcats.

Undefeated through eight games, the Bearcats have shown unbelievable ability throughout the season, with ranked victories over Army and SMU, as well as wins over fringe top-25 teams like Memphis and Central Florida.

Their defense has allowed exactly 15 points per game, one of the best in the country. That on top of a Desmond Ridder led offense averaging a noteworthy 40.9 points per game is a recipe for success.

Though the Group of 5 conferences has never gotten enough respect from the Playoff Committee to allow a team in, this year, history being made should be anticipated by the average fan.

The college football playoffs’ inaugural season was 2015, and the format has remained intact since. Four teams enter, one remains atop the world of CFB. However, the playoff committee has never agreed on a team from a “lesser caliber conference” such as the AAC, to enter the top four.

Teams such as Oklahoma, Alabama, Washington, and even Michigan State have seen their names in the spotlight. However, season after the next, the playoffs hosts a blowout or two, making the games nearly unwatchable.

A movement has begun countrywide for a change of scenery, vouching for Cincinnati’s entry into the playoff. The playoffs have seemed like an ongoing cycle between Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame, with other teams filtering in every once in a while. The eye of the average fan demands change.

Per BPHS senior Dan DelBene, “It’s time to see new teams at the top of college football since the majority of the time powerhouse programs tend to run college football.”

Another student Zach Haddox chimed into the matter, saying, “I saw Cincinnati play in person this year, it would be beneficial for the sport to have a non-power 5 team finally make the playoffs.”

One more college football advocate was welcomed to the conversation, stating that Cincinnati making this year’s playoffs “… would set a precedent for future Group of 5 teams.”

Ranked at No. 7 in the latest CFP rankings, Cincy needs to jump three spots before the final playoff is made towards the end of December. However, they have a legitimate path. For starters, they need to beat 24th-ranked Tulsa in back-to-back weeks, finishing at 10-0, with likely three ranked victories.

Notre Dame needs to defeat Clemson in the conference championship for the Atlantic Coastal Conference in Charlotte, on Dec. 19. This would make Clemson a two-loss team and virtually boot them from playoff contention.

Also, Alabama needs to beat sixth-ranked Florida in the SEC championship on the 19th in Atlanta, making Florida a two-loss team.

Fifth-ranked Texas A&M would also miss the playoffs without a conference championship appearance.

Provided some great Bearcats football, and a little bit of luck, we could see Cincinnati playing on the highest stage, come New Year’s Day.

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