Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell talks into his headset
Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell talks into his headset during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulane in New Orleans, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Cincinnati won 31-12. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Cincinnati Bearcats keep pace

The college football playoff committee released the second college football playoff ranking Tuesday night. Georgia stayed at number one, followed by Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State. At number five are the undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bearcats climbed one spot from the initial ranking of six.

If the Bearcats want to play in November, they may need to hope for another upset.

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell had this to say about playing in November.

Chances of making the playoff

Cincinnati has three weeks until the playoff begins. They may have to catch another break like they did when Purdue upset Michigan State. The team with the hardest remaining schedule is Ohio State. The Buckeyes play Purdue next week and then top-10 opponents in Michigan State and Michigan. The only other team ranked ahead of Cincinnati that plays a ranked opponent is Alabama when they square off with Auburn in the Iron bowl. Also, Cincinnati has to win out the rest of the season to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The argument against Cincinnati

The primary argument against Cincinnati is that they have not played the same level of competition as the teams ahead of them. Keep in mind, Cincinnati plays in the American conference. The teams ranked ahead of them play in the SEC, PAC-12 and the Big 10. These are three of the power five conferences and only five teams in the top 25 College football playoff rankings are not in one of the power five conferences.

The argument for Cincinnati

Firstly, Cincinnati is undefeated. That undefeated record has the Bearcats are ranked second in the AP poll behind Georgia. Secondly, Cincinnati has a convincing road win over a top 10 team in Notre Dame. And third, the Bearcats have only two games this year that ended in a one possession game.

Not much football left this year. For Cincinnati, each game is crucial in keeping the playoff dream alive. The Bearcats travel to USF for a six pm Saturday matchup.

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