Here’s How Cincinnati Could Make it to the College Football Qualifiers

Through the first seven years of the College Soccer League, 10 of the 11 schools that made it to the knockout stages have been members of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, or SEC. Notre Dame, an independent organization of FBS, is the only exception.

Already, that creates an uphill battle for Cincinnati, which is trying to become the first conference affiliated school not a member of one of those five conventions to make it to the Soccer Qualifiers. College.

This is how Cincinnati can potential implementation of the College Football Tournament.

Here’s where the Bearcats were during Week 10

The good news for Cincinnati – and arguably a prerequisite for knockout hopes – is that the Bearcats are among the four undefeated teams left in FBS. They’re 9-0 through Week 10, with just four games left – if you include the American Athletics Conference Championships that Cincinnati is predicted to qualify for – still on the schedule before playoff pick date .

Eleven of the 28 teams that have made it to the knockouts in the past seven years have been unbeaten, meaning that having a perfect track record is the second most common feature of playoff teams, behind only the collegiate championship. 24 out of 28 team playoffs).

As previously mentioned, however, no team that was a member of the conference without the names of the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, or SEC made it to the knockouts, so Cincinnati was given the go. is that there is a higher criterion for making the playoffs, based on past rankings by the CFP selection committee and public statements by current and previous committee chairpersons.

In the CFP Week 11 rankings, Cincinnati climbed one place to fifth, behind Ohio State and ahead of Michigan, and the Bearcats’ current standings represent the highest ranking for a team that’s not part of one of them. the five conferences mentioned above. , except Notre Dame.

A two-game losing team has never entered the College Rugby Round, and since three of the four teams currently ranked above Cincinnati have one loss, each team has the potential, if not the possibility, of a loss when eliminated from the playoff match.

While Cincinnati’s own history of going undefeated and failing to achieve the CFP, as well as that of other conference affiliated programs from outside Autonomy 5, shows that nothing is guaranteed for a school in Given the circumstances of Cincinnati, the Bearcats’ most likely route was a knockout that required them to win the rest of their games and score 13-0 on selection day. It was purely a request.

To some extent, their fate is out of their control and in the hands of the other top 10 teams and the selection committee. But given a two-game losing team that has never made it to the knockouts (and yes, no team from AAC either), Cincinnati would benefit from a second loss to Alabama, whether to Auburn’s opponents or to Georgia in the SEC Championship, and Same goes for the Ohio, Michigan and Michigan State Top 10, who still have two games left against each other.

Of course, the Bearcats will suffer the losses suffered by Oregon State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma, but those are harder to predict when ranking each team against both Cincinnati and their respective upcoming rivals.

CRYSTAL BALL: We have predicted when the remaining unbeaten teams are most likely to lose

Analysis of the teams ranked ahead of Cincinnati

As mentioned earlier, there are 4 teams ahead of Cincinnati entering Week 11: 1st Georgia, 2nd Alabama, 3rd Oregon and 4th Ohio State. At the end of the season, Cincinnati will need to be ranked ahead of at least one of those teams — plus all of the teams currently behind the Bearcats — to qualify for the playoffs.

The good news for the Bearcats is that the top two teams, Georgia and Alabama, are currently in first place in the SEC East and SEC West respectively. That means they are now predicted to face each other in the SEC Championship. If Georgia, considered the best team in the country according to an AP poll and coaches, plus CFP rankings, prove they are the better team on the field, then Alabama will have two losses and one The team that lost two matches still can’t draw. playoff game.

A second loss to the Crimson Tide is likely a chance for Cincinnati to climb into the top four.

Another opportunity for Cincinnati lies in the fact that the Big Ten trio is currently in the top 10. Ohio State No. 4 still has to play against No. 6 Michigan and No. 7 Michigan State, and each team lost 1 game, meaning that at least one of the Buckeyes, Wolverines or Sparta is guaranteed second regular season loss. It’s likely that two of those three teams will have at least two losses, if Ohio State wins at least one of those games and a second loss would likely end any of those teams’ playoff hopes. , based on past CFP rankings.

Ohio State closes out its regular season with three ranked opponents: 19 Purdue, No 7 Michigan State and a road game at No 6 Michigan, after which it will likely have to beat a fourth-placed opponent. consecutively if they win the Big Ten championship. . Cincinnati fans should be hoping for one more comeback from Buckeye against a ranked opponent, as they are held to a 0-1 draw by current ranked opponent (Oregon); even so, Ohio State beat a Minnesota team in Week 1 in the CFP rankings in Week 10 and a Penn State team ranked in the AP poll at the time.

However, keep an eye on Oklahoma (State)

As detailed above, for Cincinnati to qualify for the playoffs, it not only has to get ahead of at least one of the four teams currently above the Bearcats, but it also has to get ahead of every other team currently. behind them (for example, if Ohio State falls in the CFP rankings by theoretically losing to Michigan State, then Cincinnati can’t afford Michigan State to jump Cincinnati in the rankings).

As mentioned earlier, there are four undefeated teams left in the country: No. 1 Georgia, No. 5 Cincinnati, No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 23 UTSA. The Sooners could represent a pitfall for Cincinnati.

While the selection committee clearly has its reservations about both teams, as both are undefeated, both are placed outside the top four, trailing so many one-loss teams, schedule The Sooners’ upcoming showdown offers them more chances to win the top 25 than the Bearcats’ schedule. Cincinnati ends the regular season with a road game in South Florida, a home date with SMU and another road game in East Carolina.

Houston, at 8-1 and in first place in the conference with a 6-0 record in the AAC game, is not currently ranked in the CFP standings, so even Cincinnati’s predicted opponent in a potential AAC Championship match also doesn’t necessarily provide the Bearcats with a top 25 win.

Oklahoma still had to face No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 13 Baylor State and Iowa State, the latter of which, although not ranked, were qualified to compete badly. Those teams are also sitting in second to fourth in the game, so if Oklahoma can get through that stretch unscathed, then beat one of those teams in a rematch in the Big 12 Championship, then Cincinnati will have 25 more wins in the top. , dam No. 9 Notre Dame on the road.

Oklahoma State, in second place in the Big 12, is the game’s only loser and it still has to play an Oklahoma No. 8, so if the Cowboys run the group to win the conference championship with a 12-1 record, then it could pose the same threat to Cincinnati as Oklahoma.

Cincinnati College Football League standings history

Through Week 11 of the 2021 College Football League rankings, Cincinnati has been ranked 14 out of 44 versions of the CFP rankings, which is ranked 31st nationally.

Here’s where Cincinnati finished in the CFP rankings in the playoff era:

  • 2014: NR
  • 2015: NR
  • 2016: NR
  • 2017: NR
  • 2018: NR
  • 2019: number 21
  • 2020: number 9 | Here’s How Cincinnati Could Make it to the College Football Qualifiers

Curtis Crabtree

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