Cincinnati football could be the first group of five program to ever reach the CFB Playoff and after another win, the Bearcats control their destiny.
There were some interesting college football games on Friday in Week 13 but the one that really mattered was between Cincinnati football and East Carolina.
Iowa kept itself alive in the Big Ten West with a 28-21 win over Nebraska and Washington State still has a chance to win the Pac-12 North with a win in the Apple Cup Friday night, but Cincinnati football was the team to watch and we all know why.
The Bearcats are ranked fourth in the latest CFB Playoff rankings and after an impressive win on the road against a 7-5 East Carolina team, Cincinnati should control its own destiny.
Cincinnati was down 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, but quickly quelled any notion of an upset with 21 points in the third quarter of what ended up as a 35-13 win.
Yes, it’s the American Conference but the committee values road wins against teams with winning records and the Bearcats didn’t give anyone a reason to doubt them that already didn’t.
Desmond Ridder threw two touchdowns and the defense did its thing. Houston awaits Luke Fickell’s team next week but if Cincinnati wins that game, it’s worth asking, can anyone outside the top four catch the Bearcats?
Is it win and in next week for Cincinnati?
The CFB Playoff rankings don’t have to make sense. Michigan was ahead of Michigan State despite a loss and remember when the committee dropped TCU out of the top four when its final game was like a 50-point win?
Strange things happen and as some have pointed out, Oklahoma State or Oklahoma out of the Big 12 could give the Bearcats something to worry about.
Both teams have one loss and are each ranked in the top 10. The Sooners are 10th and the Cowboys are 7th. But Oklahoma State has a chance to get a pair of quality wins back-to-back if its beats OU and then potentially Baylor for the Big 12 title.
That would get the Cowboys to 12-1 and give them two very strong wins to close out the season plus the Big 12 championship.
Oklahoma would need to beat Oklahoma State twice in a row including once on the road to get to 12-1 but if that happens, the Sooners will be looking good too.
The playoff committee does have three Big 12 teams ranked in the top 10, but there are two from the American in the top 20, so it’s hard to see either jumping the Bearcats.
But just to be safe, Cincinnati would do well to win convincingly next Saturday in the American championship game.