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Bearcats make historic rise in College Football Playoff rankings

UC joins heavyweights Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama in the Top 4.
Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant (7) plays during the second half of an NCAA college...
Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant (7) plays during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)(Jeff Dean | AP)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:16 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0) are in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time.

UC comes in at No. 4—one spot ahead of last week—in the fourth CFP rankings announced Tuesday night. Full rankings below.

It’s the highest-ever ranking for a so-called “Group of Five” team in the playoff era.

If the season ended today, the Bearcats would face Georgia on Dec. 31.

College Football Playoff Rankings

The Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0) are in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time. FOX19's Joe Danneman on what that means and where UC goes from here https://bit.ly/3nJDq0C

Posted by FOX19 on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

But it isn’t necessarily a “win and in” scenario for the Bearcats.

In 2014, the Playoff Committee had Ohio State ranked behind No. 3 TCU in the penultimate rankings. TCU was idle that week, while Ohio State downed Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big10 Conference Championship Game. The final rankings put Ohio State in the playoffs (which they would win) and left TCU out in the cold.

The biggest challenge to the Bearcats figures to come to be the winner of Bedlam on Saturday... No. 10 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State.

Previous CFP Committees have been reluctant to put Group of Five teams in the top ten, much less the top four, and this iteration could maintain that preference by favoring a one-loss Power Five conference champion.

CFP Rankings Top 10:

  • 1. Georgia (11-0)
  • 2. Ohio State (9-1)
  • 3. Alabama (10-1)
  • 4. Cincinnati (11-0)
  • 5. Michigan (10-1)
  • 6. Notre Dame (10-1)
  • 7. Oklahoma State (10-1)
  • 8. Baylor (9-2)
  • 9. Ole Miss (9-2)
  • 10. Oklahoma (10-1)

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