The College Football Playoff committee is on the verge of doing everything possible to keep the likes of Cincinnati out.
After Zach Wilson and BYU fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats and the undefeated Coastal Carolina Chanticleers had the best chance of becoming the first Group-of-5 teams to make it into the College Football Playoff. However, based on the most recent rankings from the committee, an anti-Group-of-5 precedent is on the verge of being set which would bar non-Power 5 teams from ever making it into the playoff.
Cincinnati ranked just ninth in the latest rankings, behind three two-loss teams in Iowa State, Florida, and Georgia. Coastal ranked just 12th, behind two-loss Oklahoma and Indiana.
This could be a perfect year to put a Group of Five team, like Cincinnati, in the playoff, or at least in the top six
The Bearcats play in the AAC, widely regarded as the strongest Group of Five conferences. With a stingy defense and a future pro quarterback in Desmond Ridder, the Bearcats would be an enticing opponent for any Power 5 school. However, the committee seems to think a Florida team that lost to a three-win team with a true freshman quarterback was a provably better team, which is almost devoid of logic.
Coastal ran the table this season, even managing to knock off a future first-round pick in Wilson. Despite all of this, the committee isn’t going to give them the time of day when it comes time to rank them.
The Bearcats and Chanticleers have every right to be completely irate with the committee. Not putting them in the top four is fair enough, but refusing to move them up in the rankings can be taken as the committee essentially saying that no Group-of-5 team will ever make it to the playoff.