Cincinnati's playoff odds continue to rise

College football week 6 was wild and made a weird season even stranger. Texas A&M handed Alabama their first loss to an unranked team for the first time in 100 games, Oklahoma made a quarterback change for an incredible comeback win over Texas and Iowa overtook Penn State in a Top 4 game.

The only thing fans can expect in college football is the unexpected, and with so much chaos throughout the first half of the season, that’s certainly true. And since traditional college football playoff contenders – like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Notre Dame – already have at least one loss on their schedule, that only means one thing.

It’s time for Cincinnati to shine.

The Bearcats are 5-0 right now with a win over No. 9 Notre Dame on their CV. They entered Week 6 with a 31.9% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, according to projections from ESPN’s Football Power Index, and were in fifth place on that list, behind Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Michigan, respectively.

And after Cincinnati clubbed Temple last weekend as the Crimson Tide lost and the Sooners and Wolverines had tight calls, their college football playoff odds jumped a lot. And now he’s in the top 4 teams with the best playoff shot, according to ESPN’s FPI.

The Bearcats are climbing and now have a 45.4 percent chance, good for the fourth-best in the country as they traded places with the Wolverines. If they can win – which they have a 43.2 percent chance of doing with just one ranked team remaining on their schedule in No.23 SMU – they could be the top team in the Group-5 in the playoffs.

Usual suspects of college football playoff loss early in this season have opened the door for Luke Fickell’s talented side in Cincinnati – led by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Desmond Ridder and with a 41.0 average. points per game, ninth among FBS teams. The Bearcats are also third in points allowed per game at 12.2.

As our college football series, Before The Snap, noted previously, UCF walked a few years ago so that Cincinnati could run and have a very realistic playoff chance. And if the playoff teams were announced today, the Bearcats would be in the game, and that could be a good thing for college football.

Here’s a look at which teams have the best chances of making the college football qualifiers ahead of Week 7, according to ESPN’s FPI on Thursday.

Georgia Bulldogs (6-0)
Qualifiers: 90.7 percent
National Championship Match: 67.1 percent
Win the championship: 45,6% 2. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0)
Qualifiers: 58.3 percent
National Championship Match: 25.1 percent
Win the championship: 8,9 pour cent 3. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1)
Qualifiers: 53,9%
National Championship Match: 35.2 percent
Win the championship: 18.3 percent 4. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0)
Qualifiers: 45.4 percent
National Championship Match: 13.8 percent
Win the championship: 5.0 percent 5. Michigan Wolverines (6-0)
Qualifiers: 41.0 percent
National Championship Match: 16.9 percent
Win the championship: 5,9 pour cent 6. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1)
Qualifiers: 37.6 percent
National Championship Match: 20.5 percent
Win the championship: 9,7 pour cent 7. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0)
Qualifiers: 25.1 percent
National Championship Match: 7.5 percent
Win the championship: 2.4 percent 8. Michigan State Spartans (6-0)
Qualifiers: 8.4 percent
National Championship Match: 2.2 percent
Win the championship: 0.7 percent 9. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-1)
Qualifiers: 7.5 percent
National Championship Match: 2.4 percent
Win the championship: 0.8 percent 10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1)
Qualifiers: 6.7 percent
National Championship Match: 1.5 percent
Win the championship: 0.5 percent

Some hopeful playoff teams that made the top 10 include: Penn State (4.6% chance of qualifying for the playoffs), Clemson (4.5%), Texas (3.9 %) and Oregon (3.8%).

The coolest lines in college football, week 7: MACtion, DACOACHO, and… well, bet on Nebraska

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