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Cincinnati Bearcats Among Most Experienced Teams in College Football

Phil Steele's "Two Deep Class Breakdown" is out and says what we already knew... the Bearcats are experienced.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Steele is a bit of a college football guru and among his numerous rankings and ratings, he also provides the common fan with an "experience chart". It is based on a rating system that awards teams points for their upperclassmen, particularly those who are returning starters.

The chart itself should be taken with a grain of salt. Experience is very valuable, but obviously isn't the only factor in a team's success. After all, many of the most talented teams in the nation lose early-entrants to the NFL Draft, which would impact their placement on this list.

Still, it is telling to see a team like Cincinnati appear on this list. With the litany of injuries the Bearcats confronted last season, there is a lot of depth from players who have seen the field in some capacity. There are still questions for the Bearcats defensively and experience isn't everything, but it's nice to see Cincinnati appear high on the list.

As for the rest of the AAC, newly added Navy leads the way, ranking second on the list. However, that isn't really much of a surprise for a military academy that normally sees their athletes through their senior years. Cincinnati is tied at 11th with East Carolina and Memphis appearing 21st and 25th, respectively.

Here's Steele's criteria:

I awarded 3 points for every senior starter (2.5 for every additional senior in the two deep) 2 points for every junior starter (1.5 for every additional junior in the two deep) 1 point for a sophomore starter (0.5 for every additional soph in the two deep) then subtracted 1 point for every frosh starter and .5 for every frosh in the two deep. The total points column uses that formula to figure out the points awarded to a team. The number before the team is where they came up in my overall ranking of all the teams in the NCAA.

Be sure to check out the full rankings here.

Phil Steele's Experience Chart