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Bearcats Climb to No. 3 in Latest AP Poll

Temple v Cincinnati Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

A 52-3 triumph over Temple. A No. 3 vs. No. 4 matchup evening matchup. A primetime game that saw Alabama lose at the hands of unranked Texas A&M on a game-winning field goal.

No, this past weekend was not the greatest in Cincinnati Bearcats football history. Yes, it was certainly up there.

Cincinnati Reaches No. 3 in AP Poll

The Cincinnati Bearcats moved to their highest ranking in the program’s tenure — No. 3 — thanks to an unprecedented weekend of college football.

Friday started off with a blowout win in what an assortment of pundits expected to be an essential trap game for UC. The Bearcats racked in a dominating win at home in the Nip’ against the Temple Owls after Desmond Ridder and Jerome Ford commanded a spectacle of an offensive performance from the Bearcats.

The game was followed by a Saturday full of upsets, game-winning field goal tries and top-ranked defeats alike, with UC now slated to be the first group of five team ever inside the top four in the college football playoff era. Only a select few non-autonomy conference schools — Boise State, TCU and Utah — have managed to match that ranking.

College Football AP Top 25

  1. Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Iowa Hawkeyes
  3. Cincinnati Bearcats
  4. Oklahoma Sooners
  5. Alabama Crimson Tide
  6. Ohio State Buckeyes
  7. Penn State Nittany Lions
  8. Michigan Wolverines
  9. Oregon Ducks
  10. Michigan State Spartans

Full AP Top 25

Top 25 Overview

Georgia and Iowa both moved up one spot over the weekend thanks to Texas A&M’s last second upset over Alabama. Penn State also dropped a game, so Cincinnati and Oklahoma joined the top four.

Alabama and Oregon both remain in the top 10 despite recent defeats to unranked teams, although the biggest headline undoubtedly goes to the Big Ten. The conference currently owns a whopping five of the top ten spots within the AP rankings.

Down the Drive’s College Football Rankings

Ryan Randone

  1. Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Iowa Hawkeyes
  3. Cincinnati Bearcats
  4. Michigan Wolverines
  5. Ohio State Buckeyes
  6. Penn State Nittany Lions
  7. Kentucky Wildcats
  8. Oklahoma Sooners
  9. Alabama Crimson Tide
  10. Oregon Ducks

Clayton Trutor

  1. Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Cincinnati Bearcats
  3. Oklahoma Sooners
  4. Iowa Hawkeyes
  5. Alabama Crimson Tide
  6. Michigan State Spartans
  7. Michigan Wolverines
  8. Oregon Ducks
  9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  10. Ohio State Buckeyes

Overview

Perhaps the stark differences in the two rankings listed above were meant to be. No team (with the exception of Georgia) seems to be vastly superior than that of their counterparts.

The Big Ten looks wide open, Alabama is human again and programs like Michigan State and Kentucky could very well be either contenders or pretenders. Heck if Sean Clifford doesn’t go down against Iowa, if Texas could tackle, or if Nebraska had the competency to finish a game, things would be shaping up very differently. The key word in all those those statements being “if.”

Consensus? It’s a season of if’s, and any given team in either top ten can make a push on any given day.

Down the Drive’s College Football Playoff Predictions

Ryan Randone

Capital One Orange Bowl: Georgia (1) vs. Iowa (4)

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Ohio State (2) vs. Cincinnati (3)

Clayton Trutor

Capital One Orange Bowl: Alabama (1) vs. Oregon (4)

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Oklahoma (2) vs. Cincinnati (3)

Overview

Again, these scenarios play out very differently. We each have Cincinnati in perfect position, but aside from that it’s open season.

The SEC champion leads both brackets as the #1 seed respectively. One of those has the current top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs leading the way. The other, Alabama.

Assuming the Crimson Tide win out, it’s safe to say they would still be an essential lock for the playoff as a one-loss SEC champion. The question is if they can pull that off with a team as strong as Georgia standing in their way.

Our other two picks are from totally different conferences all around. The first scenario has an undefeated Iowa losing in the Big Ten championship game to a one-loss Ohio State. That would be grounds for the possibility of not one, but rather two teams from the conference joining in on the fun.

The contending picture sees the Big Ten beating itself up to the point of which no team from the conference advances. Instead, the Big 12 and Pac 12 likely champions (Oklahoma and Oregon) edge out their Big Ten counterparts for those two spots.