Since 2014 the College Football Playoff Committee has gone every year with the same unsaid message, if you’re a member of the Group Of Five, you will never be able to sit at the Playoff table no matter how good you are or how spectacular your resume is. We saw evidence of this on Tuesday night as the Playoff Committee once again left an undefeated member of the AAC and an undefeated school out of the Conference USA. For the member of the AAC, every other poll that College Football has on the book has this team ranked second in the country, but not the Playoff Committee. They decided that having household programs such as Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, and Michigan State in the Top Five was more valuable than welcoming a team in Cincinnati that is more deserving than every team in front of them with the expectation of Georgia.
Not only did the Playoff Committee send a loud message to Cincinnati on Tuesday night, but also to UTSA out of the Conference USA, who, like Cincinnati, is ranked high in the AP and Coaches Poll, but was left out of the rankings altogether on Tuesday night. UTSA is undefeated like Cincinnati, and on film, they’re one of the most explosive and energetic teams in College Football. Leaving a team like UTSA out of the College Football Playoff Top 25 makes it all that much harder for that program to earn a spot in a New Years Six Bowl Game. No matter if UTSA wins out, their odds of playing in a program-changing bowl game on New Year’s Day are all but shot.
For Cincinnati, the number six rankings are not only a slap in the face to Luke Fickell and his team, but it also proves yet again the College Football Playoff is more about pleasing the elite and lining their pockets with money. No matter what the Bearcats do the rest of the season, it will be a sheer College Football miracle if the Bearcats are awarded a bid to the College Football Playoff. It’s a shame because Luke Fickell has himself a dang good football team that is deserving of respect and should be given the chance to prove themselves once and for all. If Cincinnati folds on the big stage, then okay, keep the G5 out of it next year, but the College Football Playoff was founded to provide fans with the best four teams in College Football competing for a Championship.
It all comes down to the committee not having respect for the G5. When you blindly compare the resumes of Michigan State, Ohio State, and Cincinnati, the Bearcats have the better overall body of work to this point. Ohio State has more opportunities for bigger wins as the season plays out, but Cincinnati, to this point, has the better resume. But, there’s still a lot of football to be played, and there is a path for the Bearcats to sneak in and completely shock the entire College Football world.
As far as a fix goes, it’s hard to say what will fix the current situation or if it can even be fixed, but expanding the College Football Playoff might be the only thing that could save the G5 from entirely being left out of the College Football landscape as a whole. Luckily for Cincinnati, in a short few years, they will have the chance to compete with big boys in the Big 12. Then and only then will Cincinnati truly be able to have the chance to rightfully compete for a College Football National Championship.