- College football reporter
- Joined ESPN.com in 2007
- Graduate of Indiana University
GRAPEVINE, Texas — Undefeated Cincinnati is teetering on the brink of history, but whether the Bearcats become the first Group of 5 team to be ranked in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s top four on Tuesday (7 p.m., ESPN and ESPN App) is out of their control.
The committee has never ranked a Group of 5 team higher than No. 7, which was Cincinnati’s ceiling last year, before ultimately finishing No. 8 with a 9-0 record.
Collectively, this committee — which includes five Power 5 athletic directors and two Group of 5 ADs — might have the most controversial season to untangle. And it’s all being played out as the leaders of the sport are in the midst of exploring a 12-team format. Will the Group of 5 need an expanded format to participate? Or is this the year it cracks the code?
There’s no bigger question facing the selection committee this week than where the Bearcats are ranked. It’s hardly the only one, though.
1. Is Cincinnati’s win against Notre Dame enough for a top-four spot?
Cincinnati is one of six undefeated teams left in the FBS, and while the Bearcats have been snubbed before, so many top teams have tumbled that there is a more realistic chance for Cincy to at least start November as a top-four team.
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