Can Cincinnati make a real College Football Playoff run?

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An undefeated Cincinnati was forged aside by the College Soccer Playoff assortment committee a year in the past. As the Bearcats head into a crucial two-match street extend at Indiana and at Notre Dame, it has us wondering: Do they have a shot, this 12 months, to be the to start with Group of 5 group to operate its way into the playoff?

The short solution is the Allstate Playoff Predictor suggests … it is really very unlikely (sorry Bearcats enthusiasts). Just a 3% opportunity. But you can find a lengthy respond to here, much too, with probably a little far more hope for Desmond Ridder die-hards if they squint at the agenda just ideal. For the reason that a big part of Playoff Predictor’s skepticism listed here has to do with the point that it just won’t feel the Bearcats are quite possible to get out.

Cincinnati is good, absolutely sure — but 21st-greatest-staff-in-the-region fantastic, in accordance to FPI. That is not precisely playoff-caliber on the surface. And when the Bearcats’ routine is not especially rough, it does comprise 3 online games from leading-40 FPI teams (Notre Dame, Indiana, UCF) and 4 versus best-50 teams (Tulane). The probability that Cincinnati wins out is, well, 3%. Due to rounding it seems the identical as its prospect to reach the playoff, but it is not: If the Bearcats do acquire out, and do get their convention championship, they would have a 61% chance to access the playoff. That’s really not bad!

To get there, the Bearcats have to have to possibly get very lucky the rest of the way, or flip out to be much better than we assume they are. But in worlds the place they finish up 13-, they almost certainly are greater than we feel they are.

In the long run, to be frank, we are chatting about the longest of pictures. The Bearcats could buck the trend, but the odds favor them ending up like every other Team of 5 playoff hopeful: on the exterior hunting in.

What if Cincinnati had been in the Huge 12 correct now?

Yeah, what if? Is it the AAC that’s holding Cincinnati back? Or Cincinnati by itself? To check out to response this question we flipped Cincinnati and Texas Tech (sorry, Red Raiders) and simulated the season — offering every workforce the other’s routine.

1 Connected

We simulated as if it were the preseason but utilized present-day FPI rankings — essential, due to the fact Cincinnati has increased its standing in FPI’s thoughts therefore much — and in comparison the benefits of Cincinnati if it were being in the Significant 12 and the AAC.

The Bearcats had a 3% preseason opportunity to achieve the playoffs in the AAC, and just a .9% prospect in the Large 12. The truth is the Big 12 program they would get is drastically extra challenging than the latest schedule they face.

How would the realigned Major 12 examine?

Cincinnati quickly will be in the Major 12. But how will that Massive 12 convention stack up? It can be a minor tough to get a distinct look at into the crystal ball that significantly in progress, but we took a stab: We moved UCF, Cincinnati, BYU and Houston to the Big 12 and shifted Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC, and then compared FPI rankings for the “new conferences.”

In listed here you can find some superior information for the Massive 12: Even without the need of OU and Texas, it would be the fourth-best convention appropriate now in conditions of common FPI ranking at the rear of the SEC, Significant 10 and ACC but crucially in advance of the Pac-12. The American would keep on being the sixth-finest conference.

Of training course, 1 12 months would not usually notify the full story, so we seemed back at the prior a few seasons. The new-glimpse Significant 12 would’ve rated fifth in regular FPI rating among the the conferences, fourth in 2019 and even third in 2020 (ahead of the ACC and Pac-12).

Conference Average FPI Common FPI Rank
SEC 10. 29.9
Significant 10 7.6 35.9
ACC 6. 43.9
Major 12 3.6 48.9
Pac-12 2.9 54.
American Athletic -5.6 82.3
Sun Belt -6.3 88.
Mountain West -6.7 90.3
Conference United states of america -8.3 96.6
MAC -9.3 97.3
FBS Independents -11.8 90.7

Lauren Poe contributed to this post.