CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati experienced the highs and lows of life outside of college football’s “Power 5” in a 24-hour span this past weekend.
The then-sixth-ranked Bearcats improved to 6-0 after a 38-10 victory over Houston at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. By Sunday, though, all that was apparently forgotten. Despite their win and two teams above them in the AP Poll losing, the Bearcats fell a spot in the polls.
It revealed an ugly truth about college football and its postseason – only certain programs from certain conferences are deemed worthy of the four-team playoff. UC and the other teams in the American Athletic Conference, have an uphill battle to climb every year. But even if they reach the summit, a glass ceiling awaits them.
Head coach Luke Fickell stopped short of openly campaigning for UC’s inclusion – there are four more regular-season games remaining in the season. Yet he feels UC, or some other school without blueblood status, will reach the final four at some point.
“Things have to fall in place, at some time it will happen,” Fickell said. “Every year it seems one team might make it. Doesn’t matter which conference they’re from. I personally don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Remains to be seen. All you’re asking for is a chance.”
Bearcats senior running back Gerrid Doaks ran free Saturday against he Cougars, finishing with a career-high 184 rushing yards. He thinks the Bearcats' resume is enough to warrant inclusion, no question about it.
“Why not us?” Doaks asked after beating Houston. “We put in the same hard work these other teams do. Why not get a shot?”
UC will get another shot toward an undefeated season at 7:30 p.m. Friday against East Carolina University.