Joel Klatt explains why Cincinnati should still be nervous despite sitting at No. 4 in the CFP rankings
Joel Klatt has been critical of the College Football Playoff selection committee for most of this season. To be fair to the FOX broadcaster, most have been right there alongside him.
But many believe Tuesday night was a win for parity. Cincinnati, unbeaten at 11-0, made its official debut inside the top 4, marking the first time a Group of 5 program has been ranked inside the top 4 since the CFP’s inception.
The Bearcats have a regular-season game to play, and an American championship game waiting. If they remain undefeated, it would seem they have a good shot at getting into the 4-team field.
Not so fast, Klatt cautioned Wednesday night.
"I would just caution everybody. Cincinnati being number four right now doesn't really matter."@joelklatt reacts to Tuesday's CFP Rankings and previews the biggest rivalry games of the weekend ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/QYafCLM7tu
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 25, 2021
“I would just caution everybody that Cincinnati being at No. 4 right now doesn’t really matter,” Klatt said. “If you remember the first iteration of this playoff in the very first year, TCU was in the top 4, won their last game by, I believe, 50 points”—55-3 over Iowa State—”and was dropped out of the top 4 as Ohio State won the Big Ten championship and went to the Playoff and won the eventual national championship.
“So I really don’t care what they gave us so far. Cincinnati, I think you should be nervous until they don’t include the Big 12 champion, in particular if that champion was only a 1-loss team. You should be nervous until they don’t include a 2-loss Alabama. All of those scenarios have got to be floated out there because you just don’t know with this committee. You just don’t know.”
The 4th-ranked Bearcats might be able to remove any doubt with a drubbing of East Carolina in their finale on Friday. The Pirates are 7-4 and hosting Cincinnati. The Bearcats will look to do to ECU what it did to SMU last weekend in a 48-14 win the selection committee said was impressive. Kick-off between Cincy and East Carolina is at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.