The college football world is ready to coronate the four teams who will participate in the upcoming College Football Playoff. The No. 21 ranked Houston Cougars can shake up the College Football Playoff with an upset win over No. 4 Cincinnati at the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Saturday.
With a win on Saturday, the Cincinnati Bearcats are almost guaranteed a spot in the Playoff. If the Bearcats are selected as one of the top four teams, they will become the first-ever Group of Five school to play in the College Football Playoff. Houston is in an interesting spot because they surely want to be the AAC Champion, but they will prevent a fellow Group of Five school from winning a national championship if they upset the Bearcats.
While it is important to have more representation in the Playoff, any competitor would not want to be the reason why the first Group of Five school is in the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats are getting all of the national spotlight, but the Cougars are having a terrific season.
— Houston Football (@UHCougarFB) November 30, 2021
Heading into Saturday’s championship game at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, the Houston Cougars sport an impressive 11-1 record. After losing their season opener against Texas Tech, the Cougars have mounted an 11-game winning streak to close out the regular season.
This game comes down to Houston wanting to play spoiler, which would almost assure a New Year’s Six bowl game appearance for Houston. The main difference in this game is that it is not a multi-loss team trying to punch up in weight to take down the best team in their conference. That is not the case at all. This is a high noon showdown at the O.K. Corral. Houston has the personnel to upset the applecart in Cincinnati.
Quarterback Clayton Tune has performed at a high level during the entire season. He has thrown for 3,013 yards with a TD-INT rate of 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
— Houston Football (@UHCougarFB) December 1, 2021
Tune’s play has elevated Houston’s offense as of late because the Cougars have scored a minimum of 40 points in seven games. The Cougars rely on their potent offense and they will need that offense to play at a high level against Luke Fickell’s defense.
There is a very good chance that this game will wind up being a shoot-out that ends with each team having points in the 40s. For a positive defensive note, East Carolina intercepted Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder twice on Friday, Nov. 26. There is a good chance that Houston’s defense could force Ridder into uncomfortable situations.
This is a massive moment for Houston to steal the shine away from the Bearcats. Will this be a difficult game for the Cougars? Absolutely. The Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked No. 4 in the country for a reason and earned their way into the College Football Playoff picture heading into conference championship weekend.
As great as the Bearcats are, the Cougars cannot be overlooked in this scenario. By far, Houston is the toughest conference opponent for Cincinnati this season. The Cougars are the last obstacle in the way of the Cincinnati Bearcats reaching the College Football Playoff. Do not sleep on the Cougars’ chances to win the AAC Championship.