Measuring outrage for Bearcats

by Gary Shelton on November 3, 2021

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Everyone loves Spartacus, right? Everyone wants to dance with Cinderella.

As a rule, we love underdogs. We root for the silent killers, the teams that come from nowhere and upset the powerhouses. We want David. We want Rudy.

So forgive me for feeling like this, but I'm having a hard time mustering up my outrage in the name of the Cincinnati Bearcats.

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I get it. You're tired of seeing Alabama get the best recruits in the nation and rolling to another national title game. You've seen your fill of Clemson and Oklahoma. You'd like someone new, someone fresh, kids from nowhere. But in this came, the dream is better than the team.

Look, you don't win an Olympic medal by swimming in the kiddie pool. Yes, Cincinnati beat Notre Dame (not a huge deal anymore), but they also beat Murray State, Tulane and Tulsa. Is that the road to winning a national championship?

Picture this. Cincinnati has to play against Georgia Saturday. How are you going to bet? Against Michigan State? Alabama? Oklahoma? Say what you want, but the playoffs are still about being the best team in the country. I don't see that in Cincinnati.

So I wasn't offended when the College Football Playoff rankings came out, and the Bearcats were only sixth. Hey, sixth is terrific. Sixth in the country is a monumental achievement.

Across the national, however, voices are screaming in defense of Cincinnati, which is the latest example that the teeny-tinies won't win the national title. It's not their fault that they haven't yet joined a super-conference, after all.

But here's my beef with Cincinnati. Aside from Notre Dame, who did they play who could have beaten them. UCF, if it hadn't been banged up?

There are people who would place Cincinnati ahead of the Alabama. But Alabama still has to play LSU, Auburn and -- in the SEC title game -- Georgia. I'd bet on all three of those teams to beat Cincinnati.

If Alabama wins all three of those games, it should be in the playoffs. If it doesn't, it shouldn't.

Go ahead. Disagree with me. It's been done before. But all undefeated teams are not created equal.

My top four? At this point, I'd rate Georgia, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Alabama. And pat of the reason is this: Michigan State still has to play Ohio State and Penn State. Oklahoma plays Oklahoma State and Baylor.

In other words, it isn't just how much you've won. It's what you've done.

For the Bearcats, I think a great season is possible. A championship season? Not so much.

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