College football fans will always want to cheer for an underdog. As Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State continue to dominate their respective conferences, everyone watches with baited breath, hoping for a non-powerhouse to put some pressure on the sport’s elite.
In a bizarre and unprecedented 2020 season, it’s possible that fans might get to see two of the most talented but underrated programs go head-to-head. That’s right, No. 7 Cincinnati vs. No. 8 BYU might be on the table.
Earlier on Friday, Associated Press football writer Ralph D. Russo tweeted out that both undefeated teams have Dec. 5 free, after schedules have been moved and altered throughout the year. Naturally, that got college football fans and media members thinking.
Why not pit Cincinnati against BYU to showcase the two best non-Power 5 teams in the country?
Here’s just a few college football writers that weighed in on pairing the two teams together:
No. 7 Cincinnati v No. 8 BYU on December 5 needs to happen. Incredible opportunity to showcase each program and make a statement for playoff inclusion. https://t.co/dcPrSZkDUQ
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 20, 2020
Oh man, they've got to make that happen. https://t.co/sqn4zooAu1
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 20, 2020
I believe this is the most straightforward route to the Playoff for BYU or Cincinnati:
-They both win out
-They play on 12/5
-Clemson loses to ND in the ACC Championship
-Bama beats Florida
Then you'd have Bama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and whoever wins BYU/Cincinnati
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 20, 2020
A game between the Bearcats and the Cougars would be the ultimate dream for college football fans. Although it’s unclear if the idea can become reality, there doesn’t seem to be many negatives for letting the two teams play in early December.
The best argument for allowing the two teams to play involves getting the winner of the game into the College Football Playoff. Without non-conference games for most programs this season, neither team has developed a very difficult schedule, making it incredibly difficult to garner the respect of the committee. However, playing one another boosts each team’s résumé.
No. 7 Cincinnati has dominated their opponents this season, winning every game by 14 points or more. The Bearcats boast victories over Army, SMU and Houston with a ranked match-up against Tulsa still on the horizon. The team’s defense has allowed just 57 points in seven games this season.
On the other hand, BYU touts a high-powered offense. Behind Heisman Trophy candidate Zach Wilson, the Cougars have scored 43 points or more in seven of their eight games this year.
While the Dec. 5 weekend remains up in the air, both teams will be in action this weekend. Cincinnati travels to UCF, while BYU will play at home against North Alabama.