Well, it didn’t take very long for Desmond Howard to make his first bold prediction of the year. On Saturday morning, the ESPN analyst revealed which “sleeper team” he sees making the College Football Playoff.
Fans should expect the Playoff to look a bit different this season since the Big Ten and Pac-12 aren’t playing football this fall. This means we should see a representation from the ACC, Big 12 and SEC.
While most analysts are picking a second program from the SEC to grab the fourth and final playoff spot, Howard is actually going with a team from the Group of Five.
“I have Clemson, Oklahoma, Alabama and the sleeper is Cincinnati out of the Group of Five,” Howard said on College GameDay.
Desmond Howard’s sleeper team to make the Playoff is…
The Cincinnati Bearcats pic.twitter.com/QVkXAAxClX
— Barstool Cincinnati (@UCBarstool) September 5, 2020
Cincinnati making the Playoff would be quite the accomplishment for the American Athletic Conference. It would also solidify Luke Fickell’s status as one of the best coaches in the country.
If the Bearcats are going to make a postseason run, they’ll most likely need to finish the regular season undefeated.
The current schedule for Cincinnati consists of showdowns with Army, Austin Peay, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulsa and UCF.
History has taught us that Group of Five teams that make a New Year’s Six appearance usually have a dynamic quarterback. Desmond Ridder showed flashes of being a dynamic playmaker for Cincinnati in 2019, throwing for 2,164 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Ridder and the Bearcats will begin their 2020 season in two weeks from today.