Future Big 12 member Cincinnati makes College Football Playoff

Gold and Blue Nation

Bearcats to take on Nick Saban and Alabama in one of CFP semifinal games.

Cincinnati’s Bryon Threats (10) celebrates after defeating Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Cincinnati and three other teams will join the Big 12 Conference. The Bearcats are slated to join no later than the start of the 2024-2025 academic year.

On Sunday, Cincinnati accomplished something that only Oklahoma has done amongst current Big 12 members — make the College Football Playoff.

Luke Fickell’s group is the only undefeated team in college football at the FBS level. The Bearcats ran the table, and enter the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed.

Cincinnati (13-0) will take on No. 1 Alabama (12-1) in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 31 in Arlington, Texas.

Cincinnati had a pair of marquee wins this season.

The first game was early in the year, as the Bearcats went on the road and defeated Notre Dame. The second came on Saturday, as Cincinnati defeated Houston by 15 in the AAC Football Championship game.

Houston is also a future-Big 12 member.

Alabama has won three national championships in the College Football Playoff era, and played in two other CFP title games. The Crimson Tide, coached my Marion County native Nick Saban, are the defending champions and are coming off a 17-point win over Georgia in the SEC title game.

Cincinnati is the first Group of 5 program to make the College Football Playoff.

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