Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the possibility of undefeated BYU and undefeated Cincinnati playing on Dec. 5 for a shot to get into the College Football Playoff.
DAN WETZEL: An interesting thing has emerged-- due to some cancelations, Cincinnati now does not have a game on the 5th. I'm expecting Cincinnati to come in about 6th or 7th in the poll. And I think BYU will be about maybe 7 or 8-- we'll see. BYU has no game on December 5, Cincinnati has no game on December 5.
Should Cincinnati and BYU schedule a game for December 5-- home, away, neutral, whatever they want to do-- and create a top-10 match-up and a chance to make a statement that I think would be a lot higher than, like, Clemson's, because who's Clemson beaten? Or a lot of teams-- who's-- you know, you would have a potential great win on your schedule. And it would also be this showcase game for their programs, and excite-- it's not just about the playoff-- a really exciting game for their fans and their teams, a lot of media attention, all the stuff you're trying to do.
It's laying right there. Schedule the game. Or is the risk of getting knocked out of the group of six game and that payday too much that you can't afford it? And that's a disappointing aspect to this. I find it to be a fascinating thing-- should Cincinnati and BYU play or is that that, like, irresponsible in a fiduciary manner, for the Bearcats particularly? Pat.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, I would love to see it. I think, you know, both of them would need to recognize the situation for what it is-- at least as, as you said, as we anticipate it being-- they're both on the outside looking in, and there are both probably enough roadblocks that will keep them on the outside looking in even if they go undefeated.
So what's the one thing that could get them over the hump? One more big win. So yeah, you play each other with the acknowledgment, OK, somebody is going to lose. And so you're taking some risk there, and you are playing a good team. But I think it would be great. I think that, yeah, they would need it, and I would hope that the committee would look on that favorably, you know, that, hey, we are trying our best to schedule good games here at a time when games are falling off the map nationally, at the time when we're going to ask the committee to consider teams that have played five, six, seven games maybe as playoff teams.
Well, here's Cincinnati. Hey, we're willing to play 11. And we're willing to play undefeated BYU. Check us out. So I don't know whether the schools would look at it that way, but I'd like them to.
PETE THAMEL: So I really think with Cincinnati and BYU, it's one of those quintessential college sports things that makes so much sense that I don't think it will happen. And we've seen this a million times, right? Like, it would be one of the buzziest, most creative, innovative-- it would be embraced by fans, it would crush social media, it would do all that.
But even at the mid-major and the mid-major independent level, for lack of a better place to put BYU, everyone's always so concerned about their image and their slice-- and, like, you're BYU, you want an undefeated season it. I just really think like, hey, let's get after it.
Like, we've always said that if the playoff expands, there should be some kind of like mid-major playoff or whatever. Like, there should be-- that level needs to maximize its exposure. That level needs to show off its best product. And I think it's too creative for people to embrace. And I don't think it will happen.
But I absolutely think it should. Who wouldn't want to see Zach Wilson against that Cincinnati defense slinging it around, and Desmond Ritter going up against that drop eight of BYU? I mean, it'd be one of the best-- it'd be one of the best, most fun match-ups of the year you. Put it on a Friday at 8:00, you would hit it-- you would hit a huge number.
BYU draws well. I think there's a lot of people intrigued by Cincinnati because they're undefeated. I think there's a lot of fan bases intrigued by Luke Fickell because they want to upgrade. So I just think there's a ton of ingredients for it to work. But my prediction is that it won't, cause college sports leaders just sit in the fetal position and cling to their slice of the cookie and worry-- they don't worry about what could benefit, they worry about what they could lose.