Cincinnati debuted at No. 6 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night, while SEC powers Georgia and Alabama top the rundown at No. 1 and No. 2, followed by No. 3 Michigan State and No. 4 Oregon.
The Bearcats landed the highest-ever ranking for a Group of 5 team, one spot ahead of the No. 7 designation they held during an undefeated regular season in 2020. But Cincinnati (8-0), which ranks No. 2 in both the AP and Coaches polls, had aimed to become the first Group of 5 team to ever appear in the CFP selection committee's top four.