UH plays in the most important college football game of the weekend


College football championship weekend brings with it 10 conference championship games, including some delicious Top 10 matchups – No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 Alabama for the SEC crown and No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. No. 9 Baylor for the Big 12 title – but the University of Houston plays in the most important game of the weekend.

The No. 21 Cougars (11-1) will have a big hand in the college football playoff roster when they face No. 4 Cincinnati for the American Athletic Conference title at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Bearcats’ Nippert Stadium.

An upset of the Cougars — they are currently 10.5-point underdogs — would throw the college football playoff standings into uproar, opening the door for Oklahoma State to sneak into the top four, assuming that ‘he beats Baylor, or allows a two-game losing Alabama — if they lose to Georgia — to stick around for another playoff trip. Notre Dame, even though it lost to Cincinnati at home two months ago, would even have a chance to make it to college football’s big dance with a UH win.

So many teams across the country will be backing UH, but the Cougars, who won 11 regular-season games for only the fifth time in program history, can help themselves with a win just as much. A win over a top-five team would likely make them the top-ranked five-man conference champion. Currently, the San Diego State No. 19, which faces Utah State for the Mountain West crown on Saturday, is ahead of UH but would almost certainly be skipped if Houston handed Cincinnati its first loss. As the top-ranked Five-Quarter conference champion, UH would earn a trip to the New Year’s Six Bowl, likely the Fiesta Bowl where it could meet someone like Notre Dame. One loss and the Cougars fall in the Fenway Bowl to an ACC team – probably Boston College.

It would be UH’s first trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl since Tom Herman led the Cougars to a Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl victory over Florida State in 2015.

The stakes are obviously high for Cincinnati. The Bearcats (12-0) are looking to become the first non-Power Five team to make the college football playoffs. Just to be on the safe side, Cincinnati might even be looking to score some style points against Houston just in case Alabama beats Georgia and Oklahoma State blasts Baylor and suddenly people are pushing for the champion of the Big 12 make the playoffs over an undefeated Cincinnati.

After picking up 11 straight wins, UH moved into first place on Saturday in the championship and all eyes will be on the Cougars.


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