Cincinnati Football: Bearcats included in latest Associated Press rankings

Cincinnati Bearcats running back Charles McClelland runs against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. USA Today.
Cincinnati Bearcats running back Charles McClelland runs against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. USA Today. /
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Following nearly a month long hiatus, the Bearcats re-entered the latest AP Top 25. Cincinnati started the regular season ranked 23rd but lost to Arkansas in early September before going on a 4-game win streak to move back into the weekly rankings.

Taking down Tulsa in the conference opener last week was enough to boost the Bearcats to 24th in the AP Top 25. After receiving 134 votes, Cincinnati ranks a spot ahead of LSU and just behind Kansas State, Washington, Syracuse and Mississippi State.

The Bearcats certainly still have a lot of work to do but it appears another New Year’s Six bowl berth is up for grabs since no other Group of Five teams are currently ranked. Coastal Carolina, James Madison and Tulane received votes but remain unranked.

Cincinnati Football: Bearcats included in latest Associated Press rankings

If the Bearcats continue to improve and eventually win a third consecutive conference championship, it would likely secure a trip to Dallas for the upcoming Cotton Bowl. With that said, another loss will make it difficult to reach another New Year’s Six bowl game.

Despite earning a spot in the latest AP Top 25, the Bearcats remained on the outside of the Coaches Poll. Cincinnati picked up 140 votes but it wasn’t enough to surpass Arkansas for the 25th ranked spot. The Razorbacks received 141 votes this week.

Luke Fickell’s team will return to Nippert Stadium for Homecoming against South Florida with a chance to move up even more in the rankings. The Bearcats are 28-point favorites with kick off set for Saturday.

Next. Cincinnati Football: Takeaways from conference opener against Tulsa. dark