Cincinnati moved into position to make the College Football Playoffs on Tuesday night, climbing to fourth place behind Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama.
A team outside the Power Five conferences has never been selected for the semifinals in the previous seven years Playoffs in college football.
Heading into the final weekend of games, one packed with consequences for the playoffs and conference championships, Cincinnati (11-0) seems to have a realistic path to a playoff spot no matter what happens around the Bearcats.
Cincinnati play in East Carolina on Friday and then face Houston (10-1), ranked 24th by the committee, in the American Athletic Conference championship game on December 4.
Prior to this season, no team from a so-called Group of Five conference had ever been ranked better than seventh by the CFP selection committee.
Michigan is fifth on its way into its game against Ohio State which should produce Big Ten’s best shot to get to the playoffs.
Notre Dame (10-1) is sixth. The Fighting Irish’s only loss is to Cincinnati.
Oklahoma State (10-1) as seventh is the highest ranked Big 12 team.
Big 12 rivals Baylor (eighth) and Oklahoma (10th) round out the top 10 with Mississippi in between.
The Sooners play in Oklahoma State on Saturday in a match that will help determine who plays in the Big 12 title game.
The final CFP ranking will be revealed on December 5 and the top four teams will play in the semifinals on December 31 in the Orange and Cotton bowls. The national championship game is scheduled for January 10 in Indianapolis.