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Cincinnati vs. Notre Dame matchup and 2021 CFP implications for Bearcats win

The Bearcats walked out of South Bend with a program defining victory on Saturday. How will that factor into a potential CFP bid down the road?

Syndication: The Enquirer Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats captured arguably the biggest victory in program history on Saturday, walking into South Bend and toppling the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a 24-13 victory. The defense set the tone with two interceptions in the first half and starting quarterback Desmond Ridder was effective in willing the team to the victory, icing the game with a six-yard QB keeper for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

This win was circled on Cincy’s schedule as the game that would make or break its College Football Playoff hopes and now that the Bearcats come out victorious, the question becomes how high can they rise? Cincinnati begins conference play in the AAC next week and it’ll need to start racking up impressive victories considering the wonky nature of the American this season.

We’re still exactly one month away from the release of the first CFP rankings and the committee has notoriously stiffed undefeated Group of Five programs as serious threats to make the final field. The highest ranked G5 team in the CFP rankings was last year’s Cincinnati group when it finished the regular season ranked No. 7.

The Bearcats would obviously need to run the table to make their case. However, they’ve already earned some respect considering they started this season ranked No. 8 in the AP poll. The mantra for Luke Fickell and company now is to just keep winning.