Cincinnati has yet to play a down in 2020, but already has made significant strides in both of the two national rankings polls.
The Bearcats are now No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 14 in the latest Amway/USA Today Coaches poll, both released on Sunday. Both polls included, for the first time, only the teams playing during the 2020 season. That meant the loss of nine ranked teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, which have postponed the starts of their seasons, and Iowa State, which lost yesterday to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Cincinnati is the highest-ranked non-power five team in the AP poll, up from No. 20 in the pre-season poll and one spot ahead of Central Florida. The Bearcats are one spot behind UCF in the coaches poll.
Cincinnati will kickoff its season at noon ET Saturday when it hosts Austin Peay. The Governors lost 24-17 last weekend to Central Arkansas in the season-opener for all college football teams. Austin Peay was then routed 55-0 yesterday at Pittsburgh in a game that saw 10-minute third and fourth quarters after the Panthers jumped out to a 42-0 halftime lead.
The Governors are members of the Ohio Valley Conference, which delayed its season to the spring. Austin Peay, however, was granted permission by its league for its abbreviated, three-game season.