American Athletic Conference Football Preview: Cincinnati Bearcats
Next up in the AAC Preview– University of Cincinnati Bearcats. They had a bad season last year with 5 straight losses and finishing the season at 4-8. Tommy Tuberville who went 29-22 in 4 seasons at Cincinnati resigned in December and they have brought in Luke Fickell to replace him.
Best Case Scenario- They start with a home game against Austin Peay which they should win handily. They then have to travel to Michigan which will be a loss for them. They then travel to Miami University of Ohio and a trip to Annapolis to face Navy. If they can win both of these they will be sitting pretty with 3 home games in a row to come after that. So they sit at 3-1 with their next 3 at home against Marshall, UCF, and SMU. They win 2 out of 3 of those and move to 5-2 with the next two on the road against USF and Tulane. Split those and move to 6-3 and finish with Temple, ECU, and UConn. If they win 2 out of 3 of those they will finish the season 8-4 which would be a great improvement from last year.
Worst Case Scenario- They still get the win over Austin Peay, but they get manhandled up in Ann Arbor and lose to Michigan. That carries over and they lose to in-state rival Miami of Ohio and lose on the road to Navy. They’re now looking 1-3 in the face and it doesn’t get easier. They have 3 home games and lose 2 out of 3 and move to 2-5. They then lose back-to-back road games in USF and Tulane. Sitting at 2-7 in their final 3 games I believe even in worst case scenario they still win 2 out of 3 and secure another 4-8 season.
Players to Watch– Devin Gray WR, Hayden Moore QB, Cortez Broughton DT, Khalil Lewis WR and Kevin Mouhon DE/LB. If Cincinnati wants to have the best case scenario they will have to work on their offense putting points on the board. They are switching to a uptempo style of play and QB will need to be much better than last year. I believe that a new system is hard to learn and will have its problems, therefore, I feel they will finish around 5-7 or 6-6 and possibly be bowling.