Schedule and Odds
You wouldn’t know it even if you saw them play, but Cincinnati finished with 10 wins last season. That’s what above average teams can do playing in the Big East, and now the American Athletic Conference. One of their losses last year was against Toledo which says something about the conference. The Bearcats are returning enough players to once again be a top team in the Conference in Tommy Tuberville’s first year as head coach.
Brendon Kay is set to be the starter at QB after taking over late in 2012 for Munchie Legaux. Kay completed about 10 percent more of his passes last year which is the main reason he’s now the starter. George Winn is gone from the backfield which will hurt after he compiled 1,334 yards and 13 TDs last season. Junior Ralph Abernathy will be the top candidate to take his spot, but there will likely be a few others in the mix. Considering the entire offensive line returns, whoever gets the ball should be able to find plenty of holes. Tight end Travis Kelce (eight TDs) is gone and that means some new names have to step up like wide receiver Anthony McClung, especially in the red zone.
The Bearcats only allowed 18.5 points per Game last year, but again you have to take that with a grain of salt. They allowed 29 points to Toledo and 34 to Louisville in losses. Even in their bowl win, they allowed 34 points to Duke. Still, they return plenty of experience from that unit and bring in some new faces like linebacker Jeff LUc who is a top recruit. The linebacking core leads this unit and should be able to help them propel to the front of the Conference with ease, until the end of the year at least.
2013 Cincinnati Bearcats Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Purdue
Sept. 7 at Illinois
Sept. 14 vs. Northwestern State
Sept. 21 at Miami (OH)
Oct. 5 at South Florida
Oct. 11 vs. Temple
Oct. 19 vs. Connecticut
Oct. 30 at Memphis
Nov. 9 vs. SMU
Nov. 16 at Rutgers
Nov. 23 at Houston
Dec. 5 vs. Louisville
Cincinnati’s Schedule opens up extremely pleasant as they could be favorites in their first nine Games. While they open the season with two Big Ten opponents, Purdue and Illinois are not what anyone would consider powers. If they can get by a road Game at Illinois, 4-0 should easily be in sight.
They open AAC play with five of the worst teams in the conference. The Bearcats road Games during that stretch are against South Florida and Memphis and their hardest matchup will probably be a home Game against Connecticut. If Cincy does start with nine straight wins, their final three Games will be monster, not just in Conference play, but nationally as well.
It starts with a road Game at Rutgers who is a very similar team. That matchup finished 10-3 last year going to the SCarlet Knights. Another road Game follows at Houston who lives on offense only. And of course to close the campaign, a home Game against Louisville could be for all the marbles as they could also be undefeated. That Game ended up going to the Cardinals last year in overtime, 34-31.
Tuberville has a nice Schedule to look forward to along with plenty of returnees to possibly help the Bearcats reach 10 wins again.