The Bearcats will play at the Glass Bowl this coming October 20th The return game will come on September 13th 2014 at Nippert. From a purely ideological perspective I hate this. I hate every single part of it. The Bearcats have a budding regional brand that should be polished through aggressive scheduling. Agreeing to home and homes with MAC schools doesn't really help that process.
But a certain understanding of the situation makes this more palatable, if not acceptable. The Bearcats schedule was more or less set 6 months ago with TCU joining the Big East adding a game to the Big East slate, a road game with Virginia Tech in DC, a game against Ohio State in Columbus and Miami coming to Nippert. All UC needed to do was add the annual tune up against an FCS team and it would have been good to go. Then TCU left the conference, the Ohio State game was moved, not to mention that the scheduled season opening game with San Diego State was pushed back to 2016* and suddenly a gaping hole presented itself in the middle of the non conference slate.
*By which point San Diego State will have been a member of the Big East in Football for three seasons. I doubt that game will be played as a non conference game. Though California and Colorado played a non conference game this season even though both teams are in the PAC 12, albeit in different divisions.
Under the circumstances getting UT on the schedule for this year is a bonus. It's on the road yes, but it is in Toledo which is an easy enough drive from Cincinnati if you want to make it. It should also be noted that there is a pretty large University of Cincinnati alumni base in the Toledo area, potentially large enough for a split crowd. More than likely this is going to be the only road trip I make because the Glass Bowl is an hour from my front door
Butch Jones and Whit Babcock aren't working from a position of strength for scheduling this season in the non conference. It sucks, yes, but it could have been worse. In fact I am pretty sure it's going to get worse. There are two** more games to fill.
** Three if West Virginia succeeds in their bid to remove themselves from the Big East