This is who the Bearcats will be playing in 2014.
The American Athletic Conference on Wednesday announced its 2014 intra-conference football matchups. UC’s league games: Home – East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, South Florida; Away – UConn, SMU, Temple, Tulane. Dates are to be announced.
The long and short of it is this, Cincinnati does not play UCF this season, and it makes no sense at all. Why would a conference create a schedule in which two of the favorites for the title don't play? That's a question that only Mike Aresco can answer, but the fact that the game is not happening is pissing everyone off. I can't imagine that the holders of the AAC's media rights are too happy with the outcome either.
Now, it must be said that it is February, a robust 7 months before a ball is kicked in anger; and that February favorites aren't always lifting trophies in December. I could easily see Houston, or possibly ECU coming from outside the favorites to contend for the title, but thats not the point.
This conference had one chance to craft a showcase game in 2014, and they blew it. There is no getting around that fact. When the usual "100 games to watch" column's start dropping in March and April it is doubtful that there will be a single AAC conference clash that makes anyone's cut, nor should it, not when the AAC refused to schedule the one game that could possibly capture the attention of a neutral fan of college football. How can that be seen as anything but a failure?