With last years Purdue game included the Bearcats have managed to sign home and home deals with three Big 10 schools in the last few years. Last year's Purdue game will be returned in 2016. Now UC has home and home's with Indiana and Nebraska. Sprinkle in the Ohio State game this year which they bought back for over a million dollars, and the trip to Michigan in 2017 and the Bearcats are being far more active in scheduling the Big 10 than they have been in the recent past.
From 1999 to 2006 the Bearcats scheduled 9 games with Big 10 opponents. That period was an outlier because there were two seasons (1999 and 2000) where UC played multiple Big 10 teams in a season. From 2006 through 2012 the Bearcats played just one Big 10 team (Illinois in 2009) before having a Big 10 double feature last year. Going Forward the Big 10 is going to be a big part of the Bearcats scheduling.
There are two main reasons for that. With the dawn of the playoff era there is going to be a much bigger focus on strength of schedule. Power 5 program are going to be on the lookout for quality teams who can boost that strength of schedule and make themselves look better for the committee. UC can do that in a way that playing a rotating cast of MAC schools can't so that makes them attractive.
The secondary reason is that every Big 10 school wants to recruit Cincinnati better, the easiest way to do that is play the Bearcats. All of which means that the local competition for recruits is going to keep getting tougher as these schools attempt to gain more influence.
The other scheduling news is that the Bearcats have been in talks with Louisville, Pitt and Kentucky. Kentucky fans in particular are hilarious in their reactions to this. As for Louisville I want the Keg back. As for Pitt ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.