The short answer to the question posed in the headline up there is no. The Cincinnati Bearcats are 2-6, which means they have to win out to be bowl eligible. With losses in five-straight games, and wins against such mega teams like Austin Peay and Miami-Ohio the only victories on the docket, things are looking bleak. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Bearcats have a seven percent chance of winning out and are projected to finish with a 4-8 record.
As long as there’s a chance (#DumbAndDumberReference), it’s worth looking at. Let’s open up that there schedule and see what has to happen for the Bearcats to go bowling.
First, UC plays at Tulane on Saturday. That will be a tough one for sure. Tulane is ranked No. 88 according to S&P+, but that’s only 20 spots above Cincinnati. You can actually see them both on screen when you scroll strategically. The Green Wave have lost three-straight games and are only 3-5, but their running offense is pretty great and they are a program on the rise thanks to Willie Fritz. We’ll obviously have more on this matchup as we ramp up for Saturday, but this seems like a game with a high level of difficulty.
After that, the Bearcats will host Temple on a special Friday night game. In their first year under Geoff Collins after Matt Rhule left for Baylor, the Owls have taken a large step backward. At 3-5 and with losses in four of their last five games, they are on the lower end of the American Athletic Conference spectrum. Temple is only above UC by 10 slots in S&P+ and has one of the worst offenses in the country, one that’s even worse than UC’s if you can believe that. I said that UC would beat Temple in this game before the season started. I stand by that.
If the Bearcats upset Tulane and Temple (if you can call wins over them upsets), then there is genuine hope that a bowl game is within reach. East Carolina and UConn are the last two teams on the schedule and they are not good at all. ECU is ranked 125th out of 130 in S&P+ and the Huskies are No. 119. The Pirates did just beat BYU last time out, but they also lost to Temple and to James Madison this season and have lost to UC six-straight times, including a 31-19 setback at home last year. The Huskies actually beat the Bearcats last season in the worst football game I have ever seen, but UC is 10-3 all-time against the them. Both of these games seem very winnable.
When it comes down to it, UC isn’t going to a bowl game. A team on a five-game losing streak isn’t going to turn around and win four-straight, even if the competition isn’t the best. We will find out a lot this weekend against Tulane, because a win against the Green Wave not only keeps the postseason dreams alive but serves as the toughest hurdle of the last four games. So I am saying there’s a chance, but it’s a pretty miserable one.
Now please screenshot that paragraph and get ready to send it to @ColdTakesExposed.