Even though the Cincinnati Bearcats have played more than a few pretty good teams this season, they are about to embark on the most critical contest of 2018 to this point. That game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday against the Temple Owls.
- Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
- Television/Stream: ESPNU/Watch ESPN (Here’s a handy guide to what services you can find ESPN and other channels on if you don’t have cable. Shout out to Red Cup Rebellion)
- Announcing crew: Anish Shroff (play-by-play), Ahmad Brooks (analyst) and Roddy Jones (field analyst)
- Radio: 700 WLW AM/XM 387/Sirius XM Internet 979
- Announcing crew: Dan Hoard (play-by-play), Jim Kelly Jr. (analyst) and Tony Pike (sideline reporter)
- Series history: Temple’s recent rise to perennial American Athletic Conference power has led to poor results for the Bearcats when the two teams face off. The Owls have defeated UC three-straight times and lead the all-time series 12-7-1.
The reason this is a big game is not just because the Bearcats have a perfect 6-0 record on the line, but because of its importance to the American Athletic Conference. Both the Bearcats (6-0, 2-0 AAC) and Owls (4-3, 3-0) have yet to lose against fellow league members and both are running neck-and-neck with UCF and USF atop the East division standings. A loss on Saturday for either the Bearcats or the Owls would be a dagger to their respective conference title hopes.
Regardless of how things turn out, UC, which was on a bye last week, has still enjoyed its best season in many years. With six wins in as many games, the Bearcats became one of the first teams in the country to officially qualify for a bowl. With one more win, they can reach their highest win total since 2015.
Meanwhile, Temple is no stranger to competing for AAC titles. A 3-0 mark in league play has them back in that role. The Owls may have only gone 4-4 in conference a year ago, but they played in both the 2015 and 2016 championship games and actually won it in 2016.