On Monday, the American Athletic Conference revealed each team’s conference football opponents for 2020 and 2021.
With UConn’s departure after this season, the conference will no longer be split in two divisions and will be 11 teams, that play 8 conference games (currently play 8 conference games).
Note - dates, times, and details will be released next fall
Home: ECU, Houston, Memphis, USF
Away: UCF, SMU, Temple, Tulsa
The two teams Cincinnati will not play are Tulane and Navy.
Bearcats end the 2019 regular season at Memphis and beat each of ECU, Houston, and USF this year in road games, struggling with each of them. ECU and USF games were both won on last second field goals.
- ECU should continue to be competitive and improve and could be a potential bowl team in 2020.
- It’s hard to gauge USF’s future without knowing what will happen with head coach Charlie Strong. Will he be back?
- Houston came into 2019 with a lot of hype around new coach Dana Holgorsen, but won’t even go to a bowl game. After a year to get his system and culture into place, perhaps next year could be a step forward after this year’s step backwards.
- Memphis’ future hinges largely on their head coach’s future as Mike Norvell should be a top candidate for several high profile head coaching jobs following this season
On the road, three of those four teams have going bowling in 2019 and Tulsa is the best 3-7 team ever.
- Last time Cincinnati played UCF in Orlando, ESPN’s College Gameday was there and the game was played on ABC in primetime.
- Cincinnati beat SMU in Dallas in 2018 on a walk-off pick six courtesy of safety James Wiggins. They did not play in the 2019 regular season, but could potentially play in conference championship this year.
- Bearcats host Temple this weekend and have historically struggled in their games in Philly. In 2018, Cincinnati (ranked 20th at the time) suffered their first loss of the season at Temple in a fluky overtime game.
- Bearcats lost at Tulsa in 2016 in the final game of the Tommy Tuberville era. They beat them 24-13 at Nippert Stadium this season.
The non conference portion of the schedule is already set for Cincinnati.
- 9/5 - Austin Peay
- 9/12 - Western Michigan
- 9/19 - @ Miami Oh
- 9/26 - @ Nebraska
That Nebraska game is definitely one to circle. First of all, it’s historically one of the most fun places to see a college football game, so if you have a chance to go, it’s highly recommended. But they are also a high profile, big name school in the Big Ten, despite their recent struggles. Bearcats may not be able to hang with the best of the best in the Big Ten and other power conferences, but they can certainly beat a mid-to-low level team like Nebraska.
What do you think of Cincinnati’s 2020 schedule? Are you excited for the home slate? Any planned road trips?