Some news and notes around Cincinnati Bearcats football as the season begins next Thursday, August 29th.
1. Cincinnati football kicks off in 8 days!!! UCLA will be the first PAC-12 team to come to Nippert Stadium since 2007.
2. Speaking of 8, Gino Guidugli is by far the most notable #8 in Cincinnati football history. The famous quarterback is currently the QB Coach on Luke Fickell’s staff. Guidugli threw for 11,453 yards in his four year career (2001-2004). Not only is this a school record, but it is 4,618 yards more than the next best QB (Gunner Kiel). He also holds the record for yards in a single season (3,543 in 2002) and career touchdown passes (78).
3. Cincinnati is 17-3 the last 20 years in week 1 games and 10-3 vs FBS opponents. The last loss came in 2010, Butch Jones’ first game, on the road against Fresno State. The other two were 2004 at Ohio State and 2001 vs Purdue at home.
4. Punter James Smith was named to the Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports Second team All-American. Hopefully a Ray Guy Award trophy is in Smith’s future.
5. In news that should really surprise absolutely nobody, the AP Poll was released this week and Cincinnati was not among the top 25 teams - they came in at 34 under others receiving votes. It turns out only 7 of 62 AP voters put Cincinnati on their ballot and the highest was #20. Late last week, the SBNation FanPulse poll, consisting of writers of fans of 66 college football blogs, also omitted the Bearcats from all 66 ballots.
Here is a look at some of the teams ranked ahead of Cincinnati to start the season - #24 Nebraska (coming off back-to-back 4-8 seasons), 7-6 Miami (with a new coaching staff and unproven QB), 7-6 TCU
6. CBS Sports released their 2019 AAC preview. 3 out of 7 reporters picked Cincinnati to win the AAC East and 3 chose UCF. Sure, cool, fine. Respect, guys. UCF is the best until proven otherwise. But one guy chose USF? Maybe he missed their 10 win season in 2017 where they beat nobody or their 7-6 2018 season that ended with 6 straight losses. Or maybe he missed the last 15 years of USF football altogether...
7. Current bowl projections (I know, it’s only August...) are really gross. None of the AAC bowls are intriguing at all.
- Sporting News - Gasparilla
- Athlon - Gasparilla
- 247sports - Frisco
- CBS - Birmingham
The best thing Cincinnati can do is win 10-11 games, win the conference and go to the Cotton Bowl. That seems to be the best scenario. Or, win all 13 and make a run at the Playoffs.
8. Justin Fields (Ohio State), Holton Ahlers (East Carolina), and Michael Beudry (UConn) were all named starting quarterbacks of their respective teams to start 2019. Who are the five best QBs that the Bearcats will face in 2019?
9. Need a refresher on the Bearcats top returning players? Here is your refresher!
10. Big news - coming next week is the Down the Drive Podcast!