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Good News, Bad News, and all Bearcats News

The latest news and notes about Cincinnati Bearcats football with two days until the season opener.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Navy at Cincinnati Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cincinnati football kicks off in TWO DAYS!!!!!

News from Luke Fickell’s Tuesday Press Conference

Lorenz Metz named starting LT

Fickell officially confirmed Metz would start at Left Tackle on Thursday. That would mean Chris Ferguson, last year’s LT, will move over to the right side. He also noted he hopes to have the same five start every game, but knows that is a tough ask. Vincent McConnell will open the season as his backup and will certainly see playing time throughout the season and maybe even on Thursday.

Charles McClelland out for year

Unfortunately, one player who will not see the field this season is RB Charles McClelland. As a freshman in 2018, McClelland ran for 485 yards and 4 touchdowns as a change of pace back behind Michael Warren. He suffered a season ending knee injury in practice on Monday.

It's really sad news for a talented player who would have played a key role on offense. Tavion Thomas is currently not on the depth chart, leaving redshirt freshman Ryan Montgomery as the guy behind Warren and Gerrid Doaks, whose role will likely increase now.

James Wiggins injury news is TBD

There were rumors swirling all morning on Tuesday that star safety James Wiggins had suffered a serious knee injury. During his Tuesday press conference, Luke Fickell confirmed Wiggins “tweaked his knee” but knew nothing beyond that. Coaches, players, fans are all anxiously awaiting word on his status for Thursday (unlikely to play) and for the season as a whole. Wiggins led the team with 4 interceptions, including 3 game winners and one pick six.

JERSEY UPDATE - All black everything

Bearcats have a lot of exciting uniform options. In fact, you can view those options on our Instagram.

But Thursday night, they are going with the best, most logical choice for #NippAtNight

Scheduling news

On Monday night, the school announced games with three opponents

  • Arkansas - 2022 season opener
  • Boston College - 2026 home, 2027 away
  • NC State - 2023 away, 2029 home

As a result of these moves, the previously scheduled Boise State series will now take place in 2028 and 2029.

Read more on the future of the Bearcats football schedule.

Future of the AAC Football Conference

During a conference call on Tuesday, AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said that the AAC would get rid of divisions starting next year. This is the result of UConn’s pending departure. The conference will move forward with 11 teams, no divisions and a round-robin style schedule. The goal is to play a championship game that features the top two teams, similar to how the Big 12 does it.

Personally, I think this is great! Cincinnati could go 10-2 (like last year), but miss out on the AAC title game because UCF goes 11-1 or 12-0. It only helps them. Meanwhile, there’s also talk of “locked rivalry games”. Sadly, Cincinnati doesn’t have any real rivalries in this conference but an annual game with Memphis certainly makes sense and a natural rivalry with UCF has been growing.