Returning to the Queen City after a Friday night trip to South Florida, the Cincinnati Bearcats (10-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) are set to encounter their in-conference test at the hands of the SMU Mustangs. SMU (8-2, 4-2 American Athletic Conference) remains in the hunt with Cincinnati for the right to the play Houston (10-0, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) in the conference championship game. The Mustangs will need to win out alongside the Bearcats being victim to improbable upsets against both SMU and ECU.
Cincinnati, which stands at No. 5 in this week’s College Football Playoff Rankings, remains only three wins away from a possible berth in the top four. The Bearcats will need some help to find their way into the field — most helpful would be an Oregon loss to Utah and a Georgia victory over Alabama in the SEC Championship Game — even with last week’s Baylor Bears’ upset over the Oklahoma Sooners.
Standing in their way is Tanner Mordecai and the FBS’s sixth ranked offense. Mordecai, who enters his junior year after transferring from Oklahoma in 2020, ranks second overall in the FBS for total passing touchdowns (37) and seventh for overall yardage (3,264).
- Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, November 20 2021
- Location: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Television/Stream: ESPN
- Online/Mobile App: ESPN+
- Television Announcing Crew: Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Dan Orlovsky (analyst) and Kris Budden (sideline reporter)
- Radio: 700 WLW AM/ Sirius 81 / XM 81 / Internet 970 / The Varsity Network: “Search Cincinnati” for mobile devices
- Radio Announcing Crew: Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Jim Kelly Jr. (analyst)
- Series History: After downing SMU in October of 2020 by a total of 42-13, Cincinnati expanded their series advantage over the Mustangs to 4-1. Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats have won the last two meetings.
Cincinnati opens up as double digit favorite with the spread (-10.5) heavily favoring the Bearcats to claim a spot in the AAC Title Game. SMU (6-4 ATS overall) is 1-6 vs. the spread in their last seven home games (includes 2020) and 8-2 straight up in the 2021 CFB season.
The over/under for Saturday 65, with both teams split even in that category at 5-5 a piece.