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UC Football Future

By Ben Rigney, Activist Staff
On December 9, 2015

Nippert StadiumUC Football finished off the regular season with a win in at Eastern Carolina 19-16 thanks to a last second field goal. This puts the Bearcats in position for another Bowl appearance with a 7-5 record. They finished the season third in the American East and overall had a disappointing year even though they landed another bowl spot for the fifth straight season. 

After all, the Bearcats football team was picked to win the conference at the beginning of the season. The team finished third in the Eastern division and had a rough year going 4-4 in conference. A lot of this has to do with the overall increase in the American Conference, with seven teams, including UC, likely to make bowl games this season. Houston ended the regular season ranked 17th, Temple 20th, and Navy 22nd. This is good news for the conference with teams improving adding to the competitive nature of the division. Is this necessarily a good thing for the bearcats? Yes. But they need to improve in future years.

Right now UC is expected to attend the Miami Beach Bowl in Miami, Florida on December 21. They are predicted to play Marshall, who finished off the season with a 9-3 record and would likely be a good opponent for the explosive cats.

This is only a prediction and no one knows what will happen until the conference championship week ahead. 

UC barely snuck by the Pirates in the final game, and if they would have lost they would have been .500 with a chance of going under .500 if they also lost the bowl game. They won, so this “what if” is just that. The future is unknown for the Bearcats with a very middle of the road recruiting class ranked at just 65 for the 2015 season.

UC looked excellent against Miami, Florida but not so excellent against Miami, Oxford. They got absolutely crushed by USF in the second to last game. As well as playing great games against good teams: BYU, Memphis, Houston, and Temple, losing all four games. They squeaked by ECU and Miami in very close games, so barring small plays this season could have gone completely differently. 

The team as a whole seemed very inconsistent in Coach Tommy Tuberville’s third season. UC has Junior Quarterback Gunner Kiel and four senior Wide Receivers, which means the offensive fire power, might not be there for long. On top of that, with a hurt and sometimes mediocre defense the team has a lot of work to still put in. UC finished the season ranked 84th in the FBS.

Within the conference it appears UC is in the top five, behind Navy, Memphis, Temple, and Houston. Top five is not good enough for a former BCS contending school 5 seasons ago. They are likely going to play in a lessor quality bowl game against a lessor quality team. So given the teams successes there are also pitfalls. Making it to BCS games but barely standing a chance.

UC has got and lost three great coaches who now coach top tier teams; Dantonio in Michigan State, Kelly in Notre Dame and Jones in Tennessee. These were young coaches who planned on moving forward after a quick run at UC. Tuberville seems like his days of coaching huge conference teams are over with after success at Texas Tech. 

Maybe one day Tuberville will be back on top, and hopefully it is with the University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team, coming so close to success of bigger schools but just not able to sit at the big boy table just yet.

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