Notre Dame Refuses To Play Cincinnati Bearcats In Bowl

Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats running back Ralph Abernathy (1) rushes into the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Louisville Cardinals at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Before all the bowls were announced Sunday night, there were days of speculation about what teams would be playing in what bowls. Thursday night Cincinnati knew their options were down to four bowls, Belk Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl or a BCS Bowl. Losing to Louisville took their bowl options down to two games, Belk and Pinstripe.

As a Bearcat fan, you look at the two potential bowls and right away you know which bowl game you want to go to. The Pinstripe Bowl was adamant about getting Notre Dame to play there. A Notre Dame team coached by ex-Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly. Instantly everyone wanted that game, a matchup in the Bronx against arguably the most hated man in recent UC sports next to Nancy Zimpher.

Sure, not many of the students left at UC remember Brian Kelly, some of us 5 years and seniors certainly do, he provided us with some of the best years of UC football then ripped our hearts out, spit in our faces and rolled into South Bend. A redemption game against Kelly would have closed my college career perfectly.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame has an immense amount of pull and swaying power that resulted in the Pinstripe Bowl selecting the Rutgers Scarlet Knights after Notre Dame seemingly refused to play in the Pinstripe Bowl against Cincinnati. Instead Cincinnati is headed back to the Belk Bowl for the second straight year.

The Pinstripe Bowl is considered a lower bowl than the Belk Bowl but surely Cincinnati fans would have traveled just as well to New York. A game against Notre Dame would attract better than North Carolina even though Cincinnati notoriously travels very well to bowl games.

It is understandable why Brian Kelly would not want to play his old school. Sure none of the kids on the roster played for him but they remember who he is and how he left. After being embarrassed in the BCS National Championship last season by Alabama, an embarrassing loss to “little” Cincinnati may hurt Kelly’s and Notre Dame’s ego even more.

Notre Dame is (8-4) this season, while Cincinnati is (9-3) both teams had higher expectations than the Pinstripe Bowl, but if you want a story line and a talked about game you would have allowed the Pinstripe Bowl to select Cincinnati.

End of the day Brian Kelly is scared of Cincinnati, he is scared to lose to Cincinnati. Cincinnati may not get respect from the media but they apparently have the respect of Brian Kelly and Notre Dame.

UPDATE: Yes we know the Belk Bowl gets to offer before the Pinstripe Bowl. Yes we know UC accepted the Belk invite before the Pinstripe offered anyone. Yes we know the Belk Bowl goes to AAC #3. Did Notre Dame say anything official regarding Cincinnati? No. The article is based off of people surrounding the program and the overall feeling coming from the Notre Dame program.

Notre Dame fans react! Get their reaction here.

Topics: Belk Bowl, Cincinnati Bearcats, Pinstripe Bowl

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  • Bill

    Coach Kelly recruited the cincinnati quarterback Brandon Kay.

  • Kyle

    Neither the Pinstripe Bowl nor Brian Kelly had a say in whether we played in the Belk Bowl or not. The Belk Bowl gets the 3rd choice of the American and chose us, consequently the Pinstripe Bowl selected Rutgers, not the other way around. I’m all for being proud for UC but don’t make things up to look like Kelly is scared of us.

  • Matt Wright

    I doubt BK is scared of playing UC considering when he left, he was gonna try to set up a series between ND and UC. Also it makes more sense for the Pinstripe Bowl to pick Rutgers considering they’re close to NYC while everyone knows ND’s fans travel great.

  • Mikey Spangler

    This article is completely made up. Where are the sources, facts or proof of any of this? Furthermore the schools don’t choose where they go, the bowls select the teams. What a joke of an article.

  • Andrew Stanford

    I want some of what you are smoking…..

  • Jeremy Pflug

    Here are my true feelings on the topic. If BK said no, he said no out of respect for his senior class. Tommy was his 1st QB at Notre Dame. Rather than added pressure and a media circus surrounding the “BK vs. UC” saga – he chose to let his seniors go out without all that mess. Before it is said, I know… I know. BK left UC in the middle of an Orange Bowl. Let’s be honest though, the man was given the opportunity to take his DREAM JOB. If you want to blame anyone, blame the NCAA and their recruitment periods. If BK doesn’t leave, he misses out on a month of recruiting. You don’t beat USC, Stanford, Michigan, etc… by missing a month of recruiting. The only thing that would have kept BK at UC was if they were in the National Championship game.

  • Z$

    Seriously, what a joke.

  • GSGT HARTMAN

    Quite possibly the worst example
    of “investigative reporting” I have ever read. My 4 year old daughter wouldn’t even
    be so dumb to publish something like this. Anyone who knows anything about
    sports knows that The Bowl Committees pick what teams they want at their game
    because they want the money well spent and a good showing of fans. UC may
    travel fairly well to Regional Bowls but lets be honest, nobody outside of
    Cincinnati or its Alumni gives 2 sh*ts about UC or do they want to watch them
    on TV? Rutgers is right down the street from NYC and everyone knows Irish fans
    will travel regardless of how far or on what stage. The guy that wrote this
    should be fired, disowned by his family, then made to make a public
    announcement of apology to the University of Cincinnati for being such a
    dipshit. Not trying to bash UC but who actually watches UC football and takes
    them seriously outside of local yocals and alumni of the school?

  • Adam

    Riverfront Football should fire for you this article, absolutely horrible. Not one fact or quote in it. Basically a message board post.

  • GSGT HARTMAN

    Quite possibly the worst example
    of “investigative reporting” I have ever read. My 4 year old daughter wouldn’t even
    be so dumb to publish something like this. Anyone who knows anything about
    sports knows that The Bowl Committees pick what teams they want at their game
    because they want the money well spent and a good showing of fans. UC may
    travel fairly well to Regional Bowls but lets be honest, nobody outside of
    Cincinnati or its Alumni gives 2 sh*ts about UC or do they want to watch them
    on TV? Rutgers is right down the street from NYC and everyone knows Irish fans
    will travel regardless of how far or on what stage. The guy that wrote this
    should be fired, disowned by his family, then made to make a public
    announcement of apology to the University of Cincinnati for being such a
    dipsh*t. Not trying to bash UC but who actually watches UC football and takes
    them seriously outside of local yocals and alumni of the school?

  • Brendan

    He only said Notre Dame SEEMINGLY refused to play Cincinnati in their bowl. So he doesn’t need any proof. Lawyered.

    • GSGT HARTMAN

      Douche

      • Brendan

        Hi new friend, thanks for your feedback. In reference to your comment, it is not clear what you are saying “douche” about, or indeed, whether you are using it as a noun or verb, or whether it should be taken as a pejorative or simply a recommendation for regular personal hygiene. Could you please be more specific?

        • Jon Sharpe

          Yes, Brendan you are a douche. Better? Would you like the country or origin and any alternate pronunciations?

          • Brendan

            Better, thanks. You clearly have better contextual awareness than I. Of course, the question still remains why GSGT Hartman (and you, now) found it necessary to take the time out of their day to call someone a douche on the internet. My defense is that I’m bored and have time to kill, and my personal brand of internet commentary is more of snark, less of middle-school-level insults.

          • Brendan sucks

            You smell like summers eve.

          • Jon Sharpe

            Once again to clarify that means you are a douche, and your statements alone solidify that more than any of us could so thank you.

          • Kyle

            I think you guys are being a little harsh towards Brendan. He was not saying the article is right, I assume he was saying that the article is moronic and almost completely off base, but the wording of the article means that technically the guy can’t be wrong because it “seemed” to the author that BK was scared. Snarky, yes…douchey, no

  • Matt

    Worst Article ever written.

  • Jon Sharpe

    You have to be kidding me with this, your update should just have said “Yes I made all of this up and I write/act like a pissed of 12 year old who didn’t get their way”.

  • William C Toohey

    This article is the biggest joke I’ve ever read. Schools don’t sway the bowl committees who to pick in the bowls, its based on where schools finish in their conference, how well they travel to bowl games, and tradition. Sorry UC will not ever be on ND’s level pal, get over it. At least my team didn’t lose to U of Illinois this season. I provided more facts in my comment than this schmuck did in his entire article. #HatersGonHate #KellysGoldenArmy

  • Tim Hecklinski

    Hahahahahahaha…is this an Onion article? Nevermind that Notre Dame accepted the Pinstripe bowl BEFORE they even had an opponent because it was the only option of them this year because of lack of bowl tie-ins. Nevermind that Cincy was the #3 team in the AAC, so they went to a BETTER bowl than the Pinstripe, which takes the #4 AAC team. Sounds like you have an axe to grind with ND for no reason, buddy. Notre Dame must also be terrified to play GVSU. Research more, write less.

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