The American Athletic Conference released their 2014 conference football match ups, while no dates were released you can see which universities will face one another. With Louisville and Rutgers exiting for greener pastures the AAC will add three new teams, Eastern Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa. With the new teams come changes in future opponents for existing AAC teams.
Cincinnati is the only team worth while left in the AAC at the moment and they reside where this blog resides so we’ll focus on their schedule. Much like last season it appears the Bearcats should breeze through their schedule, while they didn’t do that in 2013 they certainly should this season, in conference play that is.
Eastern Carolina will travel to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats in Paul Brown Stadium, marking their first trip to the Queen City. ECU was 10-3 last season, with a win over UNC who as we all know dismantled Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. In addition to playing newcomer ECU the Bearcats will travel to New Orleans to play Tulane, we all remember what happened the last time the Bearcats were in New Orleans.
The most glaring omission from the 2014 schedule is the lack of a UC/UCF matchup for the second year in a row. Cincinnati/Louisville was a huge matchup last year for the AAC and Louisville/UCF was a huge matchup as well. With Louisville leaving one would think you would want your two best teams to play each other, you would be mistaken, this is after all the American Athletic Conference.
Besides ECU at home the Bearcats also get the South Florida Bulls, Memphis Tigers and the Houston Cougars. All of those games should be wins, ECU will likely provide the most competitive contest. USF beat Cincinnati in 2013 on a fluke game, no offensive touchdowns were scored by the Bulls. Memphis won 3 games last year and lost to Cincinnati, Houston also lost to Cincinnati.
As for road games the Cincinnati Bearcats will travel to Tulane, Connecticut, SMU and Temple. Out of those games Tulane and their offense could catch the Bearcats off guard but that is unlikely. Connecticut will be worse than they were in 2013, SMU could possibly compete after only losing by 3 points at Cincinnati in 2013. As for Temple well its Temple, you know what that means.
Cincinnati’s conference schedule is soft, weak for that matter. Without the BCS in 2014 that means the Bearcats stand little to no shot at a playoff spot. Unless they beat Ohio State and Miami (FL) substantially no one in the national media will give Cincinnati a shot.
Hopefully newly appointed AD Mike Bohn can lead the Bearcats into a new conference, the Big 12 or ACC would be ideal. Until then enjoy some Bearcat wins next season.
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