Whit Babcock sent out a tease this morning indicating that Cincinnati was on the verge of scheduling a marquee football opponent. The Bearcats have been squeezed into an unfavorably weak schedule by the departure of TCU to the Big 12 and San Diego State dropping UC for Washington. But Whit came through again today signing Brigham Young to a home-and-home series. It will be UC’s first ever visit to Utah and likewise BYU’s first trip to Ohio.
The series will begin in 2015 with Cincinnati visiting Provo that season with BYU making the return trip to Nippert Stadium the following year. That last part is the key. Babcock was able to ink a series with an extremely successful football program that agreed to play in UC’s hornet’s nest in the middle of campus. It’s easier said than done and why scheduling is a particular challenge for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Whit has even said it himself that Missouri avoided Cincinnati because of the advantage the 35,000-seat venue provides UC. Whether that’s him playing to the home crowd or not, Whit’s comments are a strong indication of how most AD’s view Nippert Stadium.
For now Cincinnati is sitting on a 2015 schedule heavily skewed towards road games. This matchup with the Cougars is the Bearcats’ third roadie with the other two being trips to Miami (FL) and the annual Victory Bell game with the Miami Redhawks. At this point the 2015 schedule is still in flux with rumors of Air Force and/or Alabama A&M potentially be dropped which makes the schedule even more unbalanced. As of now I’d expect either the Miami (FL) game to be moved or dropped in order to make room for another home game.
Regardless, this is the marquee opponent we’ve been waiting for from the new administration and especially one who will agree to play Cincinnati in Nippert Stadium.