It was announced almost a month ago to the day that the San Diego State Aztecs were visiting Fifth Third Arena this season. The first report claimed this was set to be the return game for Cincinnati travelling out to the West Coast in 2007, a trip that saw the Bearcats whoop all kinds of Aztec ass in Brian Kelly’s first season. Upon relentless push back from SDSU, it seemed the schools came to an agreement to make up for the delay by having the basketball teams meet at UC this upcoming season.
Now, according to Jon Rothstein, it appears a new home-and-home arrangement has been hashed out.
Cincinnati will host San Diego State on Wednesday 12/17/14, source told @CBSSports. Start of H and H series. Return game in Cali in 15-16.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 14, 2014
On the surface, it looks like Cincinnati is laying down yet again when it comes to their basketball schedule (see: Shootout, Crosstown). When it’s all said and down the Bearcats will have visited San Diego State twice while the Aztecs will have traveled to UC just once. Just doesn’t seem fair.
But when you take emotions out of it, Cincinnati is actually getting a favorable shake here. The Bearcats earned $200,000 for travelling to San Diego State, a game they won, but UC didn’t have to pay out the same dough for the Aztecs making the return trip. Essentially, Cincinnati was paid 200-grand to beat the tar out of SDSU 52-23. Plus the Bearcats get a guaranteed quality basketball opponent on the slate for the next two seasons. Considering the importance of strength of schedule come March Madness time, this is a very, very smart move for UC.
So when it’s all said and done, Cincinnati reworking the deal works out much better for them long term than simply accepting a return trip from the Aztecs.