Cincinnati Football: Bearcats face South Florida for 20th straight season

Cincinnati Bearcats Ethan Wright runs against the South Florida Bulls. Getty Images.
Cincinnati Bearcats Ethan Wright runs against the South Florida Bulls. Getty Images. /
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During the conference realignment era, it’s pretty rare for the Bearcats to play any opponent more than a few years in a row. Besides the annual rivalry game against Miami, the only exception is a matchup with South Florida every single season since 2003.

Prior to both programs joining the AAC nearly a decade ago, the Bearcats and Bulls competed in the Big East Conference from 2005-2012. During that span, Cincinnati went 6-2 including a last-second win en route to securing the Big East title in 2011.

Two years before becoming conference opponents, the Bearcats traveled to Tampa for the first ever matchup against South Florida. The Bulls survived with a 24-17 win in double overtime but Cincinnati got revenge the next year in a 45-23 blowout win.

Cincinnati Football: Bearcats face South Florida for 20th straight season

  • All-Time Series: Cincinnati (12-7)
  • Average Margin: Bearcats (+1.9)
  • First Meeting: South Florida in 2003
  • Last Matchup: Cincinnati in 2021

After moving to the American Conference in 2013, the annual meeting has been competitive in most seasons. South Florida won four of five matchups from 2013-2017 before the Bearcats won four in a row including a 45-28 win on the road last year.

Even though there have been several blowouts in that time frame, Cincinnati struggled with South Florida at times. Most notably when the Bearcats entered as heavy favorites in 2019 but needed a late comeback to escape with a 20-17 win.

The last two matchups haven’t been nearly as close with Cincinnati blowing out South Florida to take a 12-7 advantage in the all-time series. With kick off set for Saturday, the Bearcats are favored to make it five wins in a row against the conference foe.

Next. Cincinnati Football: Week 6 spreads for each conference matchup. dark