For all of the closed door deals to keep the Bearcats out of the Corrupt Football Playoff there are those crunching the numbers and fighting the good fight. It seems that more and more people are jumping on the Bearcats Bandwagon. This is to highlight all of that new attention.
To lead things off Collin Wilson (@_Collin1), of Action Network, the #1 app for sports bettors, recently provided his power ratings for teams who should be favored in most of their games this season. Based on what Wilson predicts, there are 7 teams that should be favored in all 12 of their games. The list:
and that’s it.
Wilson went on to provide a comprehensive list of those favored in 11of 12 and 10 of 12 of their games. The only other AAC team listed is UCF who is favored in 10 of 12 games.
Super Books Sports the “most trusted oddsmakers in the industry” per their website, recently released their odds on the AAC, giving the Bearcats the overwhelming odds to win the conference again.
Memphis, Tulsa 12/1
East Carolina 80/1
Multiple Vegas institutions has the Bearcats win total at 10 this year. I’d take the over.
Vegas has said “Show me the money” and the smart money is on the Bearcats. Yet, Vegas isn’t the only one taking notice of the Bearcats and the season that could be for 2021. Josh Pate of 247Sports and The Late Kick with Josh Pate predicts that, if undefeated, the Bearcats are in the CFP no questions asked.
Besides Pate, profootballnetwork has included the Bearcats in their list of potential CFP teams.
As a team the Bearcats are ready to dominate, but what about the individuals who make up the team?
First up, Phil Steele. Phil is a nationally known college football analysts and annually publishes the “college football bible.” Steele lists the Bearcats DB duo of Sauce Gardner and Coby Bryant as the #2 duo in the country, only behind Alabama’s.
Add in that the Bearcats seem to be mentioned daily by pff.com a site offering premium data & analytics to 100 CFB programs and CFB & NFL Draft analysis. PFF slates the Bearcats as the #4 pass rush defense and #4 overall defense in the country, behind only Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Georiga. They also routinely list CB Sauce Gardner as one of the best defenders in all of college football. (He ranked #3 in their latest listing) Additionally, they’ve named Sauce and Coby Bryant as the #4 best cornerback duo in college football.
To top it all off the Bearcats have amassed respect even among the fans of upcoming opponents. Daniel Morris a contributor for slapthesign.com, a Notre Dame Fansided Network site that provides ND news, opinions, and recruiting updates, officially predicted a Bearcats victory over the Fighting Irish, 17-14.
If you need more proof that the Bearcats might no longer be the Dark Horse favorite just check out the players named to all the differ awards watchlists. I would guess there are still some lists still to come.
CB Sauce Gardner has been named to the Walter Camp preseason All-American football team, earning first-team nods from Athlon, Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus, and Sporting News. He’s also on the watchlist for the Bednarik Award (Defensive POY).
DE Myjai Sanders has second-team honors from Athlon and Walter Camp and third-team awards from Phil Steele and PF. He’s also on the watchlist for the Bednarik Award (Defensive POY).
CB Coby Bryant was named this week to the 2021 Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy watchlist
QB Des Ridder has been named to the Davey O’Brien Award (top QB) watchlist, and the Maxwell Award (outtanding player) watchlist.
TE Josh Whyle has been named to the preseason watchlist for the John Mackey Award. (Top TE)
HC Luke Fickell has been named to the Dodd Trophy (Coach of the Year) watchlist.
Have the Bearcats been noticed? Absolutely. But I can’t say that America is completely in love with them yet but winning makes everything easier. All this attention is a good thing, hopefully it will be enough to secure an invite in this inevitable upcoming round of conference realignment.