Fickell Year 2
Earlier this week the complete 2018 football scheduled was released by the American. In a turbulent week in basketball it was looked at and tabled for later discussion because the basketball bearcats were on a tear. After Sunday though I need to take my mind elsewhere. I’m not discarding the Basketball Bearcats yet I just need a timeout and recoup before we thrash UConn on Thursday. I thought it a fitting time to look ahead to football season in a very early schedule breakdown and prediction for the season.
Luke Fickell and company are in year 2 in Clifton and are out to prove they can run a successful program. Last year we saw the Bearcats finish 4-8 and miss bowl season for the second year in a row. The coaching staff has a couple new faces, some that may be familiar like former player Mike Mickens.
The highlight of last year was easily beating Miami (OH) for the 12 straight year in one of the more dramatic finishes in college football last year. Unfortunately, beating Oxford is a highlight now.
I traveled to Ann Arbor last season to watch the Bearcats take on Michigan, I figured we’d finish at least bowl eligible after watching that game. (Shows what I know)
The schedule this year features all but one Saturday game which is awesome and the traditional post Thanksgiving home game that always promises to never be that exciting, unless we’re playing for bowl eligibility.
IMPORTANT: @GoBearcatsFB season ticket renewals START NOW! The earlier you renew online, the more chances you have to win! Renewal deadline is March 30th.
— Bearcats Ticket Office (@GoBearcatsTIX) February 19, 2018
At UCLA 9/1 – UCLA is under newly signed head coach Chip Kelly. They finished last year at 6-7, This will be his first game as a Bruin and first coached game in a couple of seasons since being booted out of the NFL. Still UC will have to play up in this game, much like the Michigan game last year. The Cats will keep it close but I can’t call it a W. They’ll drop this one in Sunny Loss Angeles. (See what I did there). 0-1
At PBS v Miami (OH) 9/8 – The Redhawks finished 5-7 last year and I’d bet the farm the Bearcats beat the Redhawks for the Victory Bell again. They had their chance to win it last year and blew it. The bell will ring out in Red and Black again. Win. 1-1
Alabama A&M 9/15 – 4-7 last year. Usually the warm up game for the season. Win. 2-1
Ohio U 9/22 – I don’t know much about the Bobcats except they finished last year at 9-4 and lost one to Kansas. That hurts. Win 3-1
At UConn 9/29 – 3-9 last season. We squeaked one out last year winning 22-21. Bearcats win again. 4-1
Tulane 10/6 – 5-7 last season and another team we beat in a thriller. This one ended with Tulane missing a chip shot field goal as time expired. Win 5-1
At Temple 10/20 – They finished last season at 7-6. This one will be a close one in my opinion. I don’t think we upset Temple in Philly this year. Loss. 5-2
At SMU 10/27 – Finished 7-6 in 2017. If we don’t beat Temple we have to win in Dallas. Another toss up like the Temple game. Win. 6-2
Navy 11/3 Finished 7-6 last year too. The triple option destroyed us last year, like Navy put up all time rushing yards against us. Even if we’re 50% better against them I think they still win. Loss. 6-3
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) February 12, 2018
USF 11/10 – Finished 10-2. I don’t think we’re there yet. Loss. 6-4
At UCF 11/17 Finished 13-0, beat Auburn and are the self declared National Champions. They did lose their head coach to Nebraska, a move I don’t understand. The money is more important than climate I guess. Who wants to spend their awesome years in college in Nebraska? Any way I look for UCF to fall off somewhat this year but not that much. Loss. 6-5
ECU 11/23 by this time the sky will be falling in Cincinnati because the Bearcats could be on 4 game losing streak. The Pirates finished 3-9 but dominated us last year in a 48-20 stomping. Bearcats bounce back this year though. Win. 7-5.
So that total puts us at 7-5 which would be a vast improvement for Coach Fickell and his football Bearcats and put us back in the bowl season in what seems like forever.