All That Glitters is Championship Gold
Dark horse, noun, is a little-known person or team that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort or a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed.
The Cincinnati football Bearcats are in a unique position come this Saturday. For the first time the Bearcats are the feature game on ESPN’s College Gameday. From 9am to noon on Saturday the UCF Knights and the UC Bearcats will be the featured talking points for Corso and the boys. Of course the crew isn’t in Clifton, they’re in Orlando to focus on the UCF Knights.
The Gameday crew isn’t there to watch one of the most improved teams in college football, the Cincinnati Bearcats. They’re setting up shop in Orlando to see the UCF Knights try to extend the nations longest winning streak, which currently sits at 22 games in a row. The crew is there to watch the reigning national champions take on their first ranked opponent of the season. The spotlight is there to shine on the team from the sunshine state.
Most people outside of Cincinnati wonder why we’re even making the trip down there. We’re just going to be their 23rd victim.
Outside of the city, people don’t know the Bearcats are made for this role. The Bearcats have never been the Cinderella, the sweetheart, the darling team the masses fall in love with.
We’ve embraced this persona. The all black uniforms, the grit, the Cincinnati brand, not only of football, but basketball too. The Bearcats are used to living in the shadows, emerging victorious when no one else believes it can be done.
Its personified with Mike Warren II. His style of play, the relentlessness of his game is the perfect example.
Do you not believe me? Just check out the hype video after the UCLA win in week one. Desmond Howard said we didn’t stand a chance. WE WERE AN UNDERDOG TO THE MIAMI (OH) REDHAWKS!
Game 0️⃣2️⃣: Respect
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) September 8, 2018
Cincinnati at UCLA
David Pollack: UCLA
Desmond Howard: UCLA — “I got UCLA big with Wilton Speight at quarterback for Chip Kelly.”
Lee Corso: UCLA
Kirk Herbstreit: UCLA — “I don’t think it’ll be easy. But UCLA, end of the day, too many athletes.”
Is this the only example? No but it illustrates my point. Just look at the CFP rankings if you need another example. We’re ranked 24th, that’s awesome, but we’re ranked behind 2 teams with 4 losses and behind 8 teams with 3 losses.
Here’s a drinking game for you to play from 9 to noon tomorrow. For every time they say something to the affect “The Bearcats have their hands full tonight” take a drink. For everyone who picks against UC take a drink. When Corso comes out in a full suit of armor, picking the Knights, chug a beer. What happens if he picks the Bearcats? He’s not going to do it. (If he does, chug 2 beers)
If I had to guess if someone was going to pick the Bearcats I’d pick Herbstreit. He was teammates with Fickell and knows his well, but still, highly unlikely.
The hype in Orlando has already arrived. People are already camping out to be first in line for the Gameday shooting.
— Jimmy Skiles (@JimmySkiles) November 16, 2018
Let the hype build. Let the Knight’s team, fanbase, and everyone else get drunk off of the spotlight before the game even starts because once that ball is kicked off it’s time for the dark horse to shine. It’s time for the Bearcats to show that grit, that Cincinnati brand of football, and emerge victorious.