Cincinnati Football Predictions

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Cincinnati will look to continue their winning ways under first year head coach Tommy Tuberville. The Bearcats closed out the 2012 campaign with a 48-34 victory over Duke in the Belk Bowl to finish up at 10-3 overall. They have now reached double-digit wins in five of the past six seasons. Their 65 wins over the last 7 years is the most of any team in the newly formed American Athletic Conference.

Typically a change at head coach results in some struggles the next year, but that hasn’t been the case for the Bearcats. When Mark Dantonio left for the Michigan State job in 2007, Chip Kelly stepped in and went 33-7 before leaving for Notre Dame. Butch Jones struggled in his first season replacing Kelly, but went an impressive 20-6 the past two years. Jones left for Tennessee and now it’s Tuberville’s turn to lead the troops. While the previous head coaches have all spent little time before moving on to a bigger job, the expectation is for Tuberville to stick around for several seasons.

Tuberville figures to have ever opportunity to succeed in his first season, as the Bearcats return 13 starters from a year ago. They do have some holes to fill with the loss of leading rusher George Winn, their top two options in the passing game and four of the top six tacklers on defense, but overall there’s plenty of talent coming back.

Last Season
Big East
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
T-1st
10-3
8-4-1
6-5
32.3
18.5
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
13
7
6
6.77
51st
118th
Head Coach Tommy Tuberville
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
124-72
92-94-1
74-31
43-52-2
40-33
42-31-0
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
8-3
6-5
13-10
11-11
38-27
28-34-1
2013 Schedule
2013 Cincinnati Bearcats Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/31 Purdue
-7.5
0.74
9/7 @ Illinois
-3.5
0.60
9/14 Northwestern St
-35
1
9/21 @ Miami, Oh
-15
1
10/5 @ USF
-8
0.73
10/11 Temple
-18
1
10/19 Connecticut
-10
0.77
10/30 @ Memphis
-17
1
11/9 SMU
-13
0.87
11/16 @ Rutgers
+3
0.44
11/23 @ Houston
-6
0.66
12/5 Louisville
+3
0.44
Estimated Wins: 9.25

Cincinnati will have a shot at opening up the season as strong as 9-0, as they are expected to be favored in every game leading up to their showdown at Rutgers on Nov. 21.

The non-conference portion of the schedule includes a couple of BCS opponents in Purdue and Illinois, but they catch a break by getting the Boilermakers at home. The shouldn’t have any trouble getting past Northwestern State at home and will be heavily favored on the road at Miami.

Cincinnati will open up play in the newly formed American Athletic Conference on the road against former Big East foe South Florida. They then get three of their next four at home and a very easy road game at Memphis.

Things get a whole lot tougher in the final three games of the regular season. Cincinnati follows up that road game against the Scarlet Knights with an away game at what figures to be a very improved Houston club. They then close out the season at home against a Louisville team that many are calling to go unbeaten in 2013.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
American Athletic Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
9.5
19 to 4
200 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

With the way the schedule sets up, anything less than an 8-win season would be considered a major disappointment. I look for Tubberville to deliver in his first season and guide the Bearcats to a second place finish in the AAC. While Louisville is the heavy favorite to win the conference, Cincinnati has a realistic chance of pulling off an upset at home against the Cardinals and playing in a BCS Bowl. I do think the Bearcats will lose at either Rutgers or Houston, but that wouldn’t hurt them in the standings if they knock off Louisville.

There’s going to be plenty of concern with a defense that returns just six starters, but year after year this team finds a way to produce on that side of the ball. Over the seven years the most points the defense has allowed in a given season is 28.0. Every other year they have allowed 23.0 ppg or fewer. With a talented linebacker corps led by senior middle linebacker Greg Blair, I think the stop unit is very underrated going into 2013.

Offensively the big question for Cincinnati is who will be the starting quarterback. Senior Munchie Legaux started the first eight games, but was replaced by Brendon Kay. Tubberville didn’t name a starter in spring practice, but it appears it’s Kay’s job to lose. Either way the Bearcats are going to have experience at the most important position on the field and with all five starters returning on the offensive line, I look for similar production out of the running back spot.

2013 Projections
American Athletic
American Athletic Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
2nd
6-2
10-2
Over (9.5)
Cincinnati Football Resources
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American Athletic
Cincinnati Connecticut Houston Louisville Memphis
Rutgers SMU Temple UCF USF
Conferences
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Conference USA Independents MAC Mountain West
Pac-12 SEC Sun Belt

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