You know what’s funny? If you put UC’s skill players behind the Cleveland Browns’ offensive line, I guarantee they would score more than 7 points against the Bengals. That might not mean much about how crappy Cleveland is, but it means a lot that a collegiate defense will have to try to stop the Bearcats’ offensive collection of future pros this coming weekend.
With UC’s win over Illinois last Friday — which, at 49-36, was actually not very close at all — the Bearcats are set up for a season finale against Pitt for the Big East Championship. It kind of sucks that Pitt has already lost two games (one in the conference) and they have nearly as much to play for as UC, but whatever. Pitt’s current 5-1 Big East record will hold up if it beats UC, since the Bearcats’ lone loss would be the tiebreaker. Still, Pitt’s 19-16 loss to West Virginia last Saturday proves that it's a very beatable team.
The other pending issue regarding the Bearcats’ possible 12-0 regular season is the outside chance at a National Championship game. The ‘Cats basically need Texas to lose in the Big XII championship game to Nebraska and for their win over Pitt to bump them above TCU in the final BCS standings. But even if Texas wins out and UC loses to Pitt, they’ll still be in the running for one of the four at-large BCS bids, possibly competing with Iowa and Penn State for the final spot.
The bottom line is that UC is on the verge of completing the greatest season in school history with or without the title shot. If the Bearcats win the Big East again, Brian Kelly will get a chance to show how legit his program is during a BCS game against the SEC runner-up in the Sugar Bowl. But first up is Pitt, perhaps the best team UC has played this season but perhaps just about the same as the Oregon State and West Virginia teams that UC had little trouble with.
UC fans would prefer to play this championship game at Nippert, but they go into it plenty confident that the better team will prevail and the Bearcats will go to a second straight BCS game ... and maybe more.
Until the big game, check out these photos of UC's win over Illinois on Senior Day. They scored a lot of points, so there are some good ones.