Is Cincinnati Returning to a Football School?

For the past decade, UC has been a basketball school.  Basketball thrived, while football was inconsistent and mediocre at times.  The late 2000s, 2009 in specific, were the prime of Bearcat football, however they have returned to the success level of that time.

Despite both the football and basketball teams having great seasons in 2018-19, the off season has not been ideal for basketball.  Football on the other hand has been thriving under head coach Luke Fickell, and will look to keep last seasons success rolling into 2019.

Off Seasons

Basketball

After Cronin’s departure, some Bearcat fans are anxious for Brannen to make big moves.  Through the first month, Brannen has added a group of coaches, a 2019 signing in Jeremiah Davenport from Moeller, and brought in 7’1″ Junior Chris Vogt from Northern Kentucky.

Vogt will be a key part to the Bearcats front court in 2019-20.  His big frame gives a fill in for the loss of center Nysier Brooks who transferred to University of Miami.

UC basketball lost 3 players to the transfer portal as well. Guard Logan Johnson and center Eliel Nsoseme followed Brooks in leaving Cincy this offseason.

Football

The off season for Fickell and the football team has been much better.  Landing five 2019 transfers (including one from Bama, Michigan and two more from Ohio State) and adding five commits to the 2020 class, a lot of talent is coming in for the future.

Fickell adressed the wide receiver position this offseason, bringing in L’Christian “Blue” Smith and Gavyn Prater from OSU.  Smith was a 4 star out of High School, and a top 5 athlete in the country according to 247sports.  Both Prater and Smith add great size to the Bearcat WR corps, which went from worrisome to one of the AACs best.

Expectations for 2019

Basketball

After so much recent success under Cronin, this team is likely to take a step back.  The expectations, however, are not that this team is in “rebuild mode” for this season.  Brannen walks into a vicious non-conference schedule, but this team is still capable of being a top 3 team in the American Athletic.

Making the NCAA tournament is not too far fetched as well.  It would be a great success for Brannen to take this team to the dance.  Some people have little faith in this team, but if Jarron Cumberland returns, which is likely, this team will be solid.

Football

Fickell is coming off of his best season as a head coach.  11 wins, a bowl win over an ACC team in Virginia Tech, and a feature on Primetime ABC + College Gameday was amazing.

With so much production returning (71%) Cincinnati sits 36th in the country in that category.  UC finished ranked 24th in the AP Polls at the end of last season and is expected to finish ranked again this year.

The Bearcat football team is also a contender for the AAC, as UCF will likely take a step back.  UCF will be without QB McKenzie Milton, their starter for their 25-game win streak.

So, is UC Now a Football School?

It is clear fans are excited for Bearcat football this fall.  Season ticket sales are booming and fans have been talking football all offseason.

Cincinnati is truly a football school again.  This does not mean fans are not excited for the new look basketball team with John Brannen and staff, but they can sense how good the football team should and will be.  It is an exciting time to be a Cincinnati Bearcat fan.

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