College Football Teams That Have Never Won A Conference Championship Are the Glory Days for Cincinnati Bearcat Football Over?

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Are the Glory Days for Cincinnati Bearcat Football Over?

Let’s face it, we’re living in the glory years of UC football.

Yes, there are some diehards (all 12 of you) who argue that UC has a very old past like Sid Gilman and Greg Cook, but trust me, no diehard college football fan gives UC football a second thought historically. However, UC football has had a great run in recent years, and Brian Kelly’s magical ride in 2009 captured the nation’s attention that briefly put them in the picture for a national title (until Virginia Tech punked them in the Orange Bowl). This success, coupled with a couple of 10-plus win seasons and a pair of Big East Championships (2011 Big East Championship #3 if Zach Koloros hadn’t gotten hurt) has put UC football on the map, at the very least. Again, no one is losing sleep in Tuscaloosa or Norman, but UC football is at least in the conversation.

So with all this success and the university administration seemingly determined to keep it successful, why does the future of UC football look so bleak?

Well, where do we begin…

Like everything in life, it all comes down to Benjamin. Follow the money and you will find your answers.

UC’s recent growth has all to do with its affiliation with the Big East Conference. Argue that the weak sauce Big East should never have had automatic qualifying status in the BCS (a very valid argument, btw!), but in doing so, it edged out UC in ’08 and ’09. And it’s primed for future success—if the conference survives and retains its status as one of six BCS conferences with an automatic berth in the championship series, and all the revenue and prestige that comes with it.

However, all signs from last year point to the Big East not holding this favored position (save for one saving grace, which I’ll get to in a moment). A college football realignment cesspool that has exposed all BCS members as nothing more than greedy money whores with no loyalty to traditional conference rivals and partners (Missouri in the SEC, Syracuse in the ACC), leaves the already competitively challenged Big East extremely vulnerable. lose

I won’t bore you with the arcane details of how the BCS determines its conferences to award automatic qualifying status (I’m so dizzy–snarky writers get confused easily), but needless to say, the Big East isn’t looking too good. . Desperate to add some teeth and boost their competitive credentials after losing Syracuse, West Virginia and Pitt, adding Boise State would certainly help, but according to ESPN BCS guru Brad Edwards, it’s still not enough to make up for the Broncos’ additions. Vague criteria set by BCS. The addition of minor leaguers UCF, Memphis, Houston, San Diego State, SMU and Navy upstarts doesn’t hurt either.

College Football Playoff (college football fans will be very disappointed at how little it solves). While all the details have yet to be worked out, some problems already exist and again, the Big East is not in an enviable position. The playoffs will be tied to major bowls, and while the Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC and ACC have aligned themselves with major bowls for their champions, the Big East has no place for its title.

So goes the Big East, so goes UC football.

What was once UC’s biggest strength (a BCS conference with automatic qualifying status, a national stage and weak competition always makes them a contender) is now their biggest burden. And UC can’t do anything about it. With its small, ancient stadium, lack of historical relevance and relatively small fan base, UC won’t get a get-out-of-jail-free card like WVU, Pitt and the Cuse and an invitation to another conference.

UC is stuck.

But, lo and behold, all is not completely lost for UC and the Big East. Even though it’s an infusion of minor leaguers and Boise State doesn’t really get the heart of the competition, there’s one variable the pimps who run college football really like — it creates a lot of potential eyeballs in its irrelevance in the form of TV markets, ridiculous geographic footprints.

Houston, SDSU and SMU, along with Rutgers, UConn, South Florida and Cincinnati, could be considered homecoming fodder for many BCS schools, while the Big East has a load of potential TV sets that television rights holders agonize over and agonize over. At the end of the day, that’s not what the maddening frenzy of conference realignment is all about, right?

Even though most football fans in these large Big East markets have no idea where these teams play, something tells me that the BCS could find room for potential TV sets—and a portion of the revenue—the Big East potentially commands.

As I said, follow Benjamin and all will be revealed.

At least, UC is a good hope.

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