Cover Image via Sara Whitton


With fall right around the corner, the Cincinnati Bearcats prepare for their 138th season, and welcome the Eastern Kentucky Colonels to Nippert Stadium to open up their first year in the Big 12. The Bearcats have met the Colonels twice before, once in 2006, and the second in 2008. Both going the way of Cincinnati, outscoring Eastern Kentucky 71-7 over the two contests.  


The Bearcats boast a twelve-game home opener winning streak heading into Saturday’s matchup, as well as the 5th highest record across all of college football since 2018, sitting among the ranks of Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. Recent accolades also include a trip to the 2021-22 College Football Playoff, back-to-back American Athletic Conference Championships in 2020 and 2021, as well as having the highest drafted player in program history in Sauce Gardener. The Bearcats finished last season with a 9-4 mark, missing the American Athletic Conference Championship game, and falling in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl to former Big East Rival Louisville. The Bearcats also had two players named to the All-Big 12 preseason team (DL Dontay Corleone and P Mason Fletcher). 


The Colonels finished last season with a 7-5 mark, and making it to the FCS Playoffs, however falling just short of Gardner-Webb in the first round 41-52. EKU had five players named to the All-UAC Team this off-season, including Quarterback Parker McKinney, DB Franky West Jr., and D-Lineman Ryan Jackson. This year also marks the newly formed United Athletic Conference (UAC). This FCS Conference features North Alabama, Austin Peay, Central Arkansas, and Utah Tech among others.  


Cincinnati was picked to finish second to last in the conference, finishing only above West Virginia in the polls, Eastern Kentucky however was picked to finish first in the newly formed UAC with 2 first place votes in voting. Full polls for each conference can be seen below 


United Athletic Conference Coaches’ Poll:  

  1. Eastern Kentucky (2) 71 
  2. Central Arkansas (5) 69 
  3. Austin Peay (1) 57 
  4. Stephen F. Austin 54 
  5. Abilene Christian 52 
  6. Tarleton State 37 
  7. Utah Tech (1) 25
    Southern Utah 25 
  8. North Alabama 15 

(via First-place votes in parenthesis 


Big 12 Conference Coaches’ Poll: 

  1. Texas (41) 886 Kansas State (14) 858 
  2. Oklahoma (4) 758 
  3. Texas Tech (4) 729 
  4. TCU (3) 727 
  5. Baylor 572 
  6. Oklahoma State (1) 470 
  7. UCF 463 
  8. Kansas 461 
  9. Iowa State 334 
  10. BYU 318 
  11. Houston 215 
  12. Cincinnati 202 
  13. West Virginia 129 

(via First-place votes in parenthesis 


A sold-out crowd awaits the Bearcats and Colonels Saturday, September 2nd for week one of the college football season. Fans have been asked to wear white and will mark the first white out since the 2016 season. The game will be made available on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+, 700 WLW and on Bearcast Sports Radio.  

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