By: Aidan Riggs

Sports are a big deal at the University of Cincinnati. It’s a place where we channel our school pride and see how we shape up compared to other universities throughout the nation. In celebration of National Sports Day, we decided to highlight some of UC’s Division I sports top accomplishments. This past year, the Bearcats made the jump to the Power 5 by joining the Big XII conference. This change meant a lot to the school into higher competition, higher standards, and more national focus. In honor of National Sports Day, I’ll be taking a look into some of the history of some of the sports teams at UC and what new things are to come in the near future.

(Courtesy of Cincinnati Athletics)


UC has one of the more historic basketball programs in the nation. On the men’s side, the Bearcats hold 2 national championships, 6 final fours, and are the 12th all-time winningest program. On the women’s side, the Bearcats hold 4 national tournament appearances and a conference USA title. UC’s historic past in the sport will fit in well in a conference as basketball-heavy as the Big XII. Teams on the men’s side such as Kansas and Arizona, and Baylor and Texas on the women’s side, will pose tough new threats for both teams. If the Bearcats are able to find success in conference play early in their Big XII tenure, expect them to be common features of the March Madness each year.

(Courtesy of University of Cincinnati)


The headline sport of the realignment, Cincinnati’s football team has had strong recent success and will hope to continue it as a Power 5 team. As most know, Cincinnati’s football team made history in 2019 as the first group of five teams to make the 4-team college football playoff. As the Bearcats have now joined the Big 12, they are one of three teams in the conference to ever make the tournament (Oklahoma & TCU). While the conference hasn’t had as much success in the national championship in recent times as others, the football presence is strong and is always in the national landscape. We’ve already seen this year UC playing a nationally known team in Oklahoma, and more will be to come with games already scheduled against Oklahoma St. and former American rival UCF. In the next few years, they will also get the opportunity against teams like Utah and national favorite Colorado. With the expansion of the playoffs and the chance at automatic bids now existing, the move to the Big 12 could benefit the football team the most.

(Courtesy of Cincinnati Athletics)


Baseball in the Queen City is a big deal. Home to the oldest professional team in the majors, this city is historic when it comes to the nation’s pastime. It’s no different for the school’s baseball team that began to play in 1886. The team has had scattered success throughout the years, with 14 conference championships throughout the years and 7 national tournament appearances. The Big 12 features many strong baseball programs including TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech. A matchup that could be interesting for the Cats in the coming years is old rival West Virginia. While the rivalry with the mountaineers has been strong in many different sports, baseball is currently a strong suit of the mountain men, having 3 national tournament appearances in the past 7 years and winning the Big 12 regular season last year. While the rivalry in this sport might not be quite as strong, it will still be an interesting one to watch out for based on recent success. 

(Courtesy of Cincinnati Athletics)


Women’s soccer is one of the more open sports of the Big 12. While West Virginia has been a strong force in the conference for the past decade, there has been a different champion in four of the past five conference tournaments. Cincy, led by new head coach Erica Demers, should have a good chance to compete at a high level. The Bearcats do have an American Conference Championship to their name but will look to add a national tournament appearance to it in the future.

(Courtesy of Cincinnati Athletics)


One of the lesser-known sports on campus, lacrosse, is the outlier in the list of sports that moved conferences. While all the other sports have now moved to the Big 12, Women’s lacrosse stayed put in the American Athletic Conference. This is simply due to the fact that the Big 12 doesn’t offer lacrosse as a sponsored sport. I wanted to highlight lacrosse as it would be easy for them to be forgotten in the mess of realignment. This conference features some different teams than usual including matchups against Vanderbilt, Florida, and national contender James Madison. The women’s lacrosse team should not be forgotten in the conference realignment of all of UC’s sports.  

Overall, the transition to the Big 12 gave the Bearcats new opportunities in many different ways. The question lies in how they will respond to the new challenges, tougher competition, and higher standards that come with it. UC now has a chance to show they belong with the best of the best in collegiate athletics, and all fans of the Bearcats can’t wait to see how they perform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *