BIG EAST FOOTBALL: Cincinnati Bearcats 2008 Season Predictions

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BIG EAST FOOTBALL:  Cincinnati Bearcats 2008 Season Predictions

Second year Cincinnati Bearcats coach Brian Kelly took the wheel of a program that was on its way up and stepped on the gas pedal. The challenge in 2008 will be maintaining that kind of progress with a team that isn’t likely to surprise anyone.

A strong core group of players return, including six starters from an offense that averaged better than 36 points per game and six from a defense that led the nation with 42 takeaways. That provides reason to believe that Kelly’s second year in the Queen City could be even better than his first.

Here are my predictions for the 2008 Cincinnati Bearcats.

8/28     EASTERN KENTUCKY

One last scrimmage before traveling to Norman to meet the Sooners.

Prediction:  Win (44-10)

9/06     at OKLAHOMA

The Sooners expect to not only win the Big XII, but also be in consideration for the BCS Championship game.

Prediction:  Loss (38-20)

9/20     MIAMI (OHIO)

Brian Kelly gets team focused on the task ahead after a tough loss.

Prediction:  Win (35-14)

9/27     at AKRON

This road trip to the Rubber Bowl will be much easier than the trip to Oklahoma.

Prediction:  Win (34-14)

10/03   at MARSHALL

The Bearcats visit an improved Marshall team.  But the Thundering Herd are not up to par.

Prediction:  Win (38-10)

10/11   RUTGERS

The Scarlet Knights will miss Ray Rice, but are still very competitive.  The difference in this one is the home-field advantage for the Bearcats.

Prediction:  Win (27-24)

10/25   at CONNECTICUT

Was 2007 a fluke for the Huskies?  I don't think so, but they will come up just short in this battle.

Prediction:  Win (28-24)

10/30   SOUTH FLORIDA

A tough game for the for the Bearcats.  Matt Grothe will run less this season, but today he runs through the Cincinnati defense. 

Prediction:  Loss (31-27)

11/08   at WEST VIRGINIA

A new coach in Morgantown won't change much.  West Virginia is still stacked, and Mountaineer Field is usually a pretty tough place to play.

Prediction:  Loss (37-24)

11/14   at LOUISVILLE

The Cardinals continue to rebuild and the Bearcats are ready to win again.

Prediction:  Win (31-21)

11/22   PITT

A much improved Pitt team is tough match up for Cincinnati.  LeSean McCoy has a big day and is the difference in the game.

Prediction:  Loss (31-27)

11/29   SYRACUSE

Syracuse just cannot play defense.  An easy conference victory.

Prediction:  Win (38-10)

12/06   at HAWAII

No Colt Brennen.  No June Jones.  No chance.

Prediction:  Win (34-17)

Final Record:  9-4.  Brian Kelly's second year is not quite as successful as his first, but still impressive considering the schedule.  Cincinnati will only continue to improve and Kelly is good coach who has this team moving in the right direction.

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