Cincinnati has been a very competitive football team for most of the last 10 years. Over the years, the Bearcats have done well in almost every sport, especially basketball. Ohio's population of 11.54 million more than meets the media footprint requirement for the SEC. Next to the big three (Florida, Texas and California), Ohio is one of the top producers of football talent in the country. The Bearcats would be a natural rival for Kentucky, which is virtually just across the river. To make matters better, adding Cincinnati would give the SEC a toehold in Big Ten country.
So, why not invite Cincinnati to join the SEC?
- Would adding the Bearcats accomplish more than poking the Big Ten in the eye?
- Much like Louisiana is LSU country, Ohio is Ohio State country. Would the Bearcats really enhance media coverage outside the immediate Cincinnati area?
- Would the SEC be able to make major recruiting inroads into Ohio?
- With Brian Kelly gone to Notre Dame, will the Bearcats sink back into mediocrity and become Vanderbilt North?
- Would being part of the SEC give Cincinnati the cachet that being in the Big East does not, thus enabling it to compete with Ohio State on more even footing within the state of Ohio? Is the SEC willing to help Cincinnati within reason in their battle with the Buckeyes?
While there are many questions, it seems when the pluses and minuses of all the probable candidates are considered, Cincinnati is the best option in the East to balance Texas A&M in the West.