Ohio State has reached the College Football Playoffs again they are not the only Ohio school to make a bowl game. Kent State is doing battle with the Utah State Aggies Friday night. We also have Cincinnati Bearcats facing the Boston College Eagles on January 2nd and the Ohio Bobcats facing the Nevada Wolfpack on January third. So while most major media outlets are focusing on the Ohio State Buckeyes and their chances against the Clemson Tigers and the eventual winner of the matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the LSU Tigers, let’s zoom in on the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Ohio Bobcats.
The Bearcats are looking to go back to back on 11-win seasons. Cincinnati is listed as seven-point favorites over the Eagles on SBR odds. By all means, if Cincinnati didn’t lose back to back games against a ranked Memphis Tigers squad, they would likely have gotten a New Year’s Six Bowl. But as it is, they took a long slide down the hierarchy and will face a 6-6 Boston College team instead.
That said, the Eagles allow 31.67 per game, and the Bearcats allow just 21.69. Now you could argue that the Eagles play in a Power 5 conference and the Bearcats are a ‘small-school conference’, the ACC, with the exception of Clemson isn’t really any stronger than the AAC this year. The Cincinnati Bearcats are going to give the B.C. Eagles a double-dose of Michael Warren II and Desmond Rider. They have been a run-heavy team all year, but the Eagles are terrible at defending the pass.
How terrible? 126th in the nation – That leaves just three teams who are worse than they are at stopping passing yards from stacking up. Look for the Bearcats to get a win in the Birmingham Bowl and get two-straight 11-win seasons. Again, the Ohio-based team is coming into this game as the favorite. The vast difference comes from Ohio’s ability to put up 216.5 rushing yards per game on top of their 226.83 passing yards.
Nevada throws equally well, dropping 236.5 yards per game on their opponents, but they only rush for 123.42 per game, more than 100 yards fewer than the Bobcats. They allow 32.08 points per game overall, ranked No. 102 in the country for scoring defense. Although Ohio isn’t the best defense at 27.00 per game allowed, it still adds five more points to the scoring margin.
I predict that the Ohio Bobcats go into Albertson’s Stadium and thoroughly scratch up the Wolfpack and win by double-digits. Bonus Prediction Clemson is good, but they had the weakest schedule of any team in the Top 10. Ohio State has been battle-tested whereas, the Tigers have not. They are going to be shell-shocked and frustrated when the game doesn’t immediately go their way.