Syracuse looks to ruin 3 of three homecoming games. But how much do you know about the Bearcats?
History: Like most schools in Ohio, Cincinnati was founded long before Ohio State. It was founded in 1819, to be exact. The school was jointly founded by Daniel Drake and William Lytle as the Medical College of Ohio and Cinncinati College. In 1870, a man named Charles McMicken donated land to Cincinnati College and the city took it over and it became the Univeristy of Cincinnati. The Medical College of Ohio was affiliated with Cincy since 1896 as the Ohio-Miami Medical Department. In 1962, it absorbed the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In 1968, it was designated a "municipally-sponsored, state affiliated" university and in 1977 was absorbed into the University System of Ohio.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio. It was first settled in 1788 and was called Losantiville, or "City opposite the mouth Licking River." Of course, the city is on the Ohio River and is also pretty close to the mouth of the Miami River of the North (I say that because there's also a Miami River in Florida, the technical name for the Miami River up here is the Little Miami River). Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Terretoriy, renamed it Cincinnati after the Society of Cincinnati (surprisingly, this is a Roman name; you'd think it's a Shawnee name or something). Because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow referred to Cincinnati as the "Queen of the West," residents started calling it the Queen City. Cincy had the first paid fire department in the US in 1853, and was home to Proctor and Gamble. During the Civil War, due to Cincy's location across from Kentucky, it became a major hub on the Underground Railroad, and the city has a bad reputation for race riots to this day. In addition to Proctor and Gamble, Macy's is headquartered in Cincy, as is the Scripps media conglomerate. It was also where John A. Roebling got his start; he designed the Brooklyn Bridge later.
Academics: Cincy is ranked 156th on US News's list of National Universities, and has about 22k undergrads. However, some of their programs are ranked very high. They have the sixth best conservatory in the nation, so if you want to date a hot singer you know where to go to school. The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Service is ranked third nationally, and they have a leading teaching hospital. Cincy also introduced the oral polio vaccine, the first antihistemine, and the electric organ. The college of design, art, architecture and planning is ranked in the top 20 of the world.
Notable Alumni: Cincy is one of the first schools we played to have a US President as an alum, and is even more unique as that it also has a US Vice President. The President? William Howard Taft, the world famous "fat man." The VP? Charles Dawes under Calvin Coolidge, who also won the Nobel Peace Prize. The first commissioner of Major League Baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, went to Cincy. And although Cincy was famous for Roebling's bridges, Joe Strauss, who designed the Golden Gate Bridge, is a Cincy alum. So is NFL broadcaster Cris Collinsworth, actor George Clooney, and several Wicked Witches of the West from the musical Wicked. Our busom babe this week? I felt like we should make it "ladies week" and have a busom boy instead, because, you know, I want to be fair to the females who read this. Namely, this week's "busom boy" is Robert Burck, aka NYC's Naked Cowboy, who is always in some sort of controversy. If we win this weekend, I will go wear Syracuse clothes in Times Square just to piss him off. I never was a Naked Cowboy fan anyway, but I'm sure some of you are.
Pageantry and helmets: The "Bearcats" sounds like an odd nickname, but it was actually named after a football player, if you can believe it! During a football game against Kentucky on Haloween 1914, a male cheerleader, said "Kentucky may be the Wildcats, but we have a Baehr-Cat on our side!" Namely, this was Leonard K. "Teddy" Baehr, the fullback. The moniker was picked up in 1919 by sports journalists, who started calling Cincy the Bearcats, and even before that, a cartoon in the Cincy student newspaper showed a Kentucky Wildcat being chased by a Cincinnati Bear Cat. The only other Bearcats in Division I are at Binghamton. Ten other schools (including a satellite school of Cincy) use the Bearcat name: Baruch College (New York City), Brescia University (Kentucky), Lander University (South Carolina), McKendree College (Illinois), Northwest Missouri State, Rust College (Mississippi), Southwest Baptist University (Missouri), St. Vincent College (Pennsylvania), and Williamette University (Oregon),
Cincy's colors are red and black, colors that are shared by four other schools in D-IA: Arkansas State, Georgia, Louisville, and Northern Illinois.
Above, you see the current incarnation of the Bearcat. There have been many different costumes over the years.
These are just some of Cincy's helmets. The odditie ones, ie the entire top row, is from the 60s, as well as the lower left one. Designs like the red helmet with the "UC" logo are from the 70s, and the U and the sideways U are from the 80s. Starting in 1990, Cincy used some variant of its current "C-Paw" design.
Similar to Ohio State's "The Best Damn Band in the Land," Cincy's band often is accompanied by the slogan "The UC Band is Damn Good." The band has 175 members (which is kinda small for a giant marching band). Supposedly, the band was formed by Ralph Van Wye, who wanted to forgo compulsory ROTC after he served in the army during World War I, and the ROTC director wanted him to form a military band.
Cincy doesn't have much of a fight song, but it's called "Cheer Cincinnati":
Cheer Cincinnati, Cincy will win Fight to the finish, never give in (Rah, Rah, Rah) You do your best boys, we'll do the rest boys, Onward to victory!
Go Red, Go Black, Go Bearcats! Fight! Fight! Fight! (Give me a) B-E-A-R-C-A-T-S Go UC!
(even I'm unimpressed at how little of this there is.....the ESPN college football encyclopedia entry on Cincy is short)
Athletics: Cincy was a member of many different conferences over the years. For all sports except football, Cincy started as an independent until 1910, when they joined the currently D-III (there was no distinction back then) Ohio Athletic Conference, which they were a member of until 1924, and then joined the Buckeye Athletic Association from 1925 to 1935. They joined the MAC from 1947 to 1952, and the Missouri Valley from 1957 to 1969. In 1975, Cincy was a charter member of the Metro Conference, which they remained a member of until 1991, when they formed the new Great Midwest Conference, which merged back into the Metro Conference in 1996 to become Conference USA in all sports. Cincy joined the Big East in 2005. In football, it was a member of all these conferences except the Metro, OAC, and Great Midwest.
Cincy began playing football in 1885, and played the first college football game in Ohio in 1888. Their opponent? Miami. Of course I'm talking about the one in Oxford, Ohio. Not the one in Florida. Sid Gillman led Cincy through its golden years in the late 40s and early 50s. During the time they won three MAC titles (1949, 1951, 1952), and they won the 1949 Glass Bowl against Toledo and lost the 1951 Sun Bowl against West Texas A&M. Other Bowl Games include the 1947 Sun Bowl (they beat Virginia Tech), the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl (beat Utah State), the 2000 and 2001 Motor City Bowls (they lost to Marshall and Toledo), the 2002 New Orleans Bowl (they lost to North Texas), the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl (they beat Marshall), the 2006 International Bowl (they beat Central Michigan), the 2007 Papajohns.com Bowl (they beat Southern Miss), the 2009 Orange Bowl (they lost to Virginia Tech), and the 2010 Sugar Bowl (they lost to Florida). Their other great era was in the late 60s with quarterback Greg Cook and kicker Jim O'Brien, who led successful NFL careers with the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Colts respectively. Most recently, under Brien Kelly the Bearcats won two Big East titles, only to have the media demand that Brian Kelly flee to Notre Lame, as if they think the Big East DESERVES to suck and aren't allowed to have good coaches. Thank God ND is losing now. Cincy's complete list of conference titles include two in the BAA (1933, 1934), four MAC titles (1947, 1949, 1951, 1952), two MVC titles (1963, 1964), the 2002 Conference USA title, and the 2008 and 2009 Big East titles. They play at Nippert Stadium and are coached by Butch Jones.
The battle for civil rights took place on the Cincinnati Bearcat men's basketball team. In the late 1950s, the legendary Oscar Robertson played for Cincy and he had a 79-9 record there, but no NCs. He also broke pretty much every school record. However, as only the fifth black player for Cincy he often endured racism and had to stay in college dorms rather than at the team hotel, and he averaged 33.8 points per game at Cincy. Because of his achievements, the player of the year trophy offered by the USBWA is called the Oscar Robertson Trophy. Cincinnati would win some NCs later on though, under coach Ed Jucker. The school also had a strong basketball era in the 1990s and 2000s under Bob Huggins which gave us Kenyon Martin, Rubin Patterson, Nick Van Exel, and Demarr Johnson. Cincy has two Metro Conference titles (1977, 1978), four Great Midwest titles (1992-95), four C-USA titles (1996, 1998, 2002, 2004), 24 NCAA tournament appearances (1958-1963, 1966, 1975-1977, and every year from 1992-2005) ten Sweet Sixteens (1959-1963, 1975, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001), eight Elite Eights (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1992, 1993, 1996), six Final Fours (1959-1963, 1992), and the 1961 and 1962 national titles. Cincy plays at Fifth Third Arena.
Sadly, Cincy does not have a lacrosse team.
Rival: Although they don't play each other in football, Xavier fans will often scoff at Cincy's football woes. When Brian Kelly went to Notre Dame, Xavier fans all across Cincy were laughing hard. Of course, the basketball series is intense. The series first started in 1928, when Cincy helped dedicate Xavier's new Schmidt Fieldhouse, and Xavier won that game. They played each other annually starting in the 40s. Cincy leads the all time series 47-30, Xavier won 7 of the last 10, including three in a row.
In football, Cincy plays the eigth oldet rivalry in the country with Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and the oldest interconference series. They play for the Victory Bell, which Miami used to use to ring in victory, but in 1890 some Cincy students decided to "borrow" it. It's now a travelling trophy. Miami leads the all time series 59-49-7.
Cincy also has a rivalry with Louisville. In football they play for the Keg of Nails (and Cincy leads this series), but of course, the basketball series is far more intense. Cincy has similar games with Pitt and Memphis, the latter of which was discontinued after they joined C-USA.
Outlook: This game is going to depend on how Syracuse can stop whichever young QB they can get to. Cincy loves to play fast paced games, so the best thing Syracuse can do is control the clock and posession, which shouldn't be a problem given Cincy's porous defense, especially against the run. A balanced attack of Delone Carter and Antwan Bailley should do the trick, especially if Ryan Nassib decides to throw screens. On defense, we really have to defend against the pass, which can be hard, considering Pitt. We're not going to stop them, but we definitely can slow them down and keep them out of the end zone. Do that and Syracuse will win. Let Cincy in the end zone and we lose. GO ORANGE!