The Bearcats are going bowling for the first time since 2015 and their matchup will take place in tropical Annapolis, Maryland, where the beaches are ripe for sunbathing and crab hunting. Plus, they’re playing, quite arguably, the most boring team in America, the Virginia Tech meatball Hokies. What more could you ask for in a bowl game?
I know, I know, I should celebrate an amazing season for coach Fickell and his Cincinnati Bearcats, and I am, but couldn’t they make the matchup a little more enticing for a ten win team?
Virginia Tech is suffering a drastically low year under head coach Justin Fuente, but have dealt with injuries, especially to their star quarterback, Josh Jackson. The low point in the Hokies season was loosing to Old Dominion, who finished the year at 4-8. Things, however, have looked up for the Hokies as they have managed to squeeze into a bowl game after winning their last two games of the season.
After the Bearcats lost to the Hokies in the 2009 Orange Bowl, these teams have met twice since, splitting the series with one win each. On paper, it looks like a large margin between games, but for the Bearcats, not playing in any bowl game since 2015 and last playing the Hokies in the postseason of 2014, it seems like yesterday that these two teams were matching up against each other.
The bowl is special itself as it’s played in the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium, home to the Navy Midshipmen. The destination, however, in late December, is not exactly vacation welcoming. The town itself is vibrant in the summertime, but is very quiet in the wintertime as northern harbor cities usually are.
While the location and matchup aren’t as exciting as a ten win season should have produced, to see the Bearcats playing past November is promising to the program and fan base alone. Plus, the Bearcats have another shot to take down a Power 5 opponent. All in all, this game will be fun to watch, especially seeing the seniors take the field one last time. I’m probably asking for too much after an improbable regular season, but why not aim high?