Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Cincinnati Bearcats season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Cincinnati Bearcats
Luke Fickell could use a good year as a head coach.
There’s no questioning him as an assistant. He was a high-riser through the coaching world, first as a part of the Akron staff for a few years, and then for ten years at Ohio State.
There’s no questioning him as a recruiter. He played a big role in the talent amassed by the Buckeyes over the 2000s. Now at Cincinnati, he’s putting together the best classes in the AAC, picking off just enough good Ohio players – especially for the defensive side – to assume something big might be brewing.
There’s no questioning the potential of the program. Fickell knows the area, he’s at the right age to make a job like this his to own, and with a little bit of time, he really might be the one to get UC back at the level of the 33-7 run from 2007 through 2009 under Brian Kelly.
But it would be nice if Cincinnati could come up with a big season because its head coach is just that good.
Fickell inherited a tough situation, but after going 4-8 in his first season, and considering he went 6-7 in a weird 2011 at Ohio State – in between the problems of Jim Tressel after a 12-1 2010, and the reboot under Urban Meyer and his 12-0 2012 – a winning campaign would be nice.
This year’s team has to start showing more flash down the field after finishing last in the conference in total offense. It has the veteran quarterback in Hayden Moore to go along with good enough skill players to add more pop and pizzazz.
Fickell is a big-time defensive coach, but his Bearcats have to generate some semblance of a pass rush, have to come up with a few takeaways, and they need to be a whole lot stingier in key spots.
The pieces are starting to be put in place. The young talent is coming in, there are some decent veterans, the schedule isn’t awful, and the depth and options are better than they were last season.
Now Fickell has to bring the wins.