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Big 12 Introduction Series: What to Know About Cincinnati as Bearcats Exit AAC for Big 12

What you need to know about the Bearcats.



The Big 12’s blueprint is about to officially get a lot bigger.

As of July 1, the league will expand to 14 teams with the addition of Cincinnati, Houston, UCF and BYU. It will be an interesting transition during the conference’s inaugural new-look season, with Oklahoma and Texas sticking around for one final year, but let’s turn to the new additions.

In Cincinnati, the Big 12 adds a university with recent high-end success in football, a historic-rich brand name in hoops and a foothold in a desirable recruiting area.

Let’s take a deeper dive into Cincy.

So where is Cincinnati?

Cincinnati is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s the county seat and sits on the Ohio River which borders Ohio from Kentucky.

How far is that from Stillwater, America?

Google Maps shows that Cincinnati and Stillwater are approximately 800 miles apart. You might need to leave the night before —and stop to stretch your legs — the next time OSU plays there. It’s a 12-hour drive.

What are Cincinnati’s football facilities like?

The Bearcats have played at James Gamble Nippert Memorial Stadium since 1901. It is the fourth-oldest playing site and fifth-oldest stadium in college football. It was also the home of MLS franchise FC Cincinnati until 2021.

How many people does the stadium seat?

After its most recent major renovation, the stadium’s capacity is 40,000.

Who is their coach?

The Bearcats hired former Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield on Dec. 5, 2022. He was 25-24 over four seasons with the Cardinals and 51-24 in five seasons at Appalachian State before that.

What about their basketball arena? How many does it seat and in what shape is it in?

Cincinnati’s hardwood home is Fifth Third Arena (formerly Myrl H. Shoemaker Center) where the Bearcats’ men’s and women’s basketball teams have played since 1989. In 2018, the arena underwent a $70 million renovation that reduced seating from 13,187 to 12,012 but improved visibility, added amenities to the club areas and replaced the roof.

Another court named Ed. The Bearcats dribble and shoot on Ed Jucker Court, named for the head coach who led the men’s team to its only two national championships in 1961 and 1962.

Who is their coach on the hardwood?

Wes Miller is coming off his second season at the helm of the Bearcats’ hoops program. He followed up an 18-15 inaugural season by going 23-13 and making it to the NIT Quarterfinals.

Have they been competitive in football and basketball of late?

Cincinnati failed to reach 10 wins only twice in the last five seasons under Luke Fickell (both nine win-years) and earned a College Football Playoff berth in 2021. But Fickell exited stage left to Wisconsin and the Big Ten just before the Bearcats’ admission to the Big 12.

In hoops, the Bearcats have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2019, two head coaches ago, ending a streak in which Mick Cronin took them dancing in nine consecutive years. But Miller’s teams have improved in each of his first two seasons.

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