The Houston Cougars and Cincinnati Bearcats meet in one of the most highly anticipated AAC Championships in years.
The Bearcats will look to put a bow on this season and punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff with a conference championship.
The only thing stopping them from going to the playoff is a close win, and the committee wants to look elsewhere after not earning style points, or they lose outright against Houston.
What if Oklahoma State blows the doors off Baylor in the Big 12 Championship and Cincinnati struggles?
The University of Cincinnati is now the only College Football Playoff contender in Ohio.
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) November 27, 2021
They should jump Alabama if the Crimson Tide lose in the SEC Championship, but if the Crimson Tide win, Georgia and Alabama are probably both in. That scenario would create havoc.
Michigan wins and they’re in, so then it would be Cincinnati vs Oklahoma State for the CFP committee. By default with Cincinnati being undefeated, they’d probably have to go with them, but not so fast.
There were one-loss teams ahead of Cincinnati before Oregon lost and dropped out of the CFP picture. They might like Oklahoma State more if they continue to impress this weekend and Cincinnati struggles.
In summary, Cincinnati can’t take anything as a given and have to go for the jugular. You never know what the committee is thinking, so like a boxing or MMA judge, don’t leave it up to them. Houston has to be wondering if they can get any respect.
No, they have no chance at the College Football Playoff. That went out the door when they blew a lead against Texas Tech in the season opener.
Desmond Ridder and Clayton Tune are having historic seasons ?
They EACH have a 91.0 PFF Grade, tied for fourth-best among AAC QBs since 2014 ? pic.twitter.com/FUCMeGjPMK
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 2, 2021
However, as much as the media is speaking about Cincinnati, you wouldn’t know who their opponent is on Saturday. There’s a good team going to Cincinnati for the AAC Championship.
Since a loss to Texas Tech on September 4, the Cougars have won 11 straight games. Clayton Tune isn’t a slouch at quarterback. Overlook him and the Bearcats get burnt.
Head below for our free Houston vs. Cincinnati pick in the AAC Championship on December 4, 2021.
Houston Cougars vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Houston Cougars||+10.5 (-110)||+320||Over 53 (-110)|
|Cincinnati Bearcats||-10.5 (-110)||-400||Under 53 (-110)|
|Team Data||Houston Cougars||Cincinnati Bearcats|
|Points Per Game||38.8||39.6|
|Points Against Per Game||19.8||15.8|
|Passing Yards Per Game||272.4||253.6|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||149.3||177.3|
Houston vs. Cincinnati Prediction:
Cincinnati can’t be thinking ahead to the College Football Playoff. They’re not in right now. If the Bearcats don’t have Houston on their minds, Clayton Tune is going to be a problem for their defense.
Tune goes into the AAC Championship 26 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on 68.7% completions. He’s also scored a couple of touchdowns with his legs on the ground.
? PFF PLAYERS OF THE WEEK ?
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 29, 2021
He saved his best for the second-half of the year. After a shaky start, Tune has been on fire since October. In his last seven outings, Tune has passed for 22 yards and 2 interceptions.
Tune is confident and that’s all the Cougars can ask for right now. The Cougars finished the regular season with 38.8 points per game, which was good for top-10 in the FBS.
Tune and the Cougars’ passing attack finished 23rd in the FBS with 272.4 yards per game. I’m aware of the Cincinnati defense. They are good, and have held opposing quarterbacks to 160.6 yards per game.
That being said, Cincinnati can’t allow Tune to get into a rhythm or he’s going to do enough to put the Cougars in a position to win.
Houston Cougars vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Trends:
- 16-5 ATS in their previous 21 games after failing to cover the spread
- 20-7-1 ATS in their previous 28 games as an underdog on the road
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games versus the AAC
- 0-5 ATS in their previous five games in December
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games on the road
- 5-0 ATS in their previous five games versus a team with a winning record
- 7-3 ATS in their previous ten games as a favorite at Cincinnati
- 2-4 ATS in their previous six games
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games versus the AAC West Division
- 1-6-1 ATS in their previous eight games in December
Houston has a defense, too. This isn’t a case of one team having all of the defense. The Cougars allowed 290.3 yards per game for sixth in the FBS, a few spots better than Cincinnati, who both played an AAC schedule.
The Cougs didn’t give up a lot on the ground, with only 98.3 rushing yards allowed per game. They allowed 192 passing yards a game for 18th in the FBS, so the Cougars can compete on the ground and through the air.
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2018 ➡️ Rookie of the Year
2020 ➡️ Offensive Player of the Year
2021 ➡️ Offensive Player of the Year
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) December 1, 2021
Desmond Ridder will provide a big challenge for Houston. He is a tough competitor and one of the best players in the nation that doesn’t get the recognition. Ridder has passed for 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on 66% completions.
In the biggest game of his career, he will likely handle the pressure well. That said, I don’t know if I’m interested in laying 10.5 points against an underdog that has been playing well and not getting any respect.
The Houston defense is underrated, and they have a quarterback going into the conference championship with 22 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in his last seven games.
Tune feels good and the team probably feels good about their chances. I don’t know about an upset, but Houston should do enough to keep the final score within single digits.