Following the spring football season, the University of Cincinnati football team finds itself ranking among the elite teams in college football.
 
The Bearcats, led by fifth-year Head Coach Luke Fickell, a two-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, are No. 6 in Sports Illustrated's poll, No. 7 in Athlon Sports, No. 8 in The Athletic, No. 9 in ESPN.com and No. 10 in CBS Sports' post-spring rankings.
 
Cincinnati was 9-1 in 2020, winning the AAC Championship and playing in its first New Year's Six Bowl game in over a decade. 
 
The Bearcats return 16 starters from last season's squad, including AAC Offensive Player of the Year Desmond Ridder and seven-time All-America selection Ahmad Gardner along with All-AAC selections Darrian Beavers, Marcus Brown, Coby Bryant, Myjai Sanders, Tre Tucker, Josh Whyle and Michael Young Jr.
 
The 2021 roster projects to have nearly 40 local players who grew up and played high-school football in the tri-state area, including impact transfer Jowon Briggs (Walnut Hills HS), who returned to his hometown after two standout campaigns at Virginia. 

UC opens the 2021 campaign with the 125th Battle for the Victory Bell against longtime rival Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Sept. 4 inside Nippert Stadium.

For all the latest information on Cincinnati football, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati football (@GoBearcatsFB) and Coach Fickell (@CoachFick) on Twitter. You can also find the Bearcats on Instagram and Facebook.