While a lot has happened and changed in the program since the start, one thing is for certain. November 2009 may go down in the books as the biggest month of the football program.
The Bearcats take an 8-0 mark into their first game of the month this Saturday when they battle Connecticut in an 8:00 p.m. kickoff. The Huskies will be a team looking to spoil the Bearcats dreams and a national audience will be taking a hard look to see if Brian Kelly's team is worthy of being talked about for a berth in the National Championship Game.
But while UConn will be hard enough, six days later the West Virginia Mountaineers come to historic Nippert Stadium having put their loss to South Florida behind them and getting well off of Louisville the previous week.
If the Bearcats are successful the first two weeks of November then the final game of the month could set up the biggest game in the history of Cincinnati football.
Illinois will have nothing to lose when they hit Cincinnati for their day after Thanksgiving battle with the Bearcats. To date the Fighting Illini has victories over Illinois State and this past weekends upset of Michigan. They will play Minnesota and Northwestern prior to the Bearcats and a win over the Bearcats could make their season with no bowl game in their future.
WHAT DOES THE INSIDER EXPECT TO HAPPEN
Many have marked this Saturday's game against Connecticut as the game Tony Pike would return. The Insider feels Pike still has some work to be done before Brian Kelly puts him back in shotgun to take a live action snap. While UConn will have to prepare for Pike, we look for Zach Collaros to make his third start and take the Bearcats to a perfect 9-0 mark.
Many have marked the Bearcats match-up with Pittsburgh as the "Big East Game of the Year", but, West Virginia is a team that has the athletes to match-up with the Bearcats and cause problems.
While this is not the same team that came into Nippert two years ago and knocked off the Bearcats, they still have weapons and will be a team that can and will test the Bearcats.
While South Florida did knock off the Mountaineers, the Insider feels they match-up well with both UC and Pitt and could knock off both teams. With this game being at home the Insider gives the Bearcats the edge and victory.
That leaves Illinois and a game with everything on the line for the Bearcats and nothing on the line for the Illini. While Illinois may not be having a good season this is still a marquee game for the Bearcats in some eyes.
The Big Ten still carries some weight and some feel the Big East top teams are equal to the lower tier of the Big Ten.
Brian Kelly's team will feel the pressure but he'll have his team prepared and ready to win their 11-th game of the season and setting up a gigantic match-up with the Pitt Panthers with the highest level of college football on the line.
Who will win between Pitt and the Bearcats? We this story was only about November and that game will be played in December. Lets just get through this month and have some things to remember before getting too far ahead of ourselves.