A new era of Cincinnati Football presents itself in 2023 as the Bearcats join the Big 12 and are led by a new head coach in Scott Satterfield. Just how much do these changes affect the Cincinnati season predictions in 2023?
Cincinnati Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the Big 12 and across the country.
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Cincinnati season predictions indicate what fans can possibly expect for the Bearcats in 2023.
Week 1 – Cincinnati vs. Eastern Kentucky: Win, 37-12
A winnable contest to start the season, Eastern Kentucky comes to town and allows the Bearcats the chance to figure out their roster and adjust to a new scheme on both sides of the ball. The pieces left behind from the Luke Fickell era are certainly enough to give the Bearcats an advantage in this kind of matchup and the pieces brought in by Satterfield are worthy enough of a heavy favorite.
Week 2 – Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh: Loss, 24-25
A fun matchup of familiar opponents comes in Week 2 as Cincinnati heads to Pittsburgh for a game against the Panthers. One of the stingiest ACC defenses over the past decade, Pittsburgh failed to meet expectations in 2022.
However, it’s a new quarterback with Phil Jurkovec and some key acquisitions on both sides of the ball that give them a slight advantage over two programs that are historically not where they want to enter the 2023 season.
Week 3 – Cincinnati @ Miami (OH): Win, 31-14
A battle for Southwest Ohio Supremacy, the Victory Bell is likely to be awarded to Cincinnati once again, despite the trip over to Oxford. Miami has a unique roster of star power but has lost more than its fair share of potential stars in the transfer portal.
Cincinnati retains the Victory Bell with their defensive prowess that can limit whichever quarterback the RedHawks trot out in this matchup.
Week 4 – Cincinnati vs. Oklahoma: Loss, 19-39
Big 12 season openers don’t get much more difficult this fall — and likely never again for Cincinnati as Oklahoma enters the SEC next fall. The Sooners are led by Dillon Gabriel and a host of potential stars at seemingly every position on offense.
However, Oklahoma’s defense beckons and likely limits opposing offenses to record lows in the second year under defensive-minded head coach Brent Venables.
Week 5 – Cincinnati @ BYU: Loss, 25-30
Another tough matchup for the Bearcats as they head to Provo for a battle against BYU. The Cougars have a unique chance to make waves in their Big 12 schedule as a first-time conference member, just like Cincinnati does, but BYU seems to be in a much better position to do so.
Kedon Slovis takes over as the quarterback for the Cougars and their work in the transfer total is inspiring. Former Louisville and UNLV running back Aidan Robbins faces off against his former head coach in Satterfield and should have extra motivation to put the Cougars in the win column here.
Week 7 – Cincinnati vs. Iowa State: Loss, 23-24
The Iowa State offense is led by Hunter Dekkers and a host of talented players at nearly every position. After a bye week here, though, the Cincinnati roster should be able to give the Cyclones fits.
Jayden Higgins, however, is the difference maker for Iowa State as the 6’4″, 215-pound receiver has a dominant ability to beat any number of defensive backs and whoever Cincinnati can throw at him here.
Week 8 – Cincinnati vs. Baylor: Loss, 22-23
Put a pin in this game as a potential turning point for the 2023 season for Cincinnati. The Baylor Bears are always going to be a well-coached team and put some studs on the offensive line.
However, that’s about all Baylor looks to be in 2023 and they need to answer a lot of questions before we crown them as clear victors in this game. Cincinnati may need a lucky bounce or two, but if they get their fair share of success on the ground, they can come away with a victory in this game.
MORE: Big 12 WR Rankings, 2023
Week 9 – Cincinnati @ Oklahoma State: Win, 28-19
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have had one losing season since Mike Gundy took over back in 2005, but they appear to be on a crash course with a losing record in 2023 due to the transfer portal. With no answer at quarterback this far into the summer, it’s a battle of attrition for Oklahoma State in 2023.
Cincinnati has the defensive chops to limit the Cowboys’ rushing attack, which they’ll surely lean on this fall. As such, the Bearcats get a much-needed conference victory in Week 9.
Week 10 – Cincinnati vs. UCF: Loss, 24-33
A familiar foe comes to town as the UCF Knights enter Big 12 play with Cincinnati. Though this game is usually a closely contested battle, UCF hosts a few integral defensive transfers that should pay dividends for the Knights in 2023.
As such, look for UCF QB John Rhys Plumlee to cause fits for Cincinnati and their defensive front seven all the same.
Week 11 – Cincinnati @ Houston: Win, 28-23
Much like their previous opponent, Houston enters the Big 12 after success in the AAC with both UCF and Cincinnati. However, unlike the Knights, the Cougars enter the 2023 season with far too many questions to give them advantages in even home games against similar teams.
Cincinnati’s defense should be able to limit this Houston passing attack that lacks size but has plenty of speed. If the Bearcats can go sideline-to-sideline with the Cougars, it’s game over for Houston and conference win No. 2 for Cincinnati.
Week 12 – Cincinnati @ West Virginia: Loss, 23-26
Traveling to West Virginia, the Bearcats will need this victory and a lucky bounce elsewhere to become bowl-eligible in 2023. However, despite WVU’s depleted roster this fall, the Mountaineers have a team capable of limiting and keeping the ball away from Cincinnati in this matchup.
CJ Donaldson is a proven difference maker and the Mountaineers’ defensive front has some talent off the edge to contain Cincinnati’s offense.
Week 13 – Cincinnati vs. Kansas: Loss, 24-32
Kansas’ success likely needs an asterisk next to it in 2023, especially this far out in the season. But if Jalon Daniels is playing quarterback, expect the Jayhawks to be the favorites in just about every game they play in 2023.
Daniels was every bit of a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2022. He capped his season with a 544-yard, five-touchdown performance in their bowl game against Arkansas, making his return from an injury that sidelined him for the majority of the season.
A loss here to Kansas gives the Bearcats a disappointing 4-8 season in our predictions, but the Bearcats are a few bounces away from a couple more wins that would push their season into the respectable category.