Saturday, November 7, 2009
UConn-Cincinnati pregame ponderables
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
CINCINNATI -- Greetings from Nippert Stadium, or as I like to call it, "The Little House."
Just another ABC prime-time game from Cincinnati. Kind of loses its luster after a while, doesn't it?
I'm kidding, of course. This is all new for this program, and something else is new for the No. 5 Bearcats: They're in the title hunt for real with Iowa's loss. The goal tonight is not just to win but to win impressively for a skeptical national audience, though style points become a little less important, thanks to the Hawkeyes' flop.
A gorgeous fall day in Cincinnati has given way to a very pleasant evening. This bucolic little setting should look good on TV.
Zach Collaros will start for Cincinnati as previously announced, though Tony Pike will be available.
Here are some notes about this game courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
- Cincinnati is looking for its first 9-0 start since 1951, when Sid Gillman was the coach. Cincinnati finished that season 10-1, its only 10-win season before Brian Kelly arrived.
- Cincinnati has the second longest conference winning streak in the nation, at nine games, behind only Florida (13).
- UConn is 1-14 all-time vs. AP-ranked opponents with the lone win coming against South Florida in 2007. The Huskies are 0-4 all-time vs. AP top 5 teams and have been outscored 198-59 in those games.
- Cincinnati has been ranked in the AP poll for 15 weeks over the last two seasons. Prior to that, the Bearcats appeared in only 14 AP polls from 1936 to 2007.
- Cincinnati is the seventh Big East team since 2002 to enter the month of November unbeaten. Three of the previous six teams lost once the calendar turned.
- Cincinnati is looking for its first 5-0 conference start in school history.