Bearcats football tops American preseason poll

Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville

Robert Leifheit/Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

NEWPORT, R.I. — The University of Cincinnati football team grabbed 17 of 30 first-place votes to sit atop the American Athletic Conference preseason football media poll, released prior to the league’s annual summer kickoff Tuesday.

The Bearcats, 9-4 a year ago in Head Coach Tommy Tuberville’s first season at UC, tallied 311 total votes and 17 first-place votes to lead the voting. UCF (7) and Houston (6) were other squads receiving first-place votes. The Knights (296) were second in the poll, followed by the Cougars (268), East Carolina (262), SMU (158), USF (157), Memphis (133), Temple (105), UConn (98), Tulane (98) and Tulsa (94).

UC has been one of the most consistent FBS teams of the last decade, winning nine or more games in six of the last seven years, reaching double-digit wins five times during that span and playing in a bowl game in seven of the past eight seasons. Since 2007, Cincinnati has won 74 games and four conference championships.

The Bearcats return 16 starters from the 2013 team which played in the Belk Bowl, including all-conference performers Eric Lefeld (Coldwater, Ohio/Coldwater), Ralph David Abernathy IV (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster School) and Silverberry Mouhon (Norcross, Ga./Norcross).

QBs Jarred Evans (Queens, N.Y./West/Santa Barbara CC) and Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind./East/Notre Dame) will lead the battle to replace 2013 starter Brendon Kay, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Munchie Legaux (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) is continuing his rehab his surgically-repaired knee and could return to action this fall.

Deyshawn Bond (Rimington Award), Lefeld (Outland Trophy), Mouhon (Lombardi Trophy) and Shaq Washington (Biletnikoff Award) all dot preseason watch lists.

UC will open training camp on August 10, 2014 at the Higher Ground Conference & Retreat Center in West Harrison, Ind., ahead of the season opener against Toledo on Friday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. ET inside Paul Brown Stadium.

Season tickets for UC’s six-game home slate at PBS are on sale now, starting at $99 or $16.50 per game. The Bearcats are playing their 2014 home schedule downtown due to the $86-million Nippert Stadium Renovation & Expansion Project. For more information, visit

(Cincinnati Bearcats press release)