Nov. 29, 2009
The University of Cincinnati football team has clinched a share of its second-straight BIG EAST Conference Championship.
With Pittsburgh's loss to West Virginia on Friday, Nov. 27, UC (11-0, 6-0 BIG EAST) has a one-game lead in the league standings with one game to play, assuring the Bearcats of a share of the title.
UC knocked off Illinois, 49-36, on senior day at Nippert Stadium to remain undefeated, maintaining its No. 5 ranking in the Associated Press poll and USA Today Coaches poll. The Bearcats are one of six teams nationally that remain unbeaten.
UC last won back-to-back conference titles in 1963 and 1964, sharing the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 1963, and winning the title outright in 1964.
The Bearcats can clinch the outright league championship with a win at No. 14/15 Pittsburgh (9-2, 5-1 BIG EAST) on Saturday Dec. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Heinz Field with ABC set to televise the game nationally. A win against the Panthers also would earn UC the BIG EAST's automatic berth into the Bowl Championship Series.
The last school to earn or share the BIG EAST title in two-straight seasons was West Virginia from 2003-05. The Mountaineers split the title in 2003, were part of a four-way split in 2004 and won the outright title in 2005.