Cincinnati cancels future football games versus Ohio, Western Kentucky

By Kevin Kelley -

The Cincinnati Bearcats have canceled future football games versus the Ohio Bobcats and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, the school announced on Tuesday.

Cincinnati was scheduled to face Ohio at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio, on Sept. 12, 2026, which was the second game of a home-and-home series that began back in 2018 in Cincinnati. However, the Bearcats will no longer make that trip and will likely pay a $500,000 cancellation fee, per the terms of the original contract.

The Bearcats have also backed out of a home-and-home series with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The series was scheduled to begin on Sept. 20, 2025 in Bowling Green, Ky., before concluding on Sept. 26, 2026 in Cincinnati. Per a copy of the original contract, the series carries a $500,000 cancellation fee.

Games with both Ohio and WKU were canceled due to Cincinnati’s move from the American to the Big 12 Conference this season.

Cincinnati also confirmed our report from earlier on Tuesday that its future football series with the Nebraska Cornhuskers has been rescheduled. The series will kickoff with Cincinnati hosting Nebraska at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Aug. 30, 2025. The contest will be a home game for Cincinnati and the Bearcats will control about 75% of the tickets.

Seven seasons later, the Bearcats will travel to take on the Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 11, 2032, which will conclude the revised two-game series.

“The transition from the American to the Big 12 presented some challenges with future scheduling that we needed to address,” said UC Deputy AD/CFO John Daniel. “This game at Lucas Oil Stadium helped give us flexibility financially while creating a unique opportunity for UC football to host Nebraska. It will be an eighth home game in 2025. Playing at an NFL stadium in a major market with an outstanding recruiting base is a win for us.”

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Comments (9)

Playing Nebraska in Indianapolis (not even the state of Ohio) is a win for Cincinnati? Stop fooling yourselves. When you are in the Big 12 and can’t even host a game against another Power 5 conference school then that isn’t saying much.

Lucas Oil has a far bigger capacity than Nippert and Indy is less than 2 hours away from Cincy so the Bearcats probably will make more money hosting in Lucas Oil.

I replied to John Furgele earlier about my opinion that Trust 5 Schools, new or legacy, canceling a future road game with oHIo Babcats & not rescheduling it instead = very disappointing.
My example using a Trust 5 Conference Uni. cancelling a futire road OOC Game w/ another Trust 5 Uni. when the 1st Home game had already been played still applies.

I INCORRECTLY stated that the, IMO, unjustified non rescheduling / cancelling occured in January of 2023 for a Sep. 2023 Contest.
The nonjustified non rescheduling / cancelling of the Game was announced in May of 2022.
I apologize for the incorrect reference posted earlier.
This cancellation Model, 1 Year & 3.5 Months B4 the Contracted Game fits the pattern of Cincinnati not rescheduling Uni. oHIo Bobcats 1 year & 11 Months B4 their scheduled return visit to Athens, OH.

Let’s give Cincinnati a pass here. They’re new to Power Football. They need to establish themselves before they get schools to agree to home and homes. I do think it will happen eventually.

I’m not giving any
Trust 5 Conference Uni. a pass, ‘newbie or not’ when they cancel a game less than 2 Years away with a Dependent 5 Conference Foe whom they could schedule later.

oHIo Bobcats are a regionally generative Money & Interest Game in OH.
The Hilltoppers are regionally & monetarily almost as close.

IMO, A Trust 5 Uni. canceling an OOC Trust 5 Game on the Road with only a Year’s notice is = to Cincinnati’s Decision to cancel the Road Game in Athens, oHIO when the Bobcats already played in Cincinnati.
Example: @BYUfootball played @Tennessee Volunteers in Sep. 2019. State Uni. of Tennessee cancelled their Sep. 2, 2023 return Game in Provo @BYUfootball in January of 2023.

Need to establish themselves before they get schools to agree to home and home? Try doing a little research before making a fool of yourself. Recently did home/home with Indiana, UCLA, Oregon State, Illinois, Miami FL. Come on man!

None of those schools average a home attendance as high as Nebraska. If you notice, schools tend to schedule OOC games vs other schools that are on the same tier as them, even among P5(4) schools.