USA TODAY International Edition

Cincinnati has week to forget

- Erick Smith

This was not Cincinnati’s week. It started when the unbeaten Bearcats were slated No. 6 in the College Football Playoff committee’s first rankings even though they were No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll and held a win at No. 8 Notre Dame.

So entering Saturday, two things needed to happen: an impressive win against Tulsa and Cincinnati’s upcoming marquee opponents also build their resumes.

Neither happened.

The Bearcats started well enough against the Golden Hurricane with touchdowns on two of their first three drives. It was 14- 0, and it seemed like an easy day was ahead after closerthan- expected wins against Navy and Tulane in the previous two weeks had dimmed their ranking outlook.

Tulsa didn’t go away, though. It was 14- 12 at the half. Cincinnati pushed ahead by 16 in the third quarter and was seemingly in charge again. Then, the Golden Hurricane dominated the fourth quarter.

It took two goal- line stands in the final two minutes to preserve an eightpoint win in the game the Bearcats were outgained 457- 380. Not exactly the kind of performanc­e that is going to assuage committee members who already had doubts about them.

It got worse later in the day as No. 24 SMU, the only ranked opponent left on their schedule, lost to Memphis. Houston, the likely foe in the American Athletic title game, struggled against South Florida.

Come Tuesday, Cincinnati likely is still outside the top four and could lose ground to Michigan and Oklahoma.

A day when losing streaks ended

It has been more than two years – 763 days to be exact – since Arizona last won a football game. That was until Saturday when the Wildcats knocked off California to end a 20game losing streak that included the last seven games of the 2019 season, all five games last year and the first eight games of this campaign.

The fact that the Golden Bears were down several starters, including quarterbac­k Chase Garbers, due to COVID19 protocols mattered little to Arizona fans, who stormed the field to celebrate the end of the longest active streak of futility in the Bowl Subdivisio­n.

The win by Arizona made UNLV the team with the longest run of consec

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