|2012 Cincinnati Bearcats football|
Big East co-champion
Belk Bowl champion
|Conference||Big East Conference|
|2012 record||10–3 (5–2 Big East)|
|Offensive coordinator||Mike Bajakian (3rd season)|
|Defensive coordinator||John Jancek (3rd season)|
|Home stadium|| Nippert Stadium |
|2012 Big East Conference football standings|
|No. 13 Louisville $+||5||–||2||11||–||2|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 2012 Cincinnati Bearcats football team represented the University of Cincinnati in the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Bearcats, led by third year head coach Butch Jones, played their home games at Nippert Stadium and were a member of the Big East Conference. They finished the season 10–3, 5–2 in Big East play to finish in a four way tie for the conference championship. Along with Rutgers, Louisville, and Syracuse, the Bearcats were the final football champions of the Big East Football Conference, as the league's original incarnation folded following the loss of the three former programs and others to different conferences. Cincinnati would become a charter member of the American Athletic Conference the following season. They were invited to the Belk Bowl where they defeated Duke.
At the end of the regular season, head coach Butch Jones resigned to take the same position at Tennessee. Defensive line coach Steve Stripling was named the interim head coach for the Belk Bowl.
|September 6||8:00 pm||Pittsburgh||ESPN||W 34–10||33,562|
|September 15||7:00 pm||Delaware State *||ESPN3||W 23–7||27,112|
|September 29||3:30 pm||vs. Virginia Tech *||ESPNU||W 27–24||46,026|
|October 6||7:00 pm||Miami (OH) *||FS Ohio||W 52–14||35,097|
|October 13||7:00 pm||Fordham *||No. 21||ESPN3||W 49–17||26,317|
|October 20||7:00 pm||at Toledo *||No. 21||ESPN3||L 23−29||24,124|
|October 26||8:00 pm||at No. 16 Louisville||ESPN||L 31–34 OT||53,271|
|November 3||12:00 pm||Syracuse||Big East Network||W 35–24||26,180|
|November 10||12:00 pm||at Temple||Big East Network||W 34–10||20,192|
|November 17||12:00 pm||No. 22 Rutgers||Big East Network||L 3–10||34,526|
|November 23||7:00 pm||South Florida||ESPN||W 27–10||21,171|
|December 1||3:30 pm||at Connecticut||ABC||W 34–17||33,112|
|December 27||6:30 pm||vs. Duke *||ESPN||W 48–34||48,128|
The Bearcats made their first ever appearance in the Belk Bowl and their first ever meeting with Duke. The Blue Devils raced out to an early 16-0 lead in the first quarter after a punt was blocked and recovered for a touchdown. The Bearcats then scored 27 unanswered points capped off by a 46 yard touchdown run by George Winn. The Blue Devils then scored back to back touchdowns to take a 31-27 lead. The Bearcats retook the lead with a 25 yard touchdown pass from Brendan Kay to Chris Moore. The Blue Devils then tied the game with a 52 yard field goal and the game seemed headed to overtime. With under a minute to play TE Travis Kelce took a short pass from Kay and broke several would be tackles in racing 83 yards for the winning score. Insult was added to injury when Nick Temple stripped the ball from Duke QB Sean Renfree and dashed 55 yards with the stolen loaf for a score as time expired. The 48 points is the most points scored by the Bearcats in a bowl game, and would be their largest margin of victory in a bowl game since 1997. The win gave the Bearcats their 4th 10 win season in the past five years. |}
|2012 Cincinnati Bearcats|
|Harris||Not released||20||18||RV||RV||NR||RV||RV||RV||RV||Not released|
|BCS||Not released||21||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||NR||Not released|
|Travis Kelce||TE||3||63||Kansas City Chiefs|
Lyle Allen "Butch" Jones Jr. is an American football coach who is currently the head coach at Arkansas State University. Jones previously served as a special assistant to the head coach and offensive analyst at the University of Alabama from 2018 to 2020, the head coach at the University of Tennessee from 2013 to 2017, the University of Cincinnati from 2010 to 2012 and Central Michigan University from 2007 to 2009. A Michigan native, he played college football at Ferris State University as a running back and wide receiver.
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