College football COVID-19 update: Cincinnati vs. Tulsa canceled, setting up AAC title game

The Cincinnati football team's regular-season finale Saturday at Tulsa has been canceled due to COVID-19 cases within the Cincinnati program.

With Saturday's game at Tulsa canceled, the Bearcats are set to host the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Dec. 19.

Saturday's game between Cincinnati and Tulsa, both undefeated in AAC play, would have determined who hosted the conference championship game. With both teams entering the championship without a loss to an AAC opponent, the schools' ranking in Tuesday night's College Football Playoff ranking will determine where the game is played.

The No. 7 Bearcats have a 17 spot lead over No. 24 Tulsa in the College Football Playoff rankings, so the stage is set for the first AAC Championship Game at Nippert Stadium.

Cincinnati has not played since Nov. 21, when the Bearcats beat Central Florida 36-33.

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell and the Cincinnati Bearcats take the field before kickoff of an NCAA college football game against the Army Black Knights, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. (Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer)

John Cunningham, Cincinnati director of athletics said the following in a press release: "Like so much of our country, the Bearcats football program has dealt with rising cases of COVID-19 over the last several weeks. Since returning from Orlando on Nov. 21, 2020, we had an increased number of positives among our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Thankfully, we have had very few symptomatic cases and those who did show symptoms appear to be doing well. This week, we began a slow, measured return to activities, fully aware of the importance of monitoring our student-athletes who are returning after time away from practice. If we are selected to host the AAC Championship game on Dec. 19, we have requested a variance with the state of Ohio to allow a limited number of fans in the stadium. We look forward to continuing our season on Saturday, Dec. 19.”

— Charlie Goldsmith, Cincinnati Enquirer

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