No. 6 UH visits Cincy in matchup of Big 12 candidates

CINCINNATI (AP) — Sure, the Big 12 will be watching when two of the American Athletic Conference's top teams kick off on Thursday night. No. 6 Houston and Cincinnati haven't hidden their desires to jump to a Power Five league.

And now they get to show head-to-head how they match up in football, which is the sport driving conference realignment.

"I would imagine all those decisions are already made," Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said. "I don't think that (game) has got a lot to do with it. This is one game, the third game of the season. A lot is on the line for us, obviously, but we don't look at it that way."

The Bearcats (2-0) have a chance to make themselves relevant again after a 7-6 season. They're coming off a 38-20 win at Purdue, Cincinnati's first victory over a current Big Ten team in 59 years.

The Cougars (2-0) have a top 10 ranking in September for the first time since 1980. They started the season with an attention-grabbing 33-23 win over No. 3 Oklahoma and are trying to open AAC play with their first win in Cincinnati since 1971.

"You embrace it," Houston linebacker Tyus Bowser said. "We have worked so hard to get to this point. We prepare and train for this type of moment."

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