Cincinnati South Florida Football

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder rolls out of the pocket Friday night against South Florida. Ridder passed for 304 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-28 victory. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Desmond Ridder threw two touchdown passes to break the Cincinnati career record and ran for a score to help the No. 2 Bearcats beat South Florida 45-28 on Friday night.

Cincinnati (10-0, 6-0 American Athletic, No. 5 CFP), one of four unbeaten FBS teams, has started the season with 10 consecutive wins for just the second time in school history. The Bearcats also did it in 2009, when they got off to a 12-0 start.

Ridder broke the school record with this 79th touchdown pass, a 21-yard strike to Josh Whyle early in the third that made it 31-7. Gino Guidugli, now Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, had 78 scoring passes from 2001-04.

Ridder completed 31 of 39 passes for 304 yards, and ran for 65 yards on 13 carries.

The Bearcats played without running back Jerome Ford because of a leg injury that happened during last week against Tulsa. Ford has 888 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.

Jaren Mangham had two rushing TDs for South Florida (2-8, 1-5), which has lost 19 consecutive games against teams ranked in the top 20 since upsetting Notre Dame on the road in October 2011.


• American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said he will “vigorously” oppose a College Football Playoff expansion model that “protects” Power Five leagues with automatic access for only their champions, plus one other conference champion.

“I don’t want to see a system that would reward privilege for the sake of privilege,” Aresco said.

The CFP management committee, comprised of 10 Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, met last week in Dallas to again discuss growing the playoff from its current four-team field. The group needs to come to a unanimous consensus on a new format before expansion can move forward. While even one dissenter can hold up the process, Aresco is confident he is not alone.

A 12-team model was proposed in the summer that would include six guaranteed spots for the highest-ranked FBS conference champions and six at-large selections, with no limit on the number of teams a conference can have in the field.

Aresco confirmed a Sports Illustrated report that an alternative model was discussed last week that provided automatic access only to the champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference, and only the highest-ranked champion from the so-called Group of Five conferences.

Aresco has been a vocal advocate of expansion while pushing back on the P5/G5 designation for years. He said the current CFP model doesn’t give teams from outside the Power Five a fair chance to make the field.


“This branding is very harmful to us,” Aresco said. “It’s as if we play in a different division.”

A school from the Group of Five has never been close to making the final four in the eight-year history of the College Football Playoff.

Cincinnati from the AAC is currently fifth in the CFP rankings, the best showing ever for a Group of Five team.

Aresco said guaranteeing access only for the wealthier Power Five leagues in a new playoff format keeps the “caste system” in place.

Expansion talks have slowed in recent months as some commissioners have expressed concerns about a 12-team model that was unveiled in June and suggested the group reconsider going to eight.

There are myriad obstacles to eight that would make it nearly impossible to gain the support needed. There was hope in the summer that the proposed 12-team model could be agreed upon and implemented by the 2024 season.


That could still be the case, but the clock is ticking. The next scheduled meeting with the management committee is Dec. 1 in Dallas. If the commissioners can at least get consensus on the number of teams in a new format, they can make a recommendation to the university presidents and chancellors who make up the oversight committee in early January.

Approval by the presidents would set a course for expansion before the current 12-year contract with ESPN runs out after the 2025 season. CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock has said if consensus cannot be reached by the end of the year, expansion will likely be tabled and the current format will remain in place until the end of the deal.

Aresco said he doubts there will be enough support for the so-called five-plus-one idea to move forward. Not only does he expect the other G5 commissioners to oppose it, but also the P5 members of the four-man working group that came up with the 12-team model.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick and Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson spent two year crafting the model presented in the summer.

The group considered various ways to populate a 12-team field, including the five-plus-one idea that former Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott publicly pushed for when the proposal was first made public.

Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill declined to comment when reached Friday, but in June he responded to Scott’s call for automatic access only for Power Five champions by saying “playoff spots should be earned, not given.”


“If you are a deserving team, you should have no concerns being left out of the playoff,” Gill said then.

Aresco said that having the five-plus-one idea put forward again by some Power Five conferences leaders so late in the process was “really disconcerting.”

“It’s not our job to protect them,” he said.


(3) KANSAS 88, TARLETON 62: Ochai Agbaji scored 25 points and the Jayhawks (2-0) ran their winning streak in home openers to 49.

(7) PURDUE 92, INDIANA STATE 67: Jaden Ivey scored a career-high 27 points, Zach Edey added a career-best 22 and the Boilermakers (2-0) beat the Sycamores in West Lafayette, Indiana.


(8) BAYLOR 87, INCARNATE WORD 60: Matthew Mayer scored 14 points, LJ Cryer had 13 and the defending national champions won their season opener in Waco, Texas.

(9) DUKE 82, ARMY 56: Wendell Moore Jr. had a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Blue Devils (2-0) win their home opener against the Black Knights (1-1).

(10) KENTUCKY 100, ROBERT MORRIS 60: Kellan Grady scored 19 points, including four 3-pointers, Oscar Tshiebwe had 20 rebounds and 14 points, and the Wildcats (1-1) blew out the Colonials (0-2) in Lexington, Kentucky.

(14) ALABAMA 104, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 88: Jahvon Quinerly scored 26 points and Jaden Shackelford had 23 to lead the Crimson Tide (2-0) past South Dakota State (1-1) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

(15) HOUSTON 79, RICE 45: Marcus Sasser scored 26 points, Kyler Edwards added 18 points and six rebounds, and Houston (2-0) routed visiting Rice (1-1).

(17) OHIO STATE 84, NIAGARA 74: E.J. Liddell scored a career-high 29 points as the Buckeyes (2-0) pulled away in the second half for a win over Niagara (0-2) in Columbus, Ohio.


(22) AUBURN 93, LOUISIANA-MONROE 65: Jabari Smith had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Auburn (2-0) overcame a halftime deficit to beat visiting Louisiana-Monroe (0-2).

(25) VIRGINIA 73, RADFORD 52: Armaan Franklin scored 21 points, Jayden Gardner had 18 and the Cavaliers (1-1) rediscovered their offense after a season-opening embarrassment, beating Radford (1-1) in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Cavaliers, who were beaten 66-58 by Navy on Tuesday night, used a 24-5 first-half burst to take a 32-15 lead. They held the Highlanders without a point for five minutes and never let their lead shrink below 15 after that.


(1) SOUTH CAROLINA 72, SOUTH DAKOTA 41: Destanni Henderson scored 15 points – including four 3-pointers – and the Gamecocks (2-0) beat the Coyotes (0-2) in the Mammoth Sports Construction Invitational at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

(4) MARYLAND 88, VILLANOVA 67: Angel Reese scored a career-high 23 points and Mimi Collins had 17 points and eight rebounds as the Terrapins (2-0) rolled to a win over the Wildcats (0-2) in College Park, Maryland.


(5) NORTH CAROLINA STATE 90, WOFFORD 57: Kayla Jones scored 15 points and the Wolfpack (1-1) drubbed the Terriers (0-2) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

(22) ARIZONA 61, (6) LOUISVILLE 59: Cate Reese scored 21 points, Bendu Yeaney scored Arizona’s last five points of overtime, and the Wildcats (2-0) outlasted the Cardinals (0-1) in the Mammoth Sports Construction Invitational at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Yeaney, who finished with 12 points, put Arizona ahead midway through overtime with her only 3-pointer of the game. After Louisville tied it with a free throw, Yeaney sank a jumper with 1:45 left and neither team scored again.

(15) TENNESSEE 49, UCF 41: Jordan Horston had her first double-double in nearly two years and the Vols (2-0) beat the Golden Knights (1-1) in Orlando, Florida.

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