COLUMBUS -- That hand-wringing over facing an in-state foe with a pulse built to a crescendo Saturday morning in Columbus when Paul Sabin at ESPN analytics fired a warning shot on the worldwide network's website.
"Ohio State is on upset watch today," Sabin posted just before kickoff. "Cincinnati has a 24% chance to win per FPI. That's the highest of any team outside the AP top (10) that is playing a(n) AP top (10) team today."
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Justin Fields drops back in the pocket against Cincinnati at Ohio Stadium in 2019.
Justin Fields fires a pass against the University of Cincinnati during a 2019 win at Ohio Stadium.
Chris Olave makes a catch against Cincinnati in 2019 at Ohio Stadium.
Chris Olave darts ahead after leaving a Cincinnati tackler in his wake during a 2019 game at Ohio Stadium.
Chris Olave races along the sideline against Cincinnati at Ohio Stadium in 2019.
Chris Olave is knocked out of bounds against Cincinnati in 2019 at Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields looks over the University of Cincinnati's defense during a 2019 game at Ohio Stadium.
Justin Fields calls the signals against Cincinnati in 2019 at Ohio Stadium.
J.K. Dobbins high steps through the line against Cincinnati in 2019.