June 24th Jump Off

Remember to submit your choices for the Down the Drive Ring of Honor! You can submit up to 3 players who you think should join the Bearcats elite. You have until July 10th to submit your nominees.

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Bearcat News

Big East impact true freshmen - Big East Blog - ESPN
Andrea pegs Nick Temple and Dwight Jackson as impact true freshman for Cincy next season. With the lack of depth at LB for the Bearcats as well as Temple and Jackson's participation in spring practice, they're way ahead of the other freshman on defense and will earn some playing time in 2011. Elsewhere, it's hard to not peg Akise Teague as an impact true freshman on both offense and special teams. He will be the starter as a return man next season and, although behind the starters, will get snaps at slot receiver and running back, as well.

Mick Cronin finally has some security with the Cincinnati Bearcats -- college basketball - ESPN
Andy Katz's take on Mick Cronin officially signing his new contract. Like I mentioned yesterday, this definitely makes me feel better about the next coming seasons for UC basketball. Mick has answered just about every question asked of him in his tenure at UC- Can he put academics and good behavior first with the basketball team? Check Can he win in the Big East? Check. Can he recruit like his Big East peers? Check. All this on a smaller-than-average budget. We've already seen he can coach and the fact that he is bringing in great recruiting classes is just money in the bank. UC basketball looks to be back on solid ground.

Multiple Bearcats Honored In Enquirer's Local All-Time Greats List - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
3 UC players made the Cincinnati Enquirer's "Top 50 greatest area baseball players" list. Bill Faul came in at #50 for being named UC's first All-American and leading the nation in strikeouts at 14.6 per game in 1961. Kevin Youkilis (Yoooooouk) clocked in at #17 by basically crushing baseballs while he was at UC and doing the same with the Boston Red Sox. Winning a World Series also helps. Finally, the highest ranked former Bearcat on the list, Miller Huggins, came it at #5. He was the captain of the UC baseball team, played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, and eventually was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after winning 1,413 games as a manager.

Recruiting

Warren Central football duo talk about committing to Indiana | High school sports blog | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Basically if Cincinnati wasn't going to be the destination for these two, Indiana would have been the spot. Wallace and Davis were a package deal and Indiana was the only other school to offer both. This hurts because, first of all, bringing these two would have meant two more prospects from the Warren Central hotbed. Second of all, Wallace was one of the top linebackers on UC's recruiting board who, with the incredible lack of depth at that position, would have pushed for immediate playing time. Finally, Davis would have been one of the top wide-outs in UC's current class. This isn't gamechanging news by any means but it's still a punch in the guts. Of course this quote is definitely curious:

“I really like the coaching staff,” said the 6-1, 220-pound Wallace. “They expect conference championships and nothing less. You want to be a part of something like that. Positive thinking like that will make things happen.”

Umm, yea, Jordan, if you really think Indiana is anywhere near a Big 10 Championship, at least during your career with them, you have another thing coming. Remember, this is the same Indiana team that has won exactly 3 Big 10 games in the last 3 years and has to rebuild in one of the toughest conferences in college football. Food for thought.

Around the BEast

Big East title chances: Connecticut - Big East Blog - ESPN
UConn is going to have a long season in 2011. Not only do they replace their head coach (transition years suck), but no one knows who the hell the starting QB will be. Not to mention whoever gets named starting QB won't have anyone to throw as the WR core is paper thin. The one thing the Huskies have going for them is that they return nine starters on a defense that was already very solid from last year. I think it will be tough for UConn to put together any semblance of an offense next season and we'll see the defense trying to carry the team. UConn finishes in the bottom half of the Big East.

When it comes to Big East expansion, less is more - NCAA Football - CBSSports.com
There's a lot of over excitement towards Big East expansion and, more specifically, to a 12-team football conference. I think the conference is years away from that as conference championship games are simply overrated. For the next media deal the Big East signs, they should stay at either 9 teams. With 9 teams, everyone plays everyone else once in a round robin fashion. The Ft. Worth market TCU brings should be decent enough for a solid media deal and with only 9 football teams, the pie is split less ways. Sure other AQ conferences has more teams and more lucrative deals, but with a 9/17 format, the Big East could utilize their basketball prowess to garner a great deal and the portion allocated to football would only be split by 9 schools.

Around the Nation

Jim Riggleman Resigns As Nationals Manager; John McLaren Takes Over On Temporary Basis - Baseball Nation
The Washington Nationals have won 11 of the last 12 games, were on the way to one of their best season since they were the Expos, and their skipper resigns. Reports claim that he was merely trying to bluff in order to force a contract extension, got fed up with waiting, and just cut himself loose. He must really hate the Washington National's management to pull a stunt like this. One thing's for sure, he was able to win under those conditions and the losing culture in Washington. He'll be able to find a job in no time.

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