July 13th Jump Off

Bearcat News

Will You Be There? (V6) - Cincinnati Bearcats (via CincinnatiBearcats)

The Effect Of Returning Starters On A Defense (Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: Cincinnati) - Football Study Hall
By and large, defenses that return a large number of starters generally improve from year 1 to year 2, regardless of how poorly they played as a unit in the first year. Well, here's Football Study Hall's numbers to prove the theory via Bill Connelly's much broken down statistical version. Though the raw data is small, the numbers are encouraging and make sense. With 11 starters returning, Cincinnati's F/+ jumped by 6.5%. Not to get too technical, as I barely understand it, but the F/+ is a statistical combination of rewarding teams for beating good teams and punishing them for losing to bad team, the team's successful accumulation of positive yardage per play, a bonus for explosive plays, and these comparisons to the opponents. A lot of stats jargon, I know, but these signs point to a much improved Bearcat defense in 2011.

Big East position rankings: Special teams - Big East Blog - ESPN
Placing the Bearcats 5th is actually very respectable as far as special teams go. Again, UC is boasting an All-Big East (and maybe All-American) at punter. Pat O'Donnell's leg will be huge in flipping the field and setting up the Bearcat defense for success after a punt. However, there are big question marks at Kicker as the coaching staff has brought in every man, woman, and child in an attempt to find a suitable replacement for Jake Rogers. At KR/PR, I fully expect Akise Teague to assume that role in the fall, but as of right now he hasn't exactly won that battle as D.J. Woods and Darrin Williams have experience back there. While there's plenty of options at returner, there are still tons of question marks, too.

Washington adds SDSU to, moves LSU up on ’12 slate | CollegeFootballTalk
Cincinnati's game against San Diego State in 2012 has officially been moved to September 24, 2016. The Aztecs will instead play a roadie in Washington. Seriously, thank goodness that game was moved, because the 2012 schedule is absolutely brutal with TCU joining the Big East and games at Ohio State and Virginia Tech. Both were scheduled to be home games but because the athletic department was so desperate for money, Virginia Tech was moved to FedEx field for $3 million and Ohio State easily bought UC out for $1 million. Expect SDSU to be replaced with an FCS school, which should lighten the schedule a bit.

Around the BEast

Big East should dump USF and add UCF - Orlando Sentinel
I'm seriously not surprised to hear this garbage coming out of someone who writes from the Orlando Sentinel. Not to say that that publication is full of articles like this, but the offseason is slow and writers have to do something to keep their readers' interests. Anyways, this just isn't happening. USF has earned its way into a BCS conference and will stay there. There's a legitimate knock on not having an on-campus football stadium but the school just added three new practice fields, will be renovating the Sun Dome for basketball, and added much need upgrades to the Olympic sports. Plus, they aren't exactly dabbling in NCAA investigations like Central Florida is.

Big East football predictions | C. L. Brown - U of L Beat
More Big East preditions (you as tired of these as I am, yet?). But I'm with C.L. on this one, who picks UC to finish 3rd as his dark horse pick. As well he should, as the Bearcats are still dangerous on offense and will have a much improved defense (see stats in link above). The only questionable pick, for me, is Pitt winning the Big East. I simply don't trust that Todd Graham can simply turn the run-based Stache-compiled offense of the Panthers into a throw-the-ball-50-times spread attack. Not in one offseason, at least. Pitt has a lot of talent but they need time to understand the offense. I'm picking Pitt as right around 5th.

West Virginia Mountaineers' Bronco Busick dismissed following armed robbery charge - ESPN
Remember Bronco Busick, who I cited a link about yesterday when he was caught robbing some guy in Morgantown? Well, he got kicked off the team. That's the least of is worries, however, as he will definitely be facing civil and criminal charges for his actions.

Around the Nation

Formulation of New Western Conference Throws College Hockey For Another Loop
I don't know how many of you actually follow college hockey, but being a Miami U alumnus, I was engulfed in it since my freshman year. Plus I've played hockey since I was 6 and love the sport. Anyways, just for a little history, the CCHA was one of the best hockey conferences in college hockey and comprised of schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Miami (OH), Michigan St., and Notre Dame, just to name a few. However, the Big Ten decided to form its own conference with OSU, UM, MSU, Minnesota, UW, and upstart Penn State. Now, my Redhawks are left without a place to play and are forced to join a conference with the best of the rest. Really hate this because over the years, Miami has formed a strong rivalry with the Michigan schools and Ohio State. Luckily, Notre Dame will likely join the new 'superconference', which will keep that rivalry alive.

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