If you want to receive Down the Drive updates through Facebook, don't forget to like us!
Coaching 'em up: Cincinnati - Big East Blog - ESPN
Andrea Adelson identifies Kerry Coombs in her spotlight of Big East assistant coaches. A lot of people gave Coombs a hard time last season because of the horrible play of his secondary. But 2010 was really the one bad year the secondary has had since Coombs joined the Bearcats five years ago. He's also an excellent recruiter and is the rah-rah coach that every team needs. So if you think he's anywhere near close to losing his job, think again. I fully expect the cornerbacks to be better in 2011 but I'm very suspicious about the safeties. Not only is depth a concern, but Wes Richardson and Drew Frey don't exactly 'Wow' me. Sure Malcolm Murray will have an impact but I have no idea who else they'll throw into the fire at safety. Pat Lambert? Chris Williams? This is why you see so many safeties in the 2012 recruiting class. Anyways, despite the questions at safety, I think the secondary as a whole will be better next season because of an improved pass rush and more experience back there as a whole.
Big East Media Day 2011: The LobsterFest Contenders - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
Honestly, I'm not surprised Cincinnati didn't get any love here from the Syracuse SB Nation site. Bringing Zach and J.K. to an eating contest against a bunch of OL/DL from the rest of the Big East is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. I'm really disappointed in Butch for not having the foresight to think about this. Maybe he was going for speed over size. Maybe Zach and J.K. talked him into it. I don't know but I think the Bearcats should have represented with Alex Hoffman or Derek Wolfe. Just plain embarrassed here.
Big East player rankings: Running backs - Big East Blog - ESPN
It really shouldn't surprise anyone to see Isaiah Pead atop this list as the Bearcats' RB group also came it at #1 in Andrea's rankings. Oh, and he's Isaiah Pead for goodness sakes! His primarly competition heading into this season in Dion Lewis and Noel Devine are gone to the NFL and that leaves Ray Graham, Victor Anderson, and Antwon Bailey as his primary competition. Graham filled in very nicely for Lewis last season and should have a solid 2011 campaign. Same goes with Bailey who should benefit from a run-heavy offense and a big offensive line. However, Victor Anderson doesn't exactly scare me, considering he got passed over by Bilal Powell, who came out of nowhere last season. Overall, we know what Pead needs to do to move from the 'great' back category into the 'elite' back category. Can't wait for September.
J.K. Schaffer Nominated To 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
I would have been shocked if J.K. WASN'T nominated for this award. Let's see. 1.) He's a great athlete totaling 100+ tackles the past two seasons and is a senior leader of the defense. 2.) He's a great student, being named a three-time Acadamic All-Big East honoree. 3.) He's extremely active in the community volunteering his time whenever possible. If that's not a well-rounded human being, I don't know what is. I think J.K. has a real shot at being named to the 22-player Good Works Team in September.
Karr OT Derek Edinburgh Jr. commits to LSU - NOLA.com
It was somewhat of a stretch for the Bearcats to grab Derek Edinburgh but they did have a few things going for them that made them contenders to grab him. First of all, Munchie Legaux went to the same high school as Derek and has a good chance of being the starting QB from 2012 and beyond. So, if he signed with UC, Derek would have been blocking for his old QB. Also, UC's need on the offensive line could have allowed him a great chance of breaking into the rotation his freshman year. However, losing out to the in-state giant LSU isn't something to cry about, as they've been locking down a lot of Louisiana's talent all year.
Around the BEast
Pitt Football And Mike Haywood: The Ugly Issue Of Race - Cardiac Hill
An odd development in the Mike Haywood vs. Pitt case with the issue of race now getting involved. I think the prosecution probably didn't have much to go on until Pitt decided to hire a caucasian coach for $500,000 more. The fact is, Todd Graham had a better resume than Mike Haywood and probably worked out a better deal because every agent in the world knew that Pitt was under the gun to hire a head coach and would overpay for one. But, getting back to the race card Haywood is playing, the guy freakin' beat his wife. Black, white, purple, red, it doesn't matter! That stuff's just not cool.
Around the Nation
A&M regents to have special meeting about UT network | Longhorns | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
The Texas Longhorns have long dominated the Big XII. I'm not talking from an on-the-field standpoint. I'm talking politically and fiancially. They have the most sway on the conferences decisions and pretty much act as they please. This powerload has irked schools like Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., and Texas A&M. When conference shifts were the talk of the town last season, tons of rumors were swirling about Texas A&M moving to the SEC as the relationship would be mutually beneficial- The SEC would gain a Texas market and Tex-AM would move into a strong conference leaving the Big XII to supposedly crumble. With the new Longhorn Network that has pumped even more money into Texas, the Aggies are once again ticked off. There's probably a less than 5% chance that the schools defects from the Big XII, but the fact that they are holding a secret meeting in light of this new network is interesting news.
Virginia Tech research provides much-needed data, system for rating sports equipment - ESPN
I love Gregg Easterbrook's weekly TMQ article. It's one of the things that gets me really exicted for football season as it provides a light recap of the past weekend's football events. But this one takes a more serious tone. Researchers at Virginia Tech have performed the first official testing of football helmets at the pro and college levels. The results are pretty surprising as NFL teams tend to use the 2nd worst rated unit of the bunch, the Riddell VSR4. While the actual cost of the helmet wasn't known by the researchers, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between cost and helmet safety as a more expensive helmet could actually be one of the more dangerous.