July 22nd Jump Off

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Bearcat News

Best non-conference college hoops games - College Basketball - Rivals.com
Cincinnati and Xavier come in at #14 on this list of the best non-conference games next season. I'm actually surprised at how low this is considering the history between the two schools, how each team will be pretty good next season, and how bloody some of these games have gotten. Most of the games on the list aren't traditional rivalries and while Duke vs. Michigan State and UNC vs. Kentucky might be good games, they aren't nearly as bloody as the Crosstown Shootout will be.

Parker Chasing Championship Dream In Independent League - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
The life of a minor league baseball player isn't easy. Unless you're a top-round draft pick and garner a great signing bonus, you're probably looking at doing something with your degree after college. If you are a minor league player, you don't make nearly enough to live off of and have to work your butt off to make it to the major league level. Logan Parker is experienced that and has switched to the Independent League to take the pressure off. It's not necessarily a farm system but players can get picked off the team to move to higher levels of a MLB club's minor leagues.

‘Born Ready’ Heading Overseas | ZagsBlog.com
While Lance's short tenure with the Bearcats (and I guess that year in general) was odd for sure, he definitely showed us that he has all the potential in the world if he's willing to work at it. Well, if there is an NBA lockout he'll be heading to either China or Italy to play ball internationally. This should definitely be advantageous to him because he can not only hone his game in the offseason but also work on his defense in a league that emphasizes it. He's been given a long leash by the owner and his coach which should allow him to the time to work on those skills.

Recruiting

Rivals.com Football Recruiting - Rivals at 10: Biggest jokes
Not UC recruiting related but if you're a recruiting nerd like me, this list is perfect for you. Some of these recruiting day gaffs are hilarious but really shows how big-headed these kids feel on signing day. You can pretty much thank the coaches and programs for doing that, along with our culture's total crack addiction to competitive football. But that's a rant for another day. I think my favorite from this list was the kid who bragged about all the freebies the college coaches were shoving in his face on his blog. This was bad enough but when word got out about all of his arrests, the last of which was on an offical visit to Florida. His college career ultimately never panned out. Serves him right. Check out the biggest recruiting busts here.

Georgia State picks up two transfers from Kentucky | Georgia State Sports
Speaking of big recruiting jokes, it looks like the Alex Smith saga is finally coming to an end. After verballing to Cincinnati, then North Carolina, and finally signing with Kentucky, Smith has finally ended up at Georgia State. The freefall this kid took since his senior year of high school has been epic and is a reason you shouldn't let your mother run your life. Unfortunately, as you saw in the link above, this kind of stuff happens more often than not.

Around the BEast

Big East player rankings: Quarterbacks - Big East Blog - ESPN
As you probably expected, Geno Smith and Zach Collaros are 1st and 2nd respectively in the preseason QB ratings going into next season. At this point you could easily flip flop those two as it's obvious that these two are the best quarterbacks heading into next season. Geno has the advantage of having a very solid season last year and having tons of poise in that role. He's also running Dana Holgorsen's pass-happy offense that is known to allow its quarterbacks to put up video game-like numbers. Zach is the reigning 1st-team All-Big East QB and is in his second year in Butch Jones's offense, so he should understand it much better now. He also has a lot of potential weapons around him and a better running back to help balance out the offense and allow him to utilize the passing game. Overall, unless one goes down to injuries, I think this race could be neck and neck throughout the season.

Big East player rankings: Tight ends - Big East Blog - ESPN
Here's the rankings of the Big East tight ends. This is definitely one position that I simply don't pay much attention to. I think tight ends (and fullbacks for that matter) are going to become obsolete in the next decade (or sooner) as teams adopt spread sets more and more. Therefore, I don't know much about the Big East tight ends other than UC's Adrien Robinson and Lousville's Josh Chichester, the latter because he grew up near where I used to live and he's a massive human being. So yea, not a whole lot of analysis from me. Check out the list for yourself.

Around the Nation

I hate the SEC : Out Kick The Coverage
Generally, people don't like the SEC for a variety of reasons. Me personally? If there were some things I don't like about them, it's that they oversign like crazy, are associated with so much shady recruiting shit, and think that SEC basketball is superior to Big East basketball. Well, this guy absolutely HATES the SEC. There's not much more to say other than that so enjoy his school by school breakdown of that hatred.

NFL cancels Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams Hall of Fame game - ESPN Chicago
As the NFL lockout drew closer and closer to August, there was definitely a greater chance of this game as well as most of the preseason to get cancelled. While I'm waning as an NFL fan (tyvm, Mike Brown), I have a lot of opinions about the league, one of which involves preseason football. Four games just seems like too much considering how little the starters play anyways and how much fans have to pay to see the games in person. Two preseason games seems appropriate with an 18-game schedule. On to the HoF game, though. No matter how much I dislike preseason football, this game is does represent the first actual LIVE game since February. While it means nothing, I'm sick and tired of seeing highlights, reading predictions, and the other offseason garbage that keeps us going through the slow part of the year. I just want some live-god-damn football! Ok, rant over.

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