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Part I: In Depth with Butch Jones
This three part series starts with the Bearcat's head coach Butch Jones's philosophy of family in a college environment. I'm rooting for Coach Jones. Outside of football, he seems like a good man with great priorities and truely loves each and every player on his football team as if they were his own kids. It's definitely a different ideology than the dictatorial Brian Kelly regime but if both have similar results, I'm all for it and I can understand why some seniors last year were hesitant to accept this new philosophy after years of success in BK's system. Overall, I like Butch Jones's improvement in recruiting and how he wants to implement a more balanced spread-type offense as opposed to the throw it all day style under Kelly. Let's hope these ideas start translating into wins.
UCATS Announces Gridiron Tailgate On Campus Green - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
UC's athletic department gets a lot of heat but this is a damn good idea put together by both them and the UCATs and 1200 Club. There will be 100 plots sold for $150 a pop which will put a solid $15,000 into the AD's budget if all of the plots are sold. Beyond the financials, this is will only add to the gameday experience for Bearcat fans as tailgating spots are hard to come by on UC's cramped campus. And let's face it, fans come not only for the game but for the food, beer, and cornhole before and after the game. Tailgating goes hand-in-hand with football and this decision just upgraded Cincinnati's gameday environment. Well done.
Mustafa Greene Injury: NC State's Top Running Back Out For At Least First Month - SBNation.com
Huge news out of NC State as their starting running back Mustafa Greene will be out through at least the Bearcats game. What does this mean for UC? Well, the defense will be going against an offense that will be trying to break in new quarterback Mike Glennon and trying to balance their offense without their starting running back. I don't care how much hype Mike Glennon has he's pretty immobile and will need the balanced attack to set up plays, unlike Russell Wilson who could run around for 10 minutes and then complete an 80-yard bomb. This improves UC's chances greatly.
Boilers Announce Future Football Schedule Changes
Looks like the Boilermakers dropped UC in 2015 and 2016. Remember, UC had originally scheduled four games against Purdue between 2013 and 2016. Now only the home-and-home series on 2013 and 2016 will remain. This change is likely due to the possibility that the Big 10/11/12 will go to a 9-game conference schedule, leaving little room for out of conference games. It would have been nice to set up a potential rivalry with Purdue and would have done a lot for recruiting but if Purdue paid UC some dough to get these games removed, I'm okay with it.
Target still has Hokies in the mix
Bennie Coney visited Cincinnati on Monday and is apparently scheduled to visit Virginia Tech sometime soon. The Hokies are definitely a formidable contender for nabbing him just based on their success on the football field and the venue they offer. I'm not sure about their quarterback situation, though. In related news, Coney was planning on visiting Louisville during the same trip to Cincinnati but they supposedly didn't call him back. Don't hold me to this as it is only speculation but I would think that would push Louisville down on his list of schools he is interested in based on that news.
Around the BEast
Big East player rankings: Linebacker - Big East Blog - ESPN
A lot of good, veteran linebackers graduated from the Big East after the 2010 season, particularly from schools like UConn, Syracuse, and West Virginia. Taking their place is a good crop of young talent especially at South Florida where the Lattimore/Barrington combo should be a headache for offensive coordinators for years to come. Still, there's tons of youth at LB in the Big East so it's no surprise that UC's J.K. Schaffer came it at 2nd on this list after the amazing seasons he has had as a starter. Hopefully the additions of the freshman, JUCO, and transfer LBs will keep him rested and playing near 100% this season.
Around the Nation
Michigan AD Dave Brandon doesn't want nonconference road games (other than Notre Dame) | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
Based on what MIchigan can generate at the Big House since its renovation, I'm not all too surprised that the athletic director wants to move the UConn away game to a bigger venue and not have many nonconference road games. This is why you see teams like Ohio State buying out Cincinnati to make it a home game- Because. They. Can. It's all about dollars and cents. For Michigan to cancel this contract, they would have to pay UConn $2 million but they can make that and more if the game were moved to Michigan's home stadium. Probably for UConn to preserve that game they would have to move it to NYC, which would actually be a great venue to watch the game.
NCAA panel proposes broader definition of agent - ESPN
Well I guess this is a start but, like all things involving the over-bureaucratic NCAA, it's about 10 years too late. Agents and recruits have been exchanging money and gifts for years. The Cam Newton incident isn't the first. I guess I should be giving the NCAA some kudos for this move but if a company was poisoning a river for over a decade and finally decided to put an end to it, would you REALLY want to praise them? It's like, c'mon, that's a nice move but the damage has already been way overdone.