August 11th Jump Off

The final five have been revealed in the Down the Drive Ring of Honor voting. You have until the season opener against Austin Peay to vote.

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Bearcat News

Tommy G is hard at work interviewing the players after practice. Here's his interviews with Isaiah Pead, Maalik Bomar, John Hughes, and Alex Hoffman.

Mike Thomas Resigns As UC Director of Athletics
And just like that *poof* he was gone. But not to Tennessee as some had speculated he might end up but to Illinois. Here's Matt's take on it and I agree with him. I've stated many times how as purely an administrator of Cincinnati athletics he did a great job- Rebalanced the budget, made great coaching hires, in general helped transition UC into a BCS conference. But he was never the visionary that this program now needs now that he stabilized the budget. This is a very important moment in UC's athletic department as they should search for someone who can raise revenues, generate excitement around the program, and overall shuffle it up.

Camp: Butch Jones Q&A Day 3
Stills tons of issues with the kickers as Jeremy Rosenberg again interviews Butch Jones after yesterday's practice. Basically it boils down to this- None of the kickers have real experience and let's hope UC scores more touchdowns next year. I certainly don't have faith in them right now on normal field goals and if it comes down to it that UC has to kick a field goal to tie or win a game, I'm going to have to mute the TV and go in the other room. Watching that will just be too nerve racking. While Coach Jones says the kicker position is wide open right now, I think it'll come down to Shane Popham and Tony Miliano.

Video: Cincinnati 'backer JK Schaffer - Big East Blog - ESPN
Here's Andrea Adelson's interview with linebacker J.K. Schaffer. I've been extremely impressed with J.K. from a personality standpoint this offseason. He's really come out of his shell and become more of a vocal leader on the defense. You can hear it in his voice how proud he is of the defense he's running and how confident he is in their improvement the past few months.

UIC's Dorian Tyler and DePaul's Donnavan Kirk to tour Europe together | Chicago College Basketball
Just a quick update on redshirt freshman Kelvin Gaines. He's been spotted playing over in Europe for the Global Sports Academy team. The team left yesterday and will play a variety of European teams until they return back to the United States on August 17th. So no worries there for Gaines missing camp. Also this will be great for his growth as a player as his body seems to be packing on weight but he just needs to hone his skills to see playing time at UC.

Recruiting

QB commit Coney has Bearcats rolling - NCAA Football - Sporting News
The fallout from Bennie Coney's commitment to Cincinnati has lots of Bearcat nation, myself included, very excited. I've stated before that simply landing him would put UC on the map for being able to compete with the best BCS programs in the country for recruits. High school players, especially in talent rich Tampa Bay, take notice when a talented quarterback like Coney commits to a program. Cincinnati's recruiting should see a spike because of this not only for the 2012 class but for 2013, 2014, 2015, etc.

Bearcats Soccer Program Lands 28th Best Recruiting Class
Bearcats soccer has always been competitive and the jump to the Big East, like football and basketball, has only helped the program overall. Hauling in the 28th best recruiting class only adds talent to the roster. Plus, they were one spot higher than Xavier which is always nice to hear! Ideally, in my dream world, I'd like to see the Bearcats really embrace soccer as the school's 3rd most popular sport and have pretty decently sized crowds at the game. It's a fast growing sport in the United States and having the Bearcats become perennial title contenders could do wonders to the school's reputation if the sport matches the NFL and NBA in popularity in the coming years.

Around the BEast

Athlon Awards: Ranking the Big East's Best Units | AthlonSports.com
Athlon ranks the Big East's best units. These position rankings are definitely the most accurate I've seen, especially of Cincinnati's D-Line. Here's what you need to know:

QB - Cincinnati #2

RB - #1

WR - #3

OL - #6

DL - #4

LB - #4

DB - #8

Around the Nation

2011 College football preview -- More teams relying on underclassmen - ESPN
The usage of true freshman has grown steadily throughout the years. We've seen at Cincinnati the usage of more true freshman, especially on a team that is lacking depth. I think the reason for this is a combination of things. First of all, there's a lot of player turnover now-a-days are transfers, injuries, and overall attrition is common. Also, high school programs are spending like crazy on football especially in Texas. So athletes are using the best equipment and facilities high school money can buy so they are better prepared for college to earn immediate playing time.

The Top 25 Names In College Football This Year — CNBC Sports Business - CNBC
Cincinnati should be all over this list in 2012 when Bennie Coney and Leviticus Payne join the team. But for now, Munchie Legaux (#13) and Silverberry Mouhon (#25) will representing the Bearcats in 2011. Check out the list for yourself. There's names like Yourhighness and Spiffy strewn throughout the list.

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