August 4th 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

Yorktown grad excels in freshman season at Cincinnati | The Star Press | thestarpress.com
We at Down the Drive have taken a stab at covering Bearcats baseball this spring and the main conclusion that has been drawn is that UC's team is young and talented especially at the pitcher position. This is by and large the most important position on any baseball team and that fact hasn't been lost on Coach Cleary who has done a great job of stockpiling young arms on his team. Matt Ring is one of those talented young arms and posted a solid 4-1 record with a 3.72 ERA last season as a freshman. Cleary used Ring out of the bullpen last season, like most of the other youngsters, and opted to use veterans in the starting rotation. The move makes sense as he was able to adjust to the college game pitching only a couple innings at a time but Ring could move to the starting rotation next season as a sophomore. Overall, the future looks bright for Cincinnati Bearcat baseball and it's thanks to young pitchers like Matt Ring.

College football's 10 worst BCS stadiums
Like most Bill Koch articles, this probably doesn't warrant my time but these guys apparently have a huge hatred for Nippert Stadium as they rate this the worst venue of all BCS football teams. There are arguments to be made either way but we all know how imposing it can be when a sellout crowd is all yelling in unison onto the field. Sure 35,000 seats is small in BCS terms now-a-days but the echo off the surrounding buildings and the location in a bowl makes the capacity seem twice as large. It's also a historical gem that brings together college football's past and present. I'm betting these guy's didn't like Wrigley Field either. Listen, don't get too worked up about this article. Chances are they have never even visited Nippert or many of the other stadiums on this list and for the most part the victims on this list are generally more historic venues across the country. No worries. Nippert rules.

Predicting College Football's Breakout Players: Big East | AthlonSports.com
Lots of potential for breakout players in the Big East next season and there are talented youngsters taking over for veterans at numerous skill positions. Out of Cincinnati, Derek Wolfe makes the list but I could also see a Dyjuan Lewis on here of players who have been with the team for a year but have seen little to no playing time. But, back to Derek. He's a brick wall on that defensive line and we've beaten to death the fact that better talent around him and added incentives will help him return to his 2009 levels. I expect a big year out of him and, in turn, the entire DL as they attempt to right the ship on defense.

Recruiting

Halfway to Signing Day: Big East Edition - CBSSports.com
Bryan Fischer at CBS sports takes a quick look at Big East recruiting thus far. Cincinnati was praised for pulling in the top commitment so far in quarterback Bennie Coney. We've gone on and on about how important this pickup was to the Bearcats so let's look at the rest of the conference. Overall, the talent level is rising in the Big East. Teams are pulling in better prospects earlier in the recruiting process than I've seen in a while. This talent will go a long way to ensure that Big East teams are generally reloading year after year instead of rebuilding. Anyways, Bryan's leader so far is TCU and rightfully so. They've done a great job keeping Texas talent at home and with the AQ tag are only pulling in better and better recruits. Other solid recruiting class include USF, WVU, and Louisville who have all seen a spike in talent since their coaching turnovers.

Around the BEast

Rivals.com College Football - Holgorsen goes full speed into first season
Holgorsen's arrival at West Virginia was awkward at best. It was inevitable he was going to be the head coach but had to wait out a year under Bill Stewart in a weird co-head coach-but-not-really role. When Stewart was axed, Holgorsen was free to fully take control of the team and looks to install his highly successful offense immediately. He'll definitely have tons of talent to run it as Geno Smith and Tavon Austin might be the most dangerous duo in the Big East since the Pike-Gilyard combo we Bearcats fans have had the pleasure of witnessing. I think the Mountaineers are going to put up some points this year. History says they will. But transitioning from a coordinator to a head coach brings on a whole new set of responsibilities. Maybe Holgorsen's ready for that but I'm going to have my doubts until I see WVU this season. Even so, they are still my favorite to win the Big East this year.

Politi: As Big East looks for new TV deal, conference needs innovation from John Marinatto to keep pace | NJ.com
If there's one person you don't want to be for the next year, it's probably John Marinatto. Or maybe you do, if you think you can do a better job than he has. Personally, he is the lamest of lame duck commissioners. There's so much infighting within the Big East right now and, at least from early indications, he is simply acting like a mediator to both sides without taking much of a leadership role. While he's finally claiming how 'football rules college sports' and he's seemingly been taking a hard stance on getting the most money out of a new Big East media deal, he's basically just regurgitating what Oliver Luck and Steve Pederson have been yelling for months now. So, it begs the question, who's really in charge and if John's just following orders, why does he hold the title of Big East commissioner?

Around the Nation

Tony La Russa claims Brewers giving their hitters edge at home - MLB - Sporting News
Another day, another Tony La Russa bitchfest. I mean seriously, change the tampon already! No matter how many world championships the Cardinals win they're still the most classless organization in Major League Baseball, and it all stems from this guy. Today he's complaining that the Brewers cheated by brightening the lights when the Brewers were hitting to improve visibility. This AFTER the Cardinals beat them 8 - 7. Can you imagine if the Cardinals lost? This has become a trend with St. Louis and it doesn't stop with La Russa. Chris Carpenter has complained constantly about the 'rub' on baseballs in opposing teams' stadiums and readily calls out his teammates. When John Smoltz was pitching for the Cardinals, he was seen yelling at Reds' skipper Dusty Baker when a Reds base runner stole second base on him. I'm ready for some high level media person or someone in the MLB to tell the Cardinals to just shut the hell up already.

Video: Yadier Molina goes crazy | Unsportsmanlike Conduct
More from this game as Yadier Molina apparently went apeshit over a clear strike three call by the umpire. Just check the video yourself but to me it looks like a good call as the ball came in just above his knees. As a catcher, you'd think Molina would be able to tell the difference. Anyways, this the angriest I've seen him get since the infamous brawl between Cincinnati and St. Louis last year when he and Reds' 2B Brandon Phillips got in his face. He's just another Cardinal bitching about nothing.

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