August 5th 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.

Also, if you want to receive Down the Drive updates through Facebook, don't forget to like us!

Bearcat News

Florida high school sports | Weatherford adjusting well to Cincinnati
Good article about class of 2011 signee Stephen Weatherford. He was definitely a last minute pickup for the Bearcats in the last class but don't take that the wrong way, he's a good talent at quarterback. However, with Zach locked in for the 2011 season and Munchie, Luallen, and Kay battling for the QB-2 role he's probably looking a redshirt next season. In 2012 will be his time to break into the starting scene but he might be looking at a backup role. For the Bearcats, there's going to be a lot of competition at quarterback between, who I think, Munchie, Luallen, Coyne, and Coney. It's a good problem to have.

Yards to Glory - ESPN #29. Snow Cats
You'll have to scroll to the #29 in on the list as the link doesn't take you directly there but here's a little memory jolt for you. It's ESPN showcasing of Tony Pike's 29-yard pass to Armon Binns to win the Big East Championship in 2009. Man that play seems like ages ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. I still get chills when I hear the announcer for this play. I don't need to go into details about the amazing comeback Cincinnati made but this was by far the highest moment the team and the fans in UC football history.

Bearcat in the Woods: Former Strongsville star D.J. Woods is one to watch this fall | cleveland.com
Great story about hometown hero D.J. Woods from the Cleveland newspaper. Since coming onto the scene as a sophomore, Woods has been one of Cincinnati's most explosive receivers. Now that he's a senior, he'll be looked at to command most of the coverages and be a real leader in the receiving corp. Sure there's talent but Woods has BY FAR the most receptions and yardage at that position with the guy who 2nd (McClung) way behind him. Not only that but he could be the 4th straight Bearcat receiver to eclipse the 1,000 yard receiving mark. He may have gotten some heat last season for fumbling the ball but turnovers were rampant from everyone last season. Expect a huge year out of D.J.

Bearcats Blog's 1st and 2nd All Big East Teams- | August
Scott at Bearcats Blogs takes a crack at ranking the conference's first and second All Big East teams. I'm pleased he held off on his homerism a bit and looked at it as objectively as possible. From Cincinnati, the usual players are there- Zach, Isaiah, D.J., J.K., Derek, Pat. But one player stuck out at me- Rueben Johnson on the 2nd team All Big East squad. I actually really like Rueben and think he will start at corner but I think he's the second best corner on the team behind Cam Cheatham. To be fair both of them had their highs and lows in 2010 but they should perform much better this fall with a year under their belts and hopefully a better pash rush from the defensive line.

Video: Cincinnati coach Butch Jones - Big East Blog - ESPN
Even if you're not a fan of the Bearcats, you can really find it easy to root for Butch Jones. He really is a hard working recruiter and emphasizes attention to detail. I think now that he's a year more familiar with the program he put the right players in the right places unlike last season. He's proven that he can win and he's building the program the right way. Anyways, check out his interview with Andrea Adelson where he highlights the explosiveness of the offense how he believes the defense is far better than last year. I'm inclined to believe him on both accounts but words don't equal wins. He'll have to go out there and prove it on the field to show the rest of Bearcat nation he's not all talk.

Around the BEast

West Virginia University Mountaineers - MSNsportsNET.Com
This is really really cool news out of West Virginia as the Mountaineers basketball team will play Illinois in a scrimmage in front of US soldiers stationed in Italy on August 17th. In addition to the game, both teams will put on a dunk show, a game between the players and soliders, and put on a basketball clinic for the children of the military. Overall I'm just very impressed with how this was planned out and I hope it goes well.

LSU Tigers' Steve Kragthorpe has Parkinson's disease - ESPN
For the Louisville fans out there, here's an update on Steve Kragthorpe that no one wants to hear. Regardless of how you feel about his head coaching abilities, I doubt you would wish this upon him, especially since he is so young. At only 46 his quality of life from Parkinson's disease decreases greatly as he gets so much older since he would caught it at such a young age. Just a horrible horrible story and our prayers and best wishes go out to Steve Kragthorpe and his friends and family.

Around the Nation

Big Ten Conference to use 9-game league schedule in football in 2017 - ESPN
We were suspecting this a couple of weeks ago when Purdue suddenly dropped two matchups against Cincinnati from their schedule and when Michigan's AD claimed that he would rather have more marqee out of conference matchups and referred to the Wolverines' return trip to UConn as an example of what he wanted to get rid of. At nine games, the Big 10/11/12 will certainly have an easier time scheduling OOC games since they just fill them with MAC schools that they buy off anyways. What this really does is lessen the chance of seeing an Ohio State-USC or Michigan State-Cal anymore. The only school all Big Ten schools are in favor of scheduling are Notre Dame, and that's generally because of the history of that matchup. I'm in favor of marquee OOC games especially when they are big schools clashing so obviously I hate that the Big Ten is going to 9 conference games each year.

Division III’s Problem Could Be Division I’s Solution - The Blog of the NCAA
Division III organizes divisions a bit differently than the other leagues. They have umbrella conferences like the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). Not to be confused with the FBS Mid-Atlantic Conference. Stupid I know. What's ever weirder is the fact that the 'MAC' is actually composed of teams from the Commonwealth Conference and the Freedom Conference. If each of those conferences support enough of a sport, each will receive a bid in the postseason. If individually they don't, then the sports are combined into the 'MAC'. I'm not sure if it can work at a Division I level but it's an idea that certainly should be considered no matter how strange it seems.

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