August 9th 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

Sights and Sounds: Day 1 of Football Training Camp
Check out the first installment of gobearcats.com's inside look at UC's first football practice of the fall. First of all, I'm glad to see they aren't hip/chest bumping so far like they did last year. We didn't see that in the spring practices either and it's a positive factor going into the fall. Secondly, definitely didn't know Dyjuan Lewis was pronounced Die-juan and not Dee-juan. That was news to me. Also, check out Tommy G's interview with Coach Jones after practice.

Top Storylines heading into Camp
Overall a solid write up and you should read Todd's full article as there's lots of good stuff in there but I wanted to focus on one particular quote for a second with regards to the offensive line:

What to watch for: If one of the redshirt freshmen tackles (Cory Kebbler, Kevin Schloemer, Eric Lefeld) can show that they are ready to start in the Big East that will give the UC coaching staff the flexibility to return Hoffman back to right guard which is his best position. By moving Hoffman back to guard the Bearcats would really strengthen the interior of their offensive line.

How great would it be if one of the freshman offensive tackles stepped up and allowed Hoffman to slide over to guard. That is, after all, his natural position and if he gets drafted by an NFL team next April it will probably be at guard. Of the freshman, I think Kevin Schloemer has the best shot at doing it but, keep in mind, this idea is a long shot at best. Not only is offensive line a tough position to grasp when you're adjusting to the speed of college ball but Coach Jones has a propensity to choose his upperclassmen over his newbies (see: Cobb over Hooey last year). Hopefully it wouldn't even have to come to this as the 5 set lineman will stay where they are throughout the fall.

The Big East's best: No. 16 - Big East Blog - ESPN
None other than DJ Woods comes in at #16 on Andrea Adelson's countdown of the best players in the Big East heading into the fall. Woods enters fall camp as the veteran of the receiver corp. While it is blossoming with talent from likes of Kenbrell Thompkins and Dyjuan Lewis, Woods will be looked at to lead the position group. Basically he's everything you could ask of from a slot receiver- He's extremely fast and can get behind defenses easily, he finds open space, and he has the toughness to snag balls across the middle. His catch against Louisville last year was a gutsy play as you'll see out of a receiver. Overall, DJ's attitude almost warrants a highlight video of his own. I might just have to put something together!

D.J. Woods Named To 2011 Hornung Award Watch List - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
Big day for DJ Woods as he was named to the Paul Hornung Award list which honors the most versatile player in college sports. I'm not sure he'll actually stay on this list long because I think return reps will fall to a combination of Akise Teague and Darrin Williams. At least, I hope Butch doesn't put him back there as he should focus on his receiving game. Like I mentioned above he's the Bearcats' leading receiver this fall and could be the next in line to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark this season which is starting to become a pattern for wide outs at UC. I expect DJ to have a big year but just as a receiver or rusher on end-arounds.

Football's Matchup With NC State Slated For ESPN 3D Broadcast - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
Not only can you watch UC seek revenge against NC State on national television next fall but if you have the right TV you can watch them clobber the Wolfpack in 3D. Cincinnati will be the first Big East team to have their game shown in 3D and will be one of twenty games shown that way ESPN next season.

Around the BEast

Pitt Football: Pitt And Notre Dame Seeking Long-Term Deal - Cardiac Hill
Big props to Pitt and Notre Dame for trying to get this series locked in long term. I like watching this matchup as Pitt is really the only Big East school to play Notre Dame on a consistent basis besides maybe Syracuse. This is also a good matchup as UC fans can root against Notre Dame because of Brian Kelly and I have a personal hatred towards that university for other reasons. It also gives the Big East a chance to improve its reputation by beating a traditional powerhouse like Notre Dame. The fact that it is done by a school that has been in the conference for a while only adds gravy to any win Pitt has.

Big East commissioner dispels downsizing rumor | Providence College | projo.com | The Providence Journal
This is basically commissioner-talk from John Marinatto (if you're familiar with the term 'coach-speak' you know what I mean). Regardless, it's been cited in most places how TV networks have been pushing the Big East to drop some of the deadwood on the basketball side of the conference- namely DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Providence. When push comes to shove if millions of dollars are at stake when negotiations for a media deal begin next fall, I'm not sure if Marinatto will want to hang onto those schools as there's huge pressure from the football schools to get as much money out of the contracts as possible. If those schools are a determining factor in getting a good contract and Marinatto settles for less by keeping them a split of the Big East football schools from the basketball schools might be coming sooner rather than later.

Around the Nation 

Documents Reveal Intention Behind Longhorn Network - The Midnight Yell
If there were any questions about the true reasoning behind why Texas has been pushing so hard for their own network, they were answered here. There's generally at least a few disagreements in any conference (and especially in the Big East) but it's never more heated than in the Big XII where the distribution of power greatly in Texas's favor has upset most of the rest of the conference. I'm very curious to see how this plays out as the fallout could affect Big East expansion (Missouri and Kansas, anyone?) but I'd bet Colorado and Nebraska have to be doing back flips for bolting the Big XII when they did.

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