Big news day today. Lets start by wrapping up the Kerry Coombs situation
This now presents an intriguing problem for the Bearcats as the timing of this news is just horrible. Not only did Coombs fulfill a number of positions but spring football practice started today. It’s unclear to me just who will take over coaching the secondary for UC and Jones may even opt to hire someone from the outside. Although, it might be too late to do even that and we could see former UC cornerback Mike Mickens get a more hands-on role with the Cincinnati DBs. It’s unclear who will take on the special teams duties.
The timing does give a ring of truth to the voluminous rumors that Coombs looked for an exit because he was pissed off about not being named defensive coordinator. No offense but I wouldn't want Coombs within 100 miles of calling defenses in games.
My twitter friend Eric Lilly made a great point when he said this was a Mick Cronin move. If you forget, Cronin was on Bob Huggins' staff, then left to be a Rick Pitino assistant at Louisville. Cronin wanted more experience to get a head coaching job. He got hired at Murray St and ended up at UC. Coombs has a higher profile at OSU which he can use to springboard to the MAC, specifically Central Michigan, and can be hired in 6 years when Butch Jones leaves after winning 6 national titles in a row.
I would be stunned if Kerry Coombs was ever a head coach at this level. He started his career track so late and frankly isn't that good.
"I will always be indebted to him," Jones said. "He helped me with the whole process of coming to Cincinnati. He brought me along. He introduced me to the right people, taught me different things about Cincinnati. This isn’t just a relationship that started when I came here. I knew Kerry for years prior to coming here. He made for the transition to be very smooth."
For a last-minute replacement hire, Coombs is an absolute home run. A former championship high school coach at Cincinnati Colerain, Coombs has served under two head coaches at Cincinnati the past four seasons. In 2007, Coombs was hired as defensive backs coach under Brian Kelly and received a promotion to Assistant Head Coach the next season. He remained on the Bearcat staff following Kelly's departure for Notre Dame. New head coach Butch Jones gave Coombs the added responsibility of coordinating special teams in 2010 and then added the title "defensive passing game coordinator" last season.
So Ohio State fans should really come to love not being able to stop Mesh at any point while Coombs is the secondary coach. I sure enjoyed it for five years.
Spring Football News
So which is it? Are the Bearcats going to take a step back or are they definitely going to be in the title chase?? Kind of a head-scratcher. And a lot of UC fans won’t get past that first sentence about taking a step back.
Given the departure of West Virginia the Big East is there for the taking. I see no good reason why the Bearcats can't win it again. Afterall this is a program that has won the thing three of the last four years.
With West Virginia’s departure to the Big 12, the Big East race looks to be wide open. If Cincy can adequately fill its holes at tailback and defensive tackle this spring, it definitely will be in the title chase again in the fall.
Collaros might not have had his best season statistically. He still threw far too many head-scratching interceptions (15 touchdowns to 10 INTs). But the way he was able to rally back and play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl -- guiding the team to its first bowl win since 2007 -- speaks volumes about what he truly brought to his team. League coaches noticed well before that performance, voting him to the Big East second team.
Justin Jackson played one of the best first halves of his life. He had all 6 of his points, all 4 of his rebounds and 6 of his 7 blocks in the 2nd half. This next sentence is going to be in all caps because it's important. HE HAD SEVEN BLOCKS IN THIRTEEN MINUTES. Jackson was getting a hand on everything. It translated to the offensive end, where he was getting lots of shots near the bucket. His follow tip in was the highlight. His 7th block where he came from behind to get DJO was incredible. He closed so fast. He didn't even break out the #JustinJacksonMeanFace, he broke out a smile because he knew it was awesome. Also, I love that #JustinJacksonMeanFace is a hashtag endorsed by Go Bearcats. Makes me feel like I started a movement. I'm delusional because one of the blocks hit me in the face.
But I suspect the rebounding edge during the portion of the game that actually mattered was decidedly in the Bearcats' favor. Yancy Gates had 13 boards in just 23 minutes. It seemed like Cincy's size was an issue on the defensive end as well. They tallied 9 blocked shots in the game. Mean Muggin' Justin Jackson registered a career high 7 blocks... in 13 minutes!!!
It is growing increasingly difficult to see just how the committee would justify keeping the Cincinnati Bearcats out of the NCAA tournament. Before last night, the only plausible reason for doing so was nonconference performance: A No. 320-ish-ranked nonconference strength of schedule, a loss to Presbyterian, too many cupcake wins, not enough done in the Big East to compensate. That last part of the argument would have been shaky, but it really is now
Cincinnati: A horrible non-conference strength of schedule is an anchor dragging Cincinnati's profile down, but Wednesday night's 72-61 victory over previously surging Marquette suggests the Bearcats may yet overcome it. Cincinnati improves to 21-9 overall and 11-6 in the Big East, with wins over Notre Dame, Georgetown, Louisville, UConn, Seton Hall and now the Golden Eagles. It would create a more stress-free Big East tournament for the Bearcats if they avoid a loss at Villanova on Saturday, but Cincinnati appears to be in pretty strong position regardless.
UC is No. 3 if it beats Villanova, while Notre Dame, Georgetown and USF all lose. UC wins four-way tie at 12-6.
This might be asking rather a lot
Other Bearcat News
The Michigan transfer and Cincinnati, Ohio native is averaging a team-best 14.4 points per game and 3.6 assists per game, which ties for 10th in the BIG EAST. She has posted double-figures in 23 of her 27 games this season, including 10-straight to close the regular season. She has recorded four 20+ point games and has led the Bearcats in scoring on 11 occasions. Her 14.5 points per game in league play ranks 10th in the BIG EAST and her 35.3 minutes played per game is third.
The University of Cincinnati women’s basketball team (15-14, 6-10 BIG EAST) begins its 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championship run when it plays 14-seed Marquette (13-16, 4-12 BIG EAST) on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. UC is seeded No. 11, which ties for its highest seeding in the BIG EAST Championship. It was also the 11-seed in the 2006 and 2007 tournaments.
The Bearcats last win was against Marquette on the 21st of February
Baseball Plays Season Opener Friday - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
The University of Cincinnati baseball team opens its home portion of the 2012 season when it plays host to Oakland (Mich.) University in a four-game series Friday through Sunday at Marge Schott Stadium.
Sure, that's dumb, and ends the most fun either team has all year, but we promised not to complain, even if that means playing the only fanbase who truly understands our desperate way of life and humidity-induced alcoholism. Georgia fans are too concerned with what their pastor thinks. Tennessee fans are too busy quietly suffering. Kentucky's just Kentucky, Vanderbilt fans don't care, and the entire state of Alabama left the realm of reasonable interaction long, long ago. South Carolina, we don't even know what you are, but you gave us Stephen Garcia, so you can't be all bad.
LSU-Florida every year? What's not to love