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Cincinnati Bearcats Jump Off | December 20th

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Liberty Bowl

Zach Collaros looks, sounds ready to play - Cincinnati Bearcats

As practice continued, Collaros took off running on a designed draw. He rolled out of the pocket and threw a pass into the flat. Collaros did, well, what Collaros does. And that news couldn't have been any better for Butch Jones and the Bearcats. After more than an hour of looking like a guy who plans on playing Dec. 31 in the Liberty Bowl, Collaros sounded like on as well.

This is obviously encouraging.

Cincinnati piles up championships // Big East Blog // ESPN

This is a program that has been to two BCS bowl games the last three seasons, and has been elevated to one of the best in the Big East. But did you know that Cincinnati is one of two teams among the automatic qualifying conferences that has won a share of its league in three of the last four seasons? The other: Oregon.

It's really kind of amazing what UC has been able to do in a very short period of time with quite a bit of turmoil within the program.

Basketball News

Wright Named to Weekly BIG EAST Honor Roll //

University of Cincinnati junior guard Cashmere Wright has been named to the weekly BIG EAST Conference Honor Roll following his play last week in Bearcats wins at Wright State and against Radford. Wright averaged 18.5 points while shooting 57.7 percent from the field (15-of-26) and 37.5 percent from three-point range (6-of-16) for the week. He handed out 14 assists with only three turnovers to go with two steals and nine rebounds.

Cincinnati 101 Radford 70 // Bearcats Blog

Other Bearcat News

Bearcats Fall To Indianapolis, 50-43 //
After a promising start to the season the Bearcat Women have lost their last 5 contests.

Around The Big East

Can the Big East go 5-0 in bowls? // Big East Blog // ESPN

The matchups are favorable, and the largest line for an opponent belongs to Clemson, at 3 1/2 over West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl. So even the oddsmakers are expecting games that could go either way. The Big East generally does well in bowl games, too. The league has posted a losing record just once since 2005, and did go undefeated in 2006.

I wouldn't exactly bet on it, no one in the Big East has been anything close to consistent in 2011. I doubt that changes much, if at all during the bowl season. Though I will fully admit that the matchups are favorable.

Looking back: Preseason predictions // Big East Blog // ESPN

Nationally Recognized

Draw It Up: Evaluating Alabama's Defense // Chris Brown
Alabama had arguably the best defense in the country this season, and one of the best since the 2008 USC Trojans. Alabama is so good defensively because Nick Saban is probably the best defensive back coach in the last two decades. This is a window into what makes Saban and Alabama so good against the pass. In short this is how I would like UC to play in the secondary. But so long as Kerry Coombs is the DB coach it won't be happening.