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Cincinnati Bearcats Link Jump Off | December 29th

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Liberty Bowl

Cincinnati Bearcats' backup quarterback always ready // The Commercial Appeal

Legaux probably won't start against the Commodores. Collaros, after some maniacal eight-hour daily rehab sessions, has been taking most of the first-team snaps in Cincinnati's bowl workouts that started back on campus before arriving in Memphis on Monday.

Probably, but you never know. Zach Collaros has been battling flu like symptoms this week. Butch Jones will make a decision later today.

Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers mirrors star sibling // The Commercial Appeal

It's probably because Jordan is exactly where Aaron once was -- a late developer who wasn't recruited by any major college, was forced to go to junior college and had to prove himself every step of the way.

Its really interesting that both Rodgers had (effectively) identical journey's to BCS schools

Cincinnati plays underdog role again // Big East Blog // ESPN

Here it is bowl season, and Cincinnati has exceeded expectations again. Picked to finish fifth in the conference, the Bearcats won a share of the Big East championship. Picked to finish fifth in 2008, the Bearcats went to the Orange Bowl. [+] EnlargeCincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe in action during a college football game against Akron, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al BehrmanCincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe is used to the Bearcats being underdogs. Picked to finish fifth in 2009, the Bearcats went to the Sugar Bowl. You can see why players and fans feel their program is disrespected. So how did Cincinnati (9-3) react to the fact that it is an underdog to a 6-6 Vanderbilt team headed into the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Saturday?


The Cincinnati Bearcats vs. The Oklahoma Sooners, Who Evidently Are Good Again // Bearcats Nation

So Oklahoma scores a lot of points and rebounds well. This game could turn into a shootout as Cincinnati has also scored points in bunches and owned the glass in recent games. This despite playing mostly four-guard sets since Yancy Gates, Cheikh Mbodj, and Octavius Ellis were suspended. But the bigs on Oklahoma will be the best UC has faced since that game. I expect the Sooners to try and get Kelvin Gaines and Justin Jackson into foul trouble so they can use their size to their advantage against the Bearcats’ guards. That duo will have to stay disciplined as to not provide Oklahoma with too many mismatches out there.

Breaking even on the glass is a must for the Bearcats to beat Oklahoma.

Cashmere Wright // Bearcats Blog

Cash has been getting everyone involved. Cash had nearly 4 assists a game last season. He's up a little over 5 this year. He's assisting on a higher level of FGs than ever. He's had 8, 6, 5 and 7 assists the past 4 games. That's resulted in 22 points vs Wright St, 14 points vs Radford, 13 points vs Pine Bluff and 15 points against Chicago St. Adding those numbers together, Cash has been responsible for 34, 39, 33, and 29. That was half for Wright State, a fourth of Radford, 33% against UAPB and less than 30% against Chi St. You can't deny that Cash's play has rubbed off on the rest of the team. UC had 23 assists on 36 FGs that night. Being selfless with the ball rubs off. Cash has been the perfect blend of scorer and passer.

This is going to be a key for the rest of the year. There is just an absence of play makers on this team. Cash and Sean Kilpatrick are the only guys who can create things for themselves in the half court. Cash needs to keep mining this vein of form.

Bearcats hope adjustments lead to flexibility // Fox Sports Ohio

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's going to be a challenge. We need to take the underdog mentality into this game. Our guys need to understand that is our edge right now. We need to keep it for the rest of the season. I haven't seen Oklahoma yet, we played them last year so I know their personnel. They seem to really have their confidence going." -- UC head coach Mick Cronin on the short-handed Bearcats' first true test.

Losing big men was a tall order //

“We practiced this way early in the year with JaQuon (Parker) at the four,” Cronin said. “Then he got hurt. It was something I had thought a lot about.”

I think Parker has a role because he has been so effective. Even when the bigs get back you have to think that the Bearcats will spend 10 or 15 minutes a night going small. Its too effective on offense not too.

Football Recruiting

Bearcats strike gold close to home //

MEMPHIS — The experts say Butch Jones has lifted Cincinnati football recruiting to its highest peak. The Bearcats coach strongly believes his local recruits have had a big hand in that development.

I still feel the local angle is somewhat overplayed. Consider that the Bearcats have more commits from Florida (8) than Ohio (6) and just as many commits from Indianapolis (5) as from the Cincinnati. Jones starts at home, but he has dipped deep into Florida, Georgia and now Tennessee.