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June 28th Jump Off

Remember to submit your choices for the Down the Drive Ring of Honor! You can submit up to 3 players who you think should join the Bearcats elite. You have until July 10th to submit your nominees.

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Bearcat News

Taking the temperature in the Big East - Big East Blog - ESPN
Coach Jones was given a temperature of 2.5 on Dennis Dodd's list of coaches on the hot seat next season. Luckily for Coach Jones, according to Dodd, he isn't on the hot seat yet as rating of 5 would mean the coach would have to win immediately. The bad news is that Butch was the 'hottest' coach in the Big East, exceeding even Greg Schiano at Rutgers (1.5), who hasn't won a Big East title in his 10 years there, consistently recruits well but doesn't meet expectations on the field, and is coming off of a 4 - 8 season. Like I've said, coaches shouldn't be judged after only 1 year of service. Look for Coach Jones to cool off in a good way this season.

Cunningham, Niemer Honored by BIG EAST - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
Winning a Big East Scholarship Athlete Sport Excellece Award requires a student athlete to show acheivements in athletics, in the classroom, as well as leadership in the community. These are also only given to one Big East student athlete in each sport. Stephen Cunningham and Stephanie Niemer both earned this award as Bearcats. You have probably heard of Stephanie. She led the Bearcats to a Big East Women's Volleyball championship, is currently playing in Puerto Rico, and will play in China in exhibition games against the best Chinese teams there. But, Cunningham is a name you probably have not heard. He has recently posted the 7th fastest time in school history in the 1,650 freestyle and won the 500 freestyle in both the FAU invitational and the Miami Invitational. He also qualified for two A finals at the Big East Championship. Congratulations to them both!

Wineberg Places 8th In 400m At USATF Championships - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
Some news and notes from UC track and field, as a slew of UC players competed in the 2011 USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Among the participants were Mary Wineberg, Mary Bridges, Antione Drakeford, and Terrence Somerville.

Around the BEast

Football Gameplan's 2011 Big East Conference Preview (via FootballGameplan)

What's curious about this guy's analysis is that according to him, UConn has the best O-Line, D-Line, secondary, and special teams in the Big East, but will finish in the bottom half of the conference. They seem to be an anomaly as these strengths he lists are all legit but they are undergoing a coaching transition, know one knows who will be the starting quarterback, and whoever is named the starting QB won't have anyone to throw to at wide receiver. From a UC standpoint, he gave the Bearcats some love by saying they will finish 3rd in the conference (Yay!) and also having the best running back tandem in the Big East in Isaiah Pead and Jameel Poteat. If he likes those two, he's going to get a kick after seeing Akise Teague join those two.

The Big East Obituaries: Providence College - Voodoo Five
Another job well done by voodoofive. This time they turned their crosshairs on Providence as another team to be ousted from the Big East. The Friars haven't done much of anything competitive on the basketball front and don't offer either a football program or many Olympic sports. Those are the main things working against them. One thing that could slow down a split is that the Big East offices are located in Providence. For some stupid reason, the Big East didn't just headquarter themselves a hundred miles west in New York City, which has been fundamental to the conference for years. As soon as the Big East brass comes to their senses and moves the offices to NYC, Providence is as good as gone.

Around the Nation

Sources: North Carolina State Wolfpack's Russell Wilson to transfer, play for Wisconsin Badgers - ESPN
Well, first, thank god he didn't end up at a Louisville or UConn. Secondly, Wisconsin's 2011 season just got a whole lot brighter with this pick-up. The Badgers were pretty much set at every position next season except for quarterback. Now they pick up a very good player in Russell Wilson who will do a great job balancing the offense and giving that ground-pound rushing attack some holes to work with. Look out for Wisonsin to compete for a Big 10/11/12 title next season.

NFL shops new 8-game package - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal
Let's be honest. Thursday night games on the NFL Network sucks. You know it. I know it. The NFL knows it. Viewership has been so poor that the NFL is shopping this Thursday night 8-game package to the highest bidder at upwards of as much as $700 million for the 2012 season. What does this mean for the Big East? Well ESPN wouldn't be bidding for this but Turner and Comcast might, which would hinder their ability to give Thursday night timeslots to Big East teams if they won the Big East media deal for 2013 and beyond. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.