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July 12th Jump Off

Bearcat News

Will You Be There? (V5) - Cincinnati Bearcats (via CincinnatiBearcats)

Pre-Snap Read: A College Football Blog
Pre-Snap Read's always educated breakdowns finally landed on Cincinnati at #55. That's about where I would place the Bearcats. Overall, it's one of the better rundowns of Cincinnati's 2010 season with predictions about the 2011 season encased in the analysis. One quote in particular stuck out at me, though:

Following the 2004 season, Jones left to serve as Rich Rodriguez’s wide receivers coach at West Virginia. A two-year stint under Rodriguez allowed Jones to at least gain a measure of familiarity with the Big East. It also allowed him to familiarize himself with the spread offense, though Jones was very wise to merely continue to run Kelly’s offense at Central Michigan instead of implementing a new system.

Matt has already broken down for you the differences between Coach Jones and Kelly, but it was surprising to read how at Central Michigan, Jones merely ran Kelly's offense once he left, which probably made the transition much smoother and begs the question: Was Coach Jones successful at CMU because he was running Kelly's offense and is one of the reasons why he wasn't successful last season because he was coaching a new system at Cincinnati?

Big East and 2012 NFL Draft - Big East Blog - ESPN
The latest mind-numbing way-too-early analysis from Mel Kiper about the 2012 NFL Draft was just released and Isaiah Pead was listed as the 4th rated senior running back. Pead had a great 2010 campaign and is probably going to at least match those numbers in 2011. However, most would be surprised to not see Derek Wolfe listed anywhere as we Bearcat fans know all about his explosiveness and abilities to both rush the passer and plug up running lanes. We also know that he had a down year in 2010 and those are the only things draft analysts look at: How are you performing NOW? With better talent around him and more depth to give him a rest, Derek should have a great senior season and appear on those draft boards come February.

Pay for Play: Cincinnati - Big East Blog - ESPN
An interesting look at the profit and expenses of Cincinnati's athletic programs. Now doubt the budgets are constrained at UC since debt is being paid off on the Varsity Villiage project. This budget is near the bottom of BCS schools and dead last in the Big East. Generally, money will bring you wins (unless you're Rutgers) and the Bearcats coaching staffs could use it to hire assitant coaches, improve recruiting, and create a better fan experience to draw larger crowds to games. Most people will cite the upcoming Big East media deal as a way to upgrade those areas, and it will, but Cincinnati will still be in the bottom of the conference as every team will get bumped up by that deal equally. In my opinion, corporate sponsorship is the answer.

Around the BEast

Villanova Football Recruit Says Coaches Told Him Villanova Will Announce FBS Move in September - Big East Coast Bias
If true, this could be a very interesting development in the expansion era of College Football. Unless you were in a coma for the past year, you've probably heard about Villanova's supposed open invitation to join Big East Football and how some college AD's openly denounced the idea. Still though, the fact that Villanova's football coaches said they would be announcing an FBS home in September is interesting news. Perhaps the domino effect of the Big East taking C-USA teams taking Sun Belt teams would jettison Nova into the latter conference. Normally I would say Nova would be perfect for the MAC, but the conference already has Temple for the Philly market and is already adding UMass as a 14th team. Regardless, don't expect Nova to announce the Big East as their destination in September.

WVU Linebacker Branko Busick Arrested for Armed Robbery - WVU Football Headlines -
Out of all of the schools in the Big East, West Virginia has been making the most headlines, both good and bad. This time, it seems like that stout Mountaineer defense took a hit yesterday as linebacker Branko Busick was arrested for armed robbery. These kids are apparently desperate for some spending money!

Around the Nation

Home Run Derby 2011: Fan Dives Into Pool, Catches Homer, Saves Beer - From Our Editors -
If you're going to watch the Home Run Derby, be sure to mute it, as Chris Berman's voice will undoubtedly make you bleed from the ears. However, this is an amazing video of a guy not only catching a home run ball by making an amazing leap into a pool, but he saved his beer AND the pool was full of hot girls in bikinis. Triple bonus. Well done, sir.