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July 8th 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. Only 2 days left!

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Bearcat News

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According to this guy, UC athletic director Mike Thomas is among 7 finalists for the vacant AD job at Tennessee. While I highly doubt he is ultimately hired, it got me to the thinking about what it would be like if MT were to move on. I think he has done a phenominal job handling UC's Varsity Village debt and moving the athletic department's budget close to even. However, he seems like he's peaked at UC and doesn't do a good job of enstilling confidence or excitement in the Cincinnati community about the Bearcats, which is one of the primary jobs of an athletic director. A bigger school with millions of donor money already at the table would be good for him where all he would really have to do is manage. At this point in UC's development, they need a visionary like a Jurick or Luck, who can take the potential the university has to new heights.

D.J. Woods Named To 2011 Biletnikoff Award Watch List - University of Cincinnati Official Athletics Site
A great honor for D.J. Woods who joins former Bearcats Armon Binns, Mardy Gilyard, and Dominick Goodman as players who have made this watch list. Woods hit the scene in 2009 but really exploded last year as a legimite threat opposite Armon Binns. He's fast as hell and doesn't think twice about snagging a ball across the middle of the field. He was a bit fumble-prone last season (hell, what Bearcat wasn't?) which was a bit of a knock on him in 2010. But, D.J. is an extremely competitive, intensive kid who wants nothing more than to succeed. Look for that attitude to cause him to have as good of, if not better, a year as he had in 2010.

Big East position rankings: Safety - Big East Blog - ESPN
The safety rankings are out from Andrea Adelson and, this time, I'm not going to cut her down for picking UC 8th. Honestly, I would have picked them last, too. This is a major weakness for the Bearcats this year as I have absolutely no confidence in Drew Frey and still believe he's a starter simply because there isn't anyone behind him pushing for playing time. I fully believe that guy was Malcolm Murray but with Wes Richardson's injury, it seems like MM will slide over to the free safety position. I think that area improves but the safeties as a whole need to prove themselves. This is a reason why Coach Jones is bringing in so many safeties in the 2012 class. An upgrade to the position is completely necessary. Hopefully with a better defensive line, those weaknesses at both safety and corner will be covered up a bit.


A Leaper and a Shooter on the New Leapers and Shooters
Scott Springer checked out the Bearcats on the SLATS team at Woodward High School yesterday and come out very impressed. Join the club, Scott, as these freshman are really getting people excited about Bearcats basketball next season. Sean Kilpatrick, now a battle hardened veteran of the Bearcats as a RS-sophomore, was watching the game as well and came away very impressed with Shaq Thomas in particular. While defense isn't a priority in the DSL, the incoming freshman have been scoring in bunches and are proving that Mick really does know what he's doing when he recruits. Springer also posted some pics from the event of the incoming freshman as well as Yancy sporting his SLATS jersey. Personally, I think Yancy looks better in Red and Black but that's just me.

Around the BEast

TCU seeing boost in recruiting thanks to Big East move - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News
While most of us probably recognize TCU Football as being the preeminent force behind their move to the Big East, the Horned Frogs also boast a basketball program. Let's cut right to the chase. They're not very good. And by that, I mean they're absolutely putrid at the sport. They've gone 11 - 37 in Mountain West games in the last three years. The MWC has had some pretty good teams recently like BYU, San Diego State, and New Mexico, but Big East basketball is in a completely different galaxy than the MWC. While TCU basketball, like football, is seeing a bump in recruiting because of this, they'll probably fighting with DePaul and Seton Hall in the conference basement for a few years once they join. Climbing up the Big East ladder, as us UC fans know, isn't easy.

Ranking College Football's New Coaches From 2010 |
Althlon Sports ranked the top coaching hires in 2010. I've said this before- Coaching hires shouldn't be evaluated until at least 3 years into the job. 'Top ranked' hires now could easily lose their job if they post 3 or 4-win seasons in the next two years and lower ranked hires (like Butch Jones at #15) could stack up wins to get them off the hot seat. It's just too early to tell. For what it's worth, Louisville Strong took home the #1 spot for his turn around of the Cardinals. The hire was solid and he has proven he can both recruit and improve a defense, but let's see what he does when he doesn't have 25 seniors backing up a team. I think Louisville is bound to win some games, but it's too early to say he's the second coming of Bobby Petrino.

Around the Nation

Chip Kelly, Jim Tressel need guide to smarter NCAA rule-breaking - Andy Staples -
If you're just getting into the college coaching business, here's seven important tips to remember to out smart the NCAA (which really isn't that hard to do). I mean seriously, for as short-sighted and inconsistent as the NCAA is, this list should be second nature to college coaches but for some reason the big boys still get caught! I guess these universities are paying them too much money, huh? Anyways, this is a good read. Enjoy.

Allegations of NCAA violations at Oregon, Ohio State, Auburn, North Carolina and Tennessee are making it difficult to love college football. - ESPN
Football programs are economic and political giants. They draw in a lot of money, garner a lot of publicity, and probably have some skeletons in the closet that the media wants to gets its hands all over. As a program gains national attention, all three of those factors continue to grow. Oregon is just starting to realize that. As they have made the investments in their program, the incentive to keep it performing at a higher left suddenly skyrockets and they must do whatever it takes to stay there. This is why you see so many big programs like Ohio State, USC, Tennessee, and Alabama get in trouble for recruiting violations. There are literally millions of dollars at stake when these teams win and for the most part getting the best recruits is a major path to winning.