Welcome to round three of the Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament. Another week of voting has come to a close and we are ready to start delving into the Sweet 16, the round where the favorites of the favorites start to separate themselves. Speaking of separation, here is how everything went down in the second round to give us our Brian Kelly region semifinalists.
Quarterbacks, namely very good quarterbacks, generally get the benefit of the doubt. Both Zach Collaros and Gino Guidugli beat out very talented defensive backs to add to their collection of victories in this tournament. However, Munchie Legaux, who was clearly the less successful passer of the three signal callers in this round, just missed getting by Mike Boone. The UC running back earned 50.5 percent of the vote, making for the smallest margin of victory in this tournament to this point. If you’re wondering why the bracket says he had 51, its because decimals are not allowed in the bracket app we are using. Perhaps Legaux would have been able to squeak out a win if not for his lack of luck in terms of health. For now, he couldn’t take down Boone, not that many people have been able to on the football field or otherwise.
The only defensive player to advance in this region was linebacker Jeff Luc, who beat out Ralph David Abernathy in a spirited competition in round two. Luc was a transfer from Florida State, whereas Abernathy eventually transferred from UC to Tennessee. Luc was sensational in 2014, with 133 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
Round Three Matchups
Mike Boone vs. Zach Collaros
Boone already defeated a UC signal caller, but Collaros has a bit more Bearcat cultural cache than Legaux, even if at his best Legaux was much more fun to watch, at least in this writer’s opinion. But Collaros was still excellent, throwing for 6,278 yards on an efficient 61.9 percent. Boone had to suffer through back-to-back 4-8 seasons at the end of his career, but he still managed to amass tons of yards (2,846 yards from scrimmage) and touchdowns (25).
Jeff Luc vs. Gino Guidugli
Guidugli played four seasons at UC and threw for at least 2,500 yards in all of them. He is not only the best quarterback in program history, but also the most productive and durable, and that’s not really up for much debate. He is the only Bearcat quarterback to have thrown for more than 10,000 yards. Gunner Kiel is second in program history and he “only” has 6,835. Guidugli also has more completions (880) than most other UC passers have attempts. Can Luc’s brilliant 2014 season unseat Guidugli? If it does, it will be because people love forced fumbles and tackles. Luc had 133 stops and six forced fumbles in 2014, which led to All-American Athletic Conference first team honors.
Only two matchups to vote on in this round this week, but take your time and follow your heart.