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Deals the Bearcats Should Make if Trades Were Allowed

While trades are not a part of college football, it’s still fun to imagine.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

I play a fair amount of sports video games. When I do, I only play franchise modes. That’s because my lack of desire for social interaction means I don’t like playing with other people online.

Before I have to start paying by the hour here, let’s get back to the point. Every team I run in franchise modes always look drastically different week to week and that’s because I am all about trades. They are fun and the best part of sports (real, fantasy or virtual). Unfortunately college sports do not have trading. They certainly wouldn’t make sense at the collegiate level, so I’m not complaining, but it is something that’s missing.

There have been a lot of trades going on in Major League Baseball recently during the lead-up to the non-waiver trade deadline on Tuesday. That’s enough to sate my desire for trades, but here are deals the Cincinnati Bearcats’ football program would be smart to make if trades were allowed. For this exercise, only teams within the American Athletic Conference are eligible to be trade partners.

Cincinnati trades Perry Young to Tulane for Jonathan Banks

There is going to be a changing of the guard at quarterback relatively soon at UC. It might not be happening this year, but with Ben Bryant and Desmond Ridder developing behind Hayden Moore, its only a matter of time. However, if UC really wanted to go for it in 2018, they need an upgrade to Moore right away. Banks’ ability to run and throw could make him a nice fit for offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock. Banks threw for nearly 1,800 yards in a run-heavy offense at Tulane last year and added 592 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Additionally, he showed a willingness to throw the ball long, which Moore has failed to do.

What’s in it for Tulane? While giving up a quarterback as talented as Banks would be puzzling, they would be getting back a player who would fill a need. Tulane ranked second-to-last in tackles for loss among AAC teams last year and Young had nine all by himself. On top of that, they would get two years of Young in exchange for one year of Banks, who is a senior.

Cincinnati trades Kevin Mouhon and Colin Woodside to Tulsa for Chandler Miller

One thing the Bearcats did fairly well last year was protect their quarterback, allowing only 17 sacks, which tied with Houston for fourth-fewest in the AAC. The unit is losing some big-time talent this year (more on that Monday), but adding a guy of Miller’s talents at center could help. He was a second-team all-AAC pick last year and could end up on the first team in 2018. Losing Mouhon and Young in two trades would present a major challenge, but with how well the Bearcats have recruited for defense, there are reinforcements ready, even if they are a bit green.

On the other side of the deal, Tulsa has talent to spare on the offensive line (plus they’d be getting a young guy to mold in Woodside), but they could use help on the pass rush. They only had 58 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2017 and Mouhon can help in both areas.

Cincinnati trades James Smith and Javan Hawes to UConn for Hergy Mayala or Quayvon Skanes

This one would take some expert negotiating to pull off, especially for a touchdown machine like Mayala or a returner with all-conference potential like Skanes. However, Smith is an all-conference punter and he could be very useful for UConn, a team that tied for the most punts in the conference but ranked last in yardage. Hawes is only a sophomore and has some return and pass-catching experience, but the Bearcats could add in 2018 recruit Meechi Harris or someone else to sweeten the deal.

Cincinnati trades Marquise Copeland, Kahlil Lewis and Chris Murphy to Memphis for T.J. Carter

This one would really come down to how win-now Memphis is feeling and how confident they are with the entire makeup of the roster. Carter is already a proven commodity, as he was named the AAC Rookie of the Year, but Copeland and Lewis are both very talented players in their own right and could help make for a more full roster. Meanwhile, Murphy would at least give the Tigers a replacement level player where Carter once stood. It would still probably get a no from Memphis, but if the deal could be made, this would be an excellent way for the Bearcats to sell high on older guys in the hopes of building up the foundation for the years when they are back to being competitive.