Welcome to this week’s edition of the “Anger Rankings”, our weekly column that will highlight what Cincinnati Bearcats fans are angry about each week.
Last week was very heavy towards Ohio State and Graeters Ice Cream. This week, the focus is on what happened during week 3, mostly related to Cincinnati vs Miami.
5. Student section’s negative chants
Maybe I am just a cranky old man. But maybe I am a knowledgeable and correct (not very) old man. During the game, you could hear chants from the student section that rhymed with Muck Fiami and I tweeted a plea for students to stop. Those chants are inappropriate and unnecessary. The student section has been at another level through two games this year, in the best way possible. Students show up early, stay late, and remain loud throughout. But chanting negatively at the other team is beneath them and not something that should be promoted. It’s a bad look for the University and is simply not needed. Let’s use the energy to chant FOR the Bearcats. Not against the opponent. Especially an opponent that, quite frankly, is a few levels below Cincinnati.
4. Disrespect for UCF
“Stanford stinks”. “AAC stinks”. “Boise State is the best Group of Five team”. BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA. Will UCF ever earn respect? UCF is a GREAT team and I know Cincinnati fans don’t care for them, but it does impact UC in terms of the respect that they receive as well. Media and fans will continue to trash the AAC, continue to ignore the Group of Five teams and look the other way.
The problem is IF, Cincinnati can find a way to beat UCF on 10/4, the narrative becomes “UCF is overrated” and not “wow what a great, epic win for Cincinnati”. No one will care about the Bearcats side of it, only mock the Knights.
This one is game-related - Cincinnati has had 31 accepted penalties through three games. 31! That’s insane and shows a high level of undisciplined play. Cincinnati has overcome these penalties to beat bad UCLA and Miami teams and the penalties were a non-factor in the loss to Ohio State. But at some point in time, when the competition level is even with the Bearcats, these penalties could come back to haunt them. It’s very frustrating to see and to think about the possibility that they could really cost us games later in the year.
2. The Miami Series
I wrote about my thoughts on this series earlier, but pretty much it’s annoying to play a team that is never very good and no where near the Bearcats talent level on an annual basis. I would rather see them play a high level MAC or high level C-USA team, if not the preferable route of low-mid tier Big Ten/ACC schools. If we’re going to play Miami, we might as well play Illinois and get that “P5” win. Cincinnati has absolutely nothing to gain from beating Miami and everything to lose from a loss.
1. The idea of benching QB Desmond Ridder
Twitter analysts and critics were out in full force criticizing Ridder, the play calling, the OL, everyone and everything. Ridder was bad to start the game. There is no defending that. He made some poor reads, took too long to make decisions which allowed the defensive pressure to get to him, and some of his throws were a bit inaccurate. You can blame some of these issues on the offensive line, on the receivers, on the coaching staff, whomever. But Ridder, himself, needed to do better. As the game went on I felt he absolutely did better. He made two beautiful throws for long touchdown passes - 27 yards to TE Josiah Deguara on a 4th down and 51 yard sideline pass to senior WR Thomas Geddis.
Who knows what’s going on with Ridder. Maybe it’s mental - maybe the Ohio State game weighed him down to start this game. Maybe knowing his OL doesn’t give him all of the time in the world rattles him. Whatever the issue might have been, Ridder certainly settled down and played much better. And that’s the key takeaway with Ridder. For the folks calling for him to be benched, I’d rather see my quarterback fight through mistakes, play through the pain and struggles and learn from it. It was obvious, that Ridder was learning throughout the game. More on him below.
Share your comments below about what made you angry this past week.