Today is the first day of practice at Higher Ground for UC. I will be making my way up there this afternoon to check them out. I will also be checking in on the progress of the great mustache-growth experiment of 2010.
Out at Higher Ground, those not blessed with full growth capabilities are safe to test out the baby fur look without being chastised by women on campus.
For all those, I present motivation for what those upper lips can be if you let them grow free.
There are many styles and personas you can take on -- here is a mustache history lesson gallery. Of course, when growing out facial hair, you have to make sure you steer clear of the pedophile beard. There's fine line between full and felonious.
--- The Bearcats actually arrived at Higher Ground yesterday. Here's a video with some of the players takes on what it's all about, as well as some compelling action shots of the guys folding clothes. Also, sneak a peak at C.J. Cobb's monkey.
--- Paul Daugherty stretched out with a column in SI about Butch Jones and his dedication to creating a family.
--- Bill Koch writes about the battles at kick returner and punt returner. For now, D.J. Woods is at the front of the pack for punt returner and Vidal Hazelton at kick returner. Though, Jones did open his statements about the situation by saying, "it's wide open."
Anybody you can imagine has been trying out back there, including Isaiah Pead, Darrin Williams, Marcus Barnett and Reuben Johnson.
"You can never have enough guys because fielding kicks is an art," Jones said. "It's the most difficult technique to teach."
--- The Big East is ripe with young QBs, as Brian Bennett points out. Zach Collaros is probably on the most reliable in the conference right now and he only owns four career starts. You can look around college football and first-year quarterbacks typically crash and burn their teams in at least one or two games. That's good news for the Bearcats, who don't expect such a result from Collaros and could earn a leg up in the standings because of the growing pains other teams experience.
--- When UC plays at N.C. State in September, I will be rooting for Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson to do well. Viv Bernstein at AOL Fanhouse tells the heart-breaking story of the two-sport QB losing his father the day after he was drafted by MLB this summer.
--- Haruki Nakamura tied for a team high with five tackles for the Ravens last night, including a sack of former temmate Tony Pike. Unfortunately, the experience has not gone as well for Pike, who only managed three snaps without a completion.
Rumors are circulating he could be the odd man out in Carolina. There are very few snaps available and Pike can't dig out of the fourth-string role. Carlos "Big C" Holmes thinks the Bengals may take a shot at Pike should the Panthers try to sneak him through waivers.
Uncertainty does exist in the reserve quarterback roles at Bengals camp, but they won't be getting rid of J.T. O'Sullivan and I would find it hard to believe Carson Palmer's brother is going anywhere considering what his presence means to the most important player on the team.
Even though Marvin Lewis is unhappy with Sullivan and J. Palmer, I don't see Pike having a much better chance latching on with the Bengals than he has had with the Panthers. At the very least, the Bengals need backups that know the system, should anything go down. They would be more likely to ride out this year and select a developmental type guy in the middle to back of next year's draft.
--- Also, Alex Daniels is converting from DE to FB for the Raiders.
--- The list of people I want to have my back in a street fight just added one more. I don't want to think about what it means for somebody to be "almost too big to play football."
--- Bob Huggins returned to work after his broken ribs incident in Las Vegas.
--- The UC volleyball team is beginning its most anticipated season since joining the Big East after the coaches unanimously picked the Bearcats to finish first in the conference and Stephanie Niemer was chosen as the preseason player of the year.
It might be time to make my way down to Fifth Third to see what all the fuss is about.
--- The Early Show talks about the best, healthiest Fast Food breakfasts. The fact that they don't mention the chicken biscuit from Chick-fil-a is a travesty.