Start off today with a congratulations to the inevitable crowning of UC volleyball star Stephanie Niemer as the Big East Player of the Year and coach Reed Sunahara as the Coach of the Year in the conference.
If the woman who should have the Big East Player of the Week trophy named after her after winning it a record six times didn't earn POY honors, I would have called everyone currently working on the Cam Newton investigation off that and into the Big East offices, because there was some real corruption going on.
Alas, that wasn't the case. So, Niemer, who is fourth in the country in kills per set and third in the country in points per set, got her due. Let's hope she gets her national due next with a deserved spot as first-team All America.
The volleyball team opens the Big East tournament today at 12:30 p.m. in Pittsburgh against South Florida. If you want to watch the POY in action, you can do so here.
OK, on the rest of the Breakfast....
--- I wrote a story about how the Bearcats are keeping a positive attitude, particularly for those in the embattled defensive secondary, through the three-game losing streak.
The first question that came to mind this week for me was, how you do you continue to have fun out here when so much negativity continues to pile up? I felt stupid for even thinking that question after talking to Reuben Johnson.
All you had to do was glance at the players standing on crutches up and down the UC sideline or, for Johnson, read a story about his buddy from New Jersey Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed in a game last month.
These guys love football and when so many others have it taken away from them, every day they can go out and play is an opportunity to have fun and enjoy it. Sometimes that big picture becomes lost in the blur of a three-game losing streak for us outsiders. Not for these kids. At least not for Johnson.
And also not for the 12 seniors who are counting down the final weeks of their football careers. Three wins in a row would mean another week of practices --- plus Bowl Game swag! Who doesn't want a Beef O'Brady's commerative pin?
--- The one senior clearly feeling the pinch of the end of the season is Armon Binns. Bill Koch wrote a story about Binns quietly enjoying a fantastic senior season.
--- A little programming note for basketball on Saturday. The Bearcats are no longer on FoxSportsOhio. The TV guru John Kiesewetter has this story on the situation and all the alternate channels for viewing. Time Warner folks can view it on 310.
--- The women's Crosstown Shootout had a press conference yesterday. Here are some comments from those involved.
--- What was suppopsed to be a great week for Tony Pike took a shocking, ugly turn yesterday as John Fox named Brian St. Pierre, who was a stay-at-home dad last week, as the starter over Pike.
No real way to swing this except to say that can't be good for Pike's progress or his current standing inside the coaching staff.
The bottom line is this wild decision has caused a bit of a firestorm and caused what Pro Football Talk is calling a mutiny. It's wild.
Respected Carolina beat writer Darrin Gantt said this:
"Fox is acting like he's got his next job in hand already. Because otherwise, you wouldn't so blatantly and wantonly disrespect the boss who's paying you $6.5 million or the GM you call a friend," he said. "I've wracked my brain, and for the life of me, can't find a rational reason for this move, other than pure spite."
--- When I saw that Fox was going to broadcast the first six Big Ten championship games, all I could imagine was Brutus, at halfitme, pumping the midseason replacement show, "When Mascots Attack," which just reairs him being brutalized by the OU Bobcat over and over again.
--- Cashmere Wright made plenty of mistakes in the season opener, but Chad Brendel at Cincinnati247 talked about how he's learning from his mistakes moving forward.
Also, Chad had this quote from Mick Cronin on watching IPFW push Xavier to overtime on Tuesday.
"Our feeling is Xavier played extremely hard. IPFW plays 8 juniors and seniors in their 9 man rotation and they take care of the ball and can make shots. One thing about mid major teams is if they can shoot the 3 point shot at multiple positions and really stretch your defense it takes away your advantage a little bit in size and athleticism. They know coming in to a game like Cincinnati or Xavier that they might need double digit 3s to beat you. Those teams scare you to death as a coach. Not a lot of sleep for me after that Xavier game."
--- ESPN ranked UC's recruiting class in the top half in the Big East. St. John's is building back into a winner if recruiting has anything to do it, but UC's haul garnered respect.
One wonders how this class would have ranked nationally had Chane Behanan stayed here instead of opting for Louisville.
--- A few nice wins for Big East teams last night. Pitt topped Maryland (though the game was closer than it probably should have been for the Panthers' liking) and Georgetown scored a blowout victory against Coastal Carolina.
David Steele wrote a quality piece on the two Jersey schools in the BE who have had trouble gaining ground despite a load of talent in their area. And also why two new coaches think it will be different during their reign. I still believe the Hall is going to make a run this year -- Rutgers, not so much.
--- How about a Friday randomness bonanaza?....
--- When teaching kids to obey the law to stay out of jail, they should just show the mug shot of this guy and save everyone some time.
--- I'm currently reading a book about Pearl Jam (5 against 1 by Kim Neely of Rolling Stone -- highly recommended), and Eddie Vedder made a habit in his early years of finding some insane location to stage dive from during the backside jam on "Porch". He was an expert. If you are NOT an expert on stage diving, however, you should probably learn from the mistakes these guys made.
--- How could bacon bikinis be a bad thing?
--- I think NYU should just make this their admissions marketing video. Come to NYU, where even a Cappela group creates hilarious moments like this. If they don't, they are so dumb, they are really dumb, for real.
--- Maybe the most well-executed move to come out of the Bengals complex this year has been Dhani Jones, Tank Johnson and Chad Ochocinco re-enacting the elevator scene from The Hangover for ESPN the Mag. Tank Johnson is the only one without a reality show, but proves here he's probably the one of the three that should. (H/t to Rufus at Fox19)
Also, Lindsey Vonn is a dead ringer for Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. Unfortunately, this link is SFW.
--- The intertubes have been alive with the masterful musings of Montana Tech football coach Bob Green, who is retiring after 24 years.
I'd pay admission to have access as a beat writer to a guy like this on a daily basis. And after every interview I'd leave a tip.