A busy weekend around UC sports will be followed by a dead week for finals. No basketball until Saturday against Utah Valley St. and, of course, the football season is now over.
Volleyball saw its tournament run cut short as well, after losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Illinois. Still, a nice run for Stephanie Neimer and Co.
I'll continue to bring you Breakfast every day and some stories from basketball availability, along with whatever else pops into my head (which is unreliable at best).
But, with some open time, I want to hear from you. The football season heads into a crucial offseason. The basketball team is 7-0, but there are many questions from weak OOC schedule to state of the No. 1 RPI conference in the country to what that forearm banging move Larry Davis does means.
So, send me your questions. I have a few questions that have been sent to me recently that I am waiting to answer or have done so in blog posts. But what's on your mind right now? Send me an email (email@example.com) or give me a follow on Twitter (@pauldehnerjr).
Remember, I am not allowed to talk about recruiting, so send those to BearcatLair.
--- Well, the season is over. The Bearcats showed glimpses of brillance this year, but never consistently enough to avoid one of the more disappointing seasons in recent memory. Turnovers and bad luck piled up like dirty dishes in the sink. The more there were, the more daunting fixing the problem became.
I'll have more this week on why there is reason for hope. (Hint: See the two coaches in the National Title game) But, the season saw a round of eulogys this weekend. I wrote about the season of turnover and offseason that awaits.
Jason Williams nicely pieced together the final game story of the season for the Enquirer.
--- Here's a time lapse of the UC-Pitt snow game.
--- Super-intern Will Frasure tackled the message left behind by the seniors, particularly Armon Binns and Jason Kelce.
Binns probably has the brightest football future of anybody in this graduating class. Mel Kiper had Binns ranked as the No. 2 returning senior wideout in the country entering the season and he was solid.
He finished the season with 72 receptions for 1,072 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those numbers certainly didn't hurt his stock.
The preliminary rankings I've seen have Binns as a late-round draft pick. This is a deep class for WRs, assuming will see a rash of talented juniors emerge, which isn't ideal for Binns, but it would be hard to imagine a guy of his size and skill not getting a look.
--- DJ Woods talked on Twitter about how he was having surgery this week. He will be among many Bearcats having surgeries to get everything straightened out in time for spring football. Those are almost all minor cleanup surgeries. There was no indication from any of the football staff that DJ was seriously hurt against Pitt.
If there is a silver lining to the no-bowl cloud, it's that the team can get healthy for spring football earlier.
--- UConn needed a last-second field goal to beat lowly USF and win the Big East. That's about right.
--- Catholics vs. Convicts is back with Notre Dame facing Miami (Fla) in the Sun Bowl.
--- The Big East bowls were: Louisville vs. Southern Miss @Beef O'Brady's Bowl, Big East champ UConn vs. Oklahoma @ Fiesta Bowl, South Florida vs. Clemson @ Meineke Car Care Bowl, Pitt vs. Kentucky at the BBVA Compas Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., Kansas St. vs. Syracuse @ New Era Pinstripes Bowl in Yankee Stadium, West Virginia vs. NC State @ Champs Sports Bowl.
I like the Cards, Syracuse and WVU to win. With the way the BE played in non-conference this year, a strong bowl season could go a long way. That said, with the way the BE played in non-conference this year, there's little reason to expect that.
--- Here is the complete bowl game schedule, including my Bobcats playing Troy in New Orleans. Let's just say it's a good thing I have a job to keep me in town that week.
--- Good news for the Big East: The Big Ten is not looking to expand anymore. That means Pitt, Syracuse, Rutgers and others are safe to keep the major fan bases and markets in tact.
--- Mick's men now move to 7-0 with a destruction of winless Toledo. Yeah, the Rockets are young and played gawd-awful, but beating any D-I team with that kind of domination deserves some credit.
I think we're all anxious to see how this team fares against the big boys,but don't worry, January will be here soon enough and fans will be begging to see Utah Valley State on the schedule again.
--- As for the other major conference school on UC's schedule, times are tough for Oklahoma. They have lost five in a row. Those came against UK, Virginia, Chaminade -- all in Hawaii -- and to Arkansas and Arizona on the road.
Not exactly a cupcake schedule and the Sooners will be thrilled to be playing within spitting distance of their campus, but UC should be pretty heavily favored in that one on the 18th.
--- Nice step forward, even in a loss, for the UC women yesterday, hanging with No. 4 Xavier until the final minutes.
--- I want to give a shout out to Tommy Gelehrter -- or Tommy G as he's typically referred to -- for the work he put in the last month. He called 24 games in 27 days while helping everybody through the busy football/basketball overlap. He's good, too. UC's lucky to have him.
--- How about some randomness...
--- Headline of the day goes to The Big Lead with this one...
--- And you thought Cash 4 Gold didn't have a sense of humor?
--- Seeing Ben Roethlisberger's nose snapped sideways makes me feel good inside.
--- Shay Shine is in the early running for dunk of the year. I don't think he'll win, but it's a nice early bar-setter.