It's a winter wonderland, so I'm typically running behind.
Let's get right to the Breakfast...
--- The schedule continues to be a hot topic as UC runs through the weak competition. Dan Hoard took to the Big East schedules to see how many tough games other teams in the conference are playing.
As I pointed out before, 11 of the 16 teams in the Big East have SOS ranks outside the top 150 right now. Dan does a nice job of looking at the quality opponents teams are playing. The bottom line of his findings is UC isn't that far off. They weren't in an early-season tournament and that's the only real difference. Instead, they played Dayton -- who has been further down than anybody could have anticipated.
Dan also points out how the fact UC dominated UD has turned most opinions toward the Flyers being terrible and UC not being that good. Also, an excellent observation I agree with.
Most importantly, from this point forward the schedule toughens off and all of this is just filler until the real season begins. This team needed confidence and cohesion on offense. It established both. That makes it ready for Big East play.
And the fact that all this team has on its mind this month is playing that Big East schedule sure makes a letdown in effort, energy a slim possibility once it arrives.
--- Do you love Dan's musings? Did you know he was on The Simpsons? Well, if you wanted to more about The Voice, Jeff Gentil put this story on him together for GoBearcats.com.
Personally, I think Dan is one of the great broadcasters in this business as well as one of the great people. He's always been great to me, even when I was some new kid covering UC for an upstart web site. Plus, he allows me be comfortable with my bald sketch face next to his at GoBearcats.
--- A few of you were asking about those throwback uniforms UC wore against the Flyers and if they can be purchased. Well, they ship on Friday and will be available in stores soon after. Personally, the last time I wore a basketball jersey that wasn't for an absurd Halloween costume was when Nick Van Exel left the Lakers. Hoops jerseys are just tough to pull off when you're a 30-year-old with golfers tan lines. But don't let that stop you.
--- Yahoo's Jason King not buying the Bearcats or Cards.
--- Oklahoma had to overcome a 13-point first half deficit to beat a now 4-5 Oral Roberts team.
--- The other OU hasn't established the manpower it would like this year with key pieces bolting for the NBA and top 100 recruit T.J. Taylor unable to get on the floor. Taylor suffered a concussion preseason, never touched the floor and now is transferring to a JuCo.
--- The Sooners are 5-0 at home and 0-5 away from their home court. They will be playing on a neutral floor Saturday night.
The five opponents they played away from home are probably a bigger reason for the disparity, at least Jeff Capel thinks so. Still, UC fits into the category of a quality team away from Norman, so it's hard to call UC anything but a heavy favorite Saturday.
--- Chad Brendel talks about the way UC has been sharing the ball. They had 26 assists on 35 baskets Tuesday.
--- Rick Pitino, not thrilled after his loss to Drexel.
--- Congrats are in order for Stephanie Niemer, who was named to the AVCA All-America Team on Wednesday. She made the second team and was the first UC Bearcats player to do so.
She moves on with the program record for service aces and second all time in kills and kills per set.
--- Miami's Mike Haywood is taking the job at Pitt. It seems like a pretty big jump, but considering the job Haywood did with the RedHawks, it's not undeserved.
--- The Dana Holgorsen move to WVU I discussed on Monday is official. Only, Bill Stewart will serve as coach for one more year with Holgorsen as coach-in-waiting. Not sure I get this. Doesn't Holgorsen's presence undermine Stewart's authority almost as much as his lame-duck status?
Stewart's a class guy and he deserves everything he gets, but these coach-in-waiting schemes leave me scratching my head.
--- How about some randomness...
--- This inmate received much more help from Seinfeld than Babu Baat did. But I wouldn't want to see the feats of strength in the prison yard. Could get ugly.
--- I mentioned my affinity for Community the other day, here's a conversation with Danny Pudi, aka Abed.
--- American Mustache Institute held it's annual Stache Bash. Predictably, genius ensued.
--- All this snow puts me in the Christmas Spirit. Thanks to my friend Jenn, I have the perfect rendition of what it would sound like if I went carolling around the neighborhood (Which, obviously, would never happen anyway).
I've seen a few of these and this is by far the best, make sure you watch to the end.