There's an old saying that goes "everyone is number one at something; even if it's number one at not being number one." And so goes the University of Cincinnati football season. No bowl games, no Big East title; no win over top ranked teams and you say Box why are you reminding us of a season we're trying to forget?
The answer is simple: these numbers don't lie either; 100% of your starting defense was underclassmen. Over 4,000 yards in the form of Isaiah Pead and Zach Collaros return. The addition of red shirt freshman and the indication that some JUCO players will be brought in to sure up the apparent holes is a plus and will surely improve a team with 63 players at the sophomore or below level going into 2011.
I know fan apathy set in like a Charlie Sheen meltdown and doubt followed you home but there is always next year and in this case, unlike maybe the Bengals, there is hope. When you look at the returning players, the experience and the additions the numbers say wins, bowls and trophies. I know most of us are in the "I'll believe it when I see it" category but I'll step out and say UC will bounce back next year and regain wins and fans. Check any school when it loses top players and lots of seniors, growing pains surface and the key is to build depth at every position; but here's the challenge: When you have depth at every position players to go to other schools to start right away and thus rebuilding at times is unavoidable. I offer you USC, LSU and Florida, who just a few years ago looked like dynasties of the gridiron. The problem was very good players said I can start at Auburn, Alabama and Oregon...(you should be having an ah ha moment now) and now they look like the kings of campuses.
So lets rebuild, lets regroup and lets prepare for 2011 today. If you're a fan shift your focus to an undefeated and seemingly improved Bearcat basketball team. With the recent attendance figures, if you migrated over to the shoe and filled it up, it could give the hardwood Bearcats and advantage over visiting teams...imagine that!? I imagine you might not because it's win first support second, alumni first athletes second; but that's for another column.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat...