Bearcats Breakfast 8.25.11

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Thanks to those of you who sent emails in about where you would be tailgating for the opener against Austin Peay. Some of these setups are pretty elaborate and can only make me wonder how you're actual house would look if you put that kind of time and effort into it.

I did want to share one photo I received from Chad, who with his friends roll into the Schiel School Lot in this bad boy.

It's not an actual UPS truck, but pretty close to it, according to Chad.

The amount of respect this thing garners in a UC tailgate lot is immeasurable. He said there's usually 12-20 of them at this truck which seats six in the back, has two taps, sat TV, fridge, microwave, etc.

Strong work, Chad. I give you an 80s-style slow clap on that one. 

I won't be able to make it out to your tailgate for the Peay game due to other commitments, but at some point this year, I would love to see that truck in action and sample some of your tailgate cuisine.

Let's eat...

--- Nine days.

--- Every day, I promote
Tommy G's latest videos from (and if you haven't been following Preseason Central, you should question your own fanhood), but today that will be self-promotion. TG and I held and interview at Higher Ground yesterday -- the final day of camp up there.

First reaction I got was that somebody couldn't believe how young I was -- which I take as a compliment. That was only because they thought my face sketch makes me look like I was Dan Hoard's big brother. End quote. Good to know. Hoard's got me by 17 years, but I'm glad the sketches put off that perception. Real confidence booster.

Anyway, here is TG and I talking about the quarterback battle, leadership of Zach Collaros and myself rambling on about joining his empire. He did reference us as the dynamic duo of GoBearcats, in which case I have a sinking feeling I could be Robin. I'll just state my case right now for Doctor Strange. Only seems fitting.

--- TG also spoke with the always entertaining Derek Wolfe.

--- Small sidenote, we talked
about the QB battle and I mentioned the importance of the backup QB race.

I forgot to mention that UC hasn't had a season without the backup quarterback starting at least one game since 2005. That year Dustin Grutza started every game, but backup Nick Davila did take enough snaps to throw 45 passes.

Here's the number of passes thrown by reserve quarterbacks since 2005:

2010/Chazz Anderson                     45
2009/Zach Collaros                        124
2008/Anderson and Dustin Grutza   141
2007/Grutza                                   55
2006/Nick Davila                            118
2005/Davila                                    45

As for who will win the backup battle, I don't know if Wednesday was any indication or not, but there was a small hint. When talking to Butch Jones it was noted that in a drill that faked an injury to Collaros, Munchie Legaux ran in as the backup. When asked if that meant anything, Jones only smiled and said, "we'll see."

Draw your own conclusions. I only report what I see.

Whoever it is, while nobody wants to see anybody but ZC under center unless the game is a 45-0 UC lead, history suggests otherwise.

--- Bill Koch wrote a story on the importance of compliance in the age of violations across college football. I had all plans on doing a story similar to this back in the offseason, unfortunately the timing of some other things caused it never to see the light of day.

But, I will add some thoughts on what I learned from talking with UC's fantastic AD of compliance Maggie McKinley.

Remember, her department's job isn't only to monitor possible violations. Far from it. They also take care of financial aid, applying for extra eligibility because of hardship (a massive undertaking) and any and all eligibility concerns involving incoming freshmen. Plus much more.

Oh yeah, and they have to assure no scandals hit the university and leaving a national black eye. You know, no big deal.

In total, they oversee 500 student-athletes across 18 sports. Wow.

UC hasn't had any real compliance problems (knock, knock, knock) in recent history.

"We are very proactive," McKinley said. "We try to not only answer the questions, but we try to think of the questions before they ask it."

McKinley roams the halls and makes sure to personally know all the coaches, staff and athletes on as personal level as possible. She gives he personal cell phone to every student-athlete on campus. It makes all the difference when there is rulebook you could stand on to reach the top shelf of any cabinet. A book filled with crazy stipulations like the school is allowed to provide bagels but not peanut butter.

"One of the important things is them knowing we actually care," she said. "We come to their events, help them with things that have nothing to do with our jobs. It helps when we say please don't break a rule.They'll say, 'Well, I don't want to upset Maggie, maybe I won't.'

"I just want them to think twice."  

--- For those of you eyeing the game at Tennessee, DJ Woods, Kenbrell Thompkins and company will be happy to see the Vols most experienced defensive back, Janzen Jackson, was dismissed from the team. He was second-team All-SEC last year and tied for the team lead in interceptions with five.

--- Scott Springer talked about the job Kerry Coombs does keeping the area's top high school players in the city at UC.

According to LS Tom DeTemple, Coombs doesn't do a great job growing facial hair. But I will leave that as my only tease for tomorrow's Best of Camp feature.

--- Here's Butch Jones talking with the media after practice Wednesday. (H/t Bearcat Lair)

--- Over at, the blog has a feature on the wide receivers and the type of receivers TJ Weist and company are trying to develop.

--- As a reminder in case you won't be in the area, UC's opener against AP (on FoxSportsOhio) will be carried on ESPN3 and ESPN Gameplan.

--- ESPN piggybacks off the story Yahoo! wrote yesterday about scoring being down in the conference. Only, this one has some quotes from CBJ.

--- Speaking of Yahoo!, Dr. Saturday took an honest magnifying glass to the Bearcats' season. He hits the nail on the head in one area: Show me UC's turnover margin and (barring major injury) I can tell you almost assuredly where they will finish in the conference.

If this team doesn't beat itself, it will win games. Finishing 119th in the country in that category, however, will bring a repeat of 2010 every year.

--- In all, this was a delightfully uneventful camp at Higher Ground. No serious injuries. Only Freshman WR Chris Moore will miss significant time (4-6 weeks/shoulder). That's rule No. 1 on successful stay in beautiful West Harrison, Ind.

--- UC reports back
to campus now and will play the Beanie Bowl, a live gameday runthrough, at Nippert Stadium. Two days off will follow, a Bearcats public event at Dave and Buster's Sunday, then it's game week.

--- The one and only Mo Egger was out at Higher Ground yesterday. Outside of taking a shot at the casual nature of my attire, he had a great take on the report that came out yesterday about the 22 percent drop in season ticket sales.

Some randomness...

--- Nothing quite as entertaining as 347 fans in the stands for a Major League Baseball game. Sure, give them a new stadium.

I have covered HS baseball games played during the day in Miami that have had about half as many people in attendance. #Fact

--- If a couple that meets on the set of the Surreal Life can't last, then what chance do the rest of us have?

--- Wrestling is fake. I'm aware. But there are a few moments of reality that seep into the show. (Usually through steroid-induced rage). Here are the top six of all-time from Gunaxin.

--- This won't end anytime soon. The Bengals keep taking comedic blows.

--- Here is all you need to know about the illogical and irrational decision-making happening within the Dodgers organization.

--- High School football season is officially underway. The Crosstown Showdown will be going off all weekend. That includes my strong Moeller Crusaders at The Nipp Saturday at noon. I can't possibly reference HS football during 90s music week without Varsity Blues.

Strong Foo Fighters track sets the backdrop.

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