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Bearcats Breakfast 9.1.11

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Two days. (Still love watching that play, even though its from two years ago)

Actual games start tonight. Saturday night at The Nipp, UC football will return. Finally. We can stop speculating about speculation. As I've said before, I'm intrigued to see this team play and find out how much they have improved, particularly on defense where Tommy G put together this preview.

You think you know but you have no idea. (Hopefully that's not copyright infringement)

As an outsider, I'd think the goal would be for Saturday to look a lot like last year's Miami game. Quick fireworks early, then investigate your depth for the second half. Kerry Coombs said they plan on rotating eight guys through the secondary. That's a significant amount of important information to have when the team travels to Knoxville.

Go ahead and place zero turnovers and zero personal fouls as specific goals for Saturday as well. Bill Koch wrote about the specific goal cutting down the Big East-high 29 turnovers.

Those are some quick goals, but I will run down more game preview goals tomorrow.

For now, let's eat...

--- I want to start
with basketball. The Bearcats and the Big East released their schedule on Wednesday. The big news is UC will host Syracuse on Big Monday on Jan. 23.

There is no bigger regular season stage in college basketball than Big Monday. Only eight games are played on that night and the fact 5/3 Arena will be hosting one speaks volumes to how far the program has come in five years.

Mick Cronin said yesterday 'Cuse will be his preseason No. 1 and that will likely be consistent across most media outlets. Should be an electric atmosphere.

As for the breakdown of the schedule, it looks brutal every year. Most people are discussing the wild eight-game stretch of NCAA tournament games to open the slate. While, yes, those games are imposing, I don't see it as crazy as others do.

@Pitt -- OK, this is a legitimately terrible way to open conference play. Brutal atmosphere.
Notre Dame -- ND always finds a way to be good, but they will be very young and lost the majority of their scoring/experience, including Ben Hansbrough and Carleton Scott.
St. John's -- The roster was gutted. They are talented, but will be starting three or four frosh.
@Georgetown -- They are in a bit of a reload and will be young as well, having lost Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. Plus, UC knows they can win there.
Villanova -- Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes will be gone. They will be young as well.
@UConn -- Yeah, this one will be a tall order
@WVU -- This is the sandwich of three games in three days. Ugh.
Syracuse -- Big Monday. Big problem.

The closest thing to science in the Big East every year is teams struggling on the road early in the numbers are pretty staggering. It tends to even out as the year goes along and young teams figure out how to win in hostile environments, but for the first three weeks or so, the percentages are significant.

Take that into consideration with three reloading, young teams coming into 5/3 early in the conference season and it takes a bit of the edge off the first month.

For my money, the @UConn, @WVU, Syracuse Big Monday three-game stretch in six days will be the most arduous any team in the country will experience this year. But the full eight-game open isn't as daunting as initial reaction would insist. And, it doesn't much matter what order you put the Big East schedule in, it's never going to look pretty.

--- Here's Mick talking about the schedule yesterday. He was at a Coaches vs. Cancer promotional stop along with Chris Mack, Charlie Coles and Archie Miller. (H/t Bearcat Lair)

Those coaches are putting together a great way to raise money for cancer research. Here's Mick talking about what the fundraising means to him.

--- Mike DeCourcy talks about Mick and the possibility that winning the Big East title isn't all its cracked up to be. DeCourcy points out that a team from further down the standings has advanced farther in the Big Dance each of the last four seasons.

--- Apparently there is a reward of steak for creating turnovers, per Andrew Force.

--- JK Schaffer is Mr. Reliable on defense. Koch has the story. Nobody brings more consistent production. With a crew of players without a college snap behind him, nobody will be relied on more this season than JK. Of course, he wouldn't have it any other way.

--- Randomness...

--- The latest news
in wizard beards.

--- Peyton Hillis thinks he's Chuck Norris. I'm all for this.

--- For pump-up song week, this one might not be on everybody's else list, but it will always be on fine. When that guitar first hits, I am ready to conquer the world. Or the nearest Chick-fil-a.


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