Well turn out the lights, the party's over as Don Meredith use to say on Monday Night Football; and that applies to UC as they begin a stretch run that will surely reveal who this team is and where they land in the Big East standings. The next 4 games, 3 of them on the road, will be match ups testing the Bearcat claws to the fullest. Their dates with USF, Pitt, West Virginia and Rutgers will either reestablish the program as solid or leave questions in the hands of haters. I have no qualms about what I would like to see: 4-0 or 3-1 would be a fantastic conclusion, but even 2-2 says you are one of the better teams in the Big East when 3 of these games are on enemy soil.
With the russian roulette conference carnival going on UC has so much to play for. It appears they're going to stay in the Big East and I would imagine they want to stick their flag in the sand and say we own this conference no matter who joins. They also want to continue competing for blue chip players and maintain their television attraction to the networks and finally, convince the ever elusive fan base that their support is warranted. Wins do that; losses don't. UC has to make a loud and definitive statement that no matter what conference, what allies, what schedule, they will be reckoned with no matter who stays or joins.
But I really think the bigger question is what does the future hold for UC Football post Isaiah Pead and Zach Collaros. In addition the loss of JK Schaffer means they'll need new leaders on both sides of the football. I know the coaches have their idea of who they are, but it would be nice to see someone step up to let us know that I will carry the torch of UC football beyond this season. It is imperative for the good of this program that new names and faces make themselves known before the season is out. In doing such, a major bowl bid should be there for the taking. As bowl committee's go, there is no questioning the following of Bearcat nation. Just ask New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl committee.
So now they get ready to rumble, fight, scratch and claw our way through the heart of this conference schedule. It's no doubt going to stretch UC to the limits but that's why you play in a conference of this size, with this kind of competition to prove you belong. It is the number one reason teams are jumping around like grasshoppers from conference to conference; competition. Except the difference between the conference jumpers and UC is a matter of dollars and no sense of loyalty.
That's the way I see it sitting in The Box Seat...