Bearcats Breakfast 11.1.11

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How many of you will be wearing the bUCkeye State shirts this weekend? If you've been growing horizontally recently, you may want to buy a new one because you'll need it to fit for three more years after Monday's decision to move the Ohio State game scheduled for next year back to 2018. The 2014 game in Columbus will still be played.

Here is the story from Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch.

And Bill Koch's corresponding blog.

The basics of the case are this, when TCU joined the Big East, schools in the conference needed to investigate shuffling schedules to drop a non-conference game.

At that point in time, here were four road games on the Bearcats' 2012 schedule: @Ohio State, @TCU, @West Virginia and essentially @Virginia Tech (FedEx Field). Opening discussions of moving the Buckeyes back at that point made all the sense in the world. Playing top teams is essential to establishing the program. Playing two elite programs, both on the road in the same season as the top two BE contenders come on the road is almost suicidal.

Yes, the Bearcats opened the conversation, but when the Buckeyes began exploring options to fill and when UCF came available, tOSU closed it. Enjoy your own opinion for why that happened. Everybody has one.

In Columbus, this story is a footnote. A blip on the radar of their college football machine. In the eyes of their fans, Cincinnati is viewed as a non-factor, the pesky gnat circling their face. Such is why it irks UC fans so much when this happens. All the Bearcats want is an opportunity to prove their worth on a level playing field. Since the ascension in 2008 and 2009, they've been unable to do so.

So, the beat goes on. The posturing and message board denigration will continue. At least for another three years.

In my opinion, this development bodes well for UC. How will they fill that spot? Nobody knows just yet. But the high-profile road game is already set on the schedule with a trip to Virginia Tech. If they can find another BCS home game, you have a nice balance of team development games and headline-grabbers entering the Big East season. Much like this year's schedule.

Once again, my thoughts on the matter, not necessarily those of anybody inside the football offices.

Let's eat...

--- Headed over to the Pitt week media luncheon this morning, so look for a blog this afternoon on the rumblings coming out of that function.

--- For those of you looking to break out from work a little early and relive one of the great days in UC history, ESPN Classic is airing UC-Pitt 2009 at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Try not to hurt yourself when Armon Binns slides in the end zone.

--- We will wait another few days for the West Virginia game time. It has been pushed into the six-day window and will be announced Sunday. Heading into the window assures it will either be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

--- The Panthers hope QB Tino Sunseri can continue playing as he did against UConn. With a depleted running game and the Bearcats stingy run defense awaiting, they are sorely going to need him.

--- West Virginia deciding to go out with class and sue the Big East to avoid the 27-month waiting period to move to the Big 12.

I don't know if the Big East needs a lawyer for that one. I'd send an intern with the contract in his hands. "Your Honor, may I approach the bench, I'd like to submit this contract as Exhibit A, and I'm out of here. Call me when you reach the verdict."

As commish John Marinatto said to Mike DeCourcy: "To put it simply, a contract is a contract."

--- USA Today takes
an in-depth look at the role ESPN plays in conference realignment.

--- Could a reconfigured Big East for football actually be better than the current form? Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel makes that argument and UCF coach George O'Leary agrees with him.

If you are looking at TV markets, the answer would be yes (Orlando, Dallas, Houston vs Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Morgantown). And if you were looking at current success, the answer would be yes with two of the targeted schools in the Top 20. A solid argument, but if you look at sustained success this would be a trade-off of tradition for potential.

--- UC opens the basketball season (sort of) tonight when they host McGill University in the season's first exhibition. This is the first look at the 2011-12 Bearcats.

Cheikh Mbdoj won't play due to a sprained ankle. But this will be an unveiling for a group of four freshmen. Ge'Lawn Guyn, Jeremiah Davis will rotate in at point guard as they battle to backup Cashmere Wright. Octavius Ellis and Jermaine Sanders will jump in on the wings as they play for the right to fill out the back of the team's rotation. Also, redshirt freshman Kelvin Gaines will make his UC debut.

Mick Cronin had a great quote about what to make of Tuesday's game to Bill Koch.

"I can already tell you what's going to happen," UC coach Mick Cronin said Monday. "One of them is going to have a great night and everybody's going to want to say he's the next great player. One of them is going to have a bad night and everybody's going to say 'Oh, he's not that good.' Next week we're going to play Northern (Kentucky) and they're going to play the direct opposite. Freshmen are going to be inconsistent. That's just a fact."

--- Outside of the freshmen, I'll be keeping a close eye on the improvements in the games of Justin Jackson and JaQuon Parker, who both figure to play a major role in rebuilding the defense and toughness lost to graduation.

--- Randomness...

--- Sloth from the Goonies for Halloween? I support this.

--- Because I never
miss a mustache link. Top 100 in sports.

--- Carve a pumpkin with authority.

--- Sports Pickle with this gem: The Pizza Hut Guy is Getting Frustrated with Reggie Bush.

--- Kevin Durant showed up and played at an Oklahoma State intramural flag football game. This dude is something else.

Love the kid attempting to defend the lob pass to him around the 1:40 mark.

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