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Bearcats Breakfast 11.11.11

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Happy Veteran's Day and UC-WVU Armageddon Eve.

UC arrived down at Paul Brown Stadium yesterday afternoon for about a 90-minute practice in the stadium. One last walkthrough Friday and its on to the biggest game in the Butch Jones era.

Win this one and enjoy the ride to the Big East title. Book the rooms for Miami.

In fact, in a scenario where UC beats WVU and Rutgers then Louisville loses to Pittsburgh  then beats UConn -- UC would clinch the Big East title with two weeks to go in the season. Game over.

It's that close.

If West Virginia were to pull off a win Saturday, however, the whole race opens back up. WVU would only be one game back, Louisville could only be a game back, Rutgers would return to the mix.

This is the pivotal afternoon.

Be there. Wear red. Cheer your faces off.

Let's eat...

--- The weather could create an interesting advantage for the Bearcats. Current forecasting predicts temps in the 50s with winds around 15 mph. A possibility exists winds could kick up and gust to 25-30 mph. Should that happen, and passes become inaccurate figuring for significant gusts, the advantage goes to UC.

UC's running game far outperforms West Virginia's consistently this year and stopping the run has been (among) West Virginia's defensive bugaboo. Then, take away the deep ball from QB Geno Smith and you steal the explosive nature of their offense.

So, if you know anybody with control over the wind conditions Saturday afternoon, alert them to kick it up a notch.

--- The Bearcats kicking game bailed them out many times this season (See: UC 26, Pitt 23). The opposite can be said of the Mountaineers, who have been inconsistent on special teams most of the season.

It cost them against Louisville with a missed 33-yard field goal and another blocked, scooped and scored by the Cards.

Here's a piece from the Washington Post on WVU cleaning up their special teams miscues.

--- For my uni-geeks
out there, I've been told UC wearing the red jerseys and black helmets with the socks and pants combinations TBD. Go on about your day.

--- Andrea Adelson with a
video preview of UC-WVU talking West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen wanting his team to play like the Bearcats.

--- USA Today picks the Bearcats.

--- CBSsports.com's
Man, Woman and Machine all like West Virginia.

--- Not sure what Walter Stewart's rap name should be yet. Big Stew. Dub-Stew. Dub King. Dub Getta. Sir Walter. The options are plentiful. Anyway, he's also pretty good at football as Butch Jones called his performance Saturday his "best as a Bearcat."

Hard to argue. Bill Koch had the story about his upbringing and how it made him the 244-pound behemoth he is today.

--- Thanks to the crack research staff in the UC SID department, I can relay this lovely statistical nugget involving your Bearcats.

Butch Jones is currently tied for most improvement of all second-year coaches in the country right now with his +3 win differential. The other is Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky (5-4).

In fact, he currently owns the best winning percentage of any second-year coach in the country. He's tied for the most wins with Lane Kiffin at USC (7-2).

If looking at overall improvement, UC is third in the country (win differential + loss differential/2).

(Updated Nov. 11)
Team/Gms Improved From (2010) To (2011)/Coach
1. Louisiana   6       3-9    8-2    Mark Hudspeth
2. Houston   5 ½     5-7  10-0    Kevin Sumlin
3. Cincinnati  5       4-8    7-1    Butch Jones
4. Ark. St.  4 ½      4-8    7-2    Hugh Freeze
E. Mich.     4 ½     2-10   5-4    Ron English
6. Rutgers  3 ½      4-8    6-3    Greg Schiano
Virginia      3 ½      4-8    6-3    Mike London
W. Forest  3 ½      3-9     5-4   Jim Grobe

--- For those of you looking for TV for the UC-Alabama State basketball opener on Sunday you can find it on Time Warner Cable in Cincinnati: channels 43, 309 and 1309; also available on ESPN3, SNY and MASN).

And here is the ESPN3 link.

--- Bearcats Sports Weekly with Butch Jones includes special Get the Dub footage and a great feature on Sir Walter by Tommy G. Here's the link.

--- Be sure to check back later today as I post Four Stats For Victory. Don't be lazy, be an informed fan.

--- Some randomness...

--- The UNC-Michigan State Aircraft Carrier game tonight will be cool. Love this idea. Here's a timelapse video of the eight-day setup.

--- "Excuse me, sir, do you need help carrying that TV? Oh, wait, you're stealing it from me."

--- Finally got around to seeing Ides of March last night. Enjoyed all the Cincinnati backdrop, the movie wasn't bad at all. Made you think about what you would be willing to do to deliver on your dream. And made me realize how much I despise back room politics. Love talking about and attempting to solve issues, hate the sleazy nature in which the system operates.

--- Clay Travis, who wrote a book about SEC football I didn't like, with a profile I did as he features the face of college football, Kirk Herbsteit.

--- Who's your favorite
character on Community? Everyone has their opinion, but if you don't answer Abed then yours is wrong.

--- But, I don't want
Cookie Monster to have a real name. Especially if that real name is "Sid."

--- Prank wars are fun.
Almost as much fun as setting off fireworks in the house.

--- In case you forgot the last one.

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