Bearcats Breakfast 12.7.11

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When I first decided to do a UC-centric podcast, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd seen similar concept attempted before, but in other venues, but not work. And you never know if these things will ever catch steam from the jump.

Through two episodes, though, I will only say I think we have a winner here. And I know this sounds completely arrogant, so know I'm not trying to be, but if you are a UC fan and not finding time to listen to these, you're really missing out.

Yesterday, the second podcast was a conversation with myself and Tommy G. Here is the link. It was fun, informative, loose, all the things you want a show like that to be. If you haven't listened that or the first week podcast with Dan Hoard, which also came out excellent minus a few opening day bumps, give it a shot. If you don't like it, that's fine move forward, but I think it will be product you'll come to enjoy.

You can listen to it on your iPhone or at work or in the car or wherever. Who needs radio, where nobody hardly ever talks about UC and you have to listen to Vivaxa commercials all afternoon.

And please, if you like it, tell your friends. Use your MySpace and Geocities accounts to spread the word. The bigger it gets the better it can get and then everybody benefits.

Let's eat...

--- The news kept coming as
they day progressed, so I'll so my best to get you in touch with all of it and not fill up your time with too much rambling.

Chances are increasing Zach Collaros plays in the Liberty Bowl. Prior to yesterday, I would have told you there was little to no shot it happens. And I should preface what I'm about to say with the fact none of this necessarily means he will play, only that it's a realistic conversation now.

Yesterday, Butch Jones said ZC is two weeks ahead of schedule. He tossed his crutches aside and is walking now. Next week he could be returning to portions of practice and making some drops.

Don't believe me, here are the words from the coach:

"He's taking tremendous strides in the rehabilitation efforts," Jones said. "He's about two weeks ahead of schedule. He is walking already. We are hoping even by as soon as next week he may be able to start throwing and dropping and doing his drops and participating in practice. It's an ongoing process. A lot of it is outside of our control, it's just how the body heals, but there is a tremendous opportunity right now that he may be able to participate in the Liberty Bowl."

As for how Jones would work Collaros back in, that would all depend on how the senior QB was coming along. As far as I'm concerned, the guy wouldn't need to practice much at all except to spend a little time making sure his arm is close to shape and he gets some timing down with his receivers. You know stepping back into the offense won't be an issue.

Most likely if ZC could go, would be some type of two-QB system with him and Munchie to test out the abilities. Which, really, could develop into a three-QB monster with Jordan Luallen coming off the bench to contribute.

We shall see, but definitely a storyline we'll be keeping an eye on.

Plus, he's doing ticket promos.

--- The other big piece of news, as I mentioned here yesterday, was UNC loved Larry Fedora of Southern Miss. He accepted the position. As Bill Koch points out, that means all signs point to Butch Jones staying at UC.

He's never indicated otherwise and continued to talk about how much he loves Cincinnati and is invested in building a solid foundation here. With what appears to be one of the better recruiting classes in UC history on the way in to match a talented young base, he's got that.

So far, all good news.

--- The other big piece of news was the Big East expansion. In what will be made official today, San Diego State, Boise State, SMU, Houston and UCF will all be joining the conference as its split into East and West.

East: UC, Rutgers, UConn, USF, UCF
West: Louisville, SDSU, Houston, SMU, Boise

The teams added were a combined 43-19 this past season. Boise State and Houston spent the majority of the season in the Top 10. They bring in major media markets of San Diego, Houston, Dallas and Orlando then a national power of Boise.

Now, whether Houston can become a team that sustains success is yet to be seen, but it's not like Syracuse was tearing up the world. UConn was this league's champ last season and they recently jumped from FCS. To be worried that schools like SMU and Houston that have experienced success in C-USA are not going to be strong enough seems a little far-fetched considering this league has been built on teams on the brink rising to success by playing in it.

Look at, oh, I don't know, UC. Or USF, who regularly competes with and beat the other schools in Florida.

Does losing WVU and Pittsburgh hurt? Sure, but replacing with Boise and four major markets at the very least breaks even if it doesn't make the conference stronger.

Obviously, I'm not the only person to comment on it. And I'm probably in the minority with my opinion.

Here's what they're saying:

Mike DeCourcy says the Big East brand took a big hit. (Yes, for college basketball, this stinks, nobody will deny that. Just enjoy this year and next year)

Everybody wants to come up with a new name for the Big East.

CBSSports looks at the pros and cons of each BE addition.

Here's your 2014 BE map.

Dennis Dodd compares old and new.

The Dallas Morning News with some SMU perspective.

--- Yes, I know the
Crosstown Shootout will be on Saturday. And I'll have plenty of time to get to that. The next two days will be heavy Shootout discussion. Xavier plays at Butler tonight. As their non-conference gauntlet continues.

UC hoops has a player availability tomorrow morning, so we'll have more after that.

To get you warmed up, Bill Koch with a primer from a conversation with Mick.

--- No randomness today, I'm on the run. Which, of course, leads me to this.

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