The University of Cincinnati Bearcats have won a bowl game that most people have heard of with their 31-24 win over Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis New Years Eve. But more important if you're a Bearcat fan was continuing proof that Butch Jones has a plan. I think back to many who questioned him last year when his cupboard was bare and he openly said so as if he was making excuses, which he wasn't.
But now after winning their share of the Big East title with back up and seldom used quarterbacks; the loss of Zach Collaros and rallying the troops after tough losses to West Virginia and Rutgers, Butch and his staff have to be given credit and room to grow. His turning down offers quickly and agreeing to a new deal let recruits know he's serious about staying here which should aid in getting "yes" answers from those who were sitting on the fence.
UC and the new Big East will have some highs and lows but winning bowl games and big games will take care of the nay sayers. Being a consistent challenger for the title will be UC's goal and if Butch has anything to do with it I think his sights are set on pure dominance of the conference and proving they are still a BCS player.
I am excited to see what happens next year not only in the Big East but on campus; Bearcat football should maintain its explosive offense with some returning skill players and incoming recruits but also because they have established expectations courtesy of the coaching staff. To build a program I think you have to set the bar high and challenge the players to raise their level of play to its standard, not lowering the bar to meet theirs. I have no doubt this is already in play.
So with one respectable bowl win over an SEC school, progress has been made in the football vision of Butch Jones. What happens next will certainly add to his desire to make Bearcat football a top tiered program and worthy of major bowl invitations. And the way you supported him with your attendance at the Liberty bowl is the icing on the cake in more ways than one.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat