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Keeping the Jones'

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The key to continued UC football success in the Big East is keeping up with the Jones'.

In particular, Butch, Barb and the boys.

New AD Whit Babcock recognized this right away and sweetened the Bearcat pot a bit to keep the Tri-State's most recognizable buzz cut in town.  This was all wonderfully documented by Bearcat Beatnik Paul Dehner Jr. in recent days.

Sadly, one of those necessary practices of the work world kept me from attending the festivities the other day...a meeting.

Not that they've lost sleep from not hearing from me, but my congratulations go to Butch and Whit (plus I just like writing "Butch and Whit" because I feel like I'm referring to characters from the movie, "Tombstone").

The best thing coach Jones and director Babcock have recognized is that it's better to be a "Mount Rushmore" candidate in Cincinnati than an also-ran for a few more bucks in an allegedly "bigger" market.

When you factor in the cost of living here, the amenities here and the accessibility here, Cincinnati's a decent destination.

If you dream of ivory towers and golden domes, what looks like a "golden ticket" can result in a tarnished crown and reputation.

Unfortunately, in the unstable world of college athletics, where a contract is enforceable on athletes, but not so much on coaches, there is very little loyalty and sincerity.

In a profession where one giant win and a few games over .500 can generate thousands of dollars and promotions, but a slight slide downward can have you putting the house up for sale, it's hard to find someone genuine.

I find Butch Jones to be genuine.

Others? Not so much.

Rich Rodriguez may be offensively brilliant.  However, he shopped himself to Alabama and eventually left his alma mater West Virginia for Michigan.

Ask anyone from Ann Arbor, what they think of Rich Rod.  On the other hand, he could've ruled Morgantown alongside Huggs for ages.

Syracuse had numerous winning years under Paul Pasqualoni. Then, a new AD decided the west coast offense would fly on the east coast and ditched "Coach P" for some pro retread named Greg Robinson.  Orange football and it's history of No. 44 running backs ran into some dark days until they reversed field and hired Doug Marrone.

Randy Edsall built Connecticut into a team that eventually made a BCS bowl. Shortly afterward, he bolts for Maryland and the ugliest uniforms ever to be shipped from a foreign country to the U.S. We'll see how that flies.

At South Florida, Jim Leavitt had the Bulls in bowl games on a regular basis.  The guy was a loon, but numbers don't lie.  I think Skip Holtz is a decent guy, but out of 30-plus bowl games, the Bulls sat home this year with talent most coaches would kill for.

At Pitt, they fired the "Wannstache", Dave Wannstedt (or reassigned to cover up the facts). The best his replacement Todd Graham could do was take them back to Birmingham (which is just a smaller, uglier, southern Pittsburgh). To make things worse, Graham left the Panthers after a brief "prom date" for the Sun Devils of Arizona State.

But hold on, Graham wasn't even the top pick! After failing to beat UC at Miami University, Mike Haywood was hired at Pitt, only to "stiff" his entire staff with a domestic violence charge that put  them all on the beach.

Now, we have Greg Schiano at Rutgers.  Decent coach and decent program. They think so much of themselves in Florida that they have Rutgers billboards in Miami.

Schiano thinks so much of himself in Florida that he's bolted what he's built in Piscataway for Tampa Bay and the NFL Bucs.  Great (for UC and others) for him to do this days before signing day.

You can ask Butch Jones about Tampa Bay, he interned there.  He knows the Buccaneers history of head coaches.

Outside of  Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, it's not that great.   They are the only two with winning records.

I lived there too.  Former owner Hugh Culverhouse called Ray Perkins "his Vince Lombardi". Not quite.

John McKay (who won at USC), Leeman Bennett, Perkins, Richard Williamson, Sam Wyche (who I like) and Raheem Morris couldn't win there.

It's tough to win there.  Essentially, Schiano is leaving an area where he had the power of Tony Soprano for a transient,semi-retired community where some folks choose waverunners on Sunday over football.

The minority of the population in Tampa Bay is actually from there.  The majority of Jersey is from Jersey.  It's as simple as that.

Essentially in coaching, the advice I'd give is, "Be careful what you wish for." The grass isn't always greener, nor is the money.

The best thing UC and Butch Jones have done is to acknowledge that in a proactive manner. . 

Those of you that are from here and have lived somewhere else for a while, know of which I speak.   "Represent the C" could be "Paradise by the C"....

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