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Bearcats Breakfast 2.10.12

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Buh-bye, West Virginia.

The Mountaineers reportedly agreed to a $20-million settlement, according to CBSsports.com. They will be out of here for this coming football season and officially a member of the Big 12. Enjoy Austin, Norman and Stillwater.

I have a feeling reality is about to hit WVU like a battery to the back of the head.

Sorry, do you prefer that their seat will be hotter than a burning couch?

Losing WVU is a loss for UC fans. They provided a quality test in football and basketball and brought up the profile of the league. The presence of Bob Huggins always made for a great storyline and trip down memory lane for basketball fans (with zero official knowledge of this, methinks a hoops non-con series between UC and WVU should be in the works).

Some of UC's biggest football wins came against the Mountaineers, namely the 2008 and 2009 victories. And some of their most heart-wrenching defeats, namely 2011.

They are gone now, though. The world will change for both schools -- as is the case for seemingly everyone in the absurd new world of college athletics. The best news is now the reading level of the Big East fan bases jumped up three levels.

Let's eat...

--- With two games against Marquette, the Bearcats would probably view splitting those as a success. By all conventional knowledge, you would think their best shot at gaining a win against the Eagles would be at home in a few weeks. After all, Marquette is undefeated at home in Big East play this year.

Marquette.jpgYet, with the way the Bearcats play on the road, you almost feel like going into the Bradley Center is the opportunity UC needs. And don't forget the value of the tough, road win when the selection committee sits down next month.

If you can wheel out wins at Georgetown, at UConn, at Marquette and at Pittsburgh, the committee will work hard to find a spot for you.

--- Not only has Marquette been winning at home in Big East play, they've been doing so convincingly.

Take a look at their home slate:

Opp          Score    Comment
Villanova     W 82-78  Led entire game, including double-digits with 4min
St. John's   W 83-64  Went on 40-16 run coming out of halftime
Pittsburgh   W 62-57 Led by at least five the final five minutes
Louisville    W 74-63  Lead never less than six final 16 minutes
USF            W 67-47  Double-digit lead entire second half
Seton Hall W  66-59  Had 16-3 run with 14min left, never closer than six after

As stated before, these are not Big East world beaters. You can argue that when they played these opponents, at the time of the game, UC will be the best team to come into the Bradley Center.

You can also point out Marquette did lose at home to Vanderbilt 74-57 (back in 2011). Those are all valid points, but the way they have cruised through the Big East at home to this point speaks the only storyline that needs to be heard on the subject.

Only Marquette and Syracuse are undefeated at home in conference this year.

The Bearcats have their hands full.

--- Flipside fact: Marquette is 12-1 at home this year. Who else is 12-1 at home this year? Georgetown.

--- Dan Hoard with a column about how UC focused on stopping St. John's best player and other musings from the road. Thankfully, no giant Filet O'Fish sandwiches in this post. I'm still queasy from the last one.

--- ESPN The Magazine's rivalry edition brought out two more stories on The Brawl. Wayne Drehs with a full recount of all that happened and the fallout since. It includes quotes from Mick Cronin saying he'll lead the crusade against playing the game if it's not turned into a positive.

Dana O'Neil offers her latest fantastic piece. This time on the inner-workings of Tu Holloway. I heard some Twitter backlash when I retweeted it yesterday, claiming it was a pro-XU, pro-Tu piece. I'd disagree. It offers a peak inside the mind of the Xavier's star and illustrates how his head has been and continues to be effected by the incident.

--- Cracked Sidewalks (a Marquette blog) points
out how large this game is for the Eagles if they want a top four double bye. He knows the team well and he's extremely nervous about the Bearcats game.

--- The health of Davante Gardner will loom large. Buzz Williams called the chances he plays "slim." Remember, Gardner (6-foot-8, 290 pounds) ranks 20th in the country in offensive rebound percentage (15.3%).

For maybe the only time the rest of the season, UC will hold a significant height advantage. The duty of slowing Yancy Gates and the Bearcats bigs will fall to Jamil Wilson (6-7, 220) and Jae Crowder (6-6, 235).

Potential exists for Gates to own the interior. This has double-double game written all over it and will probably need to be for UC to win.

--- Williams said he would arguably give his Coach of the Year vote to Mick Cronin. It should be noted the two are pretty close friends and Cronin will probably take a backseat to Jim Boeheim or Mike Brey, but he's certainly in the conversation.

--- Huge congratulations to JK Schaffer
who received the Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award yesterday. I've said it before and I'll say it again, JK is as good a representative of the university and the city as you will find. I think he'll get a chance in somebody's NFL camp next year and he'll make the most of it.

You can't say enough good things about what he's meant to Butch Jones and UC.

--- With John Goebel winning the same award last year and UC winning the team GPA award this year, that's three academic awards for Jones since his arrival. Jones constantly talks about building more than just football players and he's backing it up with results.

--- The dates are officially set
for UC at Ohio State. They will be Sept. 27, 2014, and Sept. 8, 2018. Book your hotels today.

--- Randomness...

--- Huge congrats to my buddy
and Reds scoreboard employee Rich Linville on his run to the second round of the Baseball IQ game on MLB Network last night. He ended up falling one name short on the top 20 home-run hitting catchers category and will be cursing the name Mike Piazza for years, but he is the man and showed off some ridiculous knowledge in making it that far.

Here he is talking about the experience on FOX19 this morning and breaking out a correct answer of Frankie Frisch on live TV.

--- Got to love the fact that Clarence Clemons nephew will be one of two people to replace the Big Man on Bruce Springsteen's tour this summer. Only fitting.

--- Why doesn't Minnesota just put together a normal floor so people don't have to do this? There is no cool factor or novelty to having a court that dramatically drops off.

--- I assume after completing every
renovation on his new show called The Bronson Pinchot Project, the former Perfect Strangers star does the Dance of Joy. Don't be ridiculous.

--- Don't forget the 90s at 9
theme is still pumping for UC's 9 p.m. home game against Providence next week. Big Head Initiative folks, you did so well for the Syracuse game, let's break out the 90s pop culture faces for the Providence game.

For now, more 90s jams. And this one for the late Heavy D.

You. Are. On my mind.




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