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Bearcats Breakfast 7.30.12

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Welcome to media-created storyline season. That's right, Big East media days opens today in Rhode Island. Nowadays in this conference that means national media descending upon the conference to question every player and coach about uncertain futures, realignment and take shots at the league's new geography.

So be it, we'll talk about football. You remember football, right? The reason we care about all the issues garnering headlines the last six months?

Dan Hoard will be there from GoBearcats.com, reporting with video and blog format from the sprawling landscape of Rhode Island. Look for that and of course keep it locked here for links to all the content pouring out of the clam bake.

Let's eat...

--- In case you missed it last Friday, I sat down in with Cashmere Wright and Sean Kilpatrick for a 40-minute podcast. Those guys were fantastic. Honest, affable, driven, passionate. Really enjoyed it. You can listen here.

What struck me most was no topic elicited more passionate responses than what Mick Cronin means to them. Now, that's typically the case for many teams, but the joy and respect in regards to Cronin knocked me over. These players, the leaders of the team remember, will run through a wall for their coach.

Not all schools can say that. The great programs can.

--- Andrea Adelson took a shot at predicting the Defensive Player of the Year vote. Walter Stewart made the poll along with Khaseem Greene (Rutgers), Aaron Donald (Pitt) and Trevardo Williams (UConn).

Stewart will be at BE Media Days to talk all about his potential, but UC fans are well aware.

The Bearcats DE didn't have the dominant 2011 season of his teammate Derek Wolfe, who was the co-BEDPOY. Yet, that's typically the case of most who have won this award. Five of the last seven have come from the defensive line and of those, sacks and TFL are typically the defining stats.

Take a look at the bump from junior season to senior season among those five defensive linemen when it comes to the previous year:
Year/Player/School            Winning Sack/TFL-Previous Sack/TFL
2011 Derek Wolfe, UC        9.5/21.5 -- 3.0/6.5
2010 Jabaal Sheard, Pitt    9.0/14.5 -- 10.5/5.0
2009 Greg Romeus, PItt     11.5/8.0 -- 7.5/15.5
2009 Mick Williams, Pitt     5.0/17.0 -- 4.5/8.5
2007 George Selive, USF   14.5/31.5 -- 5.5/15   

AVERAGE: 9.9/18.5 -- 6.2/10.1

2012 Walter Stewart, UC    ?????? -- 6.0/11.0

--- Yes, you could make this comparison with any player coming off an above average year. With Stewart, it plays precisely into the trend. All but George Selvie, who broke out for his absurd sophomore season, were juniors or senior coming off above average seasons.

In fact, Wolfe, Sheard and Williams were all seniors. The numbers for Stewart sit close to identical of the previous season average of these DPOY winners. The precedent is set. Butch Jones placed all the confidence that Stewart will take the next step.

Stewart making the leap and giving UC a repeat DPOY would fit the standard bill for the award, we now wait to see if his production matches the trends and words of those who've seen him.

--- Big East reporter for
CBSSports.com, Evan Hilbert, takes a look at Munchie Legaux and the concept of continuing UC's QB legacy. Without Isaiah Pead to take the pressure off, Legaux must become a leader of this team and the key to their identity. As of July 30, we don't know what that identity will be.

--- Congrats goes out to women's lacrosse coach Gina Oliver, who was named to the 2012-14 US National Team. Not often could coaches outplay their players, but Gina would toast the entire UC team -- and that's not indictment on the Bearcats.

--- Randomness...

--- Louie has been renewed by FX for a fourth season. Great news. He continues to pump up episodes that are hit or miss, but the hits are as good as any on TV.

--- Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell got married. No word if it was held at The Maxx.

--- The walrus dances to Michael Jackson almost as well as I do. Almost.

--- Enjoying Phoenix lately and here's the song you probably know by them.



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