Bearcats Breakfast 7.9.12

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In one month, this blog will be reporting from the opening of Bearcats training camp. Boy, can't get here soon enough. In fact, tickets are now available for everyone, individual, season or mini-pack.

For now, all this talk about revenue distribution, tie-ins, alignment and financial structure makes me yearn for the days of injury updates and "best shape of my life" features.

Unfortunately, we still have a month of content to fill. The preseason predictions are beginning to roll out and soon the annual tradition of drowning in doubters will begin at UC. Watching UC outperform the pundits jaded expectations year after year doesn't even feel like a storyline anymore.

When four of the last five seasons end in 10 wins and none of those four began with a Big East media preseason prediction better than third, they are taken as seriously as weathermen.

Here's the history of the Big East preseason media poll followed by UC's actual finish.

2011: 5th/T-1st
2010: 2nd/7th
2009: 3rd/1st
2008: 5th/1st
2007: 5th/3rd

All indications are from the early polls released by Phil Steele and other of his ilk are placing UC in the 4th to 5th range. Specifically, Steele picked UC in a tie with Pitt for 4th.

So be it. As the latest wave of magazines and websites divulge their 2012 season predictions, keep all these numbers in mind and go on about your day.

In the meantime, who wants to talk about bowl tie-ins!?! Let's eat...

--- Interim commissioner Joe Bailey is unconcerned about the Big East's lack of major bowl tie-ins in his conversation with Andrea Adelson. Andrea has been on the stump for folks to see the unfair nature of the Big East possibly being left out of a future landscape.

As I've said before, it's too early to say they will be left out, as Bailey rightly states, let's take a look at revenue distribution before we start caring about what bowls the conference is connected with.

If those in charge of that distribution look at the history of the Big East lately, they'll see how well it compares. Brett McMurphy looked at the numbers behind the Top 25 BCS finishers since 2007 a while back. That was when UC came out ranked No. 16 nationally on the list.

Butch Jones and the Big East powers point to the conference's record in bowl games. Due to the anarchy that occurs from the end of the regular season through the conclusion of the national championship game, this doesn't always serve as the most accurate representation of the true talent level of a program. Motivation many times lacks, coaches are changing and the game itself is essentially a glorified exhibition.

However, it's one of the best models we have for ranking conferences against each other at neutral sites. In fact, it's the only one. Here are the last five years breakdown of teams based on the conference they will be in during the 2014 season.

2011-12 Bowl Season
Conference W-L

Big East     6-2
SEC           7-3
B1G           4-6
Big 12        7-2
ACC           2-7
Pac-12       1-5

2010-11 Bowl Season
Conference W-L

Big East     5-3
SEC           5-6
B1G           3-6
Big 12        4-4
ACC           6-5
Pac-12        2-2

2009-10 Bowl Season
Conference W-L

Big East     5-5
SEC           6-5
B1G           4-3
Big 12        3-3
ACC           3-4
Pac-12       2-5

Conference W-L
Big East     16-10  .615
Big 12        14-9    .609
SEC           18-14  .563
ACC           11-16  .407
B1G           10-18  .357
Pac-12        5-12   .294

--- That's right, over the last
three years the future conference with the best winning percentage in bowl games is the Big East. Does this mean the Big East should supplant the SEC as the premiere conference in college football? Absolutely not. What it does expose, however, is the under-appreciation received by the conference for the way they perform on the field.

As Jones said to me the other day, the only way to fight that perception whether individually at UC or collectively as a conference is to keep winning. The (future) Big East has done that better than anybody.

--- If you were only to
look at BCS games, the future conference hasn't fared as well -- going 1-2 with Boise's victory over TCU in the 2009/10 Fiesta serving as the win. But the discussion here doesn't revolve around top-tier potential, rather overall competitiveness. From top to bottom, the Big East held its own as complete conference. That's the takeaway from these results.

--- The results of the BCS Top 25 the last five years McMurphy and tabulated make for a solid method to evaluate conferences. They utilize the computer metric -- even if nobody understands it -- UC and the Big East pushed for when the playoff selection committee concept was being chosen.

There the Big East fell into a spot behind the other five but also a far distance beyond the lower-tier conferences. That's why they make the most interesting case when the billions of dollars generated by this new TV deal begin distribution.

When looking at the most even contests college football provides, though, this future conference proved it most definitely belongs.


--- During a few of my appearances
with Mo Egger over the past year I've been quick to rip on him for his last-place finish at my annual cornhole tournament. Well, this year's edition took place this weekend and Mo pulled off the only worst-to-first finish in the nine-year history of the event, including his team's victory over mine in the championship. It's the backyard equivalent to the Miracle on Ice. Here in this space, I withdraw any disparaging remarks made and stand corrected -- in complete shock.

--- Sex sells and men
everywhere are wondering what the heck got into their wives as 50 Shades of Grey approaches $20 million in sales and the three books of the trilogy are one, two and three on the best-seller list.

--- Apparently 133 people decided to jump off a bridge simultaneously in Russia. Nobody can confirm if it was because they heard Yakov Smirnoff was plotting another comedy tour.

--- Fred Willard is one of the most underrated comic actors of our time and finally earns some deserved respect from the LA Times.

--- Tuesday night Butch Jones will be one Lance McAlister's for the 8 p.m. hour on 700 WLW.

--- Great reaction from fans,
player and umps after this lightning strike in Texas.

--- Happy 36th birthday to Fred Savage, who will always be a 13-year-old kid to nearly everyone.

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