Officially a snow day on UC campus. Which will likely be used as an excuse to ... sled. Where are some of the best sledding spots in Cincinnati. I know the few that were up in my neck of the woods growing up. The most frightening sled hill I've ever encountered is the driving range at Beckett Ridge Golf Course. Anybody whose ever been there knows what I'm talking about.
It's about 200/250 yards straight down and pile of discarded young sledders awaiting at the bottom. We used to need a pickup truck at the bottom of the hill everyone would hop in after they went down because climbing back up felt like Everest. There may have been a base camp of 10-year-olds building a fire at the midway point.
Where did you guys go? Or are you strictly awkwardly constructed snowman in the front yard types? I hold readers of this blog to a higher standard. Let's see some creativity out there today.
Let's eat ...
--- Much talk about the Big East jackpot UC fell into. The exact numbers have been reported as anywhere from 15-30 million dollars UC alone will receive from the Catholic 7 separation fee.
Racking up exit fees, separation fees and buyouts isn't exactly a sustainable business model, but they are certainly starting to add up.
Not much official is known as of yet how the money will be used, but don't expect the lump sum to fall into the Nippert Renovation projects, according to Cincinnati.com and Cliff Peale. Ideally, if another round of realignment begins in the near future and the Bearcats were to find a way into the ACC plus have collected on this jackpot, Clifton could come up smelling like roses. That most definitely was never the plan, but a reality of the current situation.
Still a giant mess, but we shall see how it all shakes out.
--- Hope you had a chance to read my piece yesterday on the job of new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran to fit pieces recruited to the old spread system and make them work in his multiple pro style.
Not an easy task. He's spending these 15 days finding out what exactly everyone is capable of. Then they'll evaluate and make decisions. No job is safe, no player is necessarily locked to a certain position.
This is Gran's first offensive coordinator job and he feels especially close to Tommy Tuberville. They've spent almost two decades together. Gran was a grad assistant under TommyT and claims he taught him how to be a coach. Gran was running backs coach with the group that had Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, Brandon Jacobs and Kenny Irons.
"I don't know how he got by without me the last four years," Gran joked.
--- Love that Jordan Luallen is now working in a fullback/versatile back role. Add it to the list: LB, QB, WR, FB. These are all positions he's spent extended time working at in three years here. Feel like Jordan's got at least three more positions in him this year. Maybe TE, DE, safety. I bet he can long-snap the heck out of that thing.
--- Interesting quote from Anthony McClung when I asked him about the difference between TommyT and Butch Jones. The two couldn't be on more opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the head coach's role in conducting a practice.
The constant browbeating subsided, replaced by much more teaching with Tuberville allowing players to make mistakes, worrying about correcting them in the film room.
"Coach Jones was kind of a rowdy guy he tried to get involved with everything," McClung said. "Not saying coach Tuberville is not involved he's just kind of the quiet type. He sets the tone. Everything is business. We are here to work, get the job done. We are kind of used to just going and going nonstop. Now they are teaching us. They taught us a lot. I am just kind of feeding off that."
--- I mentioned Greg Blair slimming down last week and here's a story on him by Andrea Adelson. As she rightly points out, if he played that well last year overweight, imagine what he could do at 25 pounds lighter.
Went through the topic of middle linebacker weight while covering the Bengals and Rey Maualuga last year. He slimmed down midseason to around 240. That's become more typical MLB weight these days with less focus on absorbing blocks and more on moving in space against all these passing offenses. Thinking this should help Blair immensely, especially when trying to show off for the next level.
--- In case you didn't know, Senior Night on Saturday at 4 p.m. against USF. JaQuon Parker, Cashmere Wright, Cheikh Mbodj and Alex Eppensteiner will honored. Plenty more on those four coming later this week on the blog. For that, UC is running a special ticket deal of four tickets for $44 if you are interested.
--- Joe Lunardi officially moved Providence (17-12) into the bubble conversation after their win over Seton Hall last night. This is how far UC is from the bubble, folks. Kadeem Batts has become a manimal for them, though. He had 27 and 12 for them last night. They've won seven of eight, the only loss being at Syracuse.
Nobody wants to see them in the first round at MSG.
--- I know I'm a bias former OU Bobcat, but DJ Cooper completed his run to an unprecedented career last night. He became the first D-I basketball player ever to record 2,000 points, 900 assists, 600 rebounds and 300 steals. Wow. Not to mention two NCAA tournament appearances, once to the Sweet Sixteen.
He'll go down next to Gary Trent as the greatest OU player of all-time.
--- Complete disrespectful, gutter move by Sir Dominic Pointer of St. John's, who ruined Jack Cooley's senior moment by throwing a haymaker during the final minutes of a blowout defeat against Notre Dame. Here's the video.
--- Stinks Jon Stewart is taking a 12-week hiatus from The Daily Show this summer to direct a movie, but I actually think the Jon Oliver episodes could be pretty funny. Love that guy.
--- Anybody whose ever been lost inside an Ikea wouldn't laugh at the idea of an Ikea hotel. Although, it's not what we are talking about. They are getting together with Marriott to start a budget hotel chain. I bet it will take forever to build one.
--- Apparently if you get an interview with Mila Kunis and awkwardly ask her out, she will find it awesome and accept. She probably would have made a great guest on the Inside the Bearcats Podcast.
--- Be careful out there today, folks.