Been a minute since I've cooked up the Breakfast in its truest form. The lack of summer news makes it harder to keep the everyday morning posts coming without me rambling on about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episodes or play-by-play of my weekend cornhole games.
In case you like those topics, I have to give a huge shout out to everybody that participated in the 10th edition of the Dehner Cornhole Classic on Saturday. By some miracle the rain held off and by another miracle I fell apart in the final game of the championship for a second consecutive year. Still, fantastic showing and great time had by all. Maybe a little too great for some, but that's a tradition like many others.
Anyway, there are some pockets of news developing inside the athletics department even without actual games going on.
Let's eat ...
--- Got to start with the new American Athletic Conference logo I haven't had a chance to weigh in on yet. You like it? I'm sold.
It's tight, sharp and, most importantly at this point, finally begins the process of rebranding the league and the teams inside it. Positive steps in PR and image have been needed since the dissolution of the old Big East started. This logo feels quite a bit like step one in the process of turning this league into a relevant player in the national discussion. The next step is a powerful team winning games and making a run for the playoff when it begins in 2014.
--- Wouldn't hurt if a team outside of Louisville, whose leaving after this year, can find a way into their final BCS berth as well. Probably the best bet to accomplish that task at this point is the Bearcats -- but I'm guessing you believe that.
--- Piggybacking the last point, I must add a FWIW to this next link. Here's Phil Steele's Preseason American Conference teams. Now, these in the past including Derek Wolfe on the third team in a year he ended up the 36th player selected in the draft so, grain of salt, folks.
That said, four of the five offensive linemen are on the first and second team.
- OG Austen Bujnoch (first team)
- OT Eric Lefeld (first team
- C Dan Sprague (second team)
- OG Sam Longo (second team)
That's reason enough to understand why the Bearcats see themselves in great shape to contend. Matt Fortuna at ESPN calls them the team's biggest strength. Where there is a dominant offensive line, there is a winner. It's only slightly behind QB with one position predicting success.
UC finished last season 18th in the country in sacks allowed per game while 14th in yards per rush. With all five starters back up front and a new pro-style offense conducive to grinding teams into a pulp, there's your team image.
Finishing the year in the top 10 in rushing yards per attempt would be a realistic goal for this group. Half of the teams who finished in the top 10 in yards rushing per attempt last year ended up in BCS games.
Take a look at the BCS bowl game participants from last year and where they finished in yards per rush. As much as the spread offense air attack takes over the storylines, running the ball effectively and keeping the QB clean still wins games.
Team: Rank Yards/Rush
N. Illinois: 8
Florida State: 4
Kansas State: 37
Texas A&M: 2
Notre Dame: 30
--- Expecting to talk with Sean Kilpatrick later today, he's got news about the exciting development in his summer exploits. If you don't know about that, just check his Twitter feed. Look for more later this week.
--- In case there was any doubt about the very real rivalry between UC and Ohio State, well, there are the words of tOSU president Gordon Gee last week. Discuss among yourselves.
"You know Penn State just abhors Pitt. It would be the same way. Even though we love Cincinnati as a city, we want it to be an Ohio State city. They'd have to take (athletic director) Gene (Smith) out and shoot him to let Cincinnati into the Big Ten. There are some things that we just would not do. And that's the way that Penn State also feels about Pitt."
President Ono later tweeted that Gee called him to apology and Ono accepted. Needless to say beating Ohio State on Sept. 27, 2014 sure would bring a few smiles around this city.
--- The talk of the NCAA subdivision for the top five conferences continues to beat on. Worth keeping an eye on. Never a dull moment in the world of college athletics.
--- The AP is reporting that the B1G is jumping in to the Pinstripe Bowl spot. What will become of the other spot in the Yankee Stadium bowl game that the old Big East has been a part of it is yet to be seen. There appears to be a chance they are left out with the ACC to move in, but that all falls into the land of speculating on speculation.
--- Tough break for Isaiah Pead, who will be suspended for the first game of next season. Supposedly the Rams have known about it for months and it doesn't alter their expectations for him. As you know in the piece I wrote in April, Pead is re-energized hoping to turn around from a rough rookie season in the STL.
--- Lance Stephenson has been recognized as the barometer player on a team attempting to pull off one of the great upsets in recent NBA playoff history. Everyone expected the Heat to run through these playoffs as more of a coronation than anything. Yet, tonight, they'll try to avoid elimination by a young team from Indiana. Much of that is due to Stephenson.
Here are his numbers in wins compared to losses in this series:
Wins: 11.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists
Losses: 6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists
Bill Koch wrote about his coming of age from the perspective of those at UC. If the Pacers can pull off the shocker tonight in Miami, Lance will have to be a big part of it. And if that does happen, it could eventually parlay into big money and vindication of sorts for the UC product.
--- Randomness ...
--- Nobody ever talks about how a statue of a moose can confuse real moose.
--- Not only is Community back next season, so is Dan Harmon. Huge.
--- This little kid doing the Wobble sure looks a lot like I do performing the Wobble.
--- Great moments in jorts history. Surprisingly, Andre Agassi at No. 1 and not someone from Gainesville, Fla.
--- It's one thing for security to chase down a possibly sloppy man running on a baseball field. What do you do when it's a Siberian Husky? Apparently nothing. Or maybe there is zero security at CWS games.
--- Feels like a Led Zep day. Over The Hills And Far Away for your Monday.
Remember, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions for the blog shoot me an email at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter @pauldehnerjr. Have a great day.