Heard it From Hoard: Column 29
Northwestern went to the Rose Bowl in 1996.
Wake Forest played in the Orange Bowl last year.
In other words, miracles do occasionally happen in college football.
But what is happening at UC is not a miracle, and there's no reason to fear that the Bearcats will fade into oblivion after one magical season.
Consider these words from 4th year assistant coach Tim Hinton, the one member of Mark Dantonio's coaching staff who stayed at Cincinnati to work with Brian Kelly.
"We did it the right way," Hinton says. "We didn't go out and do a lot of junior college recruiting and take chances on bad character kids. It's been done in a very methodical way. I think the biggest thing that's changed is the belief in what we can accomplish. I really think that (former athletic director) Bob Goin had a tremendous thought process in the fact that he said, 'If we join the Big East these things will be at our fingertips.' You can see that there was a lot of vision, there was a lot of hard work that went into it, and I think that there have been a lot of nice pieces to the puzzle that have fallen into the right place. I don't think that it happened by chance and I don't think that it's a one-year shot either. I think what's really starting to fall into place is being very consistent in winning and being very consistent in our academic approach. There really are a lot of-quote-big time things here at the University of Cincinnati."
Yes, the Bearcats will lose 19 seniors at the end of the season. But none of them are named Terrill Byrd, Mike Mickens, Dominick Goodman or Marty Gilyard.
And wait 'till you see freshman receiver Adrien Robinson-a 6'5", 225 pound monster who's redshirting this season.
Then there's quarterback Demetrius Jones, the transfer from Notre Dame who started practicing with the Bearcats last week. Last year, former UC head coach Rick Minter got a good look at Jones while serving as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. Here's what Minter recently had to say about Jones, while speaking with Lance McAlister on 1530 Homer.
"He redshirted last year at Notre Dame so I saw him every day. He was our scout team quarterback much like he'll do this year at UC because of the transfer rule. Double-D, as he's known, is a great young man number one. Academically he's a very strong student and he's a student of the game. Tremendous competitor...great athlete...good leader. He's the Pied Piper, let me tell you, guys are gonna follow this kid. He attracts people like Velcro-people want to stick to him. He is that kinda guy. Put him on the field and it's gonna be unbelievable. This is the perfect offense for this young man. That's what Charlie tried to do that first game at Notre Dame, but his coaching staff doesn't really know the spread offense. That's not what they do. This is what Brian Kelly does and has done it as long as anybody can imagine. I'm very impressed with the way Ben Mauk is playing, and with Pike and Grutza they've got a lot of depth at quarterback. But this guy right here could very well take 'em to the promised land athletically. I'm not trying to put him up there like Beano Cook did to Ron Powlus years ago and give him the Heisman, but I'm just saying this is the perfect fit for him. I think the city will learn to embrace this kid because he's got a magnetic personality and he's going to be very fun to watch. Particularly with the lower half of his body. Brian will bring him along structurally very well as a thrower and he'll be adequate in the passing game, but this guy will be Vince Young-like in what he'll be able to do carrying the football in that spread offense."
The first six weeks of the season have been incredibly exciting-especially when no one expected the Bearcats to climb into the Top 15.
I don't know about you, but I could get used to it.
I'd love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. The Bearcats are 14-5 in the young life of Sam Hoard. Here's this week's photo of the handsome lad.