Heard it From Hoard: Column 64It's a beautiful day to stomp my alma-mater, so I thought I'd share a few game day nuggets. Don't scramble to find a roster the first time #36 makes a catch for the Bearcats today. It's not freshman Quincy Quetant who is redshirting this season - it's Dominick Goodman who will switch from his customary #16 as a senior day tribute to his dad, former Bearcat Don Goodman. "A lot of people tell me about his toughness," Dominick told me. "I haven't had the chance to see any of his film, but it sounds like he was a great player. I think he's more excited about our success this season than I am. Every day he calls me and asks how it feels, and reminds me to focus on one game at a time." When Dominick's name is announced on Senior Day, fans should do "The Wizard" symbol that his teammates do on the sideline after Goodman's receptions (all you have to do is form a triangle over your head to resemble a wizard's hat - see photo). The "Wizard" needs 10 catches to tie UC's single-season record of 80 set by Tom Rossley in 1968, and 17 catches to tie the Big East career record of 207 set by former Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard. There are big headlines in the Syracuse paper that the school has lined up an interview with Coach Kelly for its head coaching job. As in Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. SU has reportedly interviewed Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley and rumored candidates for the job include University of Buffalo head coach Turner Gill along with assistant coaches Steve Addazio (Florida), Mark Whipple (Eagles), and Kevin Rogers (Vikings). UConn head coach Randy Edsall, a Syracuse grad and former Orange assistant, has publically said he's not interested in the job (although there are rumors that for the right amount of money he might reconsider). An NFL scout told me that former Minnesota coach Glen Mason might have interest if Syracuse pursues him. As a kid growing up near Buffalo, my favorite college football team was USC for the simple reason that my childhood hero - O.J. Simpson -went there. I know, nice choice. Well today, I'm rooting for Notre Dame to pull off the giant upset at the Coliseum - or at least keep it close. In other words, anything that helps keep Charlie Weis employed in South Bend (for obvious reasons). After going 19-4 in his first 23 games as Notre Dame's head coach, Weis is 9-16 since. In a recent column I noted that Brian Kelly is 20-5 after his first 25 games at UC. At the same point at their current schools, that's one game behind Urban Meyer (21-4) at Florida, identical to Jim Tressel at Ohio State (20-5), and a few games better than Pete Carroll (17-8) at USC. I noticed last night while watching some the Arizona State/UCLA game that Coach Kelly received a "Spiely Award." That was courtesy of analyst Chris Spielman who named BK his Coach of the Year. The first of many such awards I suspect. One of the things that thrill me about UC going to a BCS bowl game is that Tony Pike is bound to get the national attention that he deserves for being one of the best stories in college football this year. Think about it - in the first week of training camp, he didn't even get any snaps! Coach Kelly told him he needed to get a look at the younger QBs - Chazz Anderson, Zach Collaros, and Demetrius Jones - so Pike basically watched the offense from the sideline. Then keep in mind that it is two months to the day since he had surgery to repair his broken left arm - now held together by a plate and six screws. Statistically, Pike is the best throwing quarterback in the BIG EAST. Since become the starter, the junior has completed 64% of his passes with 14 TD and 3 INT. His NFL quarterback rating as a starter is 106.6. The UC defense is bound to suffer next year with the loss of so many seniors, but with Pike returning at QB, the Bearcats should score a ton of points. Time to head to the The Nip. Go 'Cats! I'd love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This column originally appeared in a recent edition of the Bearcat Sports Digest)