Ah, Keg of Nails week. The smell of nails and kegs are in the air. The Cincinnati Bearcats and Louisville Cardinals have the best rivalry trophy that's not a pig in the country. Yes, I like the Floyd of Rosedale better. It's adorable. Paul Bunyan's Ax is also cool. Damn, Minnesota plays for awesome trophies. But, the coolest trophy is the Keg. One day this week, there will be a list of the 10 most memorable Keg of Nails games. I didn't say best, keep that in mind. Let's get to the notes.
Let's start with the important news. The Bearcats released their depth chart for Louisville. It's the same old pretty much. Why do I say that? Because as Matt of Down the Drive points out, Akise Teague is still listed, even though he's played in like 2 games this year. Teague was banged up earlier in the year, but still played. The carries haven't really been spread out like some people, like me, thought they would be. It's been all Pead with a splash of Winn, a touch of RDA IV and an icing of Poteat. Also, Milligan was on the 2 deep for punt returner for Miami. Get your head out of your ass, Matt.
Tommy G got a look inside the locker room with Butch Jones. Unfortunately, I have to link to it, because Go Bearcats won't let you embed videos. Get your head out of your ass, Go Bearcats.
Double A at ESPN broke down UC at the midseason point. She lists the offensive and defensive MVPs as Isaiah Pead and JK Schaffer. That's something we have in common, because I would have done that. Yay being obvious! In her whole league overview, here, she had JK as the defensive player of the year. Best game USF and ND? The only thing I remember from that game were the 75 hours of rain delays. If I were a USF fan, I would probably remember every detail and hate the face of the guy writing this for saying that game sucked, even though I only said I didn't remember it. Chill out, USF fan.
Andrea gets one more mention after her piece about how UC and Rutgers have transformed their cellar dwelling fates of a year ago with defense. The teams atop the turnover margin battle are Rutgers and UC if you haven't heard. Rutgers is tied with South Carolina in turnovers forced, but boy does South Carolina turn the ball over a lot.
More fun after the jump.
Bill Koch wrote about Louisville and Cincinnati meeting for a potentially second to last time as conference foes. He gets this quote from Butch Jones about the state of the Big East:
"We have strong leadership at this institution and within the Big East Conference."
Butch Jones walks the company line very hard. Or he's bat shit.
I say Butch Jones might be bat shit crazy because as my good friend Sean at Nunes Magician writes, the Big East shooting at every target that moves to expand to 12 teams. Yeah, 12 teams. They have 6 now. The academies are apparently down. East Carolina, SMU, Houston, UCF and Memphis are all bandied about. Although Memphis' AD says:
"Ultimately we'd like to be in the SEC. We think we deserve it."
Also, since I made a crack about Nunes not posting my blogpoll on his Syracuse links, here is his blogpoll on my links.
This whole mess isn't going away soon, because the Big 12 has given Missouri the rest of the academic year to decide if they want to move to the SEC. The only hope for the Bearcats to move to a new league is if Missouri bolts, so please Missouri, bolt. I guess there is the possibility that West Virginia goes to the SEC, the Big 12 wants 2 more so their conference name isn't wrong, and adds Louisville and Cincinnati down the line. It seems Cal State Fullerton has a better chance of joining the Big 12 though at this point. Sigh.
Stewart Mandel has a very good article up today about how much the conference realignment sucks for the Big East. The league has to keep West Virginia and Louisville. Even that might be enough when the current BCS format ends in 2013. Here is the money quote:
"You're telling me you're going to put 9-3 East Carolina in the Fiesta Bowl?" said one college football administrator. "Are you kidding me?"
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/10/10/big.east.automatic.qualifier.status/index.html#ixzz1aUns1500
Before we go so far as to putting East Carolina in the Fiesta Bowl, let's bring it back and talk about Louisville for a little bit.
An incredibly smart Louisville poster on Card Chronicle broke down the Cardinals penalty woes for the season. The mattered/didn't matter system of penalty appropriation is revolutionary. Also, the writer might have been me.
Charlie Strong had this to say about Cincinnati in his press conference:
"Cincinnati is an outstanding football team," Strong said. "Offensively, they return five starters. They are very (multi-faceted) on offense. Their quarterback (Zach) Collaros can manage their offense. He has done a better job this year of scrambling, getting outside and throwing the football. They've got some outstanding receivers in (Anthony) McClung and (D.J.) Woods. The running back (Isaiah) Pead, if you remember last year, went for over 140 yards rushing against us. We have to tackle better in this game.
"If you look at Cincinnati on defense, they return 11 starters. They are a really good defense. They do a good job of attacking. They blitz like us. They blitz a lot. They are third in the country in turnovers. They are getting a lot of turnovers; a ton of interceptions. It is going to be a task for our offense."Basketball news time. Rush the Court listed 10 players you don't know, but you will. One of them was Melsahn Basabe.Basabe had a monster game against Ohio State that I vaguely remembered until the writer mentioned his stats. Another was Sean Kilpatrick. Kila is getting a lot of heat this season. I hope he's ready.
Per Card Chronicle, the USA Today released it's preseason Big East poll and first and second teams. The poll is:
8. Notre Dame
10. West Virginia
11. St. John’s
13. Seton Hall
14. South Florida
7th seems low. I think UC is going to be there with Marquette around 5, but hey, I write a UC site. The most egregious part are the first and second teams.
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh (League POY)
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
Kevin Jones, West Virginia
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
Jason Clark, Georgetown
Cleveland Melvin, DePaul
Herb Pope, Seton Hall
Augustus Gilchrist, South Florida
No Wayns, no Lamb, no Gates, no Siva, a USF player, Herb Pope, Abro on the first team. I mean what? Tim Abromaitis' acne not being on either team is a major oversight as well.
The UC volleyball team, my best friends, took a tough loss to Seton Hall Sunday to knock them from their undefeated perch in Big East play. The ladies are 5-1 in the league. Emily Hayden had a huge game with 11 kills. The adorable Emily Macintyre had 10 digs.
The UC women's soccer team lost 1-0 to Villanova on Sunday. UC has never won at Villanova.
The men's soccer team lost 2-1 to Rutgers. Also on Sunday. An own goal blew a 1-0 lead. Rutgers scored in the 70th minute. Why did UC even play sports on Sunday? Good lord.
I'm borrowing this video from the man Paul Dehner to close on a positive note. It's UC winning back the Keg of Nails in 2008.