I know a lot of people have written about it, but I am too. I don't think I've ever seen that many clutch games at one time, let alone that many clutch games that had major implications. Boston and the Braves were both struggling to hang on to postseason chances after major collapses to see them tied at the top of the wild-card standings. The Rays and Cardinals were the teams who were there to close in on their struggles. The Cardinals did it by kicking ass and taking names after an early September sweep of Atlanta gave them life. The Rays played merely average for a very good team, and Boston just tanked. Atlanta couldn't handle the pressure, especially ace closer Craig Kimbrel who blew a save in the 9th. Another rookie, Freddie Freeman, hit into a game losing double play to eliminate Atlanta. Meanwhile, St Louis kicking Houston's ass, tying into the theme.
The Red Sox were 1 strike away from winning the wild-card, but Dan Johnson hit one of the biggest homers in Rays history to complete a 7 run comeback against the Yankees. Boston was feeling the pressure when they came out of a long rain delay, obviously knowing what happened in Tampa. The Red Sox needed one strike to force a playoff or win the wild-card, but Baltimore got a double to tie, and a liner to left that Carl Crawford couldn't catch. Just a minute later, Evan Longoria hit a homer to the only place in the stadium that the ball would have left to put the Rays in the playoffs. I'm trying not to curse so much, but it was fucking awesome. I love baseball.
Let's get to some Bearcats notes, shall we? We shall. How formal of us.
Some guy wrote a piece about how the Bearcats have been lucky with turnovers. Obviously, we all know that. See last season and this season. Turnovers, especially fumbles, are incredibly random. UC has recovered nearly every forced fumble this season. In fact, they've forced 8 and recovered 8. That's really unsustainable. It seems Butch Jones knows turnovers fluctuate as well.
"We're doing the same things in practice that we did last year," Jones said. "I just think it's a year in the system. The players understand more of what we want. On defense, you are attacking the football. That's what you play for."
If we are gonna have luck with turnovers, I don't care. After last season, UC deserves it.
Miami had some big trouble with their offensive line against Bowling Green, giving up 6 sacks, while managing 43 yards on the ground. This story talks about the Redhawks various injuries. It's a good read if you weren't sure you wanted to crush Miami, because it talks a lot about the last time Miami beat UC.
One of the Miami players moved around was lineman John Anevski. Anevski went to Elder, as did a trio of Bearcats, including Austen Bujnoch. Anevski tells the Oxford Press:
“My buddy Austen texted me right after the Bowling Green game ‘Be ready,’ ” Anevski said. “I consider him one of my good friends. I played next to him in high school.”
The man, Paul Dehner, wrote about the Bearcats defensive line play. UC played Derek Wolfe 90 plays a game last season at times. That's just insane. That's every snap. Most teams, even those with elite rushers, rotate frequently. That's something UC has adapted. Sure, the line has played great against bad teams, what about when they played Tennessee? Dan Giordano says:
"Right now, we still have a chip on our shoulder after going in there and getting embarrassed. I want to say we were more hungry. It's a challenge, that is when there is better competition. That gave us a taste of, well, you better get going. I think we needed that and that was a turning point in our season."
The AP used conference realignment as a way to tell the Big East story for this season. They say South Florida and Cincinnati are already changing the face of the league. The money quote is from Zach Collaros:
“Me being a senior, it’s like: Whatever,” Collaros said. “I just don’t like any of the Big East teams. That’s all (the motivation) I need. They can go play wherever they want, as long as UC is all right in the long run.”
Never change, Zach. This is his United States of Whatever.
There are actual realignment rumors being floated with UC and the Big 12. It seems there are 4 spots in the league. Louisville and West Virginia are in every rumor. The other 2 spots have been talked about with TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati. For the love of god, please get UC out of the Big East. That's all I ask.
In other UC sports, the soccer Crosstown Shootout was last night. For the 7th year in a row, Cincinnati didn't lose to Xavier. UC was only 3-5 going into the game, while X was 5-1, but Xavier does not beat Cincinnati.
Finally, some guy wrote a great piece interviewing 5 UC volleyball players and coach Reed Sunahara. Check it.