Some hodgepodge thrown at you today by ol' Bearcats Blog. We have a lot of little things to cover, so let's get right to it.
BCS RANKINGS FOR THE AMERICAN
The first thing I want to cover are the BCS rankings for the American. This directly ties into the the next thing I'm going to cover, which are bowl projections.
20 - Louisville
23 - UCF
34 - Houston
39 - Rutgers
83 - Southern Methodist
87 - Cincinnati
98 - South Florida
106 - Memphis
109 - Temple
117 - Connecticut
Obviously that is a gigantic bummer. It's mostly all strength of schedule related. Cincinnati has faced all 4 teams ranked under them, and lost to 98 USF, without playing anyone ranked ahead of them. They've also played 107 Purdue and 121, out of 122, Miami. Illinois is ranked 77. Cincinnati's computer rankings are 93, 75, 84, 65, 91 and 93. That is going to stay steady or drop after the Bearcats play Memphis. But it should rise if Cincinnati takes care of business against the final 4 teams on the schedule after that.
This pretty much eliminates Cincinnati from having a chance to win any kind of tiebreaker that involves the BCS.
Pinstripe Bowl - December 28
vs Notre Dame (SB Nation)
vs Notre Dame (CBS/Palm)
vs West Virginia (NFL)
vs Buffalo (USA Today)
vs TCU (The Sporting News)
Belk - December 28
vs Georgia Tech (Athlon)
BBVA Compass - January 4
vs Tennessee (ESPN)
vs Tennessee (Steele)
vs Florida (ESPN)
vs Florida (CFN Scout)
vs Florida (National Football Post/Yahoo)
vs Ole Miss (Orlando Sentinel)
The names Florida, Notre Dame and Tennessee fly off the page. I think there are a lot of people who would take the trip to Birmingham to see Cincinnati play Butch Jones.
There would be a direct conflict with basketball for the Compass Bowl. UC hoops goes to Memphis. Both games are at noon. The Compass Bowl would be on ESPN, the basketball game is on ESPN2.
The Pinstripe Bowl kicks off at 12:15.
There would also be a conflict with the Belk Bowl. Cincinnati plays Nebraska at 4 and the Belk Bowl is slated to start at 3:30.
Tommy Tuberville Report Card
CBS ran through the first year coaches, report card style. They ranked Tuberville 10th overall and had this to say
Tuberville was a nice catch for Cincinnati after Butch Jones left for Tennessee, and the veteran coach has the Bearcats positioned to finish with at least eight wins for the eighth time in nine seasons. Losing to Illinois and South Florida was surprising, but Cincinnati will likely be favored against SMU, Houston and Memphis, with games against Rutgers and Louisville presenting the biggest challenge the rest of the season. Tuberville’s first year with the Bearcats hasn’t received much national attention, but Cincinnati is quietly on its way to its seventh bowl game in eight years.
MICK CRONIN TALKS 2013 CATS
Mick Cronin opened up to Jon Rothstein of CBS the other day and had some very interesting things to say about this years' squad.
The first major thing he said was that Justin Jackson is going to be the starting center, which opens up a lineup where Shaq Thomas and Jermaine Lawrence are going to be on the floor at the same time. Mick had this to say about Jackson:
"Justin Jackson's not that tall but essentially he's at his best dominating on the interior. Blocking shots, rebounding, stuff like that. Hopefully he's going to be able to finish a little more this year. He'll be a bit of an unconventional five-man for us but he's got me excited right now. He's put on 20 pounds."
He dropped this about Jermaine Lawrence:
"He knows he needs to get a lot stronger," Cronin said of the 6-10 Lawrence. "I'm just happy now with his competitiveness right now. I've got to develop his game as a scorer. Everything else -- deflections, blocking shots, running the floor, he's all over the place with that stuff. He's a great passer but I've got to make him a better finisher. His mid-range shot, his short bank shot, stuff like that. That all comes with strength."
He threw this out about the freshman class, which got me very excited:
"Our freshman class gives us some shot makers and some play makers," Cronin said. "We're going to be quicker off the bounce and be able to create more for each other. Once Cashmere Wright re-injured his knee last year for the second time in January, he became just a three-point shooter that brought the ball up the floor. We really lacked somebody that could get the ball into the paint and beat his man off the dribble with quickness. We've brought in three guys who can do that with our three freshman guards and I also think Jermaine Lawrence can do that as well. Deshaun Mormon is the quickest of our three first-year guards and I think Troy is the best passer and Kevin is the best shooter. All those guys are better one-on-one, get-by-their-man guys than we've had. All of that should help Sean Kilpatrick. Ge'lawn Guyn should also be a much improved player for us as a junior."
The post ends with Cronin saying UC will play faster, but that's something we have to see in action. He certainly has the talent to run and gun. He's never had this much wing talent before. If Mormon, Caupain and Johnson can all play right away, that will be a huge boost. It's going to be interesting to see what UC gets from the returning guards like Guyn and Jeremiah Davis. I'm very excited for the season to start.