Cincinnati has a pretty great athletic director in Whit Babcock. With the Bearcats stuck on the outs of the national scene, it makes sense that if a bigger job opened, Babcock should at least take a look at it. And take a look he has.
The latest news from the search is that the Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague isn't interested in the job. Neither is the UConn AD Warde Manuel who said he isn't a candidate. A report had Teague being one of 3 front runners. The Arizona State AD and the James Madison AD were listed in a Rivals report as the other two leaders for the job.
It's not said if there is anything more to Babcock's interest in the job outside of the fact he applied for it. He hasn't interviewed or anything else that we know about. This could be a little or it could be a lot. It is something.
With the big 5 conferences wanting their own division, it seems telling that a man with the apparent vision of Babcock is trying to get in on that. The landscape of college athletics is going to change dramatically. It would be awesome to have someone like Whit Babcock on UC's side.
The two game stretch Cincinnati plays the next 3 days should be the last easy stretch of the season. The Bearcats play two of the bottom feeders in the American back to back. It can be a little hard to take someone like Central Florida seriously, what with how they suck and all. The Bearcats haven't really put anyone away lately while playing a stretch of the also rans like Houston, Rutgers, Temple and USF. Putting down an impressive home win would be great. The margin was there for the Rutgers win, but the performance wasn't spectacular. It's time for a spectacular performance. They aren't related at all, but seeing SMU beat the hell out of USF, UC put them away late and Louisville wallop them by nearly 40 makes me wonder if this team has that killer in them.
Central Florida has lost their 4 conference games by 25, 23, 10 and 12. The Knights are playing one of the toughest stretches in the league, at Cincinnati, Memphis, at Louisville. Adding to their 3 game losing streak with a 20 point beat down would be a lovely start. Let's see some ferocity tonight.
Spread: Cincinnati -14.5
Game Time: 9 pm
TV: CBS Sports Network
History: Cincinnati 1-0
Streak: Cincinnati - 1
In Cincinnati: Never Faced
Neutral: Cincinnati 1-0
Last Meeting: Cincinnati 64-48, December 30, 1983, Citrus Bowl Classic
Cronin Vs: Never Faced
Home Winning Streak: 15
Opponents Under 70 Points Streak: 26
Sean Kilpatrick's Race for Fortson(points needed to pass Fortson for 4th all time in scoring): 85
Over the weekend, the UC Dance Team won a national title. For what? How did they do it? For that, I talked to dance team member Ashley Herman. She is a senior. She was very nice and very informative with her answers to my questions.
I asked Ashley about preparation, injuries, the feeling of a killer routine, how she ended up on the dance team and more. Questions are in bold.
If people don't know, can you tell them what category you and the dance team won the national title?
We placed first in Division 1A Hip Hop at the UDA National College Championship in Orlando.
What kind of preparation goes into coming up with a winning routine?
We do a lot of things to prepare for competition and getting our routine ready. We start off in the summer with workouts and going to camp. After camp we continue workouts and have practice 4 days a week. We also had several choreographers come in to teach us choreography this year. After we learn the material, we continue to tweak the choreography and music until we feel it has every beat, hit & musicality we want for a winning routine. We didn’t have our routine the way we wanted it until about 2 weeks before the competition.
What would you compare the feeling of performing a killer routine to? Something like hitting a home run or scoring a touchdown or writing a great Q&A or is it something more than that?
The feeling of performing a killer routine is one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever experienced. Just knowing all the hours we put in and all the hard work we do comes down to one shot to get it perfect. Almost a year of preparation goes into two minutes on the floor. One mistake can take you from first to fifth and you know that pressure is there. Hearing all your friends and family in the audience yelling before you go on the stage is an adrenaline rush. Seeing their faces when you go out on the stage gives you more energy than you can imagine. When the music starts something in your body takes over especially during a hip hop routine. There are so many different styles in hip hop and you have to change your expressions to go with all the different songs. We had an unexpected twist to our routine this year that really set us a part. Dancing on stage you could look out and feel everyone’s energy in the room. Performing on stage with your team, knowing how much each girl next to you wants the win, and the fire we all have inside us to perform to the best of our ability is unimaginable.
Do you build things around music or do you add music to the dancing after you have it down? That could be a horrible question but I've always been curious about it.
That’s actually a really good question. Usually you would have the music and then choreograph to it but when we have choreographers come in sometimes instead of using the music they give to us we just take the choreography. We find music that we think fits our routine the best and then make the choreography fit to the music we choose. Up until nationals we continue to keep switching the music and choreography until we figure out what we think will make the perfect routine.
What were the highlights of the trip, outside of becoming champions?
Obviously becoming a national champion was the highlight of our trip but also the way the crowd reacted to our routine this year. We had so many people come up to us and say how much they loved our routine and that they were rooting for us to win. We made an impact on the competition & set the bar high and it was a great feeling. Especially because at this point we didn’t know what the results were but we knew no matter what happened that everyone was impressed with what we did. On top of that getting to make memories with my team and all the new freshmen getting their first experience at college nationals was a great highlight.
How did you end up joining the dance team?
I ended up joining the dance team because I always danced. I knew I wanted to continue dancing after high school so I started looking into colleges with dance teams. I never knew much about dance teams but after I found out about UC’s dance team and visited the college I knew it’s where I wanted to go.
What are some of your best memories since you've been at Cincinnati?
I’ve had a lot of great memories being at UC but I think winning this national championship is probably the best one. I’ve had a really great year with this team. We’ve become a family and it’s the best year I’ve had as a member. Being my senior year, I couldn’t of asked for a better way to end my dance career at UC by winning a National Title with a team & coaching staff I love & respect.
What's the hardest thing that you do that people on the outside, like me, either don't know or don't think about being on a national championship dance team?
One of the hardest things we do and what I don’t think people think about is the amount of time we put into our team practices. On top of keeping our grades up in school, we’re at practice four days a week and during nationals season even more. We practiced 30 hour+ weekends at certain times. There’s a lot of preparation into executing a synchronized routine that has the power & passion we want it to.
I would imagine injuries are common in everything athletic, have you ever been hurt?
We run into a lot of injuries on our team. I’ve had a pulled hamstring, and I had a hip problem this year where I could barely walk. But overall, I have been very lucky. We had a girl sprain her ankle two weeks before competition this year so we had to re work our routines to add someone else in because she couldn’t compete. We also had girls with shin splints, ankle problems, and knee problems and still competed this weekend. A lot of time we have to push through injuries because it’s not like football where we have a lot of extras on the sideline to fill spots when someone has an injury. Dancing is a lot of work on our bodies that people don’t realize.
Many thanks to Ashley Herman for her great answers. Be sure to support her and the rest of the UC dance team. They are awesome and deserve our support. CHAMPS.
There are 12 games remaining for the regular season. The Cincinnati Bearcats are rolling at a 17-2 pace, 6-0 in the American. One of the biggest questions is can they keep this up? Can the Bearcats win the league? To answer them, let's predict the rest of the schedule. Where are you creepy crystal ball guy?
Vs Central Florida
Central Florida is one of those teams that Cincinnati should handle at home. Period. The program is too good to lose to Central Florida at home.
Temple gave Cincinnati a bit of a run one week ago. Your Royal Rumble night shouldn't be ruined by a UC loss. I think this game will have a larger final margin than the game last week.
Cincinnati hasn't defeated Louisville outside of Cincinnati since the 2010 Big East tournament. They haven't won in Louisville since New Year's Day of 2008. I don't think the final trip to Louisville will break that streak.
Vs South Florida
The Bulls are bad. They shouldn't win in Cincinnati. The only teams they've beaten on the road are Temple, Bradley, George Mason and Bowling Green.
While it would be great for Cincinnati to hold home court all season long, I don't think it's going to happen.
The Mustangs gave Cincinnati all they could handle to open 2014. It's going to be a tough game, at least on paper, that the Mustangs would need for their NCAA resume. I don't think they'll get it.
Houston is a nice little team but no one would call them road warriors. They have a chance for wins over Memphis and Connecticut on the road before they would play the Cats the day after Valentine's. That could change minds. But those games haven't happened yet so I think they'll lose both of them and lose this one too.
At Central Florida
This game only scares me because of how ugly UCF's court happens to be.
Cincinnati has handled Louisville at home the past couple of meetings. This is a national game on CBS. The last time UC played a national game on CBS, Notre Dame ran them out of the gym. I don't think that'll happen against Louisville, but I do think the Cardinals sweep because they are very good defensively and I don't know how UC scores enough to beat them.
I think Cincinnati and UConn are going to beat each other on the other's home courts this year.
Sean Kilpatrick and Justin Jackson's senior day. Cincinnati played Memphis in a very emotional game on Steve Logan's senior day. Kilpatrick could pass Logan in all time scoring during this game. A lot of parallels.
Rutgers seems like it could be a huge let down game after the Louisville, UConn, Memphis gauntlet. Especially since this game is a Saturday noon game after a Thursday night game against the Tigers. Cincinnati could be playing for a piece of the league title.
Before the season and even right now as I type this, I wouldn't think this Bearcat team is a 26-5 team. I am tempted to change SMU to a loss. Winning on the road in conference is very tough. There are the huge road trips to Louisville and Connecticut and even SMU. Temple, UCF and Rutgers are other 3 road games and quite frankly, UC should not lose those.
I think there are 4 near lock wins on the slate, UCF, Temple and USF. That moves us to 21-2. If we assume UC loses all 3 big road games, that's 21-5. Beat Rutgers on the road and that's 22-5. Win the rest of the home games and you get 26-5. That's another 26-5 combination that seems realistic.
It seems a bit homerish to think that Cincinnati will have such a lofty record, a record they haven't produced since 2003-04 when they finished 25-7. They haven't lost fewer than 6 games in a season since the 2001-02 year with Steve Logan. I could be going way overboard, I'll admit. I am feeling good about this team. It's ok to be confident.