Friday, August 04, 2006

Big East Predictions - No. 7

Well, it's time for the No. 7 team in the Big East. But, before I announce it, I want to make a quick disclaimer: I am not required by law to stand by these picks if any player on any team is dismissed for taking a job that pays more than allowed by the NCAA or if any player is involved in a gunfight or if any player is suspended for taking steroids. Hey, it happens and that makes every pick null and void. Oh, and that injury thing can change standings too.

Anyway, on with the picks. Battling Syracuse for worst in the Big East will be none other than the Bearcats of Cincinnati!!! Where to begin with the poor Bearcats? How about the same problem Syracuse has: offense. Running game was pretty weak...6th in the Big East. The offensive line will need to find a way to make some holes for a couple decent running backs. Second year QB Dustin Grutza should show some improvement and he'll have some receivers to throw to.

Defensively, the Bearcats were very young last year. And, considering the offense, they played pretty well and kept UC in games. This year, the defense will be more experienced (obviously) and should create some havoc for opposing teams. Watch for some decent linebackers in Cincinnati this season.

Lastly, those Bearcat fans leave something to be desired. I know it's an NFL town (barely) and it's hard to draw a lot of support for football at a basketball school. But it's embarrassing when the opposing team brings more fans into your stadium than you do. Of course, the stadium is in the middle of Cincinnati's campus which presents serious tailgating problems. You definitely can't have a great tailgate party and stagger to the stadium like you can at Mountaineer Field...and, whether you want to admit it or not, that dampens attendance.

On the positive side, Cincinnati will improve throughout the season and could be bowling by next year. This year...4-8 seems to be pretty fair. Wins over Eastern Kentucky, Akron, Miami (OH) and Syracuse. The rest of their out-of-conference schedule is a killer: Ohio State and Virginia Tech. That won't help them. But within a couple years, they will be a force in the Big East. They've invested too much not to be.

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