The Tommy Tuberville Era
-When Butch Jones left to take the Tenneessee job, many Bearcat fans had a sense of, as Yogi Berra famously said, "it's déjà vu all over again". A coach we rescued from the doldrums of mid major college football uses us to gain a position at a more tradition-rich program and leaves us in the dust. So, as we always do, we began scouring the Internet and message boards for rumors on who the potential new coach might be. The typical mid-major coaching names popped up, as well as a few former assistants currently at different institutions. Then, the unthinkable happened. After just a two-day coaching search, UC found their guy. The coach? Tommy Tuberville. It was a home run hire. We swayed a guy who had previous head coaching gigs at SEC powers like Auburn and Ole Miss, to leave the fertile recruiting grounds of Texas, where he was the head coach at Texas Tech, and to come up north and take over our Bearcats. From the sad realization of being dumped by Butch Jones, to the uplifting future of being led by a former SEC championship winning coach, be thankful for "Coach Tubs", Bearcat nation.
Your undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team
-While last year's run to the Big East championship game and eventual sweet 16 appearance was a great step for the resurgent UC basketball program, Bearcat fans expected even more this year. Yes, we lost star forward Yancy Gates to graduation, but we were returning our entire starting backcourt in Cashmere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick and Jaquon Parker. Things were looking up. And while preseason hype is nice, it does not always translate to success on the court. Fortunately for this season's squad, that preseason hype was well deserved as the 2012 Bearcats are off to a perfect 12-0 start and are being led by the trio of back court upperclassmen. Kilpatrick, Wright and Parker are pacing this undefeated team to the tune of nearly 42 combined points per game, led by Kilpatrick's 19ppg, and nearly 40% shooting combined from the three-point line. And although detractors may point to UC's strength of schedule, where they have yet to face a ranked opponent, they have faced multiple BCS conference level foes in Alabama, Iowa State, Oregon, and as well perennial power house and crosstown rival Xavier, defeating all three. While the undefeated record is sure to come to an end at some point, we can be thankful for the success this squad has gifted us with to this point.
Another Big East Football Championship
-The Big East is changing. This is common knowledge. Syracuse, Pitt and Louisville are leaving the conference, putting our future up in the air. While this comes as no surprise given the amount of movement the BCS conferences have seen the last few years, it is disappointing to see rivals leaving the once powerful Big East conference. However, Bearcat fans can still revel in the fact that we are celebrating our THIRD consecutive Big East conference football championship, albeit a shared one with Rutgers in Louisville. Think about where we were just 4 months ago. We had lost our starting backfield in Zach Collaros And Isaiah Pead, two of the best players in the Big East last season, as well as multiple starters on the defensive side of the ball. We had one off season to break in George Winn and to see if Munchie Legaux would be the starting quarterback going forward. Then boom, the Pitt game comes and we put on a show, blowing out our Big East rival and putting Cincinnati football back on the map for the 2012 season. Then, two straight heartbreaking losses to Toledo and Louisville. Our season looks lost, the quarterback position is in a flux and our normally stout defense is struggling. Then, the emergence of Brendon Kay. All of a sudden, our passing game is clicking, George Winn is still George Winn and our defensive has refound their identity behind the inspired play of linebacker Greg Blair. Needless to say, it was a roller coaster of a season, from the highs of a 5-0 start, to the lows of Walter Stewart's possible career-ending injury and two-straight mid season losses. Still, all of that led to another Big East championship and the future looks even brighter for this Cincinnati football team. Be thankful for that.