During the past week, University of Cincinnati football coach Mark Dantonio has keep players at a distance from the media. While closing practice on Wednesday and bringing coaches to his weekly media luncheon, the Bearcats head coach worked hard to keep statements from showing up on the bulletin board of the RedHawks.
So just when it looked like not much would be said by either side, RedHawks Head Coach Shane Montgomery came out with the following quote in a recent Enquirer story leading up to the game.
"It's the first time on national TV (ESPN2), and with them moving up to the Big East, they're trying to elevate their program to where we've been the past few years," Montgomery said. "It's one of those games nobody else in our league has."
Now don't get me wrong, I respect the job done by former RedHawk head coach Terry Hoeppner and the play of the MAC as a whole, but to express the Bearcats program is not at an equal level with Miami seems a little off base.
Didn't UC go and win a bowl game last season? Didn't UC win a share of a conference title in 2002? Didn't UC play well enough to finish second in the conference in both 2001 & 2000? Hasn't UC gone to four bowl games in the past five seasons? Didn't UC win the Victory Bell in grand fashion last season? And didn't UC get invited to join the Big East? The answer to all the above is "YES".
So while UC may not have been the media darlings Miami became just a few years ago, I don't feel the Miami program has elevated above the Bearcats as first year head coach Montgomery feels.
So while things have been boring on the Bearcats front, the RedHawks main man may have given the young Bearcats some bulletin board material and enough rope to lasso around the RedHawks neck come Wednesday night.