A View From Shankpavilion Pre 4th of July

As the gridiron season gets closer and closer, Tim Adams takes a closer look at some of the information from a couple of the more popular college football publications and more.

How do I know it's summer?  Not because of the weather, but because I can see this year's Athlon and Lindy's college football magazines on the grocery shelves.


Both Athlon and Lindy's give the stars of the Big East Conference plenty of recognition.  Athlon puts its Heisman hopefuls in three categories-the A, B and C list.  Of the five stars on Athlon's A list, two are from the Big East, Steve Slaton and Ray Rice.  Brian Brohm is the headliner for the four players on the B list, and Pat White appears on the C list.  Lindy's doesn't go into as much depth, but it does rate the Heisman candidates from 1 to 10.  Steve Slaton is #6, Ray Rice is #8 and Brian Brohm is #9.  Not bad for a conference that many thought would be dead after the loss of Miami of Florida, Virginia Tech and Boston College.


Athlon continued to show a bit more respect for the Big East when ranking the conferences.  Athlon has the Big East ranked 3rd behind the SEC and Pac 10.  Lindy's ranks the conference 6th behind the other BCS conferences.


In its "On the Rise" segment, Athlon recognized South Florida with four other schools as improving programs in college football.  Cincinnati's second opponent in 2007, Oregon State, was also on the list.


Michigan State was identified as one of five schools "On the Decline."  Athlon even goes so far as to say the Spartans will flirt with last place in the Big Ten Conference.


When the Beavers come to Cincinnati in early September, they'll be bringing Yvenson Bernard, a running back that Athlon includes as one of its five "Underrated Players."  Matt Grothe (QB) from South Florida is also on that list.


Both Athon and Lindy's rank four Big East teams among their top 26 schools.  Athlon has WVU at #5; Lindy has the Mountaineers #4.  Athlon has Rutgers at #10; Lindy's has the Scarlet Knights at #16.  Athlon has Louisville at #13; Lindy's has them at #9.  The Cards are my pick to win the league.  South Florida is ranked #26 by both magazines.


Athlon also has a very interesting article about the class of 2002.  They took the top 40 high school players from that year and followed their college careers up to the NFL draft.  Of that top 40, only 8 players were drafted on the first day of the NFL draft (rounds 1-3).  Twenty-one of the forty were not drafted. 


Athlon predicts the Bearcats will go 6-5 in 2007 with 1 swing game that is too close to call.  The magazine ranks the Bearcats #53 among all the 119 Division IA schools.  Lindy ranks the Bearcats slightly higher at #52.


Jihad Muhammed is back in town after playing professionally In Saudi Arabia.


Paul Longo's neighbor is Jonathan Hayes, an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals.  They live in Loveland.


I'm told that a good friend of Bearcat Insider, Tim Swanger is now working at Oak Hills High School.  Tim's a great guy and Dave and I wish him only the best.


San Diego State is coached by Chuck Long of Iowa.  Long was the runner-up to Bo Jackson for the 1985 Heisman Trophy.  Long lost by only 45 votes, the closest ever for a Hesiman.


Justin Moore, a defensive back from Colerain High School who didn't play football last season, will apparently remain with the Bearcats as a walk-on after a strong spring showing.


Paul Longo was on staff for Iowa's trip to the Rose Bowl in 1991.  Ex-Bearcat coach Ted Gill was also on Hayden Fry's staff along with Mike Stoops, the current head coach at Arizona.  Wisconsin's head football coach, Bret Bielema was a player on that squad.


I really thought Marcus Waugh would consider transferring after his position of fullback had essentially been eliminated from the offense, but Marcus has no intention of leaving Cincinnati.  "I like it here to much to leave."  Marcus will start summer practice on the defensive line.


A lot of players really struggled with the farmer's walk during a weight lifting workout.  Can you imagine walking 80 yards with a 100-120 pound dumb bell in each hand?


While visiting with the football team during a workout, I saw Dave Andrews putting Rashad Bishop through a workout and later Coach Cronin worked out.  I asked Coach Cronin about Bishop, and he thinks Rashad will be a fine player at UC.  Rashad can do a lot of things well.  Coach Cronin also marveled at the football players and said his basketball squad will eventually look like the grid iron boys.  

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