What Did College Football News Have To Say?

After reading what College Football News had to say about next seasons Bearcats, I knew I needed to respond and do it fast.

CFN Wrote

Why to get excited: Brian Kelly came over from Central Michigan and took what Mark Dantonio started and improved it. There wasn't a big weak link on the rock-solid team that won ten games, and now the wheels are in motion to keep things going. This might not be as good a squad as last year's, but if QB Ben Mauk is granted another year of eligibility, the offense should be fine while Kelly's defense, while worse, won't be a liability.

Bearcat Insider Response:

Not only did Brian Kelly come into UC and take what Mark Dantonio had brought into the program and win, he won with a high power offense with the most major addition being that of Ben Mauk. If Dantonio would have been at the helm at the time Mauk was looking to make a change I don't feel he'd been as willing to bring in a player not knowing if he'd be able to play or not. Not only did Kelly bring in Mauk, he knew if capable he'd be able to run his offense the way it needed to be ran. As for the 2008 team not being as good as the 07 version, yes, there will be a few changes but there are players in the wings ready to get their shot.

CFN Wrote

Why to be grouchy: CB Mike Mickens returned for his senior year, but there are some huge gaping holes to fill at safety and defensive end. The offense has skill players, as long as Mauk is back, but the line loses three starters. This is a good team, but it'll be worse and will need a few mega-breaks to be a Big East title contender.

Bearcat Insider Wrote:

Are there holes with the loss of Hoke, Craig and Nakamura? Yes, but again you have some guys in the wings and if things go as planned waiting to become part of the team (Alex Daniels) that give the defense a major push. All three of the players listed above played major roles but the show must go on and you hope that Aaron Webster is back 100% because he's got the tools to play at the next level. Keep in mind the two All-Americans on the team do return.

CFN Wrote

The number one thing to work on is: Getting a bit more from the defense. That might be a lot to ask for considering five starters are gone, and with the offense likely to take a wee step back, coming up with more key stops will be a must. The secondary made big plays last year with safeties Haruki Nakamura and Anthony Williams doing a little of everything, but it still gave up 254 yards per game.

Bearcat Insider Wrote:

Yes there will be a few growing pains as the defense makes some changes at safety and defensive end. But the core is back and there is really some talent waiting to get their shot. And while CFN feels the offense will take a wee step back, I only see this happening if Ben Mauk doesn't return. Then you've got a battle for the starting QB spot and that will be up for grabs. A lot of the passing yards came in game where the Bearcats had big leads and teams were forced to throw the ball.

CFN Wrote:


Biggest offensive loss: WR/TE Earnest Jackson

Bearcat Insider Wrote:

If Earnest Jackson was the biggest loss for the offense then everything should be just fine for Brian Kelly's crew. The biggest loss will be if Ben Mauk doesn't return and if he does then you've got to look at the loss of Digger Bujnoch as being the biggest loss.

CFN Wrote:

Biggest defensive loss: FS Haruki Nakamura

Bearcat Insider Wrote:

I can't really fight this one but to say look at the numbers posted by Angelo Craig and Anthony Hoke as well and you'll see all three are the biggest losses.

CFN Wrote:

Best returning offensive player: QB Ben Mauk, Sr. (if he's not able to return), OG Trevor Canfield, Sr.

Bearcat Insider wrote:

If Ben Mauk returns the Bearcats will have a great chance of being a preseason Top 25 program. Without and voters may keep the Bearcats just outside looking in. If Mauk doesn't return the health status of Marcus Barnett becomes a major factor as he's coming off a 60+ catch season as a redshirt freshman with much more upside. Nothing against Trevor Canfield because I feel he's got NFL future written all over him. But if healthy Barnett is a major weapon capable of taking it to the house on each touch.

CFN Wrote:

Best returning defensive player: DE Terrill Byrd, Sr.

Bearcat Insider Wrote:

Take your pick of Byrd or Mike Mickens on this one and you won't go wrong. While Byrd requires a double team by many, Mickens goes out on an island and takes the team's best receiver and has done very well.


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