The Ben Mauk era is over: the QB's eligibility request was denied. I'd like to say I was surprised but, as a UC fan, I have gotten used to NCAA decisions going against the Bearcats and have come to expect it. While not shocked, I am disappointed. He threw 31 touchdowns and 3,121 yards on a surgically-repaired arm that still seemed fatigued. He missed playing time because his arm was over-tired. Other games he played, he relied on his feet to make playes because his throws just weren't that strong that night. But in the Bearcats second 10-win season in school history, he showed he was a gamer and a playmaker, even when not 100%. Can you imagine what Mauk could have achieved at full strength with another year in the Cat Attack system?
Unfortunately, the only place we'll see Mauk in a Bearcat uniform again is our imaginations. And 2007 highlight tapes, of course. Brian Kelly's going to have to find someone to run this offense of his. "We're disappointed in the loss of Ben and the circumstances surrounding it, but the cupboard's not bare," Kelly said. Demetrius Jones, the Notre Dame transfer, seems like the likely option. But how much faith do you have in a guy who couldn't win the starting job of a team that went 3-9. Dustin Grutza was the starter while Mark Dantonio was coach, but I never get the impression that he's quite what Kelly is looking for in a starting QB. Tony Pike is a darkhorse that might make some noise with a good spring. And I guess Craig Carey's days as QB are done as he moves to defensive end. Or is there someone else who might come out of nowhere to line up under center?
Who's your pick to be the next Bearcat quarterback? And, as the final chapter is written on #9, what will be your memories of Ben Mauk's time at UC?
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NCAA Says NO To Mauk
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