I’m getting annoyed.

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more positive press for the Cincinnati Bearcats football program and I have loved every last bit of it. Unfortunately, a lot of it (rightly) questions whether or not the Bearcats could ever play in a national championship game. I know I’m getting WAY ahead of myself with this (as I have said every time I mentioned UC), but the BCS doesn’t help the Cats’ cause.

The reason I am annoyed is because of the negative viewpoint so many critics have because of Cincinnati’s strength of schedule. This article is what sparked my irritation today. Greg Doyell is saying that Cincy’s schedule is a bunch of cream puffs.

Rutgers has looked pretty good since getting annihilated by the Bearcats on Labor Day. They even got a good road win when they blew out the Maryland team that just beat Clemson a few weeks ago. Cincinnati manhandled them.

Beating Oregon State on the road is no easy task. I believe it was 26 straight wins against non-conference foes at home before the Bearcats came in and beat the Beavers. And don’t forget they returned almost all of their defensive starters on the team that took down USC last year. Pike had his way with them.

Fresno State? They only have the best runner in the nation, held the ball for almost 45 minutes of the game, and they lost. Cincy scored at will against them. Only one scoring drive lasted more than two minutes. Sure, Fresno is 1-3…with losses to two top ten teams (UC and Boise St.) and an undefeated Wisconsin team. Apparently that’s a bad win.

SEMO isn’t any good. But that makes them just as good as the teams that loaded Florida’s and Texas’s non-conference schedules. Hell, they might be better.

They were sloppy in the win over Miami (Ohio), sure. And still won by 24. “But Kentucky beat them 42-0,” Doyell argues. So is he trying to say that the UK team that beat Miami in the first week of the season is 18 points better than the Bearcats? Making Florida 52 points better? Give me a fucking break. Everyone – yes, even terrible teams – progress as the season goes on. Miami has proven that by scoring in a few games. And one touchdown against Cincy only happened thanks to a stupid personal foul penalty. Tony Pike faced a defense that was dropping seven and eight guys into coverage almost every play. He still threw two touchdowns. And the running game proved that it can come through when they need it. They played like garbage and still blew out the Redhawks.
If this was Florida or Texas, everyone would be saying that the “great teams” find a way to win when they aren’t at their best. Let’s see how many times that comes up if/when these two squads struggle against inferior Big 12 or SEC teams.

Lastly, the Big East is getting a terrible reputation. Clearly it’s not the best conference around, but it’s not that bad, either. UConn blew the game against UNC (ACC) earlier this year. Then they beat Baylor (Big 12) when they had Robert Griffin. West Virginia played Auburn (SEC) very tough in a game that had everything the Tigers needed to get a win (weather, home field, etc.). Then they beat Colorado (Big 12). Even Greg Paulus and Syracuse took Minnesota (Big 10) to the wire and beat Northwestern (Big 10). That Kentucky (SEC) team I mentioned earlier struggled to beat lowly Louisville at home. Remember South Florida shutting down Florida St. (ACC)? The same FSU team that should have beaten Miami and crushed BYU on the road. Obviously this conference blows.

I understand that Cincy isn’t playing the toughest schedule ever. And I have almost no doubt in my mind if they run the table they’ll be left out of the title game in favor of a one-loss powerhouse school.
Just some food for thought: Cincinnati’s total offense ranks them 11th in the country. Let’s compare that to a top 5 SEC school: LSU. The Tigers are currently 99th. But they get ten times more respect than Cincinnati. It’s ridiculous.

If the ‘Cats can win at #23 South Florida next Thursday, then the discussion will really get going. If they go 12-0 and get left out? Maybe the BCS will use the Method Man excuse. Who knows.

Tigers on ESPN tomorrow night, 9 ET. Huck the Fuskers!
As always, go Bearcats.

Altiora.

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~ by nchaney3 on October 7, 2009.

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