I’m not surprised

So we are halfway through the college football season and the Bearcats are still undefeated. Am I surprised? Nope…not at all. The offense is loaded. Mardy Gilyard is a stud and a half, Tony Pike is a perennial Heisman contender (averaging almost 300 ypg passing) and Armon Binns is coming on very strong. Even without T. Pike for the second half, they still torched USF’s vaunted defense. They’re averaging almost 41 ppg. That’s good enough for fourth in the nation.
The only remotely surprising thing has been the emergence of the Cincy defense. Sure, I expected them to develop as the season went on, but it’s been way more than that. They’ve been outstanding so far this season. They lead the nation in tackles for loss, they force turnovers, they only give up a little more than 14 ppg and they get big stops when they need them. Not to mention they have to be one of the best conditioned units in a long, long while. They’re averaging almost 35 minutes on the field per game. Aaron Webster changed the course of the USF game with his interception and 83-yard return inside the five. The offense gets all the publicity, but the defense is doing all the dirty work. Brian Kelly knows how to field a team. Obviously he’s an offensive whiz, but his ability to put together a collective squad is phenomenal. And that ability has the ‘Cats ranked fifth in the initial BCS standings. They’re still a major long shot, but a shot at the national title isn’t out of the question. That’s saying a lot for what BK has done for this program.

The offense gets the attention, but Aaron Webster and the Bearcat D has stepped up big this season

The offense gets the attention, but Aaron Webster and the Bearcat D has stepped up big this season

Other things I’m not surprised about:
– The Bengals lost to the Texans.
I know, I know. It seems like something that should have surprised and angered me. The Texans were 2-3 and hadn’t looked all too great through their first five games. But let’s be real – I had worried about the Bengals losing to the Browns and they came dangerously close. Then they got a great win against the Ravens, but they were due for a letdown game. This was that game.
It’s not like the Texans are a terrible team. They’re young and talented and have an inordinate amount of potential. None of their offensive or defensive starters are older than 30. I’m not saying the Bengals shouldn’t have won the game. Once again, they hurt themselves in a lot of different ways. Two fumbles and a late interception is not going to cut it in the NFL. They didn’t hurt themselves with penalties, though. That’s a major plus.
Throw in the fact that Antwan Odom and Domata Peko went down with injuries, and this loss is far from shocking. They definitely need to work on getting past that, which will be tough considering their lack of depth (cough cough, Mike Brown, cough cough). ESPN’s David Fleming put it perfectly:

“I worry that the now injury-plagued Bengals are about to become living proof of the most boring but essential tool in determining the success in the NFL: roster depth. The problem? They have none.”

I’m obviously hopeful that they can overcome the problems, but I’m not overly optimistic about it. And things don’t get any easier for the WhoDey’s. The Bears come to town on Sunday for what might as well be Cedric Benson Week as the running back gets ready for his former team. Then an off week before back-to-back division games with the Ravens and Steelers. I’m nervous, but I am going to keep rooting for the Bengals every step of the way.
Prediction for this weekend? I will go with a big bounce back win for the Black and Orange on the back of big games for Ced Benson and Chad Ochocinco.
Bengals 30
Bears 17

– The “best fans in baseball” weren’t exactly the best fans in baseball following a costly blunder by one of their previously favorite players. Deadspin was nice enough to gather up comments on articles and excerpts from blogs with the “best fans in baseball” tearing down one of their team’s best players.
Stay classy, Cards fans.

-I’m petrified of really religious people. Not people who practice religion or have spirituality…more like the people who are crazy fanatical religious. I’m not surprised to hear that religious fanatics would comprise a list like this. Again, courtesy of Deadspin, this list was compiled by a fundamentalist Baptist church. If I weren’t petrified of what might happen to me, my curiosity would drive me to actually check this stuff out.

Now for things I am surprised about.
– This weekend’s homecoming game between Mizzou and Texas at Faurot Field will be on ABC. This is fresh off the Mizzou offense and defense looking mediocre at best in their last two outings – both losses – against Nebraska and OK State. Oh well…more publicity for my school.

– Notre Dame played with USC. It was an awesome finish to a great game. It may have been the eighth straight Irish loss, but it brought back memories of what this rivalry is supposed to be. And a shout out to Elder grad Kyle Rudolph for a hell of a catch in the end zone on that last drive. Unfortunately, he was out of bounds. But be sure to keep an eye out for this kid…he’ll be playing on Sundays.

– The Yankees are doing everything they should to win the ALCS. A-Rod is finally stepping up in October for New York. Their pitching has been stellar and they’re winning games behind the offense of Derrick Jeter and Rodriguez. I’m still pulling for the Angels, but I fear I may have been off with my World Series prediction by one team.

– In this week’s Forde Yard Dash, ESPN’s Pat Forde brought it to my attention that no Alabama player has ever won the Heisman Trophy. Hard to believe for a program so steeped in tradition. Maybe they’ve got a guy who could end the drought this year…

Could Mark Ingram become the Crimson Tides first ever Heisman winner?

Could Mark Ingram become the Crimson Tide's first ever Heisman winner?

-I’ll leave you with this. If you haven’t seen it, shame on you. If you have, enjoy it once more. I was quite surprised to see it. The goalie was, too. And it was awesome.



~ by nchaney3 on October 20, 2009.

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