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Are the Glory Days for Cincinnati Bearcat Football Over?
Let’s face it, we are living in the glory years of UC football.
Yes, there are diehards (all 12 of you) who might say UC has a storied past reminiscent of Sid Gillman and Greg Cook, but trust me, no die-hard college football fan thinks back to football historically. of the CPU. However, UC football has had a pretty decent run in recent years and briefly captured the nation’s attention in 2009 with Brian Kelly’s magic run that briefly put them in the picture for a national title (until they get punked by Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl). That success, coupled with a few 10-plus seasons and a few Big East championships (2011 would have been the #3 Big East championship if Zach Colloros hadn’t been injured), put UC football on the map. at least. Again, no one is losing sleep in Tuscaloosa or Norman, but UC football is at least in the conversation.
So with all of this success and a university administration seemingly determined to ensure its success, why does the future look so bleak for UC football?
Well, where to start…
Like everything in life, it all comes down to the Benjamins. Follow the money and you will have your answers.
UC’s recent rise is entirely tied to its affiliation with the Big East Conference. Argue if you want the Big East weak sauce should never have had automatic qualifying status in the BCS (a very valid argument, by the way!), but because it did, it put UC in a position to make its mark in ’08 & ’09 and set it up for future success – IF the conference can survive and maintain its status as one of six BCS conferences with an automatic spot in the Championship Series and all the income and prestige that go with it.
However, all indications from the past year indicate that the Big East is NOT maintaining this privileged status (with the exception of a saving grace, which I’ll get to in a moment). The college football realignment cesspool that exposed all BCS members to be greedy money whores with no allegiance to traditional conference rivals and partners (Missouri to the SEC, Syracuse to the ACC), left the already competitive Big East extremely vulnerable to losing.
I won’t bore you with secret details of how the BCS determines its conferences to award automatic qualifying status (I was very dizzy – sneaky writers get confused easily), but it goes without saying that the Big East doesn’t look very good. In its desperation to add teeth and bolster its competitive credentials after losing Syracuse, West Virginia and Pitt, adding Boise State certainly helps, but according to ESPN BCS guru Brad Edwards, adding the Broncos still won’t be enough to meet the murky criteria set forth by the BCS. Adding minor league players from UCF, Memphis, Houston, San Diego State, SMU & Navy doesn’t do anything either.
Complicating the situation further is the BCS’ latest attempt to create the long-awaited college football playoffs (college football fans will be very disappointed with how little of a fix it provides). Although all the details have yet to be ironed out, a few issues are already in place and, again, the Grand Est is not in an enviable position. The playoffs will be tied to the Major Bowls, and while the Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC and ACC have lined up in the Major Bowls for their champion, the Big East has no landing spot for its holder. of the title.
So goes the Big East, so goes UC football.
What was once UC’s greatest strength (a BCS conference with automatic qualifying status, a national stage, and low competition that still makes it a contender) is now their biggest burden. And there’s not much the UC can do about it. With its small, antique stadium, lack of historical relevance, and relatively small fanbase, UC won’t get a jailbreak card like WVU, Pitt, and The Cuse and will be invited to another conference.
CPU is blocked.
But, surprisingly, all is not completely lost for UC and the Big East. Although it’s an infusion of minor leaguers and Boise State doesn’t exactly get the hearts racing for those, it has one variable that is highly coveted by the pimps who run college football – it creates a lot of globes potential eyeballs in the form of TV markets in its disjointed, ludicrous geographic footprint.
While Houston, SDSU and SMU could be considered comeback fodder for many BCS schools, combined with Rutgers, UConn, South Florida and Cincinnati, the Big East potentially has a load of potential TVs that rights holders television all get hot and bothered by. At the end of the day, isn’t that what the whole fucking conference realignment frenzy has been about anyway?
Even though most football fans in these major Big East markets have no idea where these teams play, something tells me that the BCS could still find a place for potential TVs—and a revenue reduction — the Big East potentially orders.
As I said, follow the Benjamins and all will be revealed to you.
At least UC better hope so.
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