Still think a bearcat is made up.
Cincinnati travels to the Carrier Dome on Saturday to take on Syracuse at noon. That means we talk to our Cincinnati expert on retainer Scott King of Bearcats Blog, one of the best Cincinnati blogs on the internet. Also the first, which is something he and Orange::44 have in common. He also appreciates cooking shows, which always helps. Plus he knows what he’s talking about in terms of his Bearcat teams. To the questions!
1. Orange::44: Cincinnati was in position to win the Big East again. Now it's a toss up. What happened?
Bearcat’s Blog: It's been a combination of things. The defense, which had played well most of the season (Tennessee excluded), has been gashed for huge yards the past couple of weeks. West Virginia put 400 on them. Rutgers, which hadn't run on anyone, ran for 200 yards. The kicking team has had a problem giving up blocked kicks this year, and they gave up a block on the tying attempt against West Virginia. The offense has sputtered with Zach Collaros on the sidelines. It's been a combination of things hammering UC at once, and it's been a little too much for them to overcome.
2. Orange::44: How big is the loss of Zach Collaros. Is your team done?
BB: It's gigantic. He wasn't just the quarterback, he was the offensive captain. To say UC was lost without him against Rutgers would be a lie. Munchie Legaux has talent, but he flat out hasn't played well. He's only hit 42% of his passes since Collaros got hurt. Rutgers keyed in on the running game, forcing Munchie to beat them, and he couldn't. Now, Butch Jones is putting in packages for Jordan Luallen and saying that the starting job is potentially open.
I don't know if UC is done, mainly because the schedule has gotten softer (sorry Cuse fans), but hopes of winning the Big East are fading away like Marty McFly's family when he was playing the guitar during the prom and his dad let the guy cut in on the dance.
3. Orange::44: Who is the best player on your team now that Collaros is done?
BB: Isaiah Pead. It was Isaiah Pead all season offensively. When Pead is getting yards, the Cincinnati offense has been tough to stop. When UC was in the Tennessee game in the first half, Pead had 130 yards. The rest of the game he had 22 and UC scored 9 points. He's been a threat in the passing game as well this season, but didn't get a ball thrown to him against Rutgers. The Pead 50 yard TD against Louisville turned that game, and is the only thing keeping the Cardinals from being the outright leaders.
Defensively the most talented player is Derek Wolfe. He's got 14.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and is a big reason why people haven't run the ball on UC. He's the only guy on the defense that seems like he could be in the NFL tomorrow.
JK Schaffer is the heart and soul of the defense though. He's among the Big East leaders in tackles. He is tied for the team lead in INTs and passes broken up, and he goes hard every play. Losing him would hurt the defense more than Collaros being hurt has changed the offense.
4. Orange::44: So who do you think is going to win the Big East now?
BB: West Virginia. They shouldn't lose to Pittsburgh or South Florida. I'm disappointed that they are back to having a great chance of winning the league. I would love to see Rutgers or Louisville win the league, just so people bitch and moan about the Big East having a team that is clearly inferior in a BCS game. I think the weird outrage people get about a team that isn't that good playing in a game they aren't going to watch is funny.
5. Orange::44: What scares you about this Syracuse team the most?
BB: I'm worried that Syracuse is going to play the same kind of game Rutgers did against the Bearcats. Run the ball down their throat, keep the defense on the field, go on long drives, and that they stop Isaiah Pead. I think Munchie Legaux could be a good QB next year, but I don't know how I feel if he's forced to win the game.
6. Orange::44: Admit it. Your team is losing on Saturday right?
BB: I will never admit any such thing. I will admit that it should be an interesting contest.
7. Orange::44: What is Cincinnati Basketball going to achieve this season?
BB: That's the question on a lot of people's minds. Obviously the loss to Presbyterian is a giant WARNING sign in some regards. The biggest test for his team is going to be their defense. If they defend well, they are going to win. If they don't, they are probably going to lose. Same as last year in that regard. Depth is a big issue. Starters have seen 30+ minutes a game against subpar competition, which is never a great thing to see. There is no one off the bench that seems like they are going to get theirs offensively, like Sean Kilpatrick last year. It's going to be an interesting year.
8. Orange::44: What is it about cooking shows that make them fascinating?
BB: I have no idea. I think some of it is because it's easy to judge from just looking at it. You can say "oh man that pasta is burnt to hell," and not sound like a moron. I think another part of it is that cooking is something that we all can do, and do somewhat well. Obviously it's not going to be top shelf material, but the average person could cook a good meal. Thrown in the competition aspect of things and it's got appeal. The fact it seems every other female cooking show host is hot is a plus. Most of the male hosts are insane, like whoever the Sweet Genius guy is, or they are complete a-holes, which draws in the viewer. And they are fun to watch, you can jump in at any time and know what's happening and they are on all the time.
Thanks to Scott for answering the questions and enjoying great television. You can follow him on twitter @cardscott5, along with the blog @BearcatsBlog. When you do, be sure to whish him a Happy Birthday today. You can read my answers to his questions here!