Arts & Entertainment News

Bearcats finish 3rd in BCS, will play Florida Gators in Sugar Bowl

The University of Cincinnati Bearcats finished the college football regular season undefeated and #3 in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) national rankings. The top three teams all boast undefeated records and all hail from BCS affiliated conferences (SEC, Big XII, Big East respectively).

The win over Big East rival Pittsburgh on Saturday secured the Bearcats back-to-back Big East football championships, and their second straight BCS bowl game appearance. Last year the Bearcats struggled against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl and lost 20-7. This year the Bearcats will travel to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl to take on the Tim Tebow-led Florida Gators who are coming off a crushing defeat in the SEC Championship Game to Alabama.

Tim Tebow is arguably one of the greatest competitors in college football, and ended the game against Alabama crying on the sidelines. It will be a test to see if Florida comes ready and prepared for the Bearcats’ offensive onslaught, or if they’ll be disappointed about missing out on a chance to play for the National Championship which most people believed they would do from the beginning of the season until just now.

The Gators have a terrific defense, but so far there really has not been a defense that has been able to slow down the Bearcats’ prolific offense led by Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard. Instead the best defensive strategy has been to just keep the Bearcats offense off the field by running a slow paced offense that eats of game clock.

Will Tim Tebow and company be able to keep the Tony Pike and company off the field? Will the Bearcats’ young defense be able to scheme for Tebow and the fast-strike Gators? Will Bearcats coach Brian Kelly still be around to coach in the game on January 1, or will there still be talks of him leaving acting as distractions? Will Urban Meyer and his coaching staff have similar problems as they entertain other coaching opportunities? In a nutshell, who will come ready to play?

The game will be played on Friday, January 1 at 8:30pm in New Orleans. Bowl Central is the spot to get all the information on the game including tickets, travel accommodations, and game notes. This is the Bearcats second BCS bowl game appearance, and their first appearance at the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Development News

New renderings of UC’s Jefferson Ave. Sports Complex

New renderings of the University of Cincinnati’s “Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex” have been released. This complex will feature a full-sized 100-yard field which the lacrosse team will use for home games, and a smaller 50-yard practice field. During the winter months, the large field will be covered by a “bubble”, providing an indoor practice space for football, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer. The indoor facility will maintain a temperature of 50-60 degrees, even in the harshest of Cincinnati’s winters.

In constructing the new complex, the University will be removing a maintenance facility and a parking lot, one of only two large lots remaining on campus. The new facility will be adjacent to the University’s existing Varsity Village complex, which includes Nippert Stadium, Fifth Third Arena at the Shoemaker Center, Gettler Stadium, Marge Schott Stadium, and Sheakley Lawn.

See more renderings at

Additional reading:


Bearcats Rising!

I haven’t commented on here about this yet, but the Bearcats are rolling early this year and have rightfully earned a lot of national attention for this early part of the season usually reserved for the established programs. But while Cincy may not be an established program yet, it seems like they may be well on their way to defending as Big East champs and going to their second straight BCS bowl game.

So far Senior QB Tony Pike has looked masterful running the high tempo offense that clearly confused and worn out all three opponents the Bearcats have faced. Aside from Pike’s large size (6’6″) and ability to scramble if need be, his accuracy on both the long and short balls has been incredible to watch (imagine a more athletic Ben Roethlisburger who can pass accurately and throw the deep ball).

Another welcome change has been the terrific play of the offensive line. Last year’s line was riddled with holding penalties, false starts and allowed defenses to put a lot of pressure on Pike at times. This year Pike has barely been touched and penalties have been so few and far between that you might have forgotten what it’s like to actually set yourself back on offense.

The great play by the offensive line is really symbolic of the overall team that looks extremely well-coached and ready to play. It’s not often that you get a conference game with so much importance as UC’s road game at Rutgers in week 1, but it’s ever rarer that a team comes out and plays so flawlessly as the Bearcats did.

As for the offense appears to be better than advertised with a confident Tony Pike who is currently in the top five for Heisman candidates. In a nutshell, the offense is scary good. The defense was the big question mark as 10 of the 11 starters from a year ago graduated and Kelly’s defensive recruits are now on the field, and like the offense, the defense has been better than advertised. They’re putting pressure on the quarterback, forcing turnovers, and holding teams to low point totals.

Before week 1 the Bearcats weren’t even in the Top 25 in either poll. Now after three straight impressive wins the Bearcats have moved up to #14 and #15 in the AP and USA Today polls respectively. Combine the impressive start with the remainder of a season in which the Bearcats should be favored, and early struggles by other top teams, and you have yourself an interesting scenario. Bearcats vs. Gators in the National Championship Game on January 7th in Pasadena, California.

The Bearcats play Fresno State at home this weekend at noon. Fresno State is coming off close and tough loses at Wisconsin and at Boise State, and should be another nice game for the Bearcats. The UC Athletic Department has announced that this game, and games against Louisville and West Virginia are all close to selling out. So get your tickets now and remember to wear white to this weekend’s game against Fresno State. Go Bearcats!

Arts & Entertainment News

Cincinnati Bearcat football is back

For those who haven’t yet purchased season tickets for the defending Big East Champions, you now are able to purchase single game tickets for the Bearcats football season. This year the Bearcats will host SE Missouri State, Fresno State, Louisville (Keg of Nails game), UConn, West Virginia, and Illinois (Big Ten opponent).

Other Bearcat football news is that UC has just signed a one game deal to play the Tennessee Volunteers during the 2011 season in Knoxville in a game that will be aired on ESPN. The first game of this year’s season is at Rutgers on Monday, September 7 at 4pm on ESPN.

If you haven’t been to a Bearcat football game then you are missing out. Nippert Stadium has been called the Wrigley Field of college football, and is one of the oldest stadiums in the NCAA. The atmosphere is also one of the most intimate and unique as buildings loom over the stadium with the scoreboard even mounted on the roof of Ohio’s largest LEED certified building – UC’s Campus Recreation Center.

And if you have the time here is a comprehensive 2008 year in review video worth checking out. Lots of great footage and interviews.


Bearcat Football readies for 2009 season

The Bearcats will take the football field for their 2009 season opener against Southeast Missouri State in about two months. The football program is coming off of one of the best year’s in its long history when it won the Big East Championship and earned a bid in the 75th FedEx Orange Bowl.

At the same time the program set several attendance records and recorded eight of the top-12 crowds in Nippert Stadium’s 85 year history. This success at the box office has continued as the program has sold out nearly half of the stadium to season ticket holders, and for the third consecutive year, sold out the Bearcat Lair section behind the north end zone.

There have been some other moves since the Bearcats walked off the field at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida earlier this year. The most notable of which is the new contract for Brian Kelly which will extend Kelly’s contract one year and guarantee him nearly $1.5 million in salary until 2013 according to’s Brian Bennett.

In addition to adding in more money for assistant coaches, at Kelly’s request, the contract also eliminates the requirement for the University of Cincinnati to build a new practice facility for the program by 2010. The reason is, of course, financially driven as UC is short on the total amount needing to build the new practice facility that would include an full-size indoor field and a half size field along Jefferson Avenue uptown.

Proposed practice facility along Jefferson Avenue on the University of Cincinnati’s main campus

This move seems to buy the university some time as it tries to raise money to build the new facility. From the beginning many thought it was a rushed time line to have the facility built by 2010, but had the contract stipulation not been in place then the UC football program would probably not be this far.

The continued success and growth of the program depends upon keeping quality coaches and trainers around. UC needs to make a concerted effort to keep these talented individuals here so that they can keep attracting the talent that makes UC as Bowl Championship Series (BCS) contender year in and year out. If the new facility does not get built and Kelly gets an opportunity to bolt, then the program will be branded as a stepping stone program for some time to come. It’s up to the University of Cincinnati to decide from here how it wants to play this one.

Couple bonus pics from my trip to Miami for the 75th Orange Bowl where the University of Cincinnati lost to Virginia Tech