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Tuesdays with Butch: Tennessee

Every Tuesday Cincinnati head football coach Butch Jones hosts a media luncheon to discuss the previous week and the upcoming opponent. Here is a transcript from Tuesday's luncheon.

Even though the Bearcats did not have a turnover against Austin Peay Butch Jones still was not happy with the late game ball security. (photo credit: Brian Baker/Lacking Focus Photography)

Opening Statement:

“Thanks everyone for coming out, we must be playing a pretty good opponent this week. Just to recap last week’s game then move on to Tennessee. Obviously a great win to get the season started.  A lot of great things happened, but also a lot of things that we need to correct and continue to improve to become a much improved and better football team. When you look at last week’s game, the first thing that comes to mind is turnover margin.  That’s been a point of emphasis ever since last January. And, zero turnovers, five takeaways. However, I was not completely pleased with ball security at the end of it. And you say, ‘How can you not be pleased?’When you look at the film I thought there were times that we were sloppy with the football. We teach our players the three musts of ball security. We’ll continue to coach on that each and every day.

“As we continue to go into the season, ball security is at a premium but it continues to grow in importance. We’re able to gain some valuable experience with a lot of our freshmen and some players playing for the first time. You try to simulate game type conditions in practice, but you never really know until you play a game and their adrenaline is flowing a little and everything is happening a little faster. The speed of the game picks up. The blood pressure goes up. We’re able to gain some valuable experience that way. Those are great teaching and learning lessons for these players and it’s a great evaluating tool. As we see with our program, we need to have more depth this year.

“As we move on to Tennessee, our fundamentals have to take a great step forward. Fundamentals and individual techniques need to improve. And as we know, the speed of the game changes. The opponent changes, the level of competition. The speed level, everything now goes to the next level. It’s how we practice, it’s how we prepare, it’s how we gain those valuable reps. And the big thing about developing a football team is it’s one thing to know what you’re doing and your assignment. The next step is why you’re doing it and I think that’s the biggest thing. To say, ‘Hey, I have to have the B gap,’ and ‘Tell me why you have to have the B gap.’ That goes hand in hand with playing great team defense, executing on offense and special teams. Now, understanding what you’re role is, what the scheme is and why you’re doing some of things that you’re doing.

“Tennessee is a very, very good football team. They’re going to present many challenges for us – it’s the first road game of the season, going into an environment likeNeyland with 25 individuals traveling for the first time. A lot of those things are going to be great challenges, being able to focus and the mental conditioning that we talk about. It’s going to be between the lines, it’s not going to be in the stands – letting their fans get into it. It’s not going to be letting ‘Rocky Top’ have a hand in what’s going on. It’s all those things that we talk about – mental conditioning will be at a premium come Saturday at 3:30.

“Offensively, their quarterback is a great player, very light on his feet with a quick release. He can make plays. He’s made plays with three defenders hanging around because of his release. He’s able to get the ball off. Big physical line; I like their backs and talented receivers. And defensively, the back end is one of the strengths of their defensive unit. Up front, they are a typical SEC football team. Again, we have to have great preparation, focus and attention to detail.”

On the importance of turnover margin against Tennessee:
“When you look at turnovers, just around the landscape of college football, it’s a direct indicator of the outcome. Each game is like a new season; each game is a new story. It’s turnovers, eliminating negative yardage plays on offense and field position game. All three of those things go hand in hand with turnovers, eliminating negative yardage and special teams that goes on throughout the game. Fielding the kicks, our kickoff team has to make great strides from Saturday. We missed too many tackles.  We did some different things somatically with our punt teams and we weren’t able to  go into a game situation and gain live reps. So now, you go into a game and your punt team hasn’t been tested or put under fire. Everyone sees a great kickoff return by Ralph David Abernathy, but we turned a guy loose at the point of attack and he made a guy miss. That’s the mark of sign of a great returner. But, we can’t do that against a team like Tennessee.”

On if a win versus Tennessee could erase last year’s record:

“I don’t think any win can erase. It’s a new season. 4-8 did not meet our expectations; it did not meet our standards. But, I think we learned a lot from it. It helped build a foundation. Our team is a completely different football team. What everyone says that comes back from last year’s team is that the mentality and leadership are different. It’s all about winning. Our foundation was lead, but it’s always a motivation. This game is the most important because it’s the next game. And next week when we play Akron, that will be the most important game. That’s the thing: we can’t get ahead of ourselves. When we lost to Fresno, that was a letdown. When we struggled with Indiana State and lost to South Florida, that comes with mental conditioning and leadership with everyone, not just the players. The support staff stems with me first and staying focused at the task at hand. It’s very rare that a team goes undefeated in all of college football. It’s the teams that can suffer through adversity and preserve. Those are the teams that are usually playing for a championship come December.”

Containing Tennessee Tyler Bray will be a focus point for the Cincinnati defense on Saturday.

On how a win could create buzz in Cincinnati:

“Our program has a lot of buzz. You look at the crowd turnout on a Labor Day weekend. You look at the catwalk we had over 1,200 people in our new tailgate grid. Those are things that we talk about in building a college football program and an affinity for your school. You can’t have fans that waiver year in and year out. I love the term ‘all in’. We’re going to stick through it through thick and through thin. We had great support from the fans that came out Saturday. It was extremely exciting and I think we have great buzz. And we’ll continue to grow the program and go from there.”

On sophomore defensive back Deven Drane:

“He did a pretty good job – we try to simulate kickoffs, kickoff return. It’s hard to simulate game speed. And that’s why we’ve started practice with a live kick off versus kickoff return. The thing is making game-like decisions and choices. To up the tempo, we’ve spent a lot of investment in our return game. For a first game, I thought Deven did some great things, but he still needs to improve on understanding where the leakage is going to come from within that return.”

On his concerns for having 25 new players traveling:
“They’ve handled their business exceptionally well up to this point in time. There are different things that go into the course of a season. When you play at home, you have a lot of distractions from families coming in to tickets – distractions and clutter that that can bring. I thought that we handled that exceptionally well last week. Now it’s a different thing going on the road and a lot of time you more focus because you’re away. But it’s going into a hostile environment and not a lot of people have won on the road at Neyland Stadium. So, it’ll be a learning experience, but the great thing is we have a lot of players who have been through this before. They’ve done a great job of mentoring our younger players. You could really see that on the sideline Saturday night. When our twos and threes are on the field, our ones are coaching them as hard as our coaches are. The team is pretty special right now with the chemistry that we have going.”

On the credibility playing against a team like Tennessee:

“When you go in and play a team like Tennessee that has great tradition, great backing and great fan support, it adds credibility to what you’re doing. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. They’re a very talented football team with a lot of skill players. They play with a great toughness. It’s going to be a great challenge. Our players are looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a great measuring stick for where we need to grow as a program. When you play a program like Tennessee, there is a lot of credibility behind that name.”

On the difference between playing an SEC opponent versus any other conference opponent:

“The biggest thing that jumps out is the overall speed of the game – not just the skill positions. It’s the defensive line, it’s the linebackers, it’s even the offensive line. In the BIG EAST, we have some very talented football teams and players. I think there’s probably more depth from the speed standpoint of when you look at an SEC team, especially an upper-tier team like Tennessee.”

On whether it is a concern playing against a higher speed opponent:

“It is a concern. That’s why we make our practices extremely demanding. We do a lot of one-on-ones because we’re creating habits and training ourselves. You can be creating poor habits or good habits. Nothing simulates game speed reps. Our scout teams have done a great job, but we try to work a lot of one-on-ones and elevate each other’s game just with the speed level. It’s even more challenging in the special team’s game.”

On whether the upcoming game against Tennessee could be considered the biggest of his career at UC:
“I don’t really look at it in terms of that. Not to sound like coach-speak, but it’s really taking one week at a time. All of our efforts go into preparing for that opponent. I don’t ever sit and say, ‘this is the biggest game.’ It’s the biggest game because it’s the next one. We have goals and aspirations for this football program and it’s the next team on our schedule and that’s the way we approach things and that’s the way I expect the players to approach it as well.”

On whether South Florida’s upset of Notre Dame changes outsider’s opinions of the league:
“The BIG EAST might be the most competitive it’s been in the history of this great conference. I think it speaks volumes about our conference – our conference was 8-0 last week. It heightens everyone’s awareness of the BIG EAST to be able to go on the road and get a win. Make no mistake about it – South Florida is an extremely talented football team.”

On going into a stadium like Neyland:
“That’s part of the mental conditioning. We have a number of coaches who have played there before. We have two coaches who have spent over five years of coaching in the SEC a piece. They’ve been there a number of times. It’s trying to prepare your team to play the best they can possibly play and have zero distractions. If you’re dialed in and focused, that should become a non-issue.”

On how he thinks the players will react to playing at Neyland Stadium:
“You do know them, but you never really know them until they’re in those type of situations. This will be a great measuring stick for us to see exactly where we’re at. Each team has its own identity and personality. To see our leadership and go into this kind of venue – we have 25 individuals going into this venue for the first time. How’s Ralph David Abernathy going to respond when he runs out there for the kickoff return? Those are some of the uncertainties and those usually come with the first three games of the year. You’re still trying to figure it out. When we go on the road, this is on-the-job learning right away for a lot of these young players.”

On whether junior tight end Travis Kelce will play:

“Travis Kelce will play. (Whether he will start) will be determined by his work ethic and how he executes this week during practice.”

On how he feels about ‘guarantee’ games:

“I’ve been on both ends of it. What I’ve learned, I talked about this last week during Austin Peay preparation, is that you can never take any opponents for granted. That’s why you play the games. Football is an odd shape, it can bounce mysterious ways. You see that throughout the course of all the years of upsets. Being on the end of being the favorite, you never take anything for granted. That’s why you play the games. On the other side, when you’re the underdog, you relish that opportunity because you know if you get a win, that makes your program. I show a great respect for Austin Peay. They’re coached well. They’ll win some football games this year. You have to focus on the task at hand each and every week.”

On how the media affects the hype going into game day:
“As much as we talk about one game at a time and going in and being focused, I think in today’s society of media, everything is out there. Our kids feel it at times. It’s amazing how last year at BIG EAST media day, everyone wanted to talk to (senior quarterback) Zach (Collaros) and (senior linebacker) JK (Schaffer) and then you go this year and no one wants to talk to you. It’s a game of, not what have you done for me lately, but what can you do for me next. Our players understand that. We have to focus on that task at hand and that’s playing a very talented Tennessee football team. If you start thinking about winning and what that can do for us, that becomes a distraction. They have really good football players, so we have to think of how we’re going to be able to create a pass rush, how we’re going to run the football, how we’re going to be able to contain their explosive returners.  You have to focus on the game and understand that. All the other details, we’ll let the media play that out. The biggest thing is we have to be a disciplined football team. We have to take care of the football and have to be error-free on special teams. If we do that, we’ll see what happens at he end of the game.”

  • If anyone read Daugherty's response to this, please tell be I'm not alone in thinking Paul is an idiot. I think the focus Coach Jones is referring to is right on.

  • perdrim said... (original post)

    If anyone read Daugherty's response to this, please tell be I'm not alone in thinking Paul is an idiot. I think the focus Coach Jones is referring to is right on.

    I think Paul Doc. is a very talented writer with a terrible perspective that I will never share. He is definitely a glass half empty person who says a lot things to stir emotions and garner views/responses.

    signature image signature image signature image

    Now is the time. This is the place.

  • psax889906 said... (original post)

    I think Paul Doc. is a very talented writer with a terrible perspective that I will never share. He is definitely a glass half empty person who says a lot things to stir emotions and garner views/responses.

    Daughtery's article is disgusting. Coach Jones and the kids on this team deserve better. I would hope President Williams and/or some of BOTs contact the Enquirer and tell them the same. If P-DOC wrote an article like this about Ohio State in Columbus or UK in Lexington he would be fired by the end of day. I also believe there would be some drunken locals who would like to have a "face to face" discussion with him about the article if you catch my drift.

    This post was edited by CliftonAve 3 years ago

  • Admittedly, I like Daugherty. I also know how it feels when he says something that you disagree with. When you agree, he makes you smile wryly. When you disagree, you want to punch through the computer screen until you reach his laptop. Thus, the charm is achieved. That being said, insinuating violence against him, really? Come on now.

    As for the article itself, I didn't really find anything egregious about it. Sure, the cheesy monologue is a little condescending. However, the points aren't off-base. This community (greater Cincinnati) has never really gotten behind UC for whatever reason; there have only been flashes of overwhelming support for the team. Because of this, whether you like it or not (and I doubt anyone here does,) we HAVE to win the UT game. No questions asked. We need to show the 21% that didn't renew tickets, as well as the 10,000 that didn't show up for the Austin Peay game that they're missing the sole chance to back a potentially-consistent winner. Quite frankly, if we lose against UT, simply because it is in the SEC, we can kiss 60,000 at PBS goodbye. Does anyone disagree with this? How could you? There's no reason to think that this community is going to back a team that let it down in the one statement game that had everyone's eyes on it.

    As for playing FCS teams, I agree. I don't lay the fault at UC's feet, nor, do I think, Daugherty does. It's the dynamics of college football. However, does that make it right? Paying a lump sum to a team that, for most of its starters, would have a hard time cracking the 105 man roster doesn't show you much, if anything, about your team. If we have glaring weaknesses against Austin Peay, do you think that we're going to have the time to fix them a week later against an SEC team? Sure, it might let you get some reps for some of the freshman, and perhaps work on timing, etc, but couldn't this be done against a cUSA or MAC school? If we played Miami first, wouldn't the same effect be utilized? Not to mention the little extra fire that an addition of a rivalry match for the first game would create in the dregs of training camp.

    I understand if you dislike him. However, that doesn't create an opportunity to bash him for something that, really, isn't all that malicious. Nor does it justify making something up as criticism. As for the asinine comment about him only badmouthing UC, and doing it on a consistent basis, you clearly don't read his articles. He bashes O$U every chance he can get for playing St. Mary's in every OOC game. As well as for their...erm, miscomings...with violations.

    Here's this link to the article for those who haven't read it: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110906/COL03/309060036/Doc-Rocky-Top-rant-UC?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|UC

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” - George Orwell

  • Yeah said... (original post)

    Admittedly, I like Daugherty. I also know how it feels when he says something that you disagree with. When you agree, he makes you smile wryly. When you disagree, you want to punch through the computer screen until you reach his laptop. Thus, the charm is achieved. That being said, insinuating violence against him, really? Come on now.

    As for the article itself, I didn't really find anything egregious about it. Sure, the cheesy monologue is a little condescending. However, the points aren't off-base. This community (greater Cincinnati) has never really gotten behind UC for whatever reason; there have only been flashes of overwhelming support for the team. Because of this, whether you like it or not (and I doubt anyone here does,) we HAVE to win the UT game. No questions asked. We need to show the 21% that didn't renew tickets, as well as the 10,000 that didn't show up for the Austin Peay game that they're missing the sole chance to back a potentially-consistent winner. Quite frankly, if we lose against UT, simply because it is in the SEC, we can kiss 60,000 at PBS goodbye. Does anyone disagree with this? How could you? There's no reason to think that this community is going to back a team that let it down in the one statement game that had everyone's eyes on it.

    As for playing FCS teams, I agree. I don't lay the fault at UC's feet, nor, do I think, Daugherty does. It's the dynamics of college football. However, does that make it right? Paying a lump sum to a team that, for most of its starters, would have a hard time cracking the 105 man roster doesn't show you much, if anything, about your team. If we have glaring weaknesses against Austin Peay, do you think that we're going to have the time to fix them a week later against an SEC team? Sure, it might let you get some reps for some of the freshman, and perhaps work on timing, etc, but couldn't this be done against a cUSA or MAC school? If we played Miami first, wouldn't the same effect be utilized? Not to mention the little extra fire that an addition of a rivalry match for the first game would create in the dregs of training camp.

    I understand if you dislike him. However, that doesn't create an opportunity to bash him for something that, really, isn't all that malicious. Nor does it justify making something up as criticism. As for the asinine comment about him only badmouthing UC, and doing it on a consistent basis, you clearly don't read his articles. He bashes O$U every chance he can get for playing St. Mary's in every OOC game. As well as for their...erm, miscomings...with violations.

    Here's this link to the article for those who haven't read it: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110906/COL03/309060036/Doc-Rocky-Top-rant-UC?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|UC

    First of all, I was not insinuating violence against him. I was merely pointing out that in places like Columbus, Lexingtona and other communities there WOULD BE people who would be sitting on his lawn waiting to do so. In Columbus, Kirk Herbstreit had to leave town because Buckeye fans were upset because he based Tressel and Terrell Pryor. There was a guy on the radio in Columbus who was fired for being critical of the program. In Cincinnati, people consider it "charming" to write a piece like this.

    As far as scheduling another MAC or a CUSA school in place of an FCS program, UC simply does not have the money. Even the Sun Belt schools are commanding up to a $1M for a home and home series. UC also cannot afford to travel to one of those schools every other year as they lose out on the home revenue. This is not a reality just for UC, but for most schools playing football that don't bleed money named Ohio State, Alabama and the like.

    I do have a major beef with Daughtery's article. I understand he will state his job is not to be a cheerleader for UC, but he sure does go out of his way to be critical. UC is not a professinal organization like the Reds or the Bengals. The players aren't getting paid millions of dollars. Butch Jones is not Marvin Lewis-- rolling his eyes during press conferences and taking pot shots at reporters for asking what he beleives are stupid questions. This is the man's second year at the program and he is trying to build something here.

    This post was edited by CliftonAve 3 years ago

  • Yeah, I don't think UC has to win the UT game. Once conference play starts, the UT game means very little, and the primary goal is to win the Big East and go to a BCS bowl game. If UC fans are travelling to Miami in January to play in the Orange Bowl, I doubt any fans will be lamenting over a possible loss to Tennessee back in mid-September.

    Of course, beating Tennessee could help attendance in the short run and create more "buzz" for the program, but that spike could easily be derailed with a home loss to N. C. State so I'd say you're overdramatizing the situation.

    In 1999, UC beat Ron Dayne and No. 9 rated Wisconsin, but they lost six of their next seven so although that was a great afternoon, it accomplished very little for the Bearcat football program.

    As far as opening with FCS teams, you and Daugherty need to realize that college football is the only level of football that doesn't allow any sort of preseason games/scrimmages so getting to play anyone other than yourself can help a staff to better evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. AP managed to run the ball rather well early against UC, that's a warning sign in itself. Several first-time starters got the chance to experience game speed which is also much different from any practice.

    Could this be done against a MAC or C-USA school? The answer is not under the same contract of paying only $325,000 or $350,000 with no return game.

    Daugherty is an excellent writer, but I'd take Lonnie Wheeler's more positive approach to just about any topic over Daugherty's smart ass aprroach to virtually everything.

  • I could not believe Daugherty's article this morning. What was that all about? First off he wrote that UC must win on Sunday, then he goes on to be negative for no reason. I am not surprised about the negativity but this article was pointless. I do not remember an article like this last year against Oklahoma. This is an SEC road game. This is not a must win or an easy game. I think UC has a good shot to win but only three teams will go in to ut and win this year. I think that is the same number as last year. I always expect UC to win but to be that negative and rude about Butch's comments is uncalled for and not good for anyone. Write a negative article if UC gets their asses kicked, not before they play the game.

  • Tim, I agree 100% with you. The conference is much more important in terms of bowl game. I think Coach Jones is being honest with his approach of 1 game at a time and this weeks game is the most important game of the week. Some writers think it's coachspeak but it's the right approach. Doc comes off as an arrogant jerk for the most part

  • Dude is a bitter bitter man, I almost feel sorry for him because he does not seem to be someone who cannot enjoy life. Meanwhile I will be enjoying a UC football game come Saturday and I fully expect our cats to show very well.

    "He who knows most, knows best how little he knows."

  • I hesitate to even legitimize Doc by discussing this, and I won't say much specific because I'm not going to reward the idiot with a click on his article, so I haven't read it. But as CliftonAve said, for a guy who has repeatedly said it isn't his job to cheerlead for UC (he has told me this directly in email responses), he sure uses a lot of ink taking chop blocks at our knees. I wonder if he's ever attended another Div I coach's press conference. Is Butch saying anything different than any other coach would? Did he write a letter to the editor of Tenn newspaper and chide them for playing 'Nooga? How about the 20 or more other bigtime programs that played an FCS school last week or this week?

    He's a desparate individual who either sees the end of his "journalism" career, or he has been infected with Randy Michaels' (aka WLW) disease. But I'll tell you this - as a school and a program, we will continue to be held back by this kind of cancerous public voice, and the university and commuinity leaders would do well to figure out how to turn the tide in some way.

  • perdrim said... (original post)

    If anyone read Daugherty's response to this, please tell be I'm not alone in thinking Paul is an idiot. I think the focus Coach Jones is referring to is right on.

    OK, so I read Daugherty's article. And I have to tell you, he's right. It might not be pretty, It might be brutally put, but he's right. There are other things for people to do in Cincinnati with their entertainment dollars. And the support for the football program hasn't exactly been solid. Last year's lack of success set the program back. It's not all the way back to where it was when Brian Kelly arrived, but it's not anywhere near where it was when he left, either.

    UC needs this win to keep the interest of the casual fan. UC needs this win to turn more casual fans into dedicated fans. It takes dedicated fans to fill the stadium every home Saturday and make discussions about moving games to PBS or raising money to build a new stadium relevant. We don't have enough dedicated fans yet.

    I totally understand why CBJ is not going to address this issue. I don't expect him to. There is not much to be gained by airing such thoughts publicly. I think he is building the program the right way. But we need the credibility that this game will provide. Otherwise, we are just a team that got smacked in a couple of BCS bowls.

    If you think I am wrong, scroll down to the thread Dsimone started on the trash article from the UT beat writer in the Knoxville paper. His attitude is exactly why Doc is right. And there are many pundits and observers and football fans who think the same way. Until we start beating good teams (defined as teams outside our own conference) on a regular basis, we are not going to change this perception.

    We need this win.

    GO BEARCATS!!!

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    GO BEARCATS!! FIGHT!!! FIGHT!!!! FIGHT!!!!!

  • I won't read his article. He will have to get a free-lance or national gig here in about a year or two. Enquirer will not last. I mourn the loss of print journalism, but I will not mourn the loss of the Enquirer. It hasn't been a newspaper for at least 20 years.

    Wallace's line to the nobles in Braveheart - Well, if your Scotsmen, then I'm ashamed to be called one. I would literally be embarrassed if someone read the Enquirer and that was their whole exposure to Cincinnati. Small minded writers who seem like they haven't been out of the city for decades, negative about the city, they think that there are 43 murders a day in the downtown core, mindless/reactionary (instead of principled, thought-out) editorials and constant spelling and grammatical errors. I give myself and others on here a break on spelling and grammar because a lot of us are typing on the fly and not writing a research paper here....it's more informal. But if you're a journalist of any kind words are your profession. I'll stop now.

  • @Clifton, I misread your comments about the 'locals'. I apologize. That being said, Daugherty bashes on O$U on a consistent basis. Saying that he doesn't is a flat out lie. I can see if you'd think otherwise because, as a few have said here, you choose not to read him. That's fine. Just take it from someone who does read him, he doesn't spare O$U. Nor would he, if he lived in Columbus (perhaps that is why he doesn't...) And if you're looking to make a critique of our city because we don't threaten/fire everyone who says nil, I think you'd be better served moving to Columbus. As for being negative, I still remain confused on what you guys perceive is negative in the article. He makes legitimate points. He states that he understands that CBJ has to display a certain image for the team and community, but just because that's the case, it doesn't make it so. UT is a HUGE game, not just another OOC. Is that really so negative?

    @Tim, first of all, thank you for your hard work. Really enjoy the site. That aside, it would be fine if we lost the game, if in the long run we won the conference. However, is this really feasible? I don't think that anyone here really thinks that we're going to run away with the BEAST. Sure, it could happen, but if we lose this game, how many are going to come out for a PBS game against Louisville? Fewer in the stadium would make an already tedious task nearly insufferable. This leads into your next point...if we win against UT, we'll say there's a spike for NCST. If we then lose the NCST, the fans may shy away. Sure. But if we don't win the UT game, the casual fans aren't going to be very interested in the NCST game to begin with. Just because the next game is important as well doesn't take away the significance of the current game. The community is going to have its eyes on 'UC vs. SEC'. If we lose, as we did with the 2 bowl games when EVERYONE was watching, people are going to go back to the "nothing to see here" mentality that was rampant in the latter stages of last year. If we win, then the community gets hope, those who didn't watch the game then hear about UC doing well, and thus more fans are brought back.
    FCS games: I don't think that Daugherty (or myself) was blaming UC for playing Austin Peay. I think that the article was a partial-critique of college football due to the fact that these games are essentially inevitable. That still doesn't make it right. I understand the financial portion of it, but that doesn't justify the morals. And, that completely aside, is it really unfeasible to move the Miami game to the first week, and create a 1-1 where neither team has to pay a lump sum to replace the week 5 game? I understand the AP game was probably decided on years ago, but for future schedules, there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to attract some team that will play us for less than $500,000, if even that much. And, if that isn't possible, college sports is in a sad state indeed, and thus, Doc's point is furthered.

    @Bcatz&BC85, no one is disputing that the conference games are more important. I'd take going to the Orange Bowl (partially because it would fall in with my leave and I'd actually be able to go!) again over beating UT any day of the week. However, that means that the OOC games are nonfactors? What kind of logic is that? One set of games is more important, therefore all other games are rendered null. Sorry, but that isn't how it works. This game is a must win because of attendance reasons BEFORE the conference games. If we 'let down' the casual fans who watch this, they aren't going to be showing up for a WVU game if we haven't made a major statement since. How are we going to fare in PBS when WVU has even half of the stadium in its favor? Taking this further, that is going to be imprinted in the psyche of all visiting recruits. Win this game, and the fans watching are more inclined to not need the major statement. As stated, I really don't see how the article was overly negative. He was divulging a point, and perhaps you don't agree with it, but that doesn't mean that it is some malicious 'pot shot' at the team. And, no, he didn't send an email to all the other schools that played FCS opponents, he wrote an article in the Enquirer because he is EMPLOYED by the Enquirer. An article, that quite honestly, is more directed at college football in general than UC. It isn't like some asshole sending an op-ed to the WaPo about UC. He used UC as an example because he writes in Cincinnati. What's wrong about that?

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” - George Orwell

  • I don't read PDoc not because he's wrong in his opinions, but because I think he's an ass in the way that he says it. It's not really a must for his job to have that attitude.

    We need this win in the short term, but we won't permanently increase our fan base until we have a generation that have grown up tailgating and watching good Bearcat football. I doubt that the majority of alums pre-2005 are going to change a whole lot in their perception of UC. And that is their loss.

  • Didn't we end up with this Austin Peay game because someone (maybe Purdue?) backed out of a scheduled game to take a different deal? Or because the change in Big10 scheduling with Nebraska? My memory isn't always good, but I'm pretty sure we kind of got "stuck" with this stinker.

    Yeah, you're really filling up a lot of space trying to make an argument (or stick up for Doc) but it seems you're kind of going in circles. I don't dispute that a loss to Tenn will have some affect on "fan" temprament towards the team, and some affect on attendance. But despite that, it has NO direct effect on what will happen on the field after that game is over. Just like losing to Oklahoma in 2008 didn't prevent us from having a great season and going to the Orange Bowl for winning the league.

    The sooner we (cincinnati people and writers like Doc) quit treating any game with a helmet school like it will define our program, the better off we'll be. If our team and coach have all this in their head despite what they say publicly, then they will lose.

  • I think this game is more important than some of you guys are stating. I think the reason we collapsed last year was because the players hadn't bought 100% into the program. That's fine if you win, but when you lose once and already are questioning your new coach and his new beliefs then it turns into a disaster (aka 4-8).

    This team and senior class seem to be building a bond with coach BJ and I think beating Tennessee at Neyland would push them to that level of trust that they had with BK in the undefeated season. This game is huge, we may not have to win it - but we need to put up a hell of a fight. There's always a "last stand", kind of like we had last year vs OU, but the key is avoiding that whole situation this year. Butch and the boys need to come out firing on Saturday on national TV not to get more butts in the seats for the NC State game, but to convince themselves that they can win the Big East again.

    Follow me on twitter @EricLilly7. Intimidate.Dominate.Celebrate.

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