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This is a great NBA blog. The NBA (National Basketball Association) is a professional men's basketball league, consisting of 29 American teams, and one Canadian team. It was founded in 1946. Cincinnati used to have a team. I wish it did now.
Better Off Red
Jamie Ramsey is the Assistant Media Relations Director of the Reds. He takes you behind the scenes of a Major League team. And he writes funny captions for his photos.
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The Godfather of sports blogs.
My favorite baseball blog. I thought I loved the game, then I read these guys.
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Very funny sports blog with one of my favorite names.
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Do you like mind-numbing statistical analysis of the Reds? Do you treat every game like the fate of the world rests on it? This site is probably not for you.
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Who Dey Revolution
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#ButchWatch. Day Two.
I'm sensing there won't be a third.
Today at the University of Cincinnati, they're scheduled to hold a press conference to discuss the Belk Bowl. Butch Jones is expected to be there. So is the guy representing the Belk Bowl. I'm guessing questions for him might be a little limited.
"OK, who'd like to talk about the game and all the activities surrounding it in the greater Charlotte area later this month? Anyone? Anyone? Hello?"
Does a coach with one and a half feet out the door attend a press conference for a bowl game he might not coach in? Does he sit it out while he makes up his mind? And what local media member will break the awkwardness and ask a question to the dude from the bowl game?
-Let me preface this by saying that I like Butch Jones. I think he's a decent guy and a good football coach. He's been good to our radio show and the football program at UC is better off because he's been the head coach these last three seasons. I'd prefer that he'd stay in Clifton and coach the Bearcats in 2013.
But he's Butch Jones.
No offense to the coach, but if you're a UC fan tell me this: How many times during the past three seasons have you said to yourself "Holy Crap this guy is f---ing amazing. We have GOT to keep this man forever. We have one of the elite football minds in the business."
I'll wait for your response.
That's what I thought.
You haven't said that. Hell, you haven't even thought that.
I don't bring this up to smear the hard work that Butch put into this program. And I don't say it to minimize what he's done here. He followed a very tough act when he came to Cincinnati, and in his first season, paid the price for the previous administration's careless recruiting. The cupboard was alarmingly bare in 2010 and the result was a forgettable 4-8 record in 2010. The next two years, Butch has fielded good, likable teams, he's overseen the development of some eventual NFL draft picks, and he's shared a couple of Big East championships. Those titles might seem a little hollow, but the 125-year history of UC football isn't exactly loaded with ten-win seasons and shared conference titles.
Butch has done a good job here.
But has he wowed you? Has he sucked you into the program to the extent that you've made a point to not miss a game either at Nippert or at PBS? Has he had alums and fans demanding a newer, bigger, more up-to-date stadium? Has UC football moved up in the pecking order of the Cincinnati sports landscape?
I don't think so.
That's not all on him. This is a job with inherent challenges, and they've only been made tougher by what's happening with the Big East. Conference uncertainty, more than anything right now, is why I want Butch to stay. Anything that reduces uncertainty is a good thing. Butch Jones staying would be a good thing.
But him leaving wouldn't be the worst thing either.
I know that having to go through this process every few years gets tiresome. I know that there's hurt feelings when someone dumps you, even if you weren't exactly enamored with the person doing the dumping. I know that given the current climate surrounding the sport and UC's place in it, that this just feels like piling on. But on the surface, UC could be losing a coach that's never really connected with the fan base and who won a lot, but not nearly enough to stir the masses.
He might leave. He also might stay. But if he does leave, wish him well, thank him for what he did here, and relax. You're not losing one of the country's elite college football minds.
That's not simply me saying that. It's you saying that.
UC football will be fine. I say this fully aware of the tenuous position the program is in. The stadium badly needs an upgrade, and it's frustrating that we're right where we were in that regard four years ago. The conference situation, I believe, will one day be rectified and both the school and it's fans will be happy with where UC lands, but each day UC not knowing where it will be in five years only cuts into the program. And fan interest and more important, fan participation, will always be topic when it comes to talking Bearcat football, and what's happening with the Big East doesn't help.
But the program has a lot going for it.
Despite the league situation, the profile of UC football is higher than it's been in its history, both locally and nationally. The school is on the radar of recruits more than ever, even if the conference situation has made it a slightly tougher sell. And whether we like it or not, coaching at UC has landed three coaches on the radar of schools.
Coaches like being on the radar of other schools.
If Butch leaves, there will be no shortage of qualified coaches interested in this job. None. Whit Babcock likely has been thinking of other candidates for over a year now, and he'll have plenty of good resumes to sort through. The Big East might be on very shaky ground, but given that the school at least has a chance to move to another league, coaches from other non-AQ conferences would be silly to dismiss coaching here. And there are always assistants at higher-profile schools looking for their first chance to run their own programs. The notion that no one would want this job couldn't be more off base. Simply knee-jerking and reaching that conclusion is, frankly, lazy.
Oh, and I think the Bearcats have a pretty solid roster coming back next season.
If he goes, he goes. I'll spend little time worrying about whether the job he left for is indeed a better job, because such things are subjective. In my field, there are dozens of jobs deemed better than doing radio in Cincinnati, Ohio. But not for me. College football works the same way. What's a better situation to one might not be to another. If Butch Jones chases what perceives to be a better opportunity, I will wish him well.
And if he stays, I will obviously wish him even better.
But either, I'm not going to spend a ton of time worrying about how this program will replace a coach that's never really seemed irreplaceable.