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Thread: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

  1. #31
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    I don't want to be a downer but I think this thread brings to light why the BCS wants no part of UC. As an OSU grad but a life long UC fan its interesting to see UC's ticket struggles. A game of this magnitude should have been sold out this weekend. If you think about it this IS UC's biggest game every with one of its best teams ever. This game is the biggest hurdle in order to get a $10M post New Years payday.

    IMO if UC could add and sustain a crowd of 55000/game they could build a very competitive program. If they are unable to do so they will become similar to XU basketball with their head coaches.

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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    bucksfan, I agree with you in some respects, but UC football has come a long, long ways in two short years. Average attendance used to be roughly 10,000 for games, and now it's about 32,000. It's tripled in two years, and if they strike it big this year I expect that to continue to grow and they would be forced to expand Nippert (which only holds 35,000). Season ticket sales have grown tremendously the last two years as well. Cincinnati is a fickle town and full of bandwagon fans, and sadly I think UC fans are the worst when it comes to this. There's a loyal fanbase that will go to games no matter what, but that portion is fairly small. The remaining fans will only come out if they have a winner to support, as I'm sure you already know.

    Another thing to consider is the influence of other colleges and professional teams in the area. OSU has an incredibly large fanbase that pulls in people from the entire state of Ohio and even further, and Ohio State doesn't have much competition for fans in the Columbus area. Cincinnati has fans in Cincinnati only, and even then you have a couple professional franchises that pull fans away, as well as other colleges nearby such as Xavier, Louisville, UK, Miami, and OSU, who all have a fanbase presence in the city. Cincinnati football is improving and with that gaining fans, and I hope that someday they can get to a loyal 55,000 fanbase like you say.

  4. #33
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Quote Originally Posted by Heath View Post
    Well, if you keep showing progress, you're only going to re-load instead of re-build.

    Congrats to the Bearcats. It's a good thing for the city and university.
    Yeah, but you generally are going to have to win for a few years before you can start doing that. This team is going to lose a whole lot to graduation/NFL for next season. I think the coaching staff is fine and will do a good job, I just don't know that they will have the same type of talent+experience next year.

  5. #34
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    I'll be rooting for Cincy. I follow USC the closest but I follow quite a few college football teams and Cincy is becoming one of those. I just hope Brian Kelly stays there for a long time because I think he's capable of turning UC into a national contender.
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  6. #35
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    I remember going to a couple of UC games where there were 55,000 fans.

    They played Kentucky at Riverfront Stadium.
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  7. #36
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I don't want to be a downer but I think this thread brings to light why the BCS wants no part of UC. As an OSU grad but a life long UC fan its interesting to see UC's ticket struggles. A game of this magnitude should have been sold out this weekend. If you think about it this IS UC's biggest game every with one of its best teams ever. This game is the biggest hurdle in order to get a $10M post New Years payday.

    IMO if UC could add and sustain a crowd of 55000/game they could build a very competitive program. If they are unable to do so they will become similar to XU basketball with their head coaches.
    Paint made a really good point about it in another thread -- the football team has been so bad for so long that there were generations of UC alums who went to school and graduated never seeing the inside of Nippert Stadium. They're much more difficult to engage as alums because they don't have that tradition of football attendence to draw on.

    The students now -- who are buying tickets at face value because they couldn't get student seats -- are the ones who the university can build a season ticket base on when they graduated. They'll be the kids who graduate and want to come back to relive the excitement of seasons like this that they had when they were students. You get a few years of kids like this, and suddenly your season ticket base swells by 4 or 5 thousand. Demand for tickets goes up, walk-up sales decrease (because games sell out in advance) and people like me end up having to buy season tickets because waiting around is no longer an option.

    It's a cascade effect that is going to begin very soon, IMO.
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  8. #37
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    Paint made a really good point about it in another thread -- the football team has been so bad for so long that there were generations of UC alums who went to school and graduated never seeing the inside of Nippert Stadium. They're much more difficult to engage as alums because they don't have that tradition of football attendence to draw on.

    The students now -- who are buying tickets at face value because they couldn't get student seats -- are the ones who the university can build a season ticket base on when they graduated. They'll be the kids who graduate and want to come back to relive the excitement of seasons like this that they had when they were students. You get a few years of kids like this, and suddenly your season ticket base swells by 4 or 5 thousand. Demand for tickets goes up, walk-up sales decrease (because games sell out in advance) and people like me end up having to buy season tickets because waiting around is no longer an option.

    It's a cascade effect that is going to begin very soon, IMO.
    I agree with what you are saying I guess I am questioning whether UC can sustain a large season ticket base. I think you are correct in that the student population needs to be identified and targeted. UC is the 2nd largest (I think) college in Ohio and should have enough students to maintain a good crowd.

    The key for a successful UC football program is to be able to add onto Nippert and average in the 50000's per game. Nothing is more disheartening than to see UC get a big home game (OSU in the past, OU next season) and take the game away from a college atmosphere and move it to PBS. Playing at a 50000 Nippert would be a much more difficult task than playing in from of 50000 at PBS.

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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    The key for a successful UC football program is to be able to add onto Nippert and average in the 50000's per game. Nothing is more disheartening than to see UC get a big home game (OSU in the past, OU next season) and take the game away from a college atmosphere and move it to PBS. Playing at a 50000 Nippert would be a much more difficult task than playing in from of 50000 at PBS.
    There's been a few studies on expanding Nippert and a capacity of 50,000 is rather impossible due its location on campus. Nippert is very unique in that it sits in the very middle of campus and is land-locked on every side by other buildings. The latest study into expansion had a capacity of ~40,000 with pro-style luxury suites. To expand further would require demolition of either a very new building or a very historic one.

    When I find them, I'll post pictures of the architectural study.

    Most of the UC fans on the forums are opposed to playing at PBS because the atmosphere of the games there wouldn't come close to replicating Nippert. However, I think the Oklahoma game is to be played at PBS.
    Last edited by paintmered; 11-18-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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  10. #39
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/bigeast/0...s-history.html

    CINCINNATI -- We hear all the time about this or that contest being a "big game" for some college football team. But it's not too often that a team can definitively say the next date on the schedule is the biggest game in the history of its program.

    That's what Cincinnati has on the docket this week. There's really no precedent for what the 19th-ranked Bearcats can accomplish this weekend. If they beat No. 20 Pittsburgh on Saturday, they will be the Big East champions unless they somehow stub their toe at home against Syracuse the following week. The school had some nice teams in the 1950s under Sid Gillman, but winning the Mid-American Conference doesn't really compare to going to a BCS game.

    "It's definitely the biggest game in UC history," senior defensive end Connor Barwin said. "I don't see how you could say it isn't.

    "Everybody's jumped on the bandwagon and people are excited around campus. Nippert Stadium is going to be as exciting as it's ever been. I'm pumped to see what it's going to be like. The Bengals haven't been doing so good this year, so we've even got some Bengals fans behind us now."

    Cincinnati (8-2, 4-1 Big East) is entering what Brian Kelly called "unchartered territory." But the coach says this should be just the beginning for the Bearcats.

    "There's no reason why this shouldn't be the largest crowd in the history of Nippert Stadium -- right now," he said. "We don't want this to be the end of where we are, relative to attendance. We see this thing growing as we continue to do this, as the stadium increases and the fan size increases. This is just the start. We want to see how high we can go."

    Kelly said he wants Cincinnati fans to come to view this as "old hat," that the team will be competing for conference championships late in November from here on out. First, though, it must take care of business, and remember to treat this as a normal game.

    The Bearcats are coming off three straight emotional victories. First they beat South Florida at home on a Thursday night ESPN game. Then they went to West Virginia and held on in overtime to beat the Mountaineers for the first time in league play. Last week, they withstood some sloppy weather conditions and a second-half deficit in Louisville to snap a five-game losing streak in the Keg of Nails rivalry.

    Now comes Pittsburgh, which has never lost to Cincinnati in seven tries, including three Big East contests. The Panthers had last week off to rest and prepare, while the Bearcats have been through the meat grinder, playing five of their last seven games away from home. Kelly said his team was a little "road-weary" at Louisville last week. But he expects them to have plenty left in the tank for this game, and he's talked to them about staying on an even keel.

    "We're keeping poised and not trying to be as rushed up," wide receiver Dominick Goodman said. "We're eager to play but we want to stay focused until gametime comes and then let all our emotions out."

    Kelly sure seemed loose on Tuesday. He came to his news conference wearing a brand new, XXL red fleece pullover, piggybacking off Cincinnati's request that all fans wear red at Nippert this weekend. He promised the pullover to whichever reporter asked the best questions, then took it off and handed it over to Cincinnati Enquirer beat reporter Bill Koch midway through the session.

    This is a team that's confident in itself, believes it can achieve things Cincinnati has never done before. That comes from senior leadership and Kelly's self-assured manner.

    "Last year, we thought there was one team that was more talented than us, and that was West Virginia," Kelly said. "The only way we were going to catch them is if we got stronger physically in the offseason, and I thought our kids did a great job closing that gap.

    "I think, in the Big East, our kids can go out now and feel comfortable that they can compete against anybody."

    Their next competition will be the biggest game in the history of the program. Win that, and even bigger things will come.

    "Everybody's just so happy that we're at this stage," Goodman said. "People wouldn't think the Cincinnati Bearcats would be on this rise, but it's happening."
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  11. #40
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    http://gobearcats.cstv.com/sports/bl...111808aaa.html

    Nov. 18, 2008



    (1:45 p.m.): Last season, UC screwed up. The Bearcats underestimated Pittsburgh going into the game at Heinz Field, and by the time they tried to right themselves, the chance to win was gone.

    Maybe underestimated isn’t exactly the right phrase. Let’s say the team’s collective mind wasn’t in the right place. Just ask Anthony Hoke and Angelo Craig – who, by BK’s decree, were punished for a team rules violation and didn’t play until midway through the second quarter. Just ask Connor Barwin about his memories from last season.

    “I don’t remember much about the week of practice; I just remember going into that game, and we were all feeling good about ourselves,” Barwin said. “They were at the bottom of the Big East. We just got a little bit sloppy as far as gameday preparation went and our focus. Before we knew it, we found ourselves in a tight game and we weren’t ready.”

    What should have been a victory against a Panthers team that was riding a four-game losing streak at the time was a debacle of a loss that kept UC from competing for the conference crown. Although the Bearcats went into halftime with a 17-10 lead – Jake Rogers missed a chance to make it a 10-point advantage by missing a 26-yard field goal as time expired – they gained 102 yards of total offense in the final two periods and fell 24-17.

    “When you win games, you win them during the week with film study and focus,” Barwin said. “If you slack around that week, it’s hard to turn it on. It’s hard to flip a switch and say, ‘OK, let’s start making plays.’ Before you know it, they have momentum. They’re feeling good about themselves. Maybe they’re playing better. It’s hard to come back and win a game like that.”

    I imagine a lack of focus won’t be a problem this season. There’s that whole BCS bid thing to consider.

    “It was the first time we had not played to the level and coached to the level we were capable of,” BK said. “That was coaches and players really screwing that game up. We learned from it. We bounced back, just like we bounced back from the UConn game. Last year, it was a game we let slip away. We kind of were not focused the way we needed to be. That’s what I was most upset about.”

    -----

    We welcomed Dominick Goodman (along with Barwin, obviously) into a crowded news conference room, and we asked him about being one TD catch away from setting the new school career record. Right now, he’s tied with Jim O’Brien with 21. But you’d think he’d get at least one more in the final four games of the year (including the bowl game).

    I also asked him if he felt like he was one of the best receivers ever to come through UC.

    “I don’t feel like that,” Goodman said. “There are a lot of great receivers going through. Growing up as a little kid, I saw them. People can say I’m one of them, but there are people that started this that were here before me.”

    -----

    Sounds like Tony Pike and Corey Smith should play this week (and dammit, I just realized I forgot to ask about Andre Revels).

    BK on Pike: “He’s got Grutza nipping at his heels. He feels a lot better today. It’s amazing how that stuff happens. It’s a great elixir.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever heard a football coach use the word ‘elixir.’ Great word, by the way.

    -----

    On Smith: “We thought he had an injury where it was going to be a questionable gametime situation. But he’s looked really good the last couple days. We think he’s going to be fine for Saturday.”

    Somebody asked if anybody had responded to his “’I’m going to be pissed’” if UC doesn’t sell out this game” comment. Yep, BK confirmed.

    “My boss disciplined me severely,” BK said. “Probably the strongest discipline I’ve faced since I’ve been here for my comment. My wife was really upset at my language because my 7-year-old heard me say that. My boss is my wife. She was not happy with me, using that language.”

    Get it? His wife is his boss. See? Yeah, it went over a little flat in the news conference as well. Oh well, big props for trying.
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  12. #41
    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Weather update for Saturday night:

    High of 42
    Low of 24
    Partly cloudy
    10 percent chance of precip.

    My guess is temps will have dropped down to the mid 30s by gametime and may be down to 30 degrees or even colder by the end of the game. The good news is it will be dry. Bundle up with layers and make sure that outer layer is red UC gear.
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    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    After playing around with the ticket office website...

    It looks like the pavilion is sold out, which is really good news. The best available put me in row 28 of section 126. These are from the tickets Pitt returned.

    By my estimation, there's no more than 1,000 tickets left. They'll be gone by tomorrow. Kelly won't get his 500,000. Maybe he'll settle for 35,097 instead.
    Last edited by paintmered; 11-18-2008 at 10:58 PM.
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    As much as I despise to utter these horrible horrible words I will be rooting for Pitt against UC. That way if WVU wins their next 3 they win the Big East outright. No disrespect to UC but WVU needs to win to BE outright this year, plus the conference needs WVU to win. They are the flagship of the conference and they need to win it and go to the BCS just to give Rich Rod and Dave Wandstedt a big FU.

    Granted WVU screwed the pooch against Pitt last year but I don't really believe that Wandstedt understood what it would have meant to have a BE representative in the National Championship game, win or lose it would have be so great for the conference. The 80s porn star wannabe doesn't deserve to be in a BCS game this year!

  15. #44
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Wow, tell us how you really feel....

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    Re: #19 UC vs. #20 Pitt - Major Big East Championship Implications

    Yeah, Wannstedt should have thrown the game for the good of the conference. Right. Maybe WV just shouldn't have choked it away.


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