Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reds Ready To Celebrate, Bengals Ready To Win.

It's just a matter of a few days before the Reds celebrate their first division title since 1995.  In some ways you wonder "who are these guys?", especially in terms of offense.  When the season began I think most of us agreed the Reds had a shot to hang around because of the pitching.  The pitching overall has been okay.  But the hitting has been the best in the league.  The Reds lead the N.L. in batting average, home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, hits, total bases, and slugging percentage.  Seriously, who saw that coming?  Meanwhile, the pitching lags down the list in almost every category.  But this should give Reds fans real hope that there could be more division titles coming soon.  When the young starting pitching kicks it in they'll be a tough team with a fairly young core.  And yes, I said when the pitching kicks in, not if.  I believe Cueto, Volquez, Chapman, Leake, Wood, and Bailey give the Reds some nice options to make big things happen.

The Bengals haven't won a road game since last November.  More than likely that's just one of those weird things that happens in sports.  I'm sure Marvin Lewis told his players to not even think about it, that it's a non-issue.  And it is, unless the Bengals fail to get it done in Carolina Sunday.  I think the Bengals win this game.  Stop the running attack of Williams and Stewart and it's all downhill for the first road win after five straight losses away from home.

U.C. head coach Butch Jones knew what he was getting into.  But I think even Butch is a little more than surprised at the lack of depth on this Bearcats team.  It has left Jones with few options to replace guys who aren't getting it done.  But there is a lack of execution that might be the biggest culprit here.  Big plays have been available, but mistakes didn't allow U.C. to take advantage.  That's something Butch has to fix.  The good news, he knows it and isn't running away from it.  Neither are the players.  The better news, the schedule lightens up a little after Oklahoma this weekend.  After the Miami Redhawks, it's time for Big East play.  And the Big East is bad this season.  After years of national pundits saying it, this year they have it right.  I've defended the conference in the past, and with good reason.  While there were no teams to match the top five teams in the country, there were only one or two dawgs in years past.  Now there appear to be a bunch, maybe all but West Virginia.  I love the Big East, but I can't defend its' lack of football muscle this season.

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