Sunday, December 19, 2010

Who Will Take The Bengals Job? And U.C., 10-0?

For about 11 months I've felt this would be the final campaign for Marvin Lewis.  The closer to the end of the season, the more apparent it seems.  Some close to the team feel it's a given that in two weeks, January 3, 2011, to be exact, the Bengals will have an announcement.  Marvin and the Bengals will be parting ways.  Since the Bengals didn't make the reported "wish list" of Bill Cowher, who is out there that will take over the team?  My early odds:
Mike Zimmer - even  (it's Mike Brown's cheapest route, but that move won't sell tickets)

Hugh Jackson-5-1 (he was here before so he knows the pitfalls, so he might pass)
Brian Billick - 10-1  (I think he's itching to get back in, but if he has anything else, forget it)
College Coach 20-1 (those good enough like Jim Harbaugh would wait for better situation)
John Gruden 5,000,000-1 (probably takes $5 million a year to land him, ain't happening)

There are still plenty of few dominoes to fall before the whole coaching carousel settles down in college and the NFL.  So there is a chance some viable candidates pop free.  But I'm of the opinion it will be a guy who is desperate to get a head coaching gig in the NFL.
Don't get me wrong, Mike Brown treats his people very well.  But the current structure of the organization does not allow long-term, sustained success.  That has become so apparent after 20 years that capable coaches will prefer to go to places where they feel they can succeed and not constantly fight the uphill battle.  It seems to have worn Coach Lewis out.  When is the last time you heard him say anything about getting a practice bubble?  That was once a battle-cry for Marvin, but he finally realized the Bengals will not build one.  Neither will the taxpayers.  That's just one example of the headaches facing the next guy who takes the Bengals job.  Don't get me started on the structure of the scouting department and how the coaches have to play "catch-up" right after the season.  Good Luck to the next man in.

It's great to see the U.C. basketball team winning.  I don't care about the schedule, 10-0 is a great start.  Sure, there were cupcakes, but this team needed to get it's mojo going.  It paid off against Okalhoma.  The Bearcats could have folded down the stretch against the Sooners, but they calmly took care of the basketball and made free throws.  That's just a couple of good things that come with confidence.  Will it translate into some Big East wins?  I think so.  I think the defense will be there every night.  If you haven't seen this team in person (and who has based on attendance figures?) you are missing a team that gives supreme effort.  It is a fun team to watch and it's the style that made the Bearcats a well known commodity.  Pressing, trapping, getting in the passing lanes, and relentlessly going after the rebounds. They will take some lumps coming up, but who doesn't.  Still, Mick deserves some credit for getting this team to play well, play hard, and do it under some stringent guidelines set forth by the university.  I hear Mick say the other night that the men's basketball team is tops in the athletic department when it comes to the Academic Progress Report.  At least some people from Oklahoma have taken notice.

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