Identity. That was the main focus of the Cincinnati Bearcats Football Team coming into the 2016 season. Last year, UC was picked to finish 1st in the American Conference but end up being just an average 7-6 team even though they broke many records offense with the stellar wide receivers we had. Coming into this season, there were many questions. What is the primary goal on offense? What will the new offense coordinator bring to the table? Will the defense be able to step up this time around? Will the legendary Tommy Tuberville be able to turn things around in his 4th year? This is only a small few of many questions going in and we were expecting an identity along the way. The first game of the season against an FCS team was a shock. What expected to be a blowout wasn’t so after a struggling first half, the bearcats adjusted and did much better in the 2nd. The 2nd game of the season turned our heads. Hayden Moore was proving to be an exceptionally well QB and the defense was incredible forcing 5 turnovers with no Cincinnati turnovers. Is this the identity of the 2016 Bearcat season? The 3rd game was a primetime game, at home against west division American Conference foe, 6th ranked Houston Cougars. It was a chance to defeat a top 10 opponent at home and show the world that the Bearcats are real contenders. After staying with them the first half, the Bearcats imploded and caused 3 turnovers which allowed an easy Cougar win. Even though it could’ve been a primal win, the division conference hopes were still alive. The 4th game of the season was the annual Victory Bell match up against the Miami Redhawks and it was a typical Tommy Tuberville Victory Bell game. He couldn’t do what the other predecessors have done which is blow Miami out. It was another close game against Miami but Cincinnati came out on top winning by a touchdown. The 5th game of the season was Saturday night’s game against USF and I whole heartedly believe that after this game…we have found out that identity.
The identity of this team is that this program has many, college ready, talented players but the staff we have is awful and needs to be let go today. Let me tell you why.
The players and coaches knew that this was THE MOST important game for the bearcats. It was an East division conference battle and the winner gets to control their fate to win the division title. It was also a mental thing. USF handed a beat down to Cincinnati at Tampa last year 65-27 and it was such an embarrassment for the Cincinnati community. It was their chance to get some sweet revenge but there was just no fire in their fight.
It was so sad. I was there with my niece and nephew so hoping that they would get the chance to see a bearcat victory but it didn’t turn out that way if it weren’t for one thing. Turnovers. The first half wasn’t so bad. Tion Green and Mike Boone did a stellar job rushing the ball and getting a pair of Touchdowns. RS Freshman QB, Ross Trail was in due to Hayden Moore’s ankle injury. He did a pretty good job and he even got a touchdown himself and the bearcats were trailing 24-20 in the first half. The 2nd half was a whole different story. The USF defense adjusted against the run which the forced the unexperienced QB Ross Trail to throw and threw 3 interceptions which allowed USF easily to score and delivered a 2nd BLOWOUT to Cincinnati AGAIN with a score of 45-20.
All of my frustration goes to Tommy Tuberville. It took Tuberville 3 interceptions later to put Gunner Kiel in. By then, it was late in the 3rd quarter and no way were we going to come back. It boggles my mind that Tuberville would start a first year QB over a 2 year experience QB that has thrown over 50 touchdowns in his career. The press and fans figured that there was some tension between Tuberville and Kiel at the start of the season even though Tuberville claimed it was an “experience with the new offense” and “Moore and Trail had more practice time than Kiel.” I don’t care about that nonsense. This, shows that Tuberville has it in for Kiel
This argument took place at the start of the 4th quarter when Gunner threw an incomplete pass on a 3rd down. Now, at this point it’s 4th down and we’re losing by 18 points. This video didn’t show the whole thing but Gunner wanted to stay out on the field, go for it on the 4th down and keep the ball! No, typical Tuberville would rather punt the ball away knowing we have 14 minutes left in the game and pretty much hand USF the win. I understand Kiel’s anger and had every right to yell at Tuberville. I stand with you, Gunner. You’re too talented and it’s a shame to see you on the sideline. You deserve way better and I wouldn’t be surprised if you decide to leave right now because old man Tuberville doesn’t give you the playing you deserve. All of the blame goes to Tuberville and his staff.
I was willing to give Tuberville another chance this year to see if there was going to be some sort of “identity” this year but I’ve got my answer. That little clip shown above is the perfect summary that Tuberville is literally ruining the Bearcat legacy at Clifton. All the fans right now are thinking about the glory days back in 2008-2011 where Brian Kelly and Butch Jones upheld the legacy of Bearcat Football and Tuberville is tarnishing that great name. After this loss, we pretty much sealed our fate. Probably a slim chance for the east title and just fighting for bowl eligibility. Tuberville is an old man and doesn’t deserve to be head coach anymore. We have way too many talented kids and they deserve to be utilized much better than the old fool calling the shots. I can’t believe AD Mike Bohn had the balls to give Tuberville a contract extension through 2019. The university is basically handling his retirement money right now to a coach who shows no emotion, no gutsy play calling and no energy to the bearcat football program. He is no fit. Past 3 years we’ve seen rotations of defensive coordinators, no wins against ranked teams and no bowl wins. The city of Cincinnati deserves better. If I could, I would call Kerry Coombs right now and demand that he should be the Head Coach. Coombs would be the perfect man for the job. It’s so sad. I want to see the athletics at UC succeed and do well. It can’t be done unless we have the right leaders for it. I could go on and on and on. Just simply put, fire Tuberville.