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2011 Cincinnati Bearcats Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Big East Conference – Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bearcats have some of the best names in the conference: Munchie Legaux, J.K. Schaffer, Solomon Tentman, Ralph David Abernathy and Silverberry Mouhon.

Big East 2011-12 Football Previews: Cincinnati Bearcats
Coach: Butch Jones
2010 Record: 4-8
Cincinnati Gambling Odds from Sportsbook.com to win BCS: +5000
Cincinnati Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>

Apart from that (fairly irrelevant) fact, they also have some talent to challenge the Big East’s best programs.

Cincy had a fantastic 2008 and ’09, winding up in the Orange and Sugar Bowls, respectively. Former coach Brian Kelly built this team into a power and with a bit more luck this year, second-year coach Jones has an opportunity to keep them there. A lot is expected from senior QB Zach Collaros, and rightfully so after he broke on the scene with some great performances.

The Bearcats have a highly experienced defensive unit returning and though the offense is greener, some vital talent at the skill positions remain. Can Cincinnati crack the likes of a West Virginia or a Pittsburgh?

Team Strengths

Veteran Collaros should live up to the promise. He led the Big East in passing yards and total offense last year, and at 6”0, 223 lbs he can huck the football or take off and pick up a first down with ease. Injuries slowed him up last year, but he should be healthy and ready to shine in ’11.

Helping him on the offense is outstanding senior RB Isaiah Pead and WR D.J. Woods.

Defensively, the salty vets will be paced by the likes of LB Schaffer, D-lineman Derek Wolfe and John Hughes and talented JUCO transfer Malcolm Murray. Defensive end Brandon Mills had six sacks in 2010 and he could up his production this time around.

Accurate junior P Pat O’Donnell should pin teams deep in their own end more than a few times.

Team Weaknesses

The offensive line loses excellent C Jason Kelce, who was second-team all-conference last season and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. In steps senior Evan Davis to replace him, but his impact is questionable. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

There are two seniors on the O-line in Randy Martinez and Alex Hoffman, but the unit is fresh-faced other than that.

The line must do its job to ensure the success of Collaros, Pead, Woods and TE Travis Kelce (Jason’s little brother, incidentally).

Expect plenty of veterans on the Cincy “D”, but the unit isn’t quite as talented as Pittsburgh’s or as fast as USF’s.  Also, no one returns that had more than two INTs in 2010, so a boost in the turnover department would be nice.

2011-12 Cincinnati Football Prediction: 7-5

There’s no doubt that Cincinnati has some skill players and if pivot Collaros plays to his full potential, the whole offense will get that much better. Yet, Cincy has four conference road games, including at Pittsburgh and South Florida, and it also has a huge game vs. West Virginia in the Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium.

If that weren’t enough, the Bearcats also draw Tennessee and NC State from the non-conference slate.

This is a good team that should improve noticeably from 2010’s 4-8 record, but I don’t see Cincinnati as quite on the same level as West Virginia, USF or Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately, all the good birth certificates in the world cannot boost the depth and talent on the roster.

2011 Cincinnati Bearcats Schedule

9/3/11 7:00 PM ET AUSPY
9/10/11 3:30 PM ET @TENN
9/17/11 12:00 PM ET AKR
9/22/11 8:00 PM ET NCST
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET @MIAOH
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET LOU
10/22/11 12:00 PM ET @SOFLA
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET @PITT
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET WVIRG
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET @RUTG
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET @SYR
12/3/11 12:00 PM ET CONN

Click here to check out MORE 2011 college football previews for the 2011-2012 NCAA Football Season!

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