The Big East blog is all about accountability. When we are wrong, we own up to it. So let me take you back to the preseason position rankings.
I had the Cincinnati defensive line ranked No. 7. Chris Bains over at the Bearcats Nation Blog took exception to my ranking, and bet me that Cincinnati would finish in the top half of the league in five categories: tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries and forced fumbles.
You can figure out who won the bet. Cincinnati was terrific up front this season, a big reason why the Bearcats won a share of the Big East championship. I gladly did a Q&A with Chris to "pay up" for discounting Cincinnati. We touched on a wide variety of topics concerning the entire program. Here is a sampling of what we discussed:
BN: What do you think would be more beneficial to the long term health of the program: Butch Jones staying for the long haul or a renovated/expanded Nippert Stadium?
AA: Chris, you are throwing me the fastballs to start! This is a tough question. I think ultimately, getting a renovated/expanded Nippert is absolutely crucial. You know as well as I do that the stadium size is a big factor in why Cincinnati may not be getting a look at other conference suitors. I understand that Paul Brown Stadium is in play, but the players and coaching staff prefer to play on-campus in their own homey stadium. These renovations must be done if Cincinnati has any hopes of leaving the Big East for another conference. I love Butch. I think he has done an awesome job, and I always think a coach who is committed to a place for a long period of time lends stability and overall program health. But coaches come and go. That is reality in college football today. Cincinnati has to do everything it can to make itself as attractive as possible.