It's time to get back to our March Madness style Big East football tournament. Let's check the results of our second game:
No. 2 Louisville (2006) vs. No. 7 Cincinnati (2008)
Score: Louisville 24, Cincinnati 21
This one is a close call. Both teams had excellent seasons and loads of talent. Don't forget how good that Louisville team was; if not for a second-half collapse at Rutgers, the Cardinals would have played for the national title. I give the edge here to Louisville because of its performance in big games that year. It beat (an admittedly down) Miami, a top-10 West Virginia team and ACC champion Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. Cincinnati lost three games, including blowouts at Connecticut and at Oklahoma, and lost by double digits to Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Those Bearcats, though, had a stout defense led by guys like Connor Barwin, Terrell Byrd, Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith. I think they would have held Brian Brohm, Harry Douglas, Mario Urrutia and the Louisville offense to a reasonable level. However, the Cardinals' defense was underrated as well, with Amobi Okoye up front and Will Gay at cornerback to go against Mardy Gilyard.
Give me Louisville on a two-minute drive by Brohm and a field goal by Art Carmody.
Now let's move on to the third game in our first round:
No. 3 Cincinnati 2009 vs. No. 6 Rutgers 2006
The best team in Cincinnati history vs. the best team in Rutgers history. A high-tempo spread offense vs. a blitz heavy defense. A Bearcats defense that struggled against bigger teams late in the year against Rutgers' pro-style, run-first offense.
Who do you think wins this game, and why? Vote now with your comments.