Friday, October 30, 2009

Just posted to the front page of my web site is the latest Broo View Podcast. My guest in this episode is's Alex Marvez, the national NFL writer. And you'll hear comments from several of the Cincinnati Bengals. Here's a quick link.

And the latest episode of Bengals Report is ready for you to download. Marc Hardin and I review the Bengals big win over the Bears. Here's a quick link.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just posted on the front page of my web site, is the latest episode of Bengals Report Podcast. This time,'s Marc Hardin and I break down the Bengals big win over the Chicago Bears. Check it out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random thoughts for a random Tuesday...

Forget about what the BCS poll says this week, the UC Bearcats will finish higher than 8th. The poll, historically, is volatile. Teams the Bearcats have beaten will beat other teams and enhance UC standing. Teams in front of the Bearcats will lose and fall. If UC beats West Virginia and Pitt, the 'Cats will be fine...

If you're wondering about the BCS title game here's what you have to root for: someone in the Big 12 to beat Texas. In the SEC, Florida or Alabama may finish unbeaten. But not both. They'll meet in the SEC title game, most probably. The BCS won't have a rematch in its title game. That means the SEC winner, if unbeaten is in. But, what if the Big 12 produces no unbeaten teams and UC runs the table. Would the BCS take a one loss Big 12 team over an unbeaten Big East team? If it does I predict the BCS implodes. And don't worry about TCU or Boise State. If UC runs the table, it will finish ahead of those non BCS conference schools...

Unless I'm wrong....

Yanks in six. They won't touch Cliff Lee, but they'll hit Cole Hamels....

By the way, the only thing you need to know about how bad the Cleveland Indians are is game one of the World Series. Former Indians starting pitchers Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia will most likely face each other. The Indians should have ponied up the dough to keep one, or the other....

The Reds will win 80 games next year. I don't see them being competitive in 2010, too many suspect bats in the "everyday 8" and no Edinson Volquez. Set the alarm for 2011.....

I get the fact that Sarasota wouldn't pay ball with the Reds and the team had to look for other venues. But I lived and worked in Florida for seven years. You mean to tell me there wasn't another town in that state that wouldn't have made a competitive offer to keep the team in Florida? Really?

So now they go out to Arizona, where it may make short term economic sense. But long term, I don't see how this is a winning proposition. How does that move help you sell tickets for the regular season? The 1p exhibition start times in Arizona will be 4p start times in Cincinnati. That means the highlights won't make it onto the early evening newscasts. The 7p start times begin at 10p Cincinnati time. That means not only will the highlights not get on the 11p newscast, the game results won't be in the next morning's paper. And this doesn't even take into account how many Cincinnati based Reds fans will have the money to fly to Arizona to see the team, like they did when the Reds trained in Sarasota. Spring break trips by college students? As Tony Soprano would say "Feg-gedda-boud-it"....

I don't see any Ohio Division I HS football team in this area of the state beating Moeller. Me thinks the Crusaders will be playin in the frigid air on December 5th in Canton....

Can Cedric Benson play EVERY game against the Bears? How come he didn't run that way against the Texans? Just wondering...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

This is why Brian Kelly is one of the best football coaches in the country. He doesn’t worry a whole lot about what he doesn’t have. He just takes what he has to work with and wins.

A lot of coaches like to say they don’t spend a lot of time worrying about who’s hurt, who’s holding out, who’s ineligible. About 95 percent of them are lying when they say that. You bet coaches break a sweat in the middle of the night when they know they’re going into a game without a key player. I love it when coaches say, we’re not going to talk about who’s not here, we’re going to talk about who IS here. Then, of course, he wanders back to his strategy room and groans about to whatever assistant coach, secretary or owner will listen to him.

I’m sure Kelly moans about the same thing in private. And I’m pretty sure at some point in his dealings with the media, somewhere, he’s uttered the same line about who’s he not worrying about. But I know this: with the system he runs, Kelly can plug just about any quarterback with a modicum of talent and win. That’s why he’s one of the best football coaches in America.

Like yesterday. He know on the flight home from South Florida he wasn’t going to have Tony Pike. On the day Pike had his arm surgery, which was Tuesday of this week I believe, Kelly was floating the ruse that Pike might play against Louisville. If his game was to make Louisville coach, Steve Kragthorpe stop and think about it, only for a minute, maybe it was good strategy. But Kelly knew all along that you had a better shot at quarterbacking his team against Louisville than Tony Pike did. Yet he didn’t just find a way to replace the most important player on his team. He found a way to drop a keg of nails on the Cardinals heads.

Good coaches do that. They always have an end game. When I worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma years ago, we had four major college football teams in my station’s coverage area. In Norman, there was Barry Switzer and the Sooners. Switzer was larger than life, knew it, played it and won by running the ball a lot. If his quarterback threw the ball 20 times a season, it was a bad season. At Oklahoma State, Jimmy Johnson was coaching the Cowboys. He was from Switzer’s coaching tree, had an upstart and talented coaching staff. He could never beat Oklahoma. But Jimmy Jump Up, as Switzer used to call him breathed new life into what was the doormat of the then Big Eight.

At Tulsa, there was John Cooper. This is long before Cooper landed at Ohio State, long before the ‘boys in downtown Columbus’ picked him apart for sport. Cooper pieced together some nice teams. Had a running back by the name of Ricky Watts, who went onto some success in the NFL.

But the smartest of the bunch may have been another coach who ran a big time program within the scope of our television signal. It was Lou Holtz, the head hog in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Holtz had landed there, after flaming out in less than one season coaching the New York Jets. By 1977, he had the Razorbacks roaring again and in the January first, 1978 Orange Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners. Arkansas was a big, big underdog. More than 18 poins, as I recall. And to make matters worse, Holtz had suspended his star running back, Ben Cowins.

Now the 1977 Razorbacks were no slouch. They came into the game number six in the country. But with Cowins, and three other starters for that matter, suspended, Holtz had to find a way to handle the Sooners blistering offense and score some points of his own. He found a way, in giving the football to a running back who wasn’t a household name, even in his own household. His name was Roland Sales. Sales had run up a modest 399 yards all season. His best game was 71 yards. But Holtz knew Sales slashing style would be the perfect way to not only attack Oklahoma’s defense, it would control the clock and keep the Sooners offense off the field. Sales rushed 23-times that night for 205 yards. Arkansas beat Oklahoma, 31-6. I was there. And I saw Holtz find a way to get his team a win.

This is what Brian Kelly does. This is why he’s one of the hottest coach in America. This is why in a month or so, his name will be bandied about like tennis ball when better paying jobs come open at bigger schools. Ben Mauk gets hurt, there’s always Dustin Grutza. Mauk is denied another year of eligibility, there’s Tony Pike. Pike hurts his arm, here comes Zach Collaros who tosses the ball 17 times Saturday against Louisville and completes 15 passes.

Maybe it’s Kelly’s system, maybe its over recruiting at key positions, maybe it’s luck. Maybe it’s all of that. Roland Sales hasn’t been mentioned in any sportscast anywhere in 25 years. But he was all I could think about Saturday watching Collaros do his thing. Kelly looks nothing like Lou Holtz. Kelly coaches nothing like Lou Holtz did. Kelly’s teams throw so many passes, the control tower at CVG diverts jets. Holtz would rather dine on nuclear waste than throw a pass. But they both have a lot in common. Let’s hope that stops before the conversation turns to Notre Dame.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Couple of things that are just published to One is the latest Broo View Podcast. My guest in this episode is author Jason Cole, who's new book "Ocho Cinco" is all about Chad.

Also on the front page of my web site is the latest Bengals Report Podcast. Marc Hardin of and I review the loss to the Houston Texans and preview this Sunday's game against the Bears. I'll give you a quick link to it here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If UC head football coach, Brian Kelly is doing what I think he's doing, we're watching a giant game of 'cat and mouse'. Kelly said Tuesday that quarterback Tony Pike may play this Saturday against Louisville. That was quite a statement, as Pike was just shaking off the wooziness of anesthesia. The senior QB had early morning surgery Tuesday to reattached a plate on his left forearm, initially put there after Pike broke his arm last season. The plate came loose after Pike took a hit in the Bearcats win over South Florida last Thursday night.

Kelly says Pike could be back at practice Thursday. Unless he went to a tent revival after surgery, I don't see how Pike can. But Kelly is floating this, I think, to keep the 'Ville on its toes. When you don't know whom you have to prepare for, it tends to chew up a lot of practice time.

UC is a prohibitive favorite, something like 17 points this week. The Bearcats are playing at home. And their back-up QB, Zach Collaros was terrific in relief of the injured Pike in Tampa last week. It makes no sense to play Pike this week. But for Kelly to say that this early in the week would be making Louisville's job easier. So we get 'cat and mouse' for awhile.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Random thoughts to begin the new week...

After spending three and a half hours on 700 WLW after the Bengals lost to the Texans Sunday, I was surprised to hear so many fans ready to jump off the Bengals Bandwagon. I don't get that. If you're really a fan, how can you turn on your team so quickly after what it did the past four weeks. Refresh my memory: weren't the last four games before Sunday's some of the most exciting football we've seen around here in years? This team is 4-2. It's tied for the AFC North lead (technically, it owns the lead because of its win over the Steelers) and it's defense had played well in every game this season up until Sunday.

The loss to the Texans was tough on three fronts. The Bengals lost Antwan Odom for the season. It lost the game. And the Bengals lost to a team that might be in the playoff mix, which now holds the tie-breaker over the Bengals.

But turn tail on a Bengals team that had this town buzzing like it was 2005 all over again? After only one loss? Really? Come on.

Baltimore's offense has arrived just as its defense has departed. That's a lot of points that team is giving up....

My great fear about the Steelers is that they might've already had their once a season swoon....

Mark Sanchez is looking like a rookie quarterback with each passing Sunday. What a crime to waste that kind of Sunday Jets RB Thomas Jones had.....

If Jim Zorn can stay employed, there's no reason why all of us can't. By the way, the new assistant coach the Redskins hired two weeks ago and who'll now call the plays in DC is Sherm Lewis, father of former WLWT sportscaster, Kip Lewis.....

Jerry Palm of projects the UC Bearcats to play in the Sugar Bowl, January 1st against Alabama. First BCS poll of the year has UC 5th, ahead of Southern Cal, Iowa and you know how up in you know where...

Until and if the Bengals can fix their tight end situation, doesn't it make sense to play an extra offensive lineman instead of Daniel Coates. I mean, you're not going to throw the ball to Coates anymore, are you? So why not put an extra lineman in for protection?

Even the most ardent Miami RedHawks fan has to be wondering, which coach wins first this season, Mike Haywood or Charlie Coles?

By the way, watch out now, my Ohio Bobcats are 5-2 and could run the table in the MAC East....

Very, very happy for former Bengals quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who engineered an overtime win for the Bills against the Jets, Sunday. There wasn't a better guy in that Bengals locker room last season....

It sure did look to me like the Titans quit on Sunday.....

If I'm Reds "AAA" pitching coach, Ted Power, I'm done with the Reds organization. Power was the in house favorite to replace Dick Pole as the major league pitching coach. Instead, the team hired former Mariners and Diamondbacks coach, Bryan Price. I don't know a lot about him, but I do know Power managed to salvage the career of Homer Bailey and that alone should have merited the promotion. Bailey was on a rocket ride to oblivion earlier this year, until Power finally got through to him. Power isn't Walt Jocketty's guy. And in the end, that's probably what cost him the job. And that's a shame......

I don't know if either of them have enough steam to make it to the top of the BCS heap, but watch out for Iowa and Miami, Florida......

If you're Brian Kelly and you know you're going to need Tony Pike to beat the big three in your conference (UConn, Pitt and WVU) would you risk playing Pike in the next two weeks against Louisville and at Syracuse? Not me. I think Zach Collaros or Chazz Anderson will do just fine against those two teams.....

The Denver balloon boy was a hoax? You gotta be kidding me....

By the way, Michael Lombardi from the and the NFL Network joined me on 700 WLW Sunday. I asked him if he thought what Brian Kelly is doing at UC, his offensive philosophy, would work in the NFL. In other words, could Kelly take his act to the pros. Lombardi, the former de facto GM of the Raiders told me he thought it, and Kelly, would work just fine in the NFL. But Lombardi said a lot of NFL team would shy away from hiring Kelly because he has no experience coaching in that league, specfically as an assistant coach.

By the way, even with Saturday loss to Southern Cal, I don't think Notre Dame is about to fire Charlie Weiss....not that what I say will make him rest any easier...

The Broo View, our weekly NFL breakdown, is tonight at 6:15p on WLWT Channel 5....

Now get out there and make some money.....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just wanted to let you know I'm talking sports this Saturday on 700 WLW in Cincinnati. Among my guests will be Jason Cole, author of the new book Ocho Cinco, as well as former Notre Dame All American, Bob Crable and former Ohio State quarterback, Art Schlichter. I'm on from 3p-6p.

Then, on Sunday, I'm on from 9am-11:30am, with guests Mike Florio from and Michael Lombardi from
Just posted to the front page of my web site is the latest Bengals Report Podcast. Marc Hardin of and I look back on that stirring win over the Baltimore Ravens and preview this Sunday's match up with the Houston Texans.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

4-1! The next person who tells you he or she predicted that you can say YOU LIE!

We know this. They’re making plays at critical points in ballgames. For most of the last 20-or so years, when it came time to make a play, the Bengals withered. Now, we see the fourth down conversions that kept winning drives alive against the Steelers and Browns. Coaches will tell you, Marvin has said this, that most games come down to about five to seven plays. Execute properly, you win. Execute poorly, you loses. For most of the last 20-or so years, the Bengals have selected door number two. Not so this season.

We know this: when healthy, Carson Palmer is an elite quarterback. He hasn’t’ achieved the status of either of the Manning brothers or Ben Roethlisberger. Those guys have Super Bowl rings. But he’s playing a lot like he played in 2005. Two things have helped Palmer: the Bengals have a running game and they aren’t losing track of it during ballgames. Remember how we groaned on a weekly basis the past few years when Bob Bratkowski would fall in love with throwing the ball around and not letting Benson, or Rudi Johnson or Kenny Watson or whomever grind it out? Remember how we said that in the AFC North, you have to run the ball to win late in the season and you only do that by establishing the ground game in September and October? As the French like to say voila.

We know this: the Bengals secondary is good, very close to very good. You want to know the real reason why Odom got all of those sacks and why the Bengals numbers in quarterback hurries and hits are up this season? It’s because cornerbacks Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph are playing better. And because of that, safeties Roy Williams and Chris Crocker and Chinedum Ndukwe can come up in run support. Gush over the front seven if you want.

You won’t get any argument from me. But it’s the secondary that’s making it happen.

We know this: Kevin Huber may be the best Bengals punter since Lee Johnson. He may be the best since Dave Green (kids wake your Dad up and ask him who that is). Huber only has four NFL games on his resume. But he’s doing exactly what he did at UC: getting the Bengals out of trouble and into decent field position.

To be honest, there is a lot of stuff that isn’t right. St. Louis and his snaps would be the most glaring. Too often, Palmer has to hurry throws because of the offensive line, still a work in progress. Too often, receivers are running the wrong routes, or Palmer is throwing to invisible men. Too often, we get those infuriating penalties, like false starts and illegal blocks on the return team. The Bengals were supposed to have an elite class of tight ends this season. Two of them got hurt and the guy they drafted from Missouri can’t get on the field.

But 4-1 is 4-1.

The real problem in our town, with as bad as both the Bengals and Reds have been lately, is that when we see a ray of sunshine, we’re dousing ourselves in sun tan oil. We’re not there yet. You don’t emerge from 20-years of dark skies overnight. But we’re getting there.

So my unsolicited advice to you today is this: stop wondering how many wins it will take to make the playoffs. Stop looking three and four games down the road. Take some time to savor the moment. This team is 4-1. It won its biggest game of the season so far today. It is exactly at the same point it was in 2006. That season went south. Maybe this season won’t. That’s why you take it, one game at a time.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Just posted to the front page of my web site is the latest edition of Bengals Report Podcast. In this episode, Marc Hardin, the executive editor of, and I preview the upcoming Bengals vs Ravens game this Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.

I've got Ross Tucker, from and SiriusXM radio on my Sunday Morning Sports Talk show on 70o WLW. Also, Joe Reedy, the Bengals beat writer from the Cincinnati Enquirer and Jerry Sandusky, the voice of the Baltimore Ravens stop by. Hope you will too. I'm on from 9am-11:30am ET and you can listen on line at

Nothing to base this on, but I think the University of Kentucky pulls off the upset Saturday at South Carolina.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

3-1, really? Who had the Bengals 3-1 after 4 games. Let me see a show of hands. YOU LIE! I wouldn't hold out too much hope for this Sunday at Baltimore. But then again, I said the same thing about last week's game against the Steelers.

The network affiliated television stations in Wisconsin can all go 'dark' Monday night. Every pair of eyeballs in that state will be tuned into ESPN and the Packers vs Vikings game. Brett Favre rules, even in abstentia.

So let me get this straight, Buckeye fan, your team just slipped behind the UC Bearcats in the latest AP poll? You're #9 and UC is #8 and you both won this past weekend? Hmmm, and you still think OSU would beat the Bearcats by 30 in a head to head match up? I had one Buckeye fan tell me that today on 700 WLW.

You and I may be geeked over this team being 5-0, but we may be in the minority. In fact, I think we are. UC remained unbeaten Saturday, went to Oxford and thumped Miami. Miami threw everything it had at UC. This was the RedHawks Super Bowl. UC didn’t bring its ‘A’ game, but beat Miami 37-13. Bearcats had the ball all of 19 minutes. And Tony Pike managed to throw 42 yards and Jacob Ramsey rushed for over 100.

The toughest games for UC lie ahead, starting with the Bearcats game at South Florida one week from this Thursday night. There’s a lot of football to play. But let’s say the Bearcats run the table. Let’s say they win ‘em all and are standing, the night of December 5th, on the field in Pittsburgh as the undefeated, undisputed champs of the Big East Conference. Should they be the only undefeated BCS team in the country, or one of two undefeated teams, should UC then be allowed to play in the the BCS Championship game.

Well, you’re saying, Ken, that’s a no brainer. Yeah, to you and me it’s a no brainer. But apparently there are brains at work far greater than ours.

Because on a scale of one to ten, UC’s national respect level is about a minus two. In a national radio interview this week, ESPN talking head and former Notre Dame coach, Bob Dave predicted that if UC finishes unbeaten and there's a one loss team in either the SEC or the Big 12, that team would go to the national championship game and not UC. It doesn't matter, Davie said, if the Bearcats are the only unbeaten team standing by mid December.

And if that happens, I am here to tall you today that the BCS is dead. If UC runs the table and is the only unbeaten BCS team or one of two unbeaten teams and does NOT get a berth in the championship game, the BCS implodes. It’s real and it will happen. Here’s why.

The Big East is the weakest of all the BCS Conferences. It has the fewest amount of teams and there is no conference post season playoff. But the Big East IS a BCS conference. We’re not talking about Boise State or BYU here. And we’re not talking about the situation they had a few years back when Auburn got left at the post and Oklahoma and Southern Cal played for the national title. All three of those teams were unbeaten and Auburn was the odd man out. The issue here, and addressed by Davie, is what IF UC is one of two, or the only unbeaten team at the end of the regular season. He says he doesn’t think UC will be selected. Now understand this: you can say Bob Davie is just another guy yapping about college football on ESPN. And you’d be right. His claim to fame appears to be he once coached, and not well, at Notre Dame. But Davie, one would think talks to a lot of people in college football. And it may very well be, his thoughts are the prevailing thoughts about UC and the Big East on the inside of college football. I don’t think he would make the analysis he did this week without some thought and some research to back it up.

As I said, there’s a lot of football left to be played. There are no guarantees that UC will finish this season unbeaten. No guarantees that the Bearcats will win the Big East. But if both of those things happen and UC isn’t invited to the BCS championship game, then the current system of deciding a national champion implodes.

It’s kinda like politics. It’s not the other side that gets you. You often get taken down by the guy you’re staring at, in the mirror.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Just published to the front page of my web site is the latest Bengals Report podcast. Marc Hardin and I breakdown the Bengals big win over the Steelers. If you're in a hurry, you can download the Bengals Report podcast here. But check out my web site when you have a chance.