The Cincinnatti Bearcats and their crushing loss to the Florida Gators new years night might seem to be blamed on a head coach who backed up an armored car to the Bank of Notre Dame and left and an acting coach who was acting just this once and then shuffling of to (the U. of) Buffalo. But truth be told, the 'cats got whupped the same reason that the Colts also got their unbeaten season obliterated by the Jets.
Simply, they weren't as good as all that.
Both teams fought their way through their schedule with a suspect defense and a one-dimensional offense. Each stayed undefeated because of two factors. For the Colts, factor one was the fourth quarter stamina of Peyton Manning was just too much for any of his opponants. More than anything else, the Colts simply outlasted their opposition. For the Bearcats, Tony Pike was simply better than any of the other qbs he faced. For that matter, so was Zach Collero, his replacement in the 3 or 4 games Pike was hurt and missed. Cincy was thus able to outscore their opponants no matter how badly their defense got lit up. The second factor was the same for both: B.A.L. ( blind ass luck). Both these teams lived a charmed life, with the Colts' wins over Miami and New England and the 'cats wins over Pitt and WVA just the most prominent examples.
Blame the coaching staff or G.M. for sitting Manning et.al. all you want for the Colts' loss to the J-E-T-S, but it doesn't replace two important truths- one of which was that they never figured out how to kick it in gear before the 4th quarter. Blame Brian Kelley's departure all you want for the Bearcat's fold last night, but it doesn't change two truths- one on them being that there are teams out there that simply aren't afraid of Tony Pike like those in the Big East. The second truth is the same for both teams: inevitably, the laws of nature will prevail over B.A.L., and they who deservest not perfection shall not achieve it.
One more note on that game. In a way, I'm glad it wasn't close, because the referees were Pac-10 and sucked like all Pac-10 refs. Early on, a flag was thrown for an obvious face mask. As Fox ran the replay clearly showing the foul, the official announced they were picking up the flag, there was no foul. You could almost hear the jaws of announcers Tom Brennaman and Brian Billick drop, not to mention those of all those Gator fans watching. Thankfully, their incompetance didn't manage to cheat one of the teams out of a deserved victory since the game was over almost from the start. Pac-10 officials should not be allowed within 10 miles of any organized sporting event, and that was yet another undeniable truth exposed last night.