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Does Tuberville Deserve an Extension?

2:05 PM, April 20, 2016
Article by Jacob Geiser

Over the weekend the University of Cincinnati gave both Mick Cronin and Tommy Tuberville contract extensions. Mick Cronin's extension seemed inevitably, but Tommy Tuberville's? I can't say the same thing for him. In his 3 years as head coach, Tuberville has gone 25-14 (17-7) and 0-3 in bowl games. UC has been outscored 114-41 in those games. He has never been ranked before with UC, and has only won 1 conference title in the AAC. He has only beaten one team that is considered to be a Power 5 conference team. In the Dantonio-Kelly-Jones era, they consistently beat the best teams in the Big East. They won bowl games and cracked the Top 25 polls. All of those coaches jumped ship for what are now some of the best teams in College football (Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Tennessee). I don't think I'm the only one thinking that Tuberville didn't deserve a extension. Taking a deeper look at what Tuberville has done, it can further prove that he didn't deserve an extension.

Big games give bad results

In his first year, UC faced off with one ranked opponent, and it was Louisville. In the Battle for the Keg of Nails, UC lost to the Cardinals 31-24 in OT. If UC won they would've had a chance to be AAC Champs in its inaugural season. That didn't happen. They made it to the Belk Bowl and were blown out by UNC. UC was pretty evenly matched with UNC on paper, but when the game started, it was clear who was the better team. It wasn't even close... Moving into his second year, UC had big games looming: OSU, Miami (FL), and Virginia Tech. At one point UC was only down to OSU by 2 points, but they went on to lose 50-28. OSU dominated offensively, picking up first down after first down. They then got blown out the following week by Memphis 41-10. The defense was the biggest weakness in the 2014 team. After giving up 91 points in two weeks, they gave Miami (FL) 55 points in a 55-34 beat down in the Sunshine State. The Bearcats went on to win a share of the American going 7-1. They were slated to play Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl and lost 33-17. Once again, a big game vs. a Power 5 team resulting in a loss. 2015 came around and the hype was there. ESPN analysts thought UC could've been a Group 5 team to maybe get into a New Year's Eve bowl game. With fans excited about the season, it went horribly wrong. UC went 7-6, got blown out by San Diego State in the Hawaii Bowl. They were blown out by a USF team 65-27. I personally would've fired Tuberville before the 2nd half. I was so embarrassed as a fan watching that performance. Now, this year was a bad year when it came to luck but it still isn't an excuse. He has one win against a Power 5 team and it was against a rather struggling Miami (FL) team. If you can't win big games, games that are even more important for the program due to expansion, it doesn't help the popularity with the fans.

Lack of Recruiting
Being in the American Athletic Conference you would expect better results. Sadly, that isn't the case. UC had success in the Big East with the recruiting of Dantonio-Kelly-Jones. They brought in guys would could play in the Big East, and they won. With the disbanding of the Big East and the arrival of the AAC, most fans, including myself, thought that downgrade would lead to dominance in conference play. Well, Tuberville, in my opinion, has dropped the ball a little in recruiting. The talent was there in the WR's, QB's and some different areas. The overall classes haven't been top ranked in the AAC. That isn't good for a team trying to get the Big 12. Tuberville says they have brought in guys with speed and in games against the Power 5 teams. Ehh, I don't see that speed on display. Look at his recruiting classes by ranking.

2013: 70 (5th AAC)
2014: 68 (3rd AAC)
2015: 57 (1st AAC)
2016: 75 (7th AAC)
2017: 81 (Subject to change) (8th AAC)

We have yet to see those all pan out, but those numbers don't really jump off the page. We have yet to see the players grow and mature, but, numbers based, it isn't looking good. It also, may not turn out good. Being in that range in recruiting won't lead to good results in a P5 conference. If he doesn't start to recruit better you'll see fans get more and more upset.

Program's current position
In the Dantonio-Kelly-Jones era, the Bearcats program was on the rise. All was looking good, the hiring of Tuberville had me excited. He is a big name coach who had success in the SEC with Auburn. However, we have seen a slide in football program. It has slowly been decreasing with Tuberville at the helm. I'm not saying he can't turn the ship around, but, after two 9-4 seasons, he followed up with a 7-6 season in a year where he was supposed to have the most success in. The emoji to your right can sum up feelings among die hard fans. It isn't looking good. He has lost a lot of fans and turned them into Tuberville haters. I hope he can turn it around because he is here for the long haul. He isn't a young coach using the program as a stepping stool. UC seems to be his final destination. However, he seems to be treating it as his victory lap. For a program trying to get back the BCS days when UC was dominant, that isn't viewed in a positive light.

I don't think he deserves one, but in Ono and Bohn I trust. BSN may take a deeper look into this when the Daily Voltage begins.