Tommy Tuberville Faces Burden of Expectations with Cincinnati Bearcats

By Tyler Brett
tommy tuberville
Michael C. Johnson – USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bearcats have been one of the most consistently successful teams out of the Big East over the past five seasons. That hasn’t stopped them from having to hire their third coach in the time-frame, however. Cincinnati has come to expect a certain level of success even as they send their head coaches off to bigger and better jobs, so Tommy Tuberville faces the task of maintaining a program rather than rebuilding it. Will that be cause for a rough transition?

Tuberville’s last job with the Texas Tech Red Raiders was a similar situation. Mike Leach had built the program up to hit a certain level of success consistently before his messy split with the school. The former Auburn Tigers head coach was brought in to maintain that success, but didn’t quite live up to expectations. His Raiders’ team never won more than eight games and missed the postseason entirely in 2011 for the first time in a decade. Despite his efforts, he was never accepted by the fan base (and likely never will following his unceremonious departure).

The move should be a bit smoother for him with the Bearcats, however. Cincinnati has a playing style a little closer to what Tuberville is used to and won’t be coaching out of his predecessor’s heavy shadow. The Bearcats’ roster has talent that Tuberville can use effectively and make an immediate impact in 2013 without a prolonged transition that could force them to stumble early.

There will be some challenges, however. Tuberville has to sort out his running back rotation and get the offense up to speed on a slightly revised offensive philosophy. Finding a deep-threat in the passing game should also be a priority this fall and the Bearcats have some questions to answer defensively on their defensive line and in the secondary.

Tuberville will try to step in as the head coach and try and keep Cincinnati’s positive momentum going. Is he the guy to continue the Bearcats’ success?

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