If this happens, I’m gonna lose my goddamn mind. In no universe will I ever blame Mick for wanting to take a huge job like this, and UC would have nobody to blame but themselves. They can’t cry big bad wolf like they have in the past when the Blue Bloods of college football stole their head coaches that were just using the Bearcats job as a stepping stone. Mick is a Cincinnati guy through and through, and if you injected some truth serum into him, I 100% guarantee he wants to spend the rest of his career and life in Cincinnati. All of that changes when you’ve felt disrespected though…
Word on the street is a new contract was discussed earlier this year, but it would have essentially been a pay cut for the man who rebuilt the once proud program after Bob Huggins was given his walking papers.
Cincinnati was in pure shambles when Cronin took over in 2006. At one point things got so bad with limited scholarship players available and injuries that he had to pull Connor Barwin off of the football team to play power forward. How many times do you see that with a Big East school? Well, never now, since the conference isn’t really the Big East anymore and just a collection of mid-tier basketball-only schools. But at the time, the Big East was the cream of the crop and Mick had a future NFLer playing serious minutes on his squad.
Fast forward a few years later and the streak of nine straight NCAA Tournament appearances began. Granted, they’ve only made it out of the first weekend once, but to make it nine straight years out of a shitty American Athletic Conference is impressive. They’re not exactly the ACC, Big 10 or SEC getting at-large bids for anyone with a .500 or better record.
There’s not a single part of me that will ever blame Mick Cronin for leaving Cincinnati. I’ve created mortal enemies with dickheads like Brian Kelly for leaving over the years, but this is a completely different situation. The Bearcats are stuck in a middle of the pack conference and a very shady, shitty TV deal with ESPN/ESPN+. If there was a chance for a potential conference realignment coming soon, then I’d hope for him to stick it out. But that doesn’t seem to be the case and the chances of the Big XII or ACC knocking on their door is about the same as me waking up with a six-pack tomorrow morning. It ain’t happening folks. New arena and improved football facilities be damned.
If this is it for Mick, we had one hell of a run and I wish him the best. If he’s just using this to catapult himself above the 49th highest paid coach in college basketball and getting a better contract from Cincinnati, then more power to him. His current annual salary of $2.2M is a lot of money, but he’s proven he’s worth every cent of that and more since 2006. Best of luck at UCLA, if that’s where you land. If not, I look forward to another heartbreaking first weekend loss in 2020.
Mac’s Desire to Watch the World Burn Note: Look for UC to consider John Brannen of Northern Kentucky for the head coaching job if Mick Cronin leaves. Not only would it keep local recruiting in place, it would create one hell of a big brother-little brother rivalry between the two schools. Now the Bearcats would have two little brothers to beat up on.Follow @BennyMacBlog