For Whom The Bell Was Stolen.

If you grew up watching professional wrestling in the 1980s, and if you are like me and rooted for the bad guys, you know what it felt like when one of the villains stole a victory, reversing what felt like certain defeat with a combination of his own guile, his opponents ineptitude, and some questionable work by the official.

That's what UC's improbable win over Miami in Oxford tonight felt like.

For most of the evening, the Bearcats were pretty uninspiring, at least on offense, without their most important player. Hayden Moore did things tonight that made me whisper obscenities to myself while watching the game as my infant daughter slept feet from me in a non-descript hotel room in some non-descript town in New Jersey.

But then there was an eight-play/75-yard UC TD drive that Miami seemed a little too willing to allow, followed up by a questionable decision by Redhawks kick return guy Jaylon Bester, and then Chuck Martin apparently not understand that informing an official that you intend to call a timeout is not the same as actually calling the timeout.

What followed was equal parts insane, confusing, and if you share my college football rooting persuasion, invigorating. A Gus Ragland pick-six to Malik Clements that I evoked the kind of odd shriek you make when something incredible happens but you don't want to wake a sleeping child.

The collective decision-making by Miami in that sequence was stunning. On third and seven, deep in your own territory, why not keep the ball on the ground, either run more clock or force UC to burn its last timeout?  The Bearcats do not have a good offense right now, and their lone TD drive aside, had done nothing to make one think that they couldn't be stopped with the game on the line.

I'll take it though.

There was still some more drama, as Miami drove a little too easily to the Cincinnati 20, before Ragland threw a pass to Luke Mayock in which the Bearcats were initially apparently flagged for a defensive penalty.  I'm admittedly biased, but I don't think it was a penalty. Then again, I was watching on an iPad and frightened to scrub back to replays because every time I touched the thing, the app I was watching on crashed.

The flag was picked up, Miami ran one more play, Ragland was hurried to the ground as he made his final passing attempt, and I watched UC players grab the Victory Bell the way Macho Man Randy Savage grabbed Tito Santana's Intercontinental Championship Belt after clocking him with a foreign object and stealing his title in front of stunned fans in Boston

Meanwhile, my sleeping infant gurgled in her sleep as I furiously sent out tweets and texts while feeling a little - keyword: little - bad that my team had hijacked a win, and a 12th consecutive win over their longest-standing rival as I cackled silently.

All that was missing were the howls of an indignant Gorilla Monsoon. 

Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more

title

Content Goes Here