Sports Today: Bengals-Steelers fallout continues

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Sports Today: Bengals-Steelers fallout continues

The Cincinnati Bengals are back in action Sunday. Do you know who they play? 

It’s Indianapolis. 

Everyone who didn’t know that is forgive, though, because at least for one more day nobody wanted to talk about anything but what happened in Pittsburgh. 

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was diplomatic in his handling of Joe Mixon’s complaints about being underutilized against the Steelers. 

Of course that’s the best way (for the team, not the media) for the coach to handle a situation, but his explanation also holds water given that this is a situation involving humans. 

“There were some plays when Joe was in the game and the defense they chose to play got us to pass on some run-pass options. That’s always part of the game. Then you get to that point in the game where it’s a passing game to try to catch back up to win the game. The key is to win the game. You don’t worry about how you do it. It’s just to win the game.”

Of course, Marvin Lewis responded with something about it being a teachable moment or something. Yawn. 

Vontaze Burfict reportedly won’t be suspended for whatever it is you want to call what he did to Roosevelt Nix on Sunday. 

If that is surprising, it’s because of the hammer the league dropped on Burfict for his preseason hit on Kansas City’s fullback. 

In terms of what actually happened, I didn’t see it as much as a “kick” as an attempt to discard a player who was pushing him off the pile. 

Still best not to do those things, especially if you’re under the microscope… 

Yesterday I broke down the pros and cons of the Cincinnati Reds’ retaining Zack Cozart. 

The better way to phrase the question is probably, “How hard should they try to re-sign him?” but the early returns were overwhelmingly were in favor of re-signing Cozart. 

One fan correctly pointed out I forgot to point out he is also popular with fans, which I find important but not a decisive factor. Fans will love a winner no matter who is on the team, but even when they're not winning I find building a brand important — especially for a team that has posted three straight last-place finishes and recently endured a lost decade to start the century. 

That's why I liked re-signing an older Brandon Phillips when they did even though it didn’t make the most sense from a purely baseball/small market sense. 

Phillips was a great ambassador to the fans. On top of being a great player, he gave the team a cool factor that plays even bigger when they are losing. 

I also don’t think the money they spent on Phillips, Joey Votto and Homer Bailey held them back when they were contending. The problems then were picking the wrong guys to fill out the outfield, bench and bullpen — and none of those should have required breaking the bank… 

David Jablonski counted down the top 10 school records in Dayton basketball history and uncovered a doozy. 

Of course, the Cedarville and Dayton basketball programs have grown into different entities since then, but it’s always amusing looking back at who used to play who a century ago. 

The Yellow Jackets are in Division II now, but I have to assume they would at least score if they took on the Flyers today… 

Shaping up to be another great year for women’s college basketball around here. 

Shauna Green’s Dayton Flyers and Kevin McGuff’s Ohio State Buckeyes were picked to win the Atlantic 10 and Big Ten, respectively. 

Both teams are defending regular season champions who return talented lead guards. 

In the case of Dayton, that is Jenna Burdette. 

The Buckeyes bring back Kelsey Mitchell, a National Player of the Year candidate who has an outside shot at breaking the NCAA’s career scoring mark. 

Meanwhile, Wright State has been picked go finish second in the Horizon League. The Raiders shared the league title last season, Katrina Merriweather’s first as coach at WSU. 

Chelsea Welch, a senior from Fairmont, is the favorite to be the HL Player of the Year... 

Of course, we can’t let a day this week go by without discussing Ohio State’s matchup with Penn State. 

Meyer has a tendency toward hyperbole, but this seems pretty realistic. 

Urban Meyer press conference: Penn State week

Barkley really is a weapon everywhere on the field, including as a return man. 

He makes the job eaiser for everyone else on the offense, but there is a lot of talent all over the field when Penn State has the ball. 

If the sun doesn’t come out Saturday afternoon, will PSU quarterback Trace McSorley have a hard time picking out Ohio State defenders from the dark gray of the stadium and the sky? 

Could be a possibility given the drab uniforms the Buckeyes plan to wear

I will wait to see them in person before adding them to my OSU alternate uniform rankings, but early returns are not promising. 

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