It is that time of the year again, the one where you wear red or you wear blue. The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University will meet for the 81st time Saturday night (8pm FS1) this will be the second meeting at US Bank Arena a neutral location. There has been a speculation as to the future of this game, should it really continue?
After the brawl two years ago the future of the Crosstown Shootout (yes Shootout not Classic) has been in question. Both teams have differing ideas on the future of the game. Everyone has an opinion on the game, the cause of the problem and how to fix it.
What is known is this, Cincinnati does not want the game to go back to a home and home series. Xavier on the other hand does want it to go back to a home and home. Xavier believes they stand a better chance at victory if the game is played in the Cintas Center, that makes perfect sense. Cincinnati on the other hand would like to keep the game at US Bank Arena. A few reasons for that is the fact Cincinnati has made it public knowledge they are exploring a move to US Bank leaving Fifth Third Arena on campus until a new arena can be built. The other reason is the fact that Cincinnati believes they have a home court advantage even though it is a neutral site. With 41,000 students to Xavier’s 6,000 the population of fans is tipped in Cincinnati’s favor.
One thing that will need to change for the future of this game is its date. The middle of December while both schools are on winter break is not the time for this game to be held. People wonder why there is little hype around the game, it is because both schools are empty come the date. Now this was obviously done on purpose to limit the amount of heckling and razzing that goes on between these two schools on game day. Keeping students separated and away from the game after the fight was a key to this game being moved to mid December.
Unfortunately for the heads of both schools that has to change, the game needs to be moved to mid/end of January or early February. When at that time both teams will be into conference play, both should be playing their best basketball of the season and it will be well out of the way of college football season.
The Crosstown Shootout has been a Cincinnati institution long before me and it will be an institution long into the future, every series hits a rough spot. But the idea of blaming the students for the demise of the game is ludicrous as The Cincinnati Enquire’s Paul “Doc” Daugherty tried to say today. “UC and XU can bum-rush fans (students, mostly) who’d rather jeer than cheer.” said Daugherty in the his daily online post.
Incase Doc has forgotten the reason this game was so hyped, so celebrated was because of the students. We provide the atmosphere everyone lives vicariously through. If anyone is to blame for this debate it has to be Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons for instigating the brawl in the first place.
The Crosstown Shootout will be back next season. Where and when is still to be determined. It appears Cincinnati President Santa Ono and Xavier president Father Michael Graham have some discussions ahead of them.
For the mean time Cincinnati v. Xavier tips off at 8pm ET this Saturday on Fox Sports 1.