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August 1, 2010

Who is most likely to end up a Bengal?

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the coverage staff for his opinion about a topic in the sport.

TODAY'S QUESTION: The Bengals added Terrell Owens to a roster that already has numerous players with "issues," such as Chad Ochocinco, Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson. Who is the most likely college player to end up playing for the Bengals?

Tom Dienhart's answer:
I think Jeremiah Masoli would be a perfect fit for the Bengals and their band of dubious characters. The former Oregon quarterback has a checkered past that includes two brushes with the law that ultimately resulted in Masoli being booted from Oregon. He's still looking to land with another school to play his final season. The Bengals could use Masoli in "Wildcat" formations for short-yardage and goal-line situations, adding to an already-potent attack.

David Fox's answer:
I'm going to take a different route and consider who is going to keep Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens in line. Someone who could sing a duet with Jordan Shipley in the locker room. Someone who would take a dig at Matt Jones in the media. Someone to turn Jerome Simpson into a 1,000-yard receiver. I'm thinking of out-of-work coach Mike Leach, who could become the Bengals' wide receivers coach or offensive coordinator. He would be a great fit. The Bengals have a ton of receivers to run the "Air Raid" offense. And given Cedric Benson's background, Cincinnati already has an answer if it needs a back to fit into Leach's one-back scheme. Since the Bengals have ceased to be an NFL team and more of a reality show, Leach would be the perfect addition.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
The Bengals certainly don't shy away from players with troubled pasts. And it's not just guys with behavioral issues; they're also the team that drafted Andre Smith in the first round after he had some agent issues. Two potential Bengals stick out -- Jeremiah Masoli and Marvin Austin. Masoli seems to have the requisite behavioral issues to interest the Bengals, while Austin has the recent agent brouhaha to catch the Bengals' attention. Truthfully, though, those problems seem likely to be in the rear-view mirror by the time the 2011 draft comes around. Instead, look for the Bengals to covet a big-name player who gets in trouble during the season -- and we all know there will be one or two.

Steve Megargee's answer:
I'd go with North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin. The likely first-round pick provides enough star power that he'd feel comfortable playing alongside an Ochocinco or a T.O. And while he might not be quite as good a talker as those guys, Austin is one of college football's most quotable star performers. When North Carolina got sent to the Meineke Car Care Bowl last season after the more prestigious Gator Bowl used Bobby Bowden's pending retirement as reason to invite a Florida State team with an inferior record, Austin reacted by saying, "I was like, 'Freaking Bobby Bowden. What the freak?' " Now that NCAA officials are investigating whether Austin had improper contact with agents, he even could discuss off-field headaches with his Bengals teammates, though he certainly doesn't come close to comparing to Jones or Tank Johnson in that respect. Of course, why should we limit this to players? If we're really looking for juicy storylines, you can't beat this one: T.O., Ochocinco, Pacman and Tank play well enough to merit returns in 2011, but the Bengals miss the playoffs and struggle so much that Marvin Lewis gets fired. Your new Bengals coach? Lane Kiffin. Heck, he even has NFL experience. The NFL would just need to make sure the Bengals play at Tennessee in 2011.



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