Welcome to your midweek Big East mailblog. The majority of questions this week focus on ... expansion. Shocking, right? I will answer the most common questions at the top before moving on to some team questions.
1. What is your take on John Marinatto reaching out to the Big 12 and ACC?
Marinatto has no choice but to reach out, given where his league stands compared to all the others. If conference expansion happens and the landscape changes, the Big East could be in serious danger. Can Marinatto stop that with a phone call or two? No. But I do think a frank discussion about the future of college sports must be had among all the commissioners. I understand everybody is trying to do what is in their best interest, but they have a responsibility to keep the best interest of college football in mind. That might be Pollyanna to say. But it is these commissioners, and not the NCAA, who hold the power to change the game. Certainly ideas can be shared about whether four 16-team superconferences are a viable solution. If they are, how does everyone arrive there without destroying each other? A bigger picture must be seen, and I applaud Marinatto for reaching out to his fellow commissioners.
2. West Virginia is headed to the SEC, right? No? ACC then.
Not so fast my friends. All this talk about West Virginia being ready to bolt to the SEC and ACC is just rumor, speculation and message board fodder right now. As far as I know, there are no plans for anybody to leave the Big East.
3. The Big East should kick out its basketball members.
I cannot envision a scenario in which the Big East kicks out founding members for the good of football. This is league with a steep basketball tradition. There has to be a way of preserving both.
Now on to some team questions:
Brian in Tampa writes: Call me crazy, but I truly believe Darrell Scott if given enough touches could be a Heisman candidate.
Andrea Adelson: Do you really want me to call you crazy, Brian? I think the preferable term may be dreamer. The only way this happens is if he has north of 1,500 yards and USF is undefeated or has one loss. It is rare to find a Heisman candidate on a lousy team. One other complicating factor -- I think USF is going to have a nice mix with Scott and Demetris Murray, so it is hard for me to imagine Scott being an every-down back with 250 carries this season.
Sabrina in New York writes: Great job on the blog. Just checked out your All conference Team for the Big East. The breakdown is as follows: Uconn (7), West Virginia (5), Pit, Cincinnati (4), USF (2), Rutgers, Cuse, and Louisville (1). Given this, why is UConn being picked so low in all of the polls? You can't tell me that the loss of Frazier is going to make that big of a difference? If one of the quarterbacks is able to meet/exceed what UConn got last year, not a hard task, what do you see at UConn's ceiling this year? Thanks!
Adelson writes: Thanks, Sabrina. If I am being honest, I did not tally up the numbers when doing the all-conference team. I just picked the best players. A collection of talent does not always yield the best "team." See: Heat, Miami. I think it is more than the loss of Frazier, but also the loss of Jordan Todman and questions at receiver that have people wondering about UConn as a team. It is more than one of the quarterbacks meeting or exceeding what UConn did last year, but also D.J. Shoemate producing a 1,600-yard season as well. If all that happens and the defense plays as well as expected, UConn will be in the top half of the league. But those are very big "ifs."
Chris McCarthy in Lake Hopatcong, N.J., writes: After a few practices and one scrimage, looks like one of your top 20 Big East players (Mark Harrison) will end up being behind (Mohamed) Sanu and Tim Wright and probably behind Brandon Coloeman after three games. Perhaps it's time to start beating the drum, slowly at first for big things happening at RU this year. That's a lot of firepower, no? blah, blah, blah O-line. Look into the line a bit and (Savon) Huggins and step out in front and be proactive about RU. I have never seen Mr. coach speak, Greg Schiano, so positive about a group. I have followed RU football for 25 years and this is the most excited I've been. My hopes have been dashed before, but my hopes have never been been this high notwithstanding every publication picking RU to finish last in the Big East. You make the call.
Adelson writes: There is no disputing the talent at Rutgers. I ranked the receivers as the No. 1 unit in the league, and Huggins as a top-10 back. The offensive line is still a concern -- Schiano has said as much in recent days. And the defense did not impress in the first scrimmage. It is a bit troubling to me that the coaching staff is still shifting players around to different positions on defense with just a few weeks until the season opener. Given those questions, I do not have Rutgers in the top half of the league right now.