I bid you all a great weekend.
Chuck in Morgantown writes: AA- Happy Holidays! At first I thought Geno (Smith) got the shaft when it came to player of the year, but, after thinking about it, (Isaiah) Pead was more valuable to his team and he had to step up when a player went down. Secondly, am I the only one thinking that Julian Miller got the shaft when it came to all-Big East selections?
John in Asheville, N.C., writes: I hope my eyes are deceiving me, but no Julian Miller on the All-Big East 1st OR 2nd team? He was voted the defensive MVP of his own team, which placed multiple players on both the 1st and 2nd team. What gives?
Andrea Adelson: Happy Holidays to you as well. I have to say I was as surprised as a lot of fans when I saw Pead got the Offensive Player of the Year Award. He was not even the leading rusher in the Big East. But you are absolutely right. He was hands down the most valuable player on that team, even before Zach Collaros got hurt. If you noticed, the Bearcats were running more this season, and big reason why is because Pead was busting one big run after another. Then after Collaros went down, Cincinnati relied on him even more. His 246 all-purpose yards in a win over Syracuse -- to keep the Big East chances a live -- that was impressive. I think both are very deserving of the honor for what they did for their teams. My vote would have gone to Smith, but I understand why Pead won.
As for Miller, I was just as surprised as both of you. I picked him as the team's defensive MVP, too. Maybe they thought Bruce Irvin was more valuable because of all the double and triple teams that were used against him.
Ben E in Salt Lake City writes: Perhaps you will have a slightly better chance at getting your voice heard than say...someone like me. While I haven't completely fallen in love with the new Big East, one thing is for sure. The name thing. In basketball, the Big East is second to none as a brand name. However, we live in a "what have you done for me lately" society.In Football, the BIG EAST name has become synonymous with "why are these guys considered the big boys?". As a result, I feel strongly the BIG EAST should consider a special conference name for football only, and then use BIG EAST for everything else. If they wanted, they could put "XXXX CONFERENCE 'presented by the Big East'" or something. But that way they can build a wonderful new brand that perhaps they can merge back into the BE in the future. So, pass that along to the powers that be next time you are interviewing them if you would be so kind. Along with some of the clever names I have seen. I like something outlandish like "The Great American Football Conference" or "Sea to Shining Sea Football."
Adelson: Unfortunately Ben, there will be no disguising Big East football even behind a different name. Everybody is going to know what this conference is and what has happened to make it so.
Abeal writes: Wow, you're horrible. Why do you cover the Big East again? You obviously don't like the conference, especially Cincy and Rutgers fans. You continue to promote expansion as a negative thing. I know ESPN is trying to destroy the Big East, but come on, show some integrity. I don't know how long this new setup will last, but one thing's for sure, if we continue being reactive instead of proactive, the Big East will disappear sooner than later. For now, this is a stronger conference and I'm happy about it. Maybe you should be too.
Adelson: Ah yes, this lowly ol' blogger is part of some mass conspiracy to destroy the Big East. You guys give me way, way too much credit. I sit in my home office all day in Orlando, interviewing coaches and players, watching games and blogging, yet my intention is to destroy the very league I cover. I think your point is lost among your anger. "If we continue being reactive instead of proactive." I do recall that the Big East had a perfect opportunity after adding TCU to strengthen itself with more additions. That never happened. Then Pitt and Syracuse left, and, well, we are where we are. My job is not to cheerlead or put positive spins on every piece of news that comes out. John Marinatto does not sign my paychecks. My job is to give my opinion, whether or not it pleases the league and the fans. Some agree. Some don't. But you are going to get somebody who tells it like it is from her own fingertips, and her own mind.