- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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You still have questions. I still have (some) answers. Let's open up the mailbag.
Don Vest in Richmond, Ky., writes: Has the Big East commissioner made any comments on the Orange Bowl victory by WVU?
Andrea Adelson: Glad you brought this up, Don. In last week's Big East chat, I was asked why commissioner John Marinatto was not at the Orange Bowl, and I gave an erroneous answer. It turns out Marinatto was at the Orange Bowl watching West Virginia play Clemson, but was keeping a low profile so as to not serve as a distraction. He then went to New Orleans to be a part of the ongoing discussion about possible reforms to the BCS. To my knowledge, he has given no interviews on either the Orange Bowl win or what should happen to the BCS.
Kris in Hollidaysburg, Pa., writes: Andrea, After reading your article about the SEC's current reign, it's worth repeating that the last conference to knock off the champion of the SEC was the Big East and WVU over Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl. (Not counting this year with the SEC champion facing another SEC team in the championship game.) Also, I have to say I'm shocked that West Virginia was ranked no higher than they were in the final polls, particularly the coaches' poll, which had a Virginia Tech team that lost the last 2 games of the year ranked ahead of the Mountaineers! (And obviously, 2 of VT's losses were to the team that WVU just took behind the woodshed and blistered.) I had WVU at 15th.
Adelson: I will allow you to bring up the Sugar Bowl win, though the article was about winning national championships. Good try in support of the Big East! I was also surprised to see Virginia Tech ranked ahead of West Virginia in the coaches' poll. The thing about the coaches' poll is many of the coaches do not do the voting and instead have SIDs do it. There are always wacky final rankings that make no sense, and this is a classic example.
Noah Sonnet in Jamison, Pa., writes: Can B.J. Daniels lead USF to a Big East title?
Adelson: I really like Daniels, one of the best interviews in the Big East. And I really want to like him on the field, as evidence by my preseason Top 25 player ranking for 2011. But he has been a starter for three years, and we are all still waiting on him to take the next step. He took a few this past season, but I think many were expecting more out of him. It would also help if he stayed healthy for an entire season. As you saw from my way too early preseason 2012 rankings, I am not on the USF bandwagon, which means I am just not sure Daniels can do it.
Corey in Cincy writes: AA, love your blog. I understand your concern about UC, but I mean come on 3 out of the last 4 championships in the Big East, four 10-win seasons in five years. They prove each year that they can replace last year's stars. I have such high hope for this team it is unreal. Butch (Jones) has got the greatest ranked recruiting class coming into UC. Anyways, my real question is -- do you see UC getting more looks for four-star recruits and even a few top 150 guys? I mean there are quite a few in this area and obviously we won't get the top rated guys, but can you see Butch getting some of these four-star guys?
Adelson: Well that is going to be a lot tougher with Mr. Urban Meyer setting up shop in Columbus. I don't really think it is much of a reflection on Jones, but sitting in the shadow of The Ohio State University. You know as well as I do that all those fancy stats you listed are not going to convince a recruit when he can play in the Horseshoe, and in the Big Ten. I think Butch has done a solid job in recruiting, as evidence by the 31 commitments so far. Cincinnati has won Big East titles without all the four-star and ESPU150 talent. To me, all that is meaningless in the end because you don't truly know what you have until these kids hit college. Isaiah Pead and Zach Collaros were three-star players; JK Schaffer and Derek Wolfe were two-star. I'm pretty sure you were happy to have them, right?
Nick G in Hartford, Conn., writes: Hello there Andrea. Uconn lost it's QB coach to Fordham for the head coaching position there. I heard that Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, the son of great coach JoePa is leaving PSU, Do you think there is a possibility Jay Pa comes or at least gets looked at for the UConn QB coach position? Thanks great job all year, but especially the last 4-5 weeks... Lots of other BE fans think the same way, too!!
Adelson: Thanks, Nick. Much appreciated. This must be a hot topic of conversation, because I saw it in Desmond Conner's mailbag at The Hartford Courant. Jay Paterno does have past ties to UConn, having served as tight ends coach for the Huskies in the early 1990s. And let's not forget that UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni played for Joe Paterno at Penn State. So the connections are there. The bottom line comes down to what Pasqualoni wants in a quarterbacks coach. I don't know who is on his short list, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gave Jay a look.