- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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No Big East schedule yet, guys. The hope is that it is done at the end of next week, but remember it is not as simple as just substituting Temple for West Virginia. Working TV schedules for midweek games, and dealing with NFL home games at three different schools are also part of the process.
Now on to some of the other questions in the mailbag today.
Ronald in Boise, Idaho, writes: Do you believe that Boise will ever play a down of football in the Big East? There is growing tension out here that with the new changes coming to the BCS, we are better off in the Mountain West merger in terms of recruiting, travel, rivalries, and general fan interest than in the Big East. With the basketball additions to the Big East of Temple and Memphis, there is not much excitement among Bronco fans in terms of future football matchups. Some think this will even hurt our program. Seems similar feelings happening down in San Diego. What are your thoughts AA?
Adelson: I know one thing for sure -- Boise State will be better off financially in the Big East, AND will have a better chance at making whatever playoff is to come, even without AQ status. Why? Strength of schedule will be better playing a Big East slate as opposed to the MWC/C-USA merger schedule. Example -- In 2009, undefeated Cincinnati finished ahead of undefeated TCU in the final BCS standings. Undefeated Boise State was No. 6. As for future football matchups, it's not like you are leaving behind a thrill a minute. What, are you you going to miss Colorado State? New Mexico?
Keith in W.Va., writes: Now that your top 25 review is complete, does that wrap your coverage of WVU, or will you still cover them until July 1?
Adelson: I mean it when I say this is the very last time I will answer this question: West Virginia is now the property of the Big 12 blog. Go forth to Mr. Ubben!
Dwayne in NYC writes: Andrea, you really gotta stop being down on UConn. You make it seem like they are gonna be a bottom feeder and you have no sound reasons to think that UConn cannot be competitive in the Big East (as they have been for years). UConn has a good amount of transfers coming in (see Bryce McNeal, WR, Clemson, Shakim Phillips, WR, Boston College, Ryan Donohue, LB, Maryland, Alex Mateas, OL, Penn State), and they lost only a few seniors, mostly on the interior of the defensive line. Chandler Whitmer transferred from Butler Community College was listed by ESPN as one of the most accurate passers coming out of high school in 2009. He hasn't gotten a lot of attention but he will be most likely be the starting quarterback. They also have Joseph Williams, a running back who just enrolled in January and he is very explosive. I'd be shocked if UConn didn't improve this year. Coach (Paul) Pasqualoni is not a joke. In fact, he's the most experienced coach in the Big East.
Adelson: I think having a quarterback dilemma going into spring for the second straight year is cause for concern. Whitmer had his chance to win the starting job at Illinois and did not, leading to his transfer to junior college. So I am interested to see how that year has helped develop him into a full-time starter. Let's not forget there were issues up front on the offensive line last year, and now the Huskies lose their two best players in Mike Ryan and Moe Petrus. Kashif Moore and Isiah Moore are also gone from the receiving group, and the defense loses Kendall Reyes and has to fix major issues in the secondary. To me, all these questions are valid headed into spring practice.
Mike in Rochester, N.Y., writes: The fact that Phillip Thomas is not on your Top 25 for the Big East is offensive. He was the best safety in the league and led the league in interceptions. He basically held an otherwise very poor secondary together the entire year. And you can't use getting suspended as an excuse because you have Chandler Jones way too high on the list. I would love to hear your logic for the exclusion.
Adelson: Thomas was a part of a secondary that gave up over 300 yards in five games last year. The passing defense was among the worst in the nation as well. I would say that is justification enough for leaving him off.
Jim in Atlanta writes: Andrea: In your response to the B1G/Pac-12 scheduling agreement, you left out the most important reason that the leagues made the agreement -- TV money. Have you looked at how pathetic the Pac-12 and especially B1G schedules are in weeks 2-4, where the games will take place? Pac-12 and B1G are doing it to add higher quality games for the conference TV networks, and it's no coincidence that agreement starts in 2017, which will be the first year of the new B1G broadcast deal. No other conferences will do a similar deal unless they have the same financial incentives that the Pac-12 and B1G do.
Adelson: Oh, I have seen those nonconference schedules all right. But you bring up a good point I should have mentioned. Thank you for adding to the conversation.