Happy Friday, everyone! Let's get some of your questions answered before we hit the weekend.
Chris in Rutgers Nation writes: Hey Andrea, I just read your post on the best rivalry in the Big East. I wonder what your opinion is on the Rutgers-UConn rivalry. I'm from Connecticut but went to RU. I know the deep hatred that not only the schools, but the states have for each other. The games in the past couple of years have gone back and forth, and despite the mediocre years both schools have had, a lot of people get really pumped for that game!
Andrea Adelson: Chris, you and several other readers have pointed out the growing rivalry between the two schools, so I should have at least mentioned that. Especially after what happened last year between Rutgers and UConn. I don't think fans from either school will ever forget that. You are right that the games have been close and unpredictable. But from an outside perspective, it is hard to get a gauge on how much fans from both schools dislike each other.
Rickey in Lehigh Acres, Fla., writes: Your ultimate road trip should include two games in Week 1. The Friday night game in Philly could be quite interesting. Villanova and Temple don't like each other and I wonder how Villanova feels now that Temple is in the Big East and Nova's football program didn't make the jump. And since it's a Friday game you can still make Kentucky-Louisville on Sunday.
Adelson: There are several weeks where I could make multiple trips because of the mid-week games. But during the season, I usually go to just one game a week if I am on the road. So I am just trying to pick one as well. But you are right, Temple-Nova is definitely an interesting game.
Ty in Cincinnati writes: Andrea, How do you think getting four players drafted into the NFL is going to help UC in recruiting? I know it isn't a lot but solid picks of two second rounds, one third, and one fourth. Last year, we saw two Bearcats step into NFL lineups and immediately contribute in Jason Kelce with Eagles and Connor Barwin with the Texans. Do you foresee coach (Butch) Jones start to get more quality in volume or are we going to get one or two in a class? I know this recent class was the highest rated since they started rating players. Do you think Jones could start getting a reputation of producing NFL ready players?
Adelson: It is a positive any time you lead your league in players drafted, the way Cincinnati did this year. Obviously it takes a little more than a few draft classes to start building a reputation, but certainly Jones and the Bearcats have a lot going for them. Recruiting has been on the upswing, but more than that, I truly believe coaches are defined by what they do with the talent they have around them. Those star-rating systems mean little in the grand scheme. As you mentioned, Cincinnati has not had highly rated classes, yet still produces NFL talent -- just like Boise State does. Jones can sell the NFL to these players who may not be five-stars. Just because they aren't being recruited by the likes of Michigan and Ohio State doesn't mean they will never get to the NFL. He has the proof.
Mike C in Louisville writes: Hi Andrea! I'm hoping your comment about USF having more depth at wide receiver than Louisville was meant to spark conversation! :) I think its pretty obvious that Louisville and Teddy Bridgewater will have more playmakers at WR. We have a couple ESPN four-star wide receivers and several three-star as well. I think DeVante Parker (local product) is a man at his position and should have been a four-star as well. Looking at the rosters, USF's receivers are just not as talented as Louisville's. They may have more depth, but having a few more "non" playmakers won't help B.J. Daniels this year. Thanks for the Blogs!
Adelson: I had a feeling some would dispute my assertion. I think this is actually a pretty good debate to have. I truly believe both groups are supremely talented, but they must take the next step this year. Both groups are looking for talented playmakers to step up. Charlie Strong and Skip Holtz have said as much. Interestingly, two of the better players the teams have -- Eli Rogers for Louisville and Sterling Griffin for USF -- find themselves with the second team on the respective depth charts. Nobody has touted Scott Radcliff to me, yet there he is with the first team. Radcliff had one heck of a spring. But I don't think he's one of the three- or four-star players you mentioned. I think Parker is great. But I also think Andre Davis for USF has as much talent -- he also was a four-star. So was Chris Dunkley, the transfer from Florida who's now eligible. This has given me an idea. Stay tuned for a tale of the tape on the Louisville and USF receivers next week.
Jim C in New Jersey writes: After reading your article about BCS bowls being incorporated in this new potential playoff system my question is, what bowl do you think they would potentially try and promote to a BCS game if they were to try and go that route. Champ Sports because its the most "prestigious" one we're tied into? Pinstripe because it's in NYC? Or would they maybe try and tie us into the Cotton Bowl? It was almost considered as a replacement for the Fiesta Bowl when they got in hot water and we do have teams in Texas now. None of the above? Basically, where COULD they go with this to try and be included?
Adelson: That is a great question, Jim. I don't think any of the Big East bowl tie-ins are going to be promoted to the "BCS" level. I don't even know if they are going to make another "BCS" game. They may just have a place like Jerry World host a semifinal or a final without tabbing it a BCS game. The bottom line is I'm not sure the Big East will end up with a tie-in to a BCS game after all of the issues facing this four-team playoff are resolved. There isn't one now, and AQ status is going away. So I'm not sure why one would be added all of a sudden.