Big East mailblog

Time to open up the ol' mailbag.

Manny in Tampa writes: Could this be Skip's last season at USF? With another bad season, he is out of the door, and if the Bulls win the Big East, he will probably go on to coach at a school in one of the big four conferences. Skip had a lot of success at East Carolina and did more with less there but has had all the talent here but has not produced. At times, I miss Jim Leavitt, at least he lived up to some of the hype behind some good Bulls teams. I used to go to many USF games and last year was the first time which I have given away my tickets to home games. I want Skip to succeed but I am afraid his style does not work well with the type of talent available at USF.

Andrea Adelson: You miss Jim Leavitt? Surely you don't mean that. What hype did his teams live up to? How do you think this whole "choking" label got started? I understand this past season was a disappointment for USF fans, and you may be feeling down about Skip Holtz right about now. But let's just see what he does with the talent and veterans on this team. Hopes are high, and it's time for USF to meet expectations. But whether they do or don't, I don't think anybody can say with any certainty whether he will be in Tampa this time next year. That's not a commentary on Skip, but rather a commentary on the profession in general.

Ken in Connecticut writes: AA, in your reference to Ray Graham getting to face the team that ended his season last year (for the Week 11 road trip), he blew out his knee while trying to make a cut, not because of some malicious hit by a Uconn player, which sounds like you are saying.

Adelson: I was afraid that is the way it would come off. In no way did I mean that. I am going to clarify. Thank you for point it out.

MemphisTiger3 in Memphis writes: I noticed that you had a ? for a rival with my Tigers. As one of the few who actually care about Memphis football, if the Big East added a Western team, more than likely they would be rivals with Boise State or San Diego State, which leave Memphis with no hope. The only way to solve this problem is to bring in an eastern team such as East Carolina as we have built a growing rivalry with the Pirates in football, baseball, and even basketball and both fan bases talk a lot of smack to each other. Why the need for a Western team over an Eastern team, which could lead to some interesting and bigger rivalries than a San Jose State or Fresno State? It seems like Memphis vs. Louisville, USF, and ECU could be GREAT rivalry games.

Adelson: All signs point to a Western team to help even out the geographic regions, but there is no active movement now in adding team No. 14. I think the ship has sailed on East Carolina. If Air Force is one of the schools added, you obviously have the Navy rivalry right there and Memphis can get paired up with Temple. That may not be ideal, but you take what you can get.

Amy in Washington, D.C., writes: My question involves the future of the Big East. Several times you have mentioned that Boise State and San Diego State joined the Big East for financial reasons and not BCS reasons. Recently, there have been several reports, conversations among fellow Hoyas, and information circulating that with the new Big East TV contract, football members could be paid anywhere between $3 million to $8 million per year. If it is on the lower end, do you believe the format of the Big East will stay in place? There has been more and more rumors circulating that GU and the other non-football playing members will join up with a few other Catholic universities on the east coast and keep the Big East name but split the football members. What are your thoughts on this?

Adelson: Thanks for writing, Amy. The Big East remains tenuous at best until this new television contract is hammered out. And even then, nobody knows just how stable the league will be. A lot of that depends on how much money the league gets. As I wrote earlier today, it is still impossible to know just how much the Big East will receive when it begins negotiations in September. Estimations vary wildly. But let's just take your low end of $3 million for a hypothetical. That still doubles what Boise State and San Diego State currently receive from their TV deals in the Mountain West. I still think everybody is better off together than apart for financial reasons, but the speculation about a split remains a hot topic of speculation.

Bearcatvol in Dalton, Ga., writes: I was just on Phil Steele's website and he has UCF preseason picked No. 15. I'm looking at his Top 40 and he has at least six "New Big East" teams in it. Do you think this will turn any heads nationally? I think it should.

Adelson: It should, but I doubt it will. The Big East has an uphill climb when it comes to perception. What will slowly start to change minds is consistently having a top-5 team year in and year out. Getting teams into the playoff and mucking things up for the SEC? Now that would be HUGE.

Cannot Stand You writes: I wish we could get rid of you like (John) Marrinatto. You do nothing for the blogs and you know very little to anything about sports. Please go somewhere else in ESPN or just leave. You do not realize how many people cannot stand you.

Adelson: Oh man. I really thought I would be able to give this speech in my next video.