- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let's end the week with another dip into the mailbag.
Anthony in Clyde, Ohio, writes: Looking to the past, had Brian Kelly or RichRod or some of the other good coaches not left for other schools how would the Big East look today? Would Cincy or West Virginia have a national championship?
Adelson: If pigs had wings, right? We will never know the answer to your question. But I can try and hazard a guess, based on what we have seen from them, and their former teams since they left. First, Cincinnati. One of the big reasons the Bearcats struggled in 2010 after Kelly left was because of depth issues. I don't think that would have changed if he was still in charge. We already saw Cincinnati go undefeated in 2009 and not play for a championship under Kelly. I don't think the market forces would have changed any of that had the Bearcats gone undefeated again in 2010 and 2011. As for Rodriguez, he had his chance to play for a championship in 2007 and blew it. Had he stayed around, maybe he would have gotten another shot. But that would have asked a lot, when you look at the teams that did play for national championships since his departure. One more note -- West Virginia would have still left for the Big 12.
Jake in Iselin, N.J., writes: I was looking over the Phil Steele All-Big East teams that you linked and couldn't help but notice Victor Marc at fourth team punt returner. Personally, I wouldn't rate him at higher than 16th team punt returner after what I witnessed last year. Isn't it pretty safe to expect that we'll be seeing Terrence Mitchell back at PR this year since he's healthy? I really don't think I can watch another year of Marc giving up touchdown on plays that T-Rex can bring back for good field position. Did you hear anything about the punt returner for USF during spring?
Adelson: Everything I have heard points to Mitchell returning punts again. I don't really blame Marc for what happened last season. USF just wanted somebody back there who wouldn't fumble or give up major field position. The Bulls played it safe because Marc was the most dependable person they could trust back there.
Greg in Chicago writes: If FSU and/or Miami joins the Big 12, do you think the ACC would look at USF to keep the Florida footprint? Please tell me maybe? Seriously, I know the ACC is proud of the academics their institutions have, which is one of the key arguments the FSU Faculty are making against joining the Big 12. USF is a Research 1 University, second only in the state to UF and was just named one of the top 50 universities in the country by the National Science Foundation. Not to mention the ninth largest university in the U.S., has outstanding facilities and a good TV market. Thanks!
Adelson: I do not think USF will make the list. No. 1 on that wish list would be Notre Dame. Then UConn and Rutgers would probably be next.
Kevin in Westwood, N.J. writes: Andrea. Love your blog. With all of the talk lately about conferences being left out of the playoff picture, specifically, the Big East and the ACC as well as all of the even lesser conferences ... If they all have a vote and say in the matter why don't they band together and out vote the "Big 4" to establish an eight (or more) team playoff that allows for all the conferences to have a shot at the playoffs. IE six conference champions(or more) and a few (two or more) wild cards????? Or some other plan that works for all conferences???
Adelson: I think getting to a four-team playoff is a huge step for administrators who have been reluctant to do so since ... forever. Most every coach I speak with is still in favor of a bowl system with the four-team playoff. I have not heard from many who prefer this eight-team playoff. First, there is concern for the student-athlete well-being. You are now adding three extra games to a team that gets to the championship game. That is on top of a league championship game, putting two teams at 16 games -- a full NFL regular season. Second, it would diminish regular-season play, something many coaches are worried about even now, with only a four-team playoff. Third, the demands of extra games would be hard for coaches, players and fans. I know there is a notion out there that if you have a four-team playoff, you might as well get to eight. But I don't think those in charge are ready to take that next step.