Let's end the week with some of your questions.
Mark Heath in McLean, Va., writes: I don't see how stability can come, unless some objective standards are applied to whatever you wish to call the "top division", and schools are included (or not included) based on these standards. I am thinking here of minimum facility requirements, minimum average attendance over time, TV audience drawing capability (admittedly a tough one to objectively measure), and other such reasonable "hard cuts". This could be done on a reasonable sliding scale that could separate the 60 to 70 schools who really qualify, and moving the others into a new division, or even down to FCS (1AA). However, until some measure of objectivity is adopted, the arbitrary nature of what is happening now is not only unfair, but probably illegal under Sherman / Clayton antitrust and unfair competition statutes. Count on it: If the powers-that-be don't come up with something that has a decent rationale, someday you will see the Mother of all Class-Action lawsuits -- and the little guys will win. The bull-headed arrogance of the BCS brass will be the reason. Let's avoid this disaster, and get back to objective measurements, and rational inclusion or exclusion, equally applied to all. Just a thought.
Andrea Adelson: You bring up an interesting way of looking at realignment. But I have to wonder about the potential for a lawsuit. College football was dragged in front of Congress already because of what many perceived to be anti-trust issues surrounding the BCS. I am just curious how this case would be any different. The powers-that-be would argue that free market economics have sorted out the haves from the have nots in a college football version of "survival of the fittest."
Jordan in Lakeland, Fla., writes: Every time you post on USF it seems like you want to pick them to win the Big East but you can't get over the way they have let you down in the past. Search your feelings Andrea, you know it to be true (Star Wars weekends is in Orlando this month). Let's let the past be in the past and look forward to the future. Hey, if the Bulls let you down this year just pick them to finish last in conference from here on out. You and I both know who you really think will win it all this year.
Adelson: It has nothing to do with letting me down, and everything to do with falling short of expectations every year. You and I both know there are teams that cannot get over whatever demons are in their past. The more I evaluate USF, the more I believe this team is legit. Phil Steele thinks the Bulls are, that is for sure. You will have to wait until we get closer to the season to see if I've changed my mind.
Ryan in Schuylkill County, Pa., writes: Why even have divisions? Just do a random schedule every year and have the two teams with the best conference records play in the Big East Championship. If the SEC had this format last year, LSU and Bama would have played in the SEC championship and the winner would have played Stanford or Oklahoma State in the national championship. Maybe this only makes sense to me, but I think it may be a solution to a lot of geographical problems.
Adelson: You never know. LSU and Alabama may have randomly played last year without a divisional format. Having divisions makes scheduling easier, and also helps foster the rivalries that are so critical to college football. Random scheduling just wouldn't work.
Corey in Hurricane, W.Va., writes: While I enjoyed looking over your "Best Individual Seasons in Big East History" story and picking and choosing where I thought some of the performances ranked...I was a little alarmed that Geno Smith's 2011 season was no where to be found. We're talking about a guy who set Big East records for passing yards, total offense, had a great TD to INT ratio and won a BCS game in extraordinary fashion. If Brian Brohm is on there for '07, or Rutgers' Sanu for last year, there is no way Smith isn't on the list.
Adelson: You are absolutely right, Corey. Geno Smith should have been on that list. No excuses from me. I made a mistake, and have added him in retroactively.
James in Madison, N.J., writes: What do you think the chances are that Villanova would be considered for Big East membership in football again?
Adelson: Slim to none. The Big East really wants another Western team to help Boise State and San Diego State.