Let's open up the mailbag!
Michael in Louisville writes: "The guy who makes us go is Teddy Bridgewater. He's unique. I've been coaching this position for about 20 years now, and I've had some really good kids. Teddy is the best I've been around, and it's easy to say because you saw the type of year he had."What's unique about Teddy is that his character is his greatest attribute. He's a good passer and a good athlete, and he has all those things he does really well, but his character is what makes him the player he is. I've never been around a kid who studies the game like he does. He's the kind of kid who internalizes teaching, which means you tell him one time and he takes it personally and fixes it. You never see the same mistake twice on film. He does whatever it takes. If he's having a hard time or struggling with something, he's willing to put the extra time in to make it right." -- Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson.
Let's hope the perpetually erratic B.J. Daniels enjoys being the SECOND best quarterback in the Big East in 2012!
Andrea Adelson: I will never forget my first conversation with Watson last year, and the way he gushed about Bridgewater. That was before we even saw Bridgewater play in a game! Big things are in store, that is for sure. But I have to say, the Daniels-Bridgewater debate has been a fun one to discuss over these offseason months. I think a poll may be in order sometime soon. Stay tuned!
Irish Loop in New Haven, Conn., writes: How on Earth does the ACC continue to fool people into thinking they are somehow heads and shoulders above the Big East? Has anybody noticed their atrocious BCS record? Suddenly ESPN refers to the "Big Five" and the Big East isn't included at the table?
Adelson: I think Darren in Columbia has something more to say on this. Take it away, Darren.
Darren in Columbia, S.C., writes: Andrea, I know that WVU will be leaving soon, but it still burns me up that the BE gets no love. I spent years defending this conference and I guess it's the fight is still in me. Have you seen the interview with John Swofford on College Football Live? At least twice he speaks of there being 'five power conferences.' I think it goes without saying that by that statement he is leaving the Big East out. WHAT A TOOL! This really gets my blood boiling, because if he has the nerve to call his conference a power conference, then the BE would have to be in that discussion as well. His poor excuse for a conference hasn't won a BCS game since when? 500 BC? What is their BCS bowl record, 2 wins and 14 gazillion losses? Doesn't BE newcomer Boise have as many BCS wins by themselves as the entire ACC conference combined? .....and, let me see here....the ACC is one of the "FIVE" (count 'em), five power conferences? OK, what did I miss? I would love nothing better than to see the All Cupcake Conference crash and burn. It would be sweet justice since they are the ones who actually started the conference realignment cancer back in 2004.
Adelson: ESPN refers to the "Big Five" because commissioners like Swofford have made it clear the Big East is in a second tier. Let me see here ... Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has said it; Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas has said it. Swofford has said this. Heck, even Michigan coach Brady Hoke has said it (though he gives a thumbs down to the ACC). How has the ACC snowed over its colleagues? Probably because it has a perennial Top 25 team in Virginia Tech, and Florida State and Miami in its back pocket, for whenever they decide to be relevant again. BCS records are clearly irrelevant for anybody interested in ACTUAL football. I explored more on this topic in a recent blog post. I just think there has been a failure on the Big East's part to do more to make sure it stays in that top group. All these men have derided the league publicly, and there has been silence from the Big East office.
White Dog 777 in New London, Conn., writes: With the critical Big East TV contract negotiations beginning in the fall, I am surprised that there is not a greater sense of urgency to hire a new commissioner right away. It would seem to me the Big East would want a new commissioner in place soon in order to formulate a winning media strategy well in advance of September. I have read Kevin Weiber, Deputy Commissioner, COO, Pac-12 mentioned. In one of your blogs, I suggested Craig Thompson, Commissioner Mountain West conference, Britton Banowsky, Commissioner, Conference USA and Charles Bloom, associate commissioner SEC. Craig Thompson, has the skill set coupled with his relationship with Boise, San Diego State and perhaps Air Force. Banowsky has the relationships with BE teams, and the experience to be a great choice, too. Andrea, why is there not a greater sense of urgency to hire now and do you have any thoughts about who would make a good choice for the next Big East commissioner?
Adelson: Hiring a commissioner takes time. Look at how long it took for the Big 12 to decide on Bob Bowlsby. You cannot just snap your fingers and get somebody in place immediately. There has to be an extensive vetting process; there has to be a search to make sure you have the best candidates; and this is happening in the middle of the summer, a time when many folks are on vacation. Also keep in mind this is a very, very difficult job -- one that might not appeal to everybody. I think the Big East is moving as fast as it can, and wants to have somebody in place by September, when the negotiations begin. My guess is that the media rights plan is going to be formulated and in place for when the new commissioner begins. I don't have any names to throw out there at this time. I just think the Big East needs a visionary, forward-thinking leader. Remember, Thompson and Banowsky have had their conferences raided, too.
DB in DC writes: Your thoughts on Mr. Steele's preseason ranking of UCF at No. 15 and USF at No. 20? Accurate? Where do you see them at season's end? Will UCF leave C-USA with a third ring? Will USF ever get a ring? Love your work.
Adelson: Thanks, DB. I was surprised to see UCF at No. 15. I think the Knights have the potential for a bounce-back season, but I also think USF has the potential to win the Big East. I think both will be bowl bound when the season ends, though I'm not sure either gets to 10 wins in the regular season. At this point, I think USF is a better team than UCF -- if that is the bottom line to what you are asking.