- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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A final look into the mailbag before I pack up my bags and head to Rhode Island.
Brian Borowski in Albany, N.Y., writes: If USF implodes yet again in Big East play, will Skip Holtz be on the hot seat?
Andrea Adelson: I would have a hard time putting him on the hot seat, considering he just earned a new contract and raise off a 5-7 season. I think the pressure to win would be turned up even more than it is now, but USF clearly feels confident he is the right man for the job moving forward.
John in Woodbridge, N.J., writes: Hello Andrea. Here is a interesting view. 1. Is it good for the Big East that West Virginia plays well and maybe wins the conference. 2. If WVU does well, does it bold well for the teams that played WVU close or beat them, help the Big East look better/stronger? 3. IF Syracuse or Pitt do well in ACC does it show that the Big East is stronger than people realize?
Adelson: John, you do bring up some terrific points. But I am just not sure how West Virginia does this year is going to translate into anything different for the Big East, from a perception standpoint. Especially since West Virginia has been the flag bearer in terms of national pub. I know Cincinnati fans are going to take issue with that statement. But if I had asked any Joe Fan on the street for the most recognizable football program in the Big East at this time last year, I bet the majority answer would have been West Virginia. So this is a team that already has a good football reputation going to a better conference. If the Mountaineers win, I am not sure many will be surprised. I actually think the opposite is true. If West Virginia fails spectacularly, I think negative stereotypes could be made much worse. I can hear the pundits saying, "See, West Virginia was never any good because it played in a bad conference." As for Pitt and Syracuse, I do not think immediate wins in the ACC will reflect on the Big East, either. Just my thoughts.
Habib Haddad on Planet Earth writes: So this is how far the Big East has fallen? Talking up Pitt and the 'Cuse's opportunities in the ACC!?!
Adelson:As a friendly reminder, Pitt and Syracuse remain in the Big East for this football season, so I will be covering both schools on this blog until they transition onto the ACC blog next year.
Jim in New Jersey writes: Did you see this article on Rutgers? I would like your thoughts.
Adelson: I did see that article, Jim, and have a few thoughts. I have written before on the sterling academic achievements at Rutgers. I think it is great the Scarlet Knights have really put a major emphasis on academic performance. But I do not think what happened at Penn State can mean a blanket judgment on other programs that win the "right way." Before all of this happened, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of articles praising Joe Paterno for winning the "right way." I am not saying Rutgers has anything to hide. I am just saying Rutgers deserves credit for its academic achievements without having comparisons made to the atrocities at Penn State. I do not think the two go together.
Ken in Connecticut writes: Also another mediocre year for Paul Pasqualoni, do you think he could be gone, considering the AD who hired him got a pink slip?
Adelson: Unless UConn goes 0-12, I have to believe Pasqualoni will get a third year. Most coaches at FBS programs do, and UConn was very close to being a bowl team a year ago. The Huskies lost several games in the fourth quarter and had really inconsistent quarterback play. I think that position will be seriously improved this year.
Rich in Connecticut writes: Hello. Enjoy the blog and I'm happy to get as much college football information as possible during the summer.I've seen various reports and rankings and blah, blah, blah and as a UConn fan, find myself wondering (wishful thinking, perhaps) if UConn will be better than pundits think. According to the Athlon link, UConn has the most top 50 players in the conference. This of course, is not an indication of greatness for a team, but if the defense is healthy there's no reason they can't compete with every single team in the conference. I understand that QB play is still a question mark, but that will be better this season because it simply can't be worse. Point is, there is talent on the roster and was wondering if you thought UConn may surprise folks this season?
Adelson: Rich! You must have missed my super awesome video with Christian Fauria proclaiming UConn my darkhorse in the Big East. After seeing the various preseason watch lists come out, I stand behind my statement. Particularly because I believe this defense can challenge Rutgers and Louisville and be one of the best in the Big East. Trevardo Williams, Sio Moore and Blidi Wreh-Wilson are among the best players in the league. So are Lyle McCombs and Ryan Griffin. I absolutely believe quarterback will be better, and I think the potential is there for the receivers to be better, too. Now there are concerns on the offensive line with several top players gone. Depth on the defensive line is a question, too. But overall, this Huskies team is very talented and should be playing in a bowl game this year.