First, let us get to the results of my highly scientific poll from last week. Which incoming team will fare the best in Year 1?
Nearly 3,000 votes were cast, and 44 percent voted for UCF, also my choice. Houston and Memphis were next, and SMU finished last. I also stand corrected in one point I made in that post. Houston will have a quarterback competition this spring and there are no guarantees David Piland will retain his job. Houston just signed junior college transfer quarterbacks Billy Cosh and three-star quarterback John O'Korn as well.
Now on to your questions.
Jim in The Nati writes: Do you see Big East scheduling benefiting from the B1G (and possibly Big XII) announcing they won't schedule FCS teams?
Andrea Adelson: That is a great question. My initial thought is that I am not sure the high profile Big Ten/Big 12 teams would schedule a home-and-home with teams in the Big East. If they are giving up an FCS game, that means they are giving up a home game; hence they would most likely want a home game on their schedule. The Big Ten generally likes to schedule with the MAC, so that league could be a bigger beneficiary than it is now. But don't forget, the Big Ten is thinking about playing 10 league games so that would alter the thinking about how to schedule nonconference games.
Brian in Washington DC writes: Andrea, You are amazing. Fun exercise time: Please explain why the Ron Prince hire is a good one (if possible).
Adelson writes: Aww, shucks. Thank you. Ron Prince is a good hire because he's not Dave Brock. OK that is mean. I think there may be some who wonder about this hire because of what happened during his time at Kansas State. No question his team there regressed, and Bill Snyder had to come back on his white horse. There is one other question factor: the last time he served as an offensive coordinator was in 2005, at Virginia. He spent three years in that role there, and did develop some good offensive players. He worked with guys like D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Heath Miller. In 2004, Virginia led the ACC in rushing and total offense. My knee-jerk reaction is that I want to wait and see how it plays out. What is positive is that he brings a fresh perspective to the Rutgers offense, something that is desperately needed.
Ken in Orlando writes: In your Big East mailblog on Feb. 15 you said "the Big East is essentially another version of Conference USA." The Big East has has a hard enough time. Why do you have to make things sound worse than they are? The reported TV deal would be approximately 70 percent higher per team than what current C-USA teams receive. The reported TV deal is also significantly higher than what the MWC teams receive from their TV contract. So, in reality, the New Big East is still the number six football conference and far more than another version of C-USA.
Adelson writes: I did not say the Big East was an exact replica. But let me take a quick count here ... Eight of the 11 teams that will be onboard by 2015 once played in Conference USA, with the exceptions being UConn, Temple and Navy. So the reported TV deal is higher than C-USA and MWC? It's lower than what the Big East gets under its current deal. The Big East may "still be No. 6" but it's fallen further behind the ACC in terms of money and name brand. Let's not kid ourselves.
OceansRain in Cincinnati writes: With all this craziness surrounding conference realignment and the Big East split ups (with football schools leaving and the basketball-only schools deciding to form their own conference), I feel the Big East name "brand" has taken a major hit in quality and respect as far as conference names go. I was wondering what the feasibility would be if the the football schools (Cincy and gang) would allow the basketball-only schools to keep the Big East name with them along with naming rights and just rename themselves or resurrect one of the names from a conference of the past. For example The Metro Conference?
Adelson: I am a proponent of a name change, but the Big East plans to fight for the name. Commissioner Mike Aresco told fellow Big East blogger Matt Fortuna last week:
Our feeling is we would fight hard for it because we think that you can do a fresh approach and keep the name. We would talk about the new Big East or the reinvented Big East, because it isn't the same Big East it was a few months ago. We can't pretend it is. We've had 12 teams leave in the interim for various reasons, and no one's fault, but the point is we know we're a different conference even though we are the Big East. The Big East has tremendous brand equity built up over a lot of years, in basketball and in football. And so consequently our preference would be to keep the name and just rebuild our league and rebuild the brand. I don't think it needs much rebuilding, but clearly when you've had some of the publicity we've had, you need to deal with that and we will. So we think going forward with that brand, with that brand equity is more advantageous than not.