Big East mailbag

Happy Mother's Day to all the special ladies out there!

Joel in Florida writes: Hi Andrea, Can you provide 5 point bullet and anything positive about the new AAC and its members' future? I read a lot of negatives in your responses. Glad you are honest. I am not questioning that. I'm literally wanting to know if you have heard or can see any potential with the new setup, its programs, any of the new programs coming in at all? What values do you see potentially with any of the Houstons and UCFs of the world offer the ACC and beyond. Again, IF any??

Andrea Adelson: As I have stated numerous times on this blog, my job is to cover the league, not be a spokesperson for the league. So I think the five-point bullet summary of positives is best left to the people are paid to promote the AAC. While I realize many of you believe I have a negative attitude, I think it would be ignorant to say this league is in the same spot today as it was five years ago. That simply is not the case. The reality is the league no longer has a guaranteed tie-in to one of the elite bowl games, and it will no longer be sharing in the same revenue split from the future playoff as the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 or SEC. That in itself marks a step down in class. Now having said that, I think there are some good possibilities for programs to emerge in this league and gain national traction. When you hear Mike Aresco talking about the opportunities for Houston, UCF and SMU, for example, he always makes valid points. Look at what has happened to Cincinnati and Louisville since joining the Big East. I think the potential is there for a bunch of these schools to be much better known nationally. But will that get the league back into the power group it has left behind?

Vince Borell in Cleves, Ohio, writes: Andrea: I was a little confused by your comments about Cincinnati bringing no monetary value to any league. Not sure where to start. First, you gave no documented evidence to support your claim that Cincinnati does not offer anything of monetary value. Cincinnati including the northern Kentucky area and Dayton Ohio has a huge TV market. Including these groups in the Cincinnati area, it would move Cincinnati up considerably up from 34th TV market size. Secondly, Cincinnati is a large research institution including graduate and doctorate studies in medicine, law, engineering with a large research capabilities. Cincinnati was the 22 largest federal research university in the past year and in the top 50 in patent income. The university has 205,000 overall alumni with over 106,000 living within a 50 mile radius. Third, the university has money. It's endowment is well over 1 billion and just recently finished a campaign and raised another 1 billion for it's academic interests. Fourth, just last year, Cincinnati jumped 17 points (more than any major school) in the US News and World Report ratings. Fifth, with such improvements, Cincinnati feels an invite to the AAU is not far off or within reach. Finally, it's large and quality enrollment reached over 41,000 last year, in par with many other large research institutions such as Michigan, Ohio State and Minnesota. In the Big 10, Cincinnati would be in the middle of the pack for federal research prowess and capabilities. I wish you would consider more about Cincinnati before you type cast us in writing as the school that was left behind. It's a great school, wonderful place and I'm a very proud graduate.

Adelson: You may want to go back and read the blog post. I believe I said no monetary value to the Big Ten. Which already has Ohio State. Which was my point.

Danny Boy in Orlando writes: "USF has underachieved the last two seasons." Have you lost your freakin' mind? Seriously. I've given you the benefit of the doubt for a couple years but Holy Cow! You PERMANENTLY lost another reader on this one. How bout, "USF has never done anything but underachieve"? How bout, "USF will always underachieve"? How bout, "USF has underachieved since INCEPTION"? I'm done. Plenty of blogs out there. Amen. P.S. how bout AA is an underachiever. Take it to the bank. Blog for grocery stores or something.

Adelson writes: Oh the horror! The devastation! Don't let the door hit you on the way out, pal.

Sean in Louisville writes: Did you see Charlie Strong calling "Riders Up" at the Kentucky Derby? What did you think?

Adelson writes: I did, and I thought it was a very strong call.

Dave F in Union, N.J., writes: Andrea, I highly believe Rutgers is the most underrated team in the A.A.C this comming year. (B.E.) Even though (Louisville) beat Florida. They escaped certain doom from Cincy & RU. I think every writer overlooked that.

Adelson: Now here is an unusual mailbag sighting. A Rutgers fan who has something positive to say about the program.

John in Houston writes: I think your "Top returning receivers -- by receptions" article is very misleading on strength of returning receivers, same with your rushers by carriers. Throwing it to someone a lot or handing them the ball often doesn't make them good. (Charles) Sims has less than a 120+ carries than (Lyle) McCombs but has way more total yards, doubles his yards per carry, and five times his touchdown total and Houston started mostly freshmen receivers and juco's last year. There is no physical way they could have as many catches as a three-year starter even if they were dominant. And I'd also like to point out that Dewayne Peace was suspend three games last year, and wasn't a starter his first year, if he was active and played at his average of 6-7 catches a game he'd have been No. 2 on your list. And I urge you to watch the the second half of the Marshall game or the Tulane game from last year. Deonte Greenberry was absolutely dominant and unstoppable no matter how many people covered him, if not for (Tony) Levine testing the Wildcat in the second quarter of the game (with Shane Ros) and taking Crawford (Jones) out the game, it would have been a blowout for Houston. It was like Greenberry had an awakening end of last year, even look at his spring stats, he's been looking amazing as of late. I think the combination of Peace, Greenberry and (Markeith) Ambles with the addition of C-USA All-Freshmen Larry McDuffey and all our top eight receivers returning makes them the best receiving core in the league but I respect your opinion. Just wanted to state mine :)

Adelson writes: Very comprehensive defense of your team. Bravo, John! First, I want to say I did not intend to mislead anybody with the posts. I thought they both showed an interesting breakdown of some of the top returning players in the league. I agree that Houston has some very talented players at receiver. When Ambles made his decision to transfer to Houston, I wrote, "His addition to the Houston receiving corps could make this one of the best in the AAC." Counting Ambles, though, is no sure thing. He's got potential, but that's all he has at this point. Louisville I think has the edge with DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers, and at quarterback. The Cougars are still undecided there.