Friday, September 7, 2012
Big East mailblog
By Andrea Adelson
So, Pitt ...
CF Fan writes: Pitt is literally one of the worst football teams I have ever seen. Why would the ACC, or any conference for that matter, want the Panthers? There is no way they bring in money. Maybe it's that the Panthers are so bad, everyone else looks better?
Andrea Adelson: As has been the case with many of these expansion moves, on-the-field football product is not always the No. 1 determining factor in expansion. Pitt does bring in a major media market to the ACC. But remember when this move was made? Last September, when it appeared the new wave was to expand upward from 12. Now only the SEC and ACC have gone that high. This has been a miserable start to the season, no question about that. But understand the reality of the situation in Pittsburgh. This team is on head coach No. 4 in three years; players are learning their third system in three years; and recruiting has been impacted because of the coaching changes. So there is a reason for the struggles. But I will also say this: I am still downright stunned at how completely disjointed this team has looked in the first two games. Mindless penalties, Tino Sunseri wasting a chance for a score at the end of the first half against Cincinnati; an offensive line that is just as terrible as last season; a defense playing with no aggression or passion. Some of these issues can be corrected. If not, Pitt is in for one of its worst seasons in recent memory.
Nic B in Louisville writes: I can't help wondering how Kirk Herbstreit feels about his Herbie awards pick that Pitt will win the Big East now.
Adelson: I have an answer to that one. Near the end of the Pitt-Cincinnati game Thursday night, Herbstreit said on Twitter: "I told ya Pitt was the team to beat in the Big East!.Mercy..I'm all over that one..haha.1st mulligan of the yr..T. Bridgewater and the Cards."
Sabrina in New York writes: ACC joke: Pittsburgh is suing to join ACC this year. They read that losing to an FCS team to open season is predictor of winning conference (see 2010 season).
Marc Wilson in Fresno, Calif., writes: BYU will most likely not join the Big East. Do you foresee Air Force joining the league? I personally am a fan of the Mountain West because of Fresno State and Boise State. I personally hope Air Force does not leave the Mountain West for the Big East as the leaders who turned down the invite are still there but I'm sure money may influence Air Force come November if TV negotiations are done by then. If both Air Force and BYU do not join the Big East my hope is for Fresno State to follow Boise State and San Diego State to the Big East but president (John) Welty will not put football only in the Big East.
Adelson: I got this question a lot in the mailbag, after commissioner Mike Aresco confirmed last week the Big East will try and add team No. 14. I have to believe the league will try and go after BYU and Air Force again. I think they both say no again. Air Force made it very clear it was happy staying in the Mountain West with the ability to stay in one main geographic location for games. If money was not a factor then, why are things going to be different now? I still believe the Big East will try and look West first to help out Boise State and San Diego State but things have been quiet on the actual schools under consideration.
Dale in El Paso, Texas, writes: I was very impressed with the UConn defense and in my book Paul Pasqualoni is a solid coach. He never got the credit for what he did at Syracuse!
Adelson: I think Pasqualoni has gotten credit for what he did at Syracuse, despite his shortcomings in his final few seasons there. Pasqualoni is a defensive coach, so it is no surprise to see this group do well in Week 1. I expected this to be one of the best defenses in the Big East. The big challenge comes this week against a good team from the ACC.
John in Woodbridge, N.J., writes: Hello Andrea, back into the swing of college football again. I am very concerned with Rutgers turnover problems. I know it's only one game, but the body of work [2011 & 2012] with [Gary] Nova and [Savon] Huggins; INT and fumbling problems are a issue. Also when Nova gets under a little pressure, he throws off his back foot. On top of that, never saw so many penalties from a Rutgers team. Maybe [Kyle] Flood is to lax with his players. What are your thoughts?
Adelson: I do not think we can say outright Flood is too lax with his players after one game. The penalties are troubling, no question, and so are the turnovers. But when Nova won the job, I remember writing that I was concerned with his penchant for throwing too many interceptions. Rutgers has got to try and get him to feel a little more comfortable out there. As for Huggins, I wouldn't be surprise if Jawan Jamison is eventually the every down back. Hard to keep him off the field.
David L writes: Andrea in your power rankings you said "The Bulls just need some more consistency on offense after a really so-so performance. USF coach Skip Holtz said afterward of his offense, "There seemed to be a lot of confusion." How many times do we need to put up with the SAME excuse? I'm tired of seeing my team look bad and turn into a punching bag as the season moves on. If USF had some powerful donors, do you think they would ignite a fire and get at the very least Todd Fitch OUT OF HERE?
Adelson: I should hope if Fitch is doing that poorly, Holtz could come to that decision on his own without the intervention of powerful donors. I am never in favor of folks who have little football knowledge and gobs of money dictating decisions. I know there has been a lot of frustration from USF fans over Fitch, and how pedestrian this offense has looked with what appears to be talent at the skill positions. I know there have been some questionable play calls as well. But it was Week 1. I am not rushing to judgment on USF and Fitch just yet.