Friday, May 13, 2011
Your vote: Big East coaches who need wins
By Brian Bennett
It's Friday, and the Big East polls are back open.
We're looking for your take on a burning question facing the league for 2011. We'll tally up your votes in the poll below and react to the result later on. Leading off this morning's vote: Which Big East coach most needs to win in 2011?
Let me qualify this question by saying I don't think any league coach is on the hot seat this season. Of course, I thought Dave Wannstedt was perfectly safe last year and figured Bill Stewart would survive by winning nine games and a share of the conference title. So it just goes to show you that no one is ever truly free from the firing block. Here are the five nominees:
- Butch Jones, Cincinnati: I doubt athletic director Mike Thomas is going to overreact, but a 4-8 debut season following the high times of Brian Kelly hasn't endeared Jones to a lot of Bearcats fans yet. Another subpar year will have him facing some heat.
- Greg Schiano, Rutgers: Schiano basically is the Scarlet Knights program at this point and appears in little danger of being bought out. But some fans are starting to wonder why he hasn't won a Big East title in his decade on the banks, and last year's 4-8 season didn't help.
- Bill Stewart, West Virginia: Stewart is on the way out after 2011 no matter what. But a strong swan song would greatly enhance his legacy.
- Todd Graham, Pittsburgh: Graham isn't going to be fired after one season regardless, but athletic director Steve Pederson needs him to succeed quickly to make up for the botched hiring of Mike Haywood in December.
- Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut: Like Graham, Pasqualoni is only in Year 1 and won't be fired. But the expectations around the Huskies are higher than ever after last year's Fiesta Bowl, and Pasqualoni needs to avoid a major dropoff to keep the momentum going forward.
So there are your nominees. Now it's time to let your voice be heard.