Welcome to another chat! Let's get started.
Hello Andrea- glad to have you on board in the BEast. Your predecessor was quite the character and we are excited to see what you've got this year. My question for you: How do you rank the following 3 WR's: Mark Harrison, DJ Woods, and Tavon Austin. Any elaboration would be appreciated. Thanks.
Tough question! Are we talking about what type of season I think they can have? I think I would go with Austin, Woods then Harrison, but they are all close. I think Austin and Woods are in an offensive system that will allow them to have tremendous seasons, with quarterbacks that are slightly better than Chas Dodd. Will Harrison be the best WR on Rutgers? That is another question for another day with all the talent at the skill positions.
Where is the conference on the Nova decision?
No decision just yet. Still evaluating.
Do you really think that it would be good business for the BE to expand to 12 teams? At 10, the conference can have a round robin schedule, and determine a true champion like they do now. Yes, having 12 teams allows a championship, but the Big East seems to be in a position now that the one game would bring in more revenue than a ninth week of 5 conference games. Also, remember that during the short lifespan of the Big XII, there were 3 instances that a team would have played for the national title if there were no title game. The BE is lacking in national appeal right now, and it seems to me that the BE would need to bring in some big name schools that they cannot get, because adding Villanova won't help.
No I don't think it would be good business to expand to 12 at this point in time, unless there were 3 slam dunk candidates that could bring in serious $$ into the next TV contract. I don't know that a BE championship game would even be a good thing because of the point you just mentioned. I think it's 9 or 10 teams and that is it.
Welcome to the BE blog Andrea. So far I'm impressed with your candor concerning BCS and playoffs. I feel the same way.Like so many other Mountaineers fans, I have been quite dissapointed in our offense the last couple of years. Do you think Holgorsen will be able to fully install his offense to be successful the first year or do we need to be patient and not expect too much the first season. I don't want to see fans getting irrate because we don't score everytime we have the ball.Good luck in the weeks to come!
Great question, Ralph. I think the talent is absolutely there for West Virginia to return to its high flying days on offense. When you look at Geno, Tavon and some of the other receivers, you have got to have high hopes. The offensive line should be strong, too. The reason people are so excited about West Virginia is because of the potential on offense. Isn't that the reason a move was made to start? As for fans getting irate, I think they would be whether Holgorsen was there or not. The expectations are high among WV fans, and that is not a bad thing.
Andrea, I am just wondering who is covering the ND side of the chats now? Thanks. You are doing a great job by the way!!
Brian should be there to answer all your ND needs. And thanks!
I don't see uconn winning the big east this year. But I do see them making it to a bowl game. What do you see uconn doing this year?
Well, I have UConn down in my power rankings right now because of the questions on offense. That doesn't mean I think the Huskies are going to totally combust. But I am just not sure what to expect out of them with unknowns at quarterback and receiver. Defense should still be solid. I have yet to go through the schedule to make my projected records. I will do that once fall camps open and it becomes a little more clear who is going to be starting.
Andrea,how lame is it if Kelly let's floyd open the season? I say if because you know he's going to play him.
Lame. Look at what Chip Kelly did to Cliff Harris for his speeding/using a car that was rented by a university employee. Drunk driving is serious stuff, and he has been caught 3 times now. For Floyd's sake, I wish Kelly would sit him to teach him the severity of the situation. He could have seriously hurt somebody.
With everything that is going on at WVU over the past few weeks, do you think it will affect them at all this year? Since they were the frontrunner in a lot of peoples eyes, who is your new favorite?
I think WV would have been hurt more if Stewart and Holgorsen would have spent the entire season together, just knowing the type of tension that would have existed and the confusion among the players. I think WV still has to be considered one of the favorites, though it is going to be interesting to see how the laid-back "Dude" handles all his new responsibilities as the HBC.
Andrea - The Pitt defensive line will be strong; the last 2 years, the LB's and DB's have been weak while running Wanny's system. Will they have enough talent in the back 7-8 to keep games close against teams that attack the secondary (WVU, ND, Cinci)?
Great question. I spoke to Todd Graham at length about the secondary at the spring meetings, and he is really high on K'Wuan Williams, Jarred Holley, Jason Hendricks and Antwuan Reed. He really thinks Williams is going to have a breakout season. He said Holley and Hendricks are special at safety. He better be right because of the type of offenses Pitt is going to be facing this season. But if the defensive line is going to be as good as advertised, it can make up for some shortcomings in the secondary by putting lots of pressure on the quarterback. He said the biggest question in his mind is replacing Jabaal Sheard.
How long can Louisville hold onto Charlie Strong? My guess is five seasons, unless he wins a BCS game before that.
Wow, one year and already fear that Mr. Strong is going to bolt? I am not going to place an over/under on this one, though if he does go to a BCS game, you can bet suitors are going to come calling. We already know he has a big fan in Eddie George.
Do you think recent renewal of the Pitt/Penn State rivalry is a signal that the Big 10 may call Pitt up soon? Might the ACC anticipate such a move and make a WVU/Pitt package offer?
No. I think Penn State had room on its schedule for Pitt. I think the Big Ten is done for now when it comes to expansion.
Apparently Coach Holgy is quite a character (casinos, skydiving, jeep for his courtesy car). Should we have any fear that his personality may not mesh with a majority of the slightly more conservative WVU fanbase? Were there ever any character issues at his previous stops?
No character issues that I know of. But from everything I have read, WV fans seem to enjoy how he is a breath of fresh air. Of course, that could all change if WV starts 0-3 and he stirs the pot. He has been known to do that in his previous stops -- he called out Todd Graham for the same thing Oregon called its opponents out for last season -- faking injuries to slow down his offense at Houston.
What have you heard about DH possibly moving up his graduate assistant, Jake Spavital, to QB coach or hiring someone else to fill the vacancy?
Have not heard much of anything on who he is going to hire yet, but he will be speaking with the media tomorrow so maybe he will have some answers for us.
Is it safe to say Stew's coaching career is over? This the second time he has been forced to resign the first at VMI for a racial slur and now for allegedly stabbing his staff member in the back. With his good ol boy rep(his bread and butter attribute) in shreds who hires this guy?
I saw your previous question as well -- what does WV lose. I say nothing. If nobody had any faith that he could get the job done, then he should have been let go in December. And yes, I do think his career is over. Who would hire somebody who has been forced to resign twice? Not only that, many believe he underachieved at WV. Right?
Andrea, first welcome to the Big East and have enjoyed your blogging. My question - What is the latest on Nova moving up in football? Is the proposed expansion of PPL Stadium and its timetable enough to convince WVU, Pitt and Rutgers to remove their objections to Nova joining the BE in football. Would love to hear your comments as to whether or not a Nova move up would create stability in the BE.
I will elaborate just a little more since I was so brief with the earlier question. I don't think the PPL expantion is going to do much to sway the schools that object. The question isn't so much about the stadium but about whether Villanova bumps the BE's national perception. Going to play in a 30,000 seat soccer stadium doesn't do that. Even if Villanova played at the Linc it wouldn't do that. A move up would create stability in terms of not ticking off the hoops members. But it wouldn't boost the national profile, and I don't think it would make hearts beat furiously at the TV negotiating table.
Do you see Notre Dame being a Slam Dunk expansion for the Big East. I know they probably would never accept but could the league expell them for the other sports? And do you believe if WVU goes 9-3 this year it would be consider a "failure"??
I think the BE would do it in a second, but ND never would. ND is the one school that makes the most overall sense. And no, the BE is not going to expell them from the other sports. Your last question is intriguing. You fans tell me -- would 9-3 be a failure? If WV ends the season in a BCS game, ranked in the Top 25 at 9-3, how can that be considered a failure?
You are way better looking than our former blog guy!! Have you heard anything about who might be carrying the ball for WVU this season?
Aww shucks. Brian definitely has the better red hair. ... As for your question, it should be intriguing in spring ball to see the competition unfold between Vernard Roberts, Trey Johnson, Shawne Alston and Andrew Buie. I know a lot of people want to see Buie step in and take the starting job right away. But we have to wait and see how he does in fall camp first.
Andrea, I get that WVU is essentially a default favorite at this point, but it still seems like a very shaky pick to me. Cincy had massive defensive turnover when they repeated in '09, but that was with a stable coaching staff and the same offense in place. That dynamic isn't in play this time. Isn't the stability of USF or bounceback potential of Cincy a safer bet to win the league right now?
In the Big East, what is a safe bet? USF only brings back 11 starters and a quarterback who has been inconsistent; Cincinnati was 4-8 last season so what is sure about a Bearcats revival? One thing I will say is that you can make a case for every team in the league to win it all, which is what I am doing in the blog right now.
Am I crazy for seeing the Big East losing 3 games to the MAC this year? Cincinnati to Miami, Syracuse to Toledo, and Rutgers to Ohio? Those are going to be three pretty tough MAC teams this year.
Crazy, no. Slightly nutty? Yes. Those 3 teams are probably the favorites in the MAC, but I think the BE wins all 3.
Skydiving Dana: Good thing, bad thing or just a thing?
A fun thing!
With WVU and PITT seeming to have a lot of say on the football side of things, do you think either one of them leaving for greener pastures leaves Big East football in the trash, or could they (BE) survive with the addition of TCU and whoever else they invite?
Where are they going right now? I think the addition of TCU stabilizes the league right now. But if the Big Ten decides it wants to supersized, then watch out. IF that is the case, I would have a hard time seeing the Big East surviving. Because there would be a chain reaction and all the other leagues would want to grow to 16, too. The Big East is still among the least powerful of all the conferences, even with the addition of TCU in terms of being able to dictate moves on the college fb landscape.
Andrea welcome aboard to the Big East. Being a Huge Rutgers fan, I am already worried about the quality of O-linemen and D-linemen for 2012. Not a lot of big names came in for 2011. Why does Rutgers have so much trouble.
Getting linemen is never a slam-dunk proposition. Of all the positions out there, it is toughest to predict how a lineman is going to pan out, both on offense and defense. So try not to panic and watch to see their development. It usually takes 2 years for an OL or DL to develop into a good player.
I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but if Geno mirrors what Weeden and Keenum did under Holgorson, what are the chances he leaves early? Behind Luck, there arent many pro QB prospects in this class.
You are getting way, way, way ahead of yourself. First, is there going to be an NFL season? Geno obviously has all the tools and the size that would make scouts happy. But that is a personal decision of course. Andrew Luck stayed in school after a big year. So did Jake Locker. So you never know. Just enjoy the ride.
Chip Kelly chose Clemson over SU. Should Syracuse fans feel encouraged that we we're in the running, or disappointed that we failed to reel in another blue chipper?
Definitely encouraged about being in the running. It takes time to rebuild a program, and to begin getting some of these blue chippers in. I know it is disheartening, but at least you are in the conversation. Can't say the same in the Greg Robinson years, right?
Who do you think is going to be the "surprise" playmaker in the Big East? I'm thinking Darrell Scott at USF is going to have a big year.
I don't know that he would be a surprise because so many people are talking about him and the impact he could make on USF. I think it could be somebody like Kenbrell Thompkins at Cincy in that high-powered offense, maybe Brandon Coleman at Rutgers, Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. Maybe even Ivan McCartney will emerge at WR at WV. But if Scott has a good year, I know I won't be surprised.
Pitt PSU got me wondering. Any chance I get to see WVU VT again anytime soon
That is a question a lot of folks want answered. I have not heard rumblings, but I know people would love to see it.
why is stedman bailey not getting any looks as a breakout player for wvu
He absolutely should. There is potential for he and Austin to each have 1,000 yard seasons.
Have you decided which games you will attend this year?
I would like to clarify this for all -- my editors decide where I go. And nothing has been decided just yet.
Do you see Pitt being able to make any traction recruiting in Texas with the connections of its coaching staff? Also is a potential transfer player who was a redshirt last year going to make that big a difference in the running game?
Great question. I am going to have a post upcoming on your question. I spoke to Todd Dodge about that, and I think it is a very real possibility for inroads to be made in Texas with his connections and Todd Graham's connections. I know Pitt only has 1 verbal so far, but ESPN Recruiting guru Tom Luginbill told me it's not unsual for Big East teams to have low numbers at this point. ... And I am not sure on Zach Brown. I think any addition is better than having Ray and a bunch of freshmen coming in, don't you?
Rutgers has exactly zero bye weeks after September 24 - week three! Are they more likely to drop off like last season, or come on strong like some of the previous years?
I think a lot of that depends on the play of both the offensive and defensive lines. Improvement there should mean another bowl season. Plus, Rutgers does get Pitt, WV and USF at home.
Who can least afford a bad big east rookie year,Holgerson or grahm?
I think Holgorsen because of the expectations people have right now. WV is going to be a preseason Top 25 team. Pitt is not.
Hi Andrea, As a Pitt fan I have gotten used to 2 WTF losses per season under Wanny. Do you think this will continue under coach Graham ? Hoping he will be more aggressive and not play not to lose like Wanny did.
Ha! WTF losses. I came to expect 6 of those when he coached the Dolphins. But I digress. Anyway, Coach Graham is more aggressive and not what I would call a "conservative" coach. Anybody who watched the shootout with East Carolina last year knows that, and the win over Notre Dame.
Why dos the BE not just go ahead and add UCF. USF PITT and WVU already have HUGE followings in the area. 1 bar in out side Orlando has WVU Saturdays, Another Bar in north Orlando is the Official home of Pitt fans. Plus as you have seen in the news, the city has no problem trowing money out for sport teams.
I shall forward this along to John Marinatto for you. As I have said all along, if UCF was such a slam dunk, why has it not happened yet? UCF makes a lot of sense, and yes I have said in the past that it deserves an invite into the Big East. But there are definite questions here. The biggest to me is this -- the city is not what I would call a UCF fan-base first. Shoot, the CUSA title game wasn't even sold out at home. I would be there are more Gator fans in the area. Even George O'Leary has said there has to be better fan support. But UCF would add another Florida market and a natural rivalry for USF and has recently expanded its facilities, has a nice football stadium and is in a pretty big city like most of the rest of the Big East teams. So in that respect it fits the bill.
Welcome to the Big East Blog! Many preseason polls have both LSU and Oregon ranked in the top 5. If LSU could find a way to upset Oregon, do you think there is a legitimate shot of a #1 ranked Tiger team visiting Morgantown. And, if WVU were to upset LSU, would there be any question as to whether or not the Mountaineers would be national championship contenders? And as a side note, I got to WVU and though Luck made the only decision there was to make - let go of Stew and promote Holgerson.
Is Oregon going to be favored in that game? LSU could be favored, let's not forget. But a lot of other factors go into it before we know where LSU is going to be ranked.
OK I have to cut this a bit short today! I've got Vic Anderson on the phone from Louisville!! Stay tuned for a post on his cool summer job.