Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

July 7, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrea Adelson

Andrea Adelson
  (4:01 PM)

Welcome to another chat! Let's begin.

Steve (Da Cuse)

Andrea...love your work....much more encompassing with all the teams in the big east....not just a WVU, Pitt and Louisville love fest. However, I do believe we need some more of my fellow upstate NY bretheren to get involved with the proceedings. Maybe I can get Jason Smith to shout us out on All Night one of these nights. Anyway....I do have a serious question despite all of the fluffing of your pillow (which I will go anytime...giggity)With Jarron Jones dropping Penn State, and knowing how much he supposedly loves the Syracuse coaching staff....should Orange fans be reasonably excited or should they be preparing for the next "big one to get away"

Andrea Adelson
  (4:03 PM)

Here here! Thanks for the compliment. I know how much you guys want Jones. I can see it in a lot of the mailbag comments I have gotten of late. But after watching the other "big ones" who have gotten away, I would just be hesitant of getting my hopes up. He could be the breakthrough player the Cuse needs though.

daniel (brownwood tx)

I was wondering why everyone thinks once tcu enters the big east they automatically are a favorite too win it. I seem too remember back in 2004 they played 3 big east teams and lost to everyone of them. Guess we should all clap our hands because they mop the floor every year in the mwc but that doesnt mean they are going to come into the big east and be able to do as much as they could back in the mountain west. Your thoughts?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:06 PM)

Probably because TCU has more of a national rep than most of the current Big East teams. Lots of folks are high on the Horned Frogs because of their back-to-back BCS games. Myself included. I think they have to be considered one of the favorites because of the talent they have, and the players they will have coming back. Will there be a transition period? Absolutely. But I don't think this team is headed to the cellar. TCU has the best recruiting class so far of the Big East teams for 2012. Getting into an AQ conference is only going to help bring in even more talented players.

Shaun (Old Bridge, NJ)

With all the turmoil around WVU recently, do you see defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel sticking around after the season is over? He has been a hot commodity for WVU over the years with his great defenses and would be a tragic loss if he leaves.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:06 PM)

I think it's too early to say right now. There has been plenty of speculation surrounding him, but we really have no idea about his relationship with DH or what will happen this season with so many new starters coming in.

otto the orange (cuse nation)

Who is our rival in the big east? uconn..i still cant take them as a serious football school i dont care what happened last year. rutgers..blechh, i dont care what people say about proximity rutgers just doesnt conjure up hatred to us cuse fans. pitt and west virginia have eachother..boston college is in a different league..whats a fan to do

Andrea Adelson
  (4:07 PM)

Otto -- you are the fan! You have to tell me who you want as your biggest rival. Is it OK not to have one or does that defeat the purpose of college football?

TC (Morgantown)

How long will we have to wait to officially hear the news about Big East expansion from the league office? Will we hear something by this football season or is it more likely that we will be waiting until next summer?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:08 PM)

My guess is nothing before the season, unless somehow a few folks change their minds on Villanova.

Dean (Arkansas)

Andrea, Misplaced Mountaineer fan here and I will have the chance to go see the WV-USF game in Tampa. What are your predictions that it will be for the Big East crown?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:08 PM)

I believe this was one of my two impact games for the league, so yes I do think there is a better chance than not that this game will help determine the Big East champion.

Magnus (Hot-Lanta)

What is really the BE position on expansion, to be proactive or to lay like a dying animal and let the other BCS conferences circle around the Big East like vultures?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:10 PM)

Well, I don't think the Big East has spelled out in its expansion manual: "If all else fails, lay like a dying animal." Although that did make me chuckle. The Big East would love nothing more than to go out there and snag a big fish to make a big splash. But what big fish is out there to snag? At this point, I think the league is figuring out the best move from a financial standpoint. If that means staying at nine teams, so be it. The Big East knows that it's not the Big Ten or the SEC. But it certainly is a respectable conference that has a different dynamic at play than all the rest (hoops).

The WVU Wonka (Charleston, WV)

Otto: Bring back McNabb and we can have another bench clearing brawl in Morgantown...that would do wonders to get a rivalry started.

Andrew (New Jersey)

So do you roll your safety over towards Sanu's side, or roll your safety towards Harrison's side?Or do you just watch the improved line and Savon tear you apart up the middle?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:12 PM)

Andrew, there is no question Rutgers is set at the skill positions. But 1) how much better will the offensive line be? and 2) how will Chas Dodd do in this new offense under Cignetti? We can talk all day about skill level and talent and potential, but the QB and OL have got to be good for Savon, Sanu and Harrison to be 1,000-yard guys.

Kevin (Washington, DC)

Hypothetically, if the Big East could equal the money of the Big Ten or the SEC (seriously hypothetical), do you think coaches like Rich Rod and Brian Kelly stay in the conference, or do they still leave for a school like Michigan or Notre Dame based on prestige alone?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:13 PM)

I don't think you can turn down opportunities at Michigan and Notre Dame, do you? There are just certain programs that no matter where you are, you have got to take that phone call.

Bearcatvol (Dalton, GA)

Andrea, I was curious about the 7th ranking for the Bercats defensive line. Cincinnati fans in general are very excited about the group and think it will be a real strength. The back 7.... we aren't at all sure of. Why so low for the D-line? Am I missing something? I think D-Wolfe and the crew should be tough.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:17 PM)

There are a few reasons. 1) Defensive line is an absolute strength throughout the entire league. Look at some of the players coming back. 2) I did acknowledge Wolfe is one of the best DTs. And yes, there is experience returning. But look at the other lines. Pitt has some studs; USF is usally strong here; West Virginia has an awesome duo in Irvin-Miller; UConn has four starters returning who were pretty darn good; Louisville is strong here as well with Scruggs, Butler and Dunn; and Syracuse has a good duo in Jones-Marinovich.

Knish (NYC)

Have the Scarlet Knights done enough on OL to compete for Big East Championship?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:19 PM)

That is the question, isn't it? Rutgers took a big hit when Hendrikson went down, but Osei was actually pushing him, big time. I think he could have a huge impact for Rutgers. Greg Schiano says everybody else got better, but this is largely the same group that started last year. Are they really bad or can they be coached up in a new offensive system?

John (Enid, OK)

Andrea, which Big East teams have the most returning starters this year?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:20 PM)

UConn has 16 back, including 9 on defense. Cincy has 15, including most on D. Rutgers has 14 coming back.

Matt (LA)

Any update on the Villanova Big East situation? When might we hear a decision?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:20 PM)

For all those who have asked today, there is no update on Nova.

Cincy Fan (Mt. Adams)

Is the public support by Louisville for 'Nova football moving up for real? Or is it one of those things you say to try and smooth out an angry league mate?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:21 PM)

It is a question I would love to ask Tom Jurich. But Louisville is not the only one who hasn't supported a Nova move.

Kevin (Washington, DC)

Besides the Backyard Brawl, which Big East league matchup are you most excited to watch?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:23 PM)

USF-WVU. Always unpredictable!

Mike (San Francisco)

Which team is the hardest to handicap going into next year? For me, it's RU.Without the injury to Eric I think RU finds a way to get to a least 6-6 last year and returns a ton on offense. Plus, RU has added an OC who runs a style RU should be well suited to succeed in. That said, problems on the O-line can stop any team in its tracks.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:24 PM)

Rutgers and Cincinnati for similar reasons. Questions about RU offensive line, and questions about Cincy defense. How do you know either is better until the games are played?

Brad (Charleston, WV)

I keep hearing all the hype about Tavon Austin being just as much of a Heisman dark horse as Geno Smith. While I don't doubt his talent and his ability to make plays in space, I just don't believe he will be the go-to guy for Geno. I can't help but think that Geno's relationship with Stedman Bailey will play a big role in him becoming the next Blackmon-type receiver in Holgorsen's system. Thoughts?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:26 PM)

Excellent question, Brad. I think Tavon is getting the hype because he had a better season last year. In fact, I had initially thought of making Bailey my impact player for West Virginia this year for the very reason you mentioned. Either way, I think they both have the capability of being 1,000 yard receivers. That would be in the realm of possibility in this offense.

John (Cincinnati)

AA, if the BE can not get a "big fish" like BC or Miami back into the league, why wouldn't the prudent decision be for the BE to wait? UCF, Houston, and East Carolina are still going to be begging to get an invite in the near future.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:27 PM)

I think that would be the prudent decision. I think that is why you have not seen any invites going out. Because the Big East is really looking hard at what it can get for a future TV media rights deal. It may end up being more cost beneficial to have only 9 teams as opposed to 10. You get to split the pie among fewer teams if the money is not there with 10.

Zack (Tampa)

All I've been hearing is about how USF is stacked at running back. With Murray returning, Aycock, Battles, Shaw, and an unproven Scott. I personally do not the split time system we have been running down here at USF. So, how long do you think it will take to have one of these 5 backs step up and take the starting job? And who will it be?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:29 PM)

USF certainly has players, but most of them are unproven. I have no problems with a split time system because of the wear and tear on RBs. You need four quality guys to really think you have plenty of depth at this position. That being said, I think this is Scott's job to lose. He is coming in with a lot of hype after having played at Colorado. The question I have on him is whether he has what it takes to be a full-time starter. Questions about his work ethic plagued him in Colorado. Is he a different guy and is he "all in?"

Doug (Tampa)

A.A afternoon and like the blogs so far. Question I see it was asked earlier but some more insight, The last season the following teams were in Conf USA with TCU( Louisville, USF, Cincy) they all 3 beat TCU that season and it was TCU's last season with a non winning record. Im not saying TCU will be a door mat but I dont see them running the tables either, The BE is much tougher than Conf USA. ( BE RECORD VS Conf USA) shows that as well. Also the 3 Teams I mentioned really havent been powerhouses in the BE either, yes Cincy had a great season and USF has been bowl elegible for 5,6 straight yrs, and Louisville is back. But to think they will be a powerhouse just doesnt support the facts. Thoughts?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:33 PM)

I think TCU is a radically different team today than it was in its final year in Conference USA. You mentioned that was the final season with a non-winning record. The Mtn West is a much tougher league than CUSA and TCU managed that just fine. Also in that time span, TCU has beaten Wisconsin, Oregon State, Clemson, Baylor and Oklahoma. So to judge TCU on what it did in its final year in CUSA is just not 100 percent accurate, in my opinion.

Chris (Tampa)

Matt Grothe was better than Pat White, no comparison really.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:33 PM)

I just had to post this because it made me laugh.

Danny (Beckley, Wv)

What is your prediction for WVU's starting running back?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:34 PM)

I better keep my crystal ball out today! Vernard Roberts, because he was in for spring and gets a leg up on Buie and Garrison.

RutgersAl (New Jersey)

I know you must be tired of the delusional WVU fans that keep asking about their national title hopes this year. My question is this: which BE program with all things considered (tradition, fan support, recruiting, administrative support, etc.) has the best chance to EVER win a national title? I may be biased, but I think coach Schiano can have Rutgers there within the next three years. Jersey Power!!

Andrea Adelson
  (4:35 PM)

You are biased! Rutgers needs to win a conference championship first. But I don't think that all that you mentioned has anything to do with winning a national title. The Big East is at a disadvantage there against conferences like the Big Ten and SEC. As we saw with Cincy in 2009, a Big East team is not going to finish ranked higher than a team from one of those conferences. Same with the Big 12 and maybe even the Pac-12. So tradition isn't going to help a school like West Virginia or Rutgers vault over an undefeated Alabama or Florida or Texas.

The Coach The Leader of the Orange The Dougie (Recruiting Hotbed

First, I would like to say Jarron it's hurtful you don't have us in your top 4. After all the love we gave you. 2nd how's my recruiting been?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:36 PM)

Recruiting has been good, but we are all still waiting for "the big one."

Ryan (Vienna, WV)

Who is the valuable person to the West Virginia Football team? Geno Smith or Dana Holgorsen?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:36 PM)

Geno was there last year and WVU lost what 4 games? So I would say Holgorsen -- if he can get them to 10-plus wins.

Doug (Tampa)

LOL at RutgersAL, Rutgers has a hard time being the best in NJ let alone the BE or the Nation.

The WVU Wonka (Charleston, WV)

Imitiation is the greatest form of flattery.Thank you for also laughing at the Grothe comment.

Hulk Hogan (Venice Beach, CA)

I think we should add Penn State, Va Tech, BC and Maryland and start up a Eastern Conference and have Jor Paterno run the Leaguy I would drop USF and Cinni... what do you think?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:38 PM)

Put down the magic brownies.

Fred (TN)

If all stays calm on the expansion front, and somehow Memphis football becomes semi-relevant (maybe a couple 8 win seasons, or a C-USA title game appearance) in the next couple years, would the Big East have anymore consideration for them? Is Memphis as good of a TV market as say, Orlando?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:41 PM)

Memphis has come up in passing, but the football is just atrocious. I don't see a CUSA title game appearance in the next couple of years. Hoops would be a plus over UCF, but I think the Florida market is best. Orlando ranks No. 19; Memphis ranks No. 48. http://www.stationindex.com/tv/tv-markets

Kev (Hillsborough, NJ)

How can the Biletnikoff Award committee leave Mohamed Sanu off the watch list? Even with the breakout season that Mark Harrison had in 2010, Mohamed Sanu is still the leader of RU's WR group, right?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:42 PM)

I was mildly surprised but not 100 percent surprised there. I think there are some who have forgotten about him because of Harrison. I mean these are the same people who had Michael Smith on their list!

Andrew (Maryland)

I wish you would show me some love and answer my question. Which freshman RB at WVU will be the best? Buie, Roberts, or Garrison?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:42 PM)

Didn't I just answer that? Do you mean which will end up being the best? Let me see them actually compete during a practice before I give you an answer!

Andrew (Frederick, MD)

Good article on White vs.Harris. West Virginia will win the Big East hands down. Let it be known

Andrea Adelson
  (4:43 PM)

Hands down?

Bearcatvol (Dalton, GA)

I know there isn't a ton of rivalry games between TCU and the Big East. But one of the most exciting games I have ever seen was the opener back in 2002 that Cincy rallied from a huge deficit to win in overtime. Both squads were in C-USA at the time. It was the first ESPN instant classic for the Bearcat football program I can remember. SO.... it might be worth looking back in the time machine for the first meeting between the two clubs in the Big East.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:43 PM)

I think I will just do that!

Brad (Charleston, WV)

Holgorsen has now been the head coach for almost a month, and the WVU fan base still seems to be divided about the situation that happened with Bill Stewart. How much do you think Bob Huggins commenty that, "He's one of us," will have an impact to unify the fan base?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:44 PM)

I think the fanbase is united in wanting to see West Virginia win the Big East. That situation was ugly, but I think once the season starts, folks will put that behind them and start to focus on the team and begin to see whether Holgorsen is the right man for the job. Somebody asked where is Stewart right now -- I can't tell you that. But I am pretty sure he is not going to be showing up at any WVU games in the near future.

john (bartow)

If you look at usf's offense... they have more 4 and 5 star guys than any other big east team... Would you agree they are the most talented? Murray 4* Scott 5* aycock 4* daniels 4* terrance mitchell 4* andre davis 4* and dunkley is a 5 * for 2012. It's hard not to see usf not being better on offense this year and ultimately winning the conference this year and next year when the whole team comes back again... your thoughts?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:46 PM)

Sure the talent is there. But how is that going to translate onto the field. Rutgers has got a lot of talent, too. I am not a huge fan of the recruiting star-rating system. There are so many hit or miss guys. It is just hard to judge guys in high school and how they are going to do on the college level. But I do agree USF should be better on offense this year and will compete for a championship.

Brad (Charleston, WV)

What do you think happens this year between WVU and LSU? Last year was close depsite an anemic offensive showing from WVU and inexplicably punting to Patterson. I know LSU will probably be the higher ranked team when the game happens, but shouldn't teh home-field advantage give WVU at leasty a chance of being favored?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:47 PM)

I don't think WVU is going to be favored. LSU's defense is going to be better than WVU's. But I say WVU will have a shot because of the DH offense, and also I am not convinced on Jordan Jefferson -- even with all this hype that's been transformed under Steve Kragthorpe. Did I just make you cringe, Louisville fans? I've seen Jefferson play many times in person and have never been impressed with him.

Matthew (Acworth, GA)

Andrea, correct me if I'm wrong, but do you see Dana staying for more than 4 years at WVU? He's switched teams 3 times in 3 years. If he does badly he'll be shown the door, but if he does well someone else will surely come for him and I can't think of a single reason why he'd stay. Should I just resign myself to the knowledge that Dana is a short term coach?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:48 PM)

Now why would you do that before the man has even coached a game? Just enjoy the ride and see how he does before you start worrying about whether he leaves or not.

Todd (Philly)

AA, gut reaction: With OOC games being equal, who would get in to a BCS NC game against an undefeated SEC team: a BE team or an ACC team? (or to put it more succintly: without getting splinters in your bum from the fence, which conference is better?)

Andrea Adelson
  (4:50 PM)

Should I get Heather Dinich on the line so we can debate this? First, let me just say I think it is going to be hard for a team from either league to run the table to get into a championship game this year. I think there is way too much parity in both leagues. But what happens in the BCS has nothing to do with my opinion about which conference is better. It has to do with the computers and the humans who vote. And I believe if we're talking Florida State or West Virginia, then the nod may just go to the Noles.

Ulrich (Somerset, NJ)

So if I get this right, RU may never get to a BCS game?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:51 PM)

That all depends on what happens with everybody else. If there is an undefeated Big East team and a bunch of one-loss teams, I think that is the best bet. But it has been proven than undefeated Big East team is not getting in ahead of undefeated SEC or Big 12 (2009).

John (Enid, OK)

BB was better than AA, no comparison really. ;)

Andrea Adelson
  (4:52 PM)

I do have big shoes to fill. He started the blog yall!

Rich (Brooklyn, NY)

Hey Andrea, great job as always! I know I asked this last time, but now I'm seeing reports that Mohamed Sanu is already planning on entering next year's draft. Is there precedent for this, and if it's true, what kind of effect do you see it having on the team, if any? There are enough question marks as it is, and I'd hate for them to be distracted by this.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:53 PM)

I really hate to put much credence into reports like that so early in the season. How can Sanu even know what he is going to do? What if he gets hurt and has another so-so year? If he has made up his mind, then I think he is foolish because there are so many unknowns before a season starts. He needs to see how he does, consult with the NFL Draft Advisory Board, and then decide.

Doug (Tampa)

A.A when will u find out what BE games you will be attending? Love to see u in S Bend opening week, Also when does ESPN come out with the game day schedule? Do you see any BE teams or games in that mix?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:54 PM)

Doug, I never know what games I will be attending until the week of the games because so much depends on who is doing what. GameDay schedule also never comes out until the week of, so I cannot help you out until the season starts.

Jax Dawg (Jacksonville, FL)

Andrea, I owe you a huge apology. You ranked college football last year and I gave you a ton of grief for ranking UGA in the 60s. You were right and I was wrong.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:55 PM)

That is very decent of you Jax Dawg. My job is to give an opinion and yours is to say whether you disagree or not. No hard feelings here.

Max (Raleigh, NC)

Is it me, or is Greg Schiano the Rutgers version of Dave Wannstedt, except Wannstedt always played not to lose and Schiano never had that option?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:56 PM)

Well, considering Greg Schiano brought Rutgers back from the doldrums, I would hardly equate the two.

John (Enid, OK)

It's my birthday! Give me a present and tell me my AM, Cinci, will be more exciting to watch this year.

Andrea Adelson
  (4:56 PM)

After you asked for BB? Shame on you, John!

Dave (Indy)

How to you think Pitt will adapt to the change in offensive philosophy from Wanny to Graham?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:57 PM)

I think the players are excited about it. I have gotten a chance to talk to Tino Sunseri, and he really is looking forward to being a part of a more high-powered attack. You saw Shanahan was put on the Biletnikoff Watch List, and Graham was put on the Maxwell Award Watch List. So expectations certainly are high for a much better offense. It's not a stretch to say Pitt will be much more fun to watch.

George ( TCU)

What is the perception of TCU's move if they drop 4 or 5 games this year. The last 2 BCS games are great, and they have sustained some success recently, but college football is very "what have you done for me lately". How does a 7-5 MWC team look coming into the BE? Or is TCU established enough to survive a down year?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:58 PM)

I would like to think TCU is established enough to survive a down year. But even with all the changes this season, I would be absolutely stunned if TCU went 7-5. The defense is going to be too good for that to happen.

Kacey (Robbins)

Do you think there was or is a real possibility of BYU joining the Big East?

Andrea Adelson
  (4:58 PM)

Not at this time.

Brad (Charleston, WV)

Subtle slam on Kragthorpe, AA. Impressive!

Andrea Adelson
  (4:59 PM)

That was for all my Louisville fans out there. You know who you are!

Joe (Manhattan)

I know you're a southerner, and its not like there is anything wrong with that, but who do you see as New York's college team?

Andrea Adelson
  (5:00 PM)

I was born in New York, thank you very much, Joe! I would have to say Syracuse. Just have done more than Rutgers has, plain and simple.

Adam (Boise)

I miss having coverage on the Non AQ side of things :(

Andrea Adelson
  (5:00 PM)

Not to fret. A separate non-AQ chat is coming soon in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Ryan (Ohio)

Since C-USA seems to be a popular theme today, if a C-USA team, let's say UCF, suddenly puts together a string of Boise-esque seasons does the Big East suddenly take notice. Or let me re-phase that, if a C-USA tree falls in the BCS woods does it make a sound?

Andrea Adelson
  (5:01 PM)

I think it is making a sound now. But the question is how much of a dollar value those teams would add to a future media rights deal.

Herman (Princeton, NJ)

When all is said and done, how good of a contract will the BE end up with at renewal time?

Andrea Adelson
  (5:02 PM)

Better than it has now, but still at or near the bottom. I think a $1 billion total deal sounds about right.

Andrea Adelson
  (5:03 PM)

OK folks, that is all the time we have for today. Thanks for joining me. See you next week!