Andrea, before season started I asked you if the Mountaineers went 9-4 again this would it be a failure to the program? Now I ask the same thing, a win and a loss away of a BCS title, are we a failure?
What did I say back then? 9-4 looks a lot different if it is a loss in a BCS game. I don't see how getting back to a BCS game for the first time since 2007 would make this season a failure. West Virginia is ranked just about where it has been all season, and this is the first year under Dana Holgorsen with a new offense. I mean, you guys could be Pitt with its first-year coach. Am I right?
Andrea - Assuming WVU wins this evening is there any possible way for UC to move in front in the BCS standings with a win Saturday? I know the voters play a role but what about the computers if UC puts 80 on UCONN? I'll just be happy with a win Saturday and plan to spend the winter wondering what if...
I really don't see it happening. Cincinnati would have to move way ahead in the human polls. I don't think an 80 spot does anything. And I don't think Butch would run up the score, anyway.
I know there are still two games to be played, by the other two teams with potential BCS hopes, but who do you see as playing the best overall football right now, with the best chance for a BCS win?
I have been asked this question a lot, Conner. I think Cincinnati is a different team with Zach Collaros, and he would be back for the bowl game. So it is kind of a trick question here because this team changed dramatically with him going down. I think West Virginia would have a better chance at Virginia Tech, for example, to at least be able to keep up in scoring. This is nothing against the 5-1 finish to the season for Louisville. I just worry about how such a young team will handle the big stage.
is bj daniels dressing/playing tonight or not
Still a game-time decision from what I am being told.
What on earth is the Biff East still waiting for (in RE: inviting new teams)? Thank God these clowns in Providence weren't in charge of planning the D-Day invasion, or French would be a dead language outside of Africa. Point being, if they don't [you know what] or get off the pot, they'll lose their BCS-AQ status anyway for having too few members.
Oh Terry how I enjoy you bringing it on these chats! They are waiting on this whole West contingent to form. What I think they need to do is just bring in UCF, SMU and Houston -- all chomping at the bit to join -- and then wait and see how this whole West Division thing plays out. I really am not sure what happens with AQ status. I am getting the sense it is no longer going to exist, period.
Huge news: CBS's Brett McMurphy is reporting that BJ will start tonight. Your thoughts?
I just checked with USF and they say he remains a game-time decision.
Coach Pasqualoni has been hinting for a couple weeks now that there will be some big changes for next year. Do you think that could include letting some of the hold over assistant coaches? I believe some of them do need to be replaced, such as: QB coach, WR coach and maybe better cornerback/secondary coach. But Hank Hughs (D-Line coach) and Mike Foley (O-Line coach) should absolutely be kept on due to the strong and consistent play they get out of players every year. What is your take on this? And what other kind of changes can you speculate can be implemented?
Great question, Jesse. I also have heard that, and I have no problems with PP making the needed changes. I have to say this team is definitely much better today than it was at the start of the season, and that is absolutely HUGE when it comes to evaluating for the future. But you are right, those areas you bring up definitely need to be coached up. I also have heard maybe the way he runs spring practice will also change as well.
Now that the season is almost over, are you ready to agree uconn was a little better than you thought? Also why was all of the attention on Rutgers poor play and not Uconn's domination?
Just said it, Sabrina! As for the game, you are the second on the chat to ask me why the focus was on Rutgers' poor play. Let me start by saying that Rutgers was the team that went into the game with a chance to win a share of the BE title and maybe play in a BCS game, so the focus was on them to begin with. Second, Rutgers had six turnovers that directly led to 21 UConn points early in the game. Even PP said afterward his team was fortunate to be able to get all those turnovers. Was it a great win? Yes. But Rutgers was the team everybody was focused on going into the game, so that is why they were focused on going out of the game.
Any rumors Urban Meyer poaches any coaches Charlie Poached from Urban?
I have not heard anybody from Charlie's staff being mentioned for Urban's at this point in time.
With the trouble the BE is having to expand. Will ND come to the rescue? One word the ND football is joing the Big East and watch WV, Pitt, Syracuse reneg (if the can) or everyone throwing themselves to join the BE conference
No, ND is not coming to the rescue.
One of the top recruits in Ky said in a interview last week that a UL assistant coach told him UL would be joining the Big 12 in 2013, care to comment?
I saw that, and it is hard for me to speculate on rumor and innuendo without having talked to this recruit. There were also reports a while back that Temple was joining the Big East and I don't think that is happening. I am sure there is some sort of connection with Louisville almost getting in this year and the Big 12 not completely closing the door on expansion, but it's hard to say at this point what is going to happen beyond 2012.
Can we dub this year's Pitt-'Cuse game as the traitor bowl?
You can if you want.
Okay, let's assume McMurphy has some insight and BJ does start tonight. How much does that impact the game in your opinion? Does it hurt or help since BJ could be rusty after sitting out some games?
Sure, let us debate this for a second. I think it absolutely impacts the game because BJ is able to do much more than Eveld. He brings in a different dynamic. But you can bet absolutely that WVU will be gunning for that shoulder, and perhaps BJ will try to protect himself or be more hesitant to run. I don't know how much solid practice time he got in, either, because the last I heard he has not been able to practice at all. You would have to think that a veteran like him doesn't need a ton of reps, but seeing as how he hasn't played or taken hits in 2 weeks, that could be an issue. Still, I would give USF a better shot at winning with a BJ Daniels at 50 percent than a Bobby Eveld at 100 percent.
Are Boise and the Texas schools still going to want to come to the conference if the BCS does away with AQs and the Big East has no more access to the money bowls than C-USA and the MWC?
I think the CUSA schools want to come regardless, but I am not sure about Boise. Chris Petersen said earlier this week that their position seemed to change every day.
Coaching rumors flying around everywhere. Have you heard anything about Hoglorsen to Ole Miss?
I have only heard the rumors and nothing more.
Do you think Skip Holtz can take USF to the next level and eventually win the Big East and get a BCS bowl bid in the future?
I hope you are keeping yourself warm today without any hair. It is chilly in Florida! ... I know this season has been a major disappointment for USF fans. You generally like to see major improvement in Year 2 of a program. I urge Bulls fans to remain calm and give Skip some time. There is talent on this team, lots of young talent, too (Hello Elkino Watson!). I think he has the ability to do it, but first he has to figure out how to win Big East games. That is something that eluded his predecessor as well.
Will the Big East lose any head coaches this year? Your thoughts?
I wish I had my black ball to see into the future. I guess I will say "it is possible." I have heard Butch Jones' name mentioned. to me, he would be the most likely candidate IF anybody leaves. But right now I will say everybody is going to stay put.
Andrea, what's the deal with the framed ESPN magazine behind you in the videos? Special memento?
I am trying to represent ESPN! But since you asked, it is special. My husband worked at ESPN Magazine when it first launched. That is the first cover in the history of the magazine. So I am proud of it, of him and of the company.
Do you think the plan of the Big East higher ups is to keep SU, Pitt, and WVU in the league for the waiting period and just ya know, hope they forget about moving?Seems to be the plan so far.
Ha! The plan is to get that West Division taken care of, but so far nothing is going to plan. Time is ticking, too.
Using a baseball analogy, clearly Tino Sunseri is the antithesis of a closer. Dude wilts in the 4th quarter like a sand castle at high tide. So what do you think of the idea, if the 'Cuse game tracks per usual, to maybe using Tino get a "safe lead" (whatever that means?) going into crunch time, then yank him for the 4th Qtr and go to the bullpen, insert Mark Myers for the 'save'?
Why on earth would Pitt do that? You saw Trey Anderson play in games this year, right? You want to throw Mark Myers in there in the fourth quarter to save a game with bowl hopes on the line. The guy has ONE SNAP all year! I know Tino has not been great, but seriously. That is a terrible idea.
Do you think WVU will try and run the ball early to open up the pass game due to the lack of protection for Geno?
They can try all they want, but I am not sure how much success they are going to have. USF is pretty decent against the run.
There are also rumors floating around that Rich Rod is looking to hire Jeff Casteel away from WVU. Wouldn't that make Rodriguez the ultimate Benedict Arnold?
I thought he already was regardless of whether he hires Casteel.
And the lawsuit battle-royale is on! Who ya got: WVU or the Big East?
Given my lack of skills at making predictions about games, I am pretty sure I would be even worse making predictions about courtroom matters. I think some settlement would have to get worked out but the Big East is adamant on this matter. What would help WVU is to get the new teams in for 2012. I just don't see that happening.
With a WVU win tonight and Cincinnati win, what bowl would each team likely end up playing?
WVU -- Orange. Cincinnati -- Liberty.
Everybody's laughing about the Big East having teams out west, but the Big 12 has 10 teams, and the Big 10 has 12 teams, so whatever. Do you think the Big 10 will make a move to get to 14 teams like every other conference soon and would UofL be on there want list?
I don't see the Big Ten making any moves at this time.
Do you think bringing some teams that play great and are highly ranked like the big east has boise state coming in would boosts the conferance back up to their former glory
Great question. I think the only one that has had sustained success is Boise, among all the teams the BE is looking at. We'll see how Houston does without Keenum, and perhaps even Sumlin if he leaves for another job. UCF had a losing season this year. SMU had a disappointing year. So the Big East would need Boise to carry the torch, and even then the Boise bashers wouldn't go away.
Any idea why Jonathan Jean-Louis got so much action in the game against Rutgers last week? Was it just scoreboard related since most of his carries were in the second half? Personally, I thought he looked like a very effective hard runner and I'd hope we can incorporate some carries into the Cincinnati game plan.
Yes, I think the coaching staff wanted to get a good look at him and give him some carries with the game out of reach. I agree, and I would expect to see some of him this week. Though I thought we'd see more of Nick Williams on offense, so ...
Time for a fun question! We know you're a pro and all, but everyone has their favorites. So, who is your:A.) Favorite NFL team(s)?B.) Favorite NCAA team(s)?C.) Favorite sport(s)?We won't hate you too much for your answers...that is as long as you keep your blog unbiased!
a) Miami Dolphins (hold back the snickers). b) No favorite college team. c) favorite sport is football, college and pro.
So what was Marinatto thinking when he passed on BYU because of BYUtv? This is not the Pac-12 operating from a position of strength vs. UT and the Longhorn Network. The BE needs Boise to form a credible Western division, and Boise needs BYU, so Marinatto HAD to finesse the BYUtv issue and bring them in. He just continues to bungle away the conference.
I actually don't blame him for this one. I don't think the Big East needs to just lay down and allow BYU to run the show here. If he had agreed to their terms, it would have been unprecedented in the college football landscape. The really sad truth is that I don't even know if there is any saving this conference no matter who he tries to bring in from the West. Because the next time somebody expands, where will they look? The Big East.
If, and that is a BIG IF, West Virginia is fortunate enough to get the BCS BOWL SPOT for the Big East, do you see any scenario where they get sent to a different BCS bowl other than the Orange Bowl. Now that I am living down here in Florida I would love it if they were in the Orange Bowl! I would get to go.
I don't. I think Stanford is pretty much a lock for the Fiesta Bowl. And if Virginia Tech wins, I think the Orange would love a rekindling of the Black Diamond rivalry.
San Diego State? Really? BYU would have been a homerun for the west division, but going after SDSU? Sure, they've had a couple good years, but can you really invite a school that's like 4000 miles away from the conference hq? Seems a bit silly...like a Monty Python sketch or something...
I agree. But this is how desperate the Big East is to get Boise on board. The sad thing is ... the Big East could have had Boise last year after getting TCU on board. All of this could have been avoided if folks were seeing clearly back then, and putting football first..
Is Geno Smith of WVU underrated? What are your thoughts on the WVU program?
I don't think he's underrated. I think he's rated right where he should be right now. Even Dana Holgorsen would tell you there are a lot of improvements he has to make in this offense, starting with trusting in the system. I think the program itself is in good shape, but I worry about the future in the Big 12.
Wouldn't you agree Andrea, that the Orange Bowl is praying hard for a West Virginia/Virginia Tech match up? I think this would be the best ticket selling match up they could have.
Absolutely. Would be a great game.
This doesn't have to do with the Big East, but do you have a problem with Alabama playing in the National Championship even when they didn't even play in the SEC Championship Game. Shouldn't they get penalized for that?
How about the fact that there is the potential for two NON conference champions to play for it all if LSU loses? The BCS is ridiculous. That is how I feel about this system, and that is how I will always feel about this system. I thought "every game counts." Apparently not.
Personally as a person who has witness a lot of football outcomes and has heard a lot of questions. Would you push for a new tweaking of the bcs or a playoff system that would end a lot of controversy
I would love a playoff, but it's not happening. Even if there are tweaks to be made, you still could end up with situations where there are multiple undefeateds or not undefeates and then it's again trying to pick the 2 best teams that people PERCEIVE to be the best.
Any update on SDSU talks to finalize the "western east"? I feel like this needs to be done soon before the AQ status becomes any more in jeopardy, don't you? Without the AQ status, I don't see why any western teams would want to join except for a shot at a BCS bowl next year before the current cycle ends.
I really don't think that there is any way for the AQ status to be more in jeopardy. That is completely and utterly out of the control of the Big East.
And do you make that move as a football-only school just for the potential to get into a BCS game for ONE year?
Do you think Bruce Irvin will have a big game tonight for WVU?
USF to me has one of the best, if not the best, OL in the Big East. The Bulls have only given up 14 sacks all year. So it will be a big challenge for him to have a big game. This is not the Pitt OL that WVU will be playing!
I thought UL would have been a perfect fit for the ACC, I never heard their name mentioned. When I brought it up in a couple of chat rooms I got blasted over academics. Since when does academics come into play with TV driven conference affiliation?
It does, cardinal, more than you think. Especially a conference like the ACC, which is sorta snooty when it comes to that aspect.
AA, why can't Marinatto just admit the only reason he wants WVU to stay is so his conference doesn't lose their AQ status? Besides WVU, the only schools to be ranked at the end of the season have been Pitt once, Rutgers once, Louisville, and Cincy..... And the Big10 might poach the last 2 leaving them with just a once ranked Rutgers team.
No he needs them to stay so they do not have a scheduling nightmare on their hands.
Help!!! Rutgers needs a new coach. What are the up and coming good coaches?
Another panicked Rutgers fan re: Greg Schiano. I have a mailbag question on this coming for tomorrow. But you guys are not getting a new head coach, unless he leaves to go someplace else.
Could the Big East head office be intentionally postponing inviting/announcing new teams to make it more difficult for WVU to leave after this season? Seems like if they added teams, then WVU would have a stronger case for leaving than if no teams are added till its to late to change conferences for next year.
I don't think it's intentional. The Big East has a real problem because it is having a hard time getting this whole West Division started. Even if it had made the announcement a month ago, none of these teams would have been onboard until 2013 at the earliest.
What do you think West Virginia needs to do well tonight to win the game?
PROTECT GENO. Last week Holgorsen was upset because the protection was so bad he had to scrap a whole bunch of the offense and just go the screen/ dink/dunk route. USF has a pretty solid pass rush, so this is going to be a huge test for Feigt and Spain getting their first starts.
If UConn wins on Saturday, what bowl do you see them playing in?
Beef O Brady if USF loses.
It seems to me that UofL is getting screwed with this BE west division. They will be logging 1000's of miles traveling all over the western US. They should run to just about any conference that won't make them travel that far.
They will run to the Big 12 whenever they decide to expand.
Andrea, why the pessimism about a playoff ever happening? More and more people are extolling the virtues of a playoff and the ridiculousness of the BCS. I think everyone should read "Death to the BCS" if they want to have a stance on the subject. But, the point is, we need influential people like you to support what they believe is right, not act like it is unattainable!
Unfortunately, people like me have no say in the system. College coaches, presidents and ADs are universally against a playoff. That is the bottom line.
If the AQ status is taken away, what conference would get it? Or would they just add another wild-card?
I think there would be no more AQs for anyone. That to me seems like a real possibility.
Although no coach is in danger of being fired, who has the hottest seat?
I don't have anybody on the hot seat right now. Not even Schiano!
If WVU were to win tonight, what do you think will happen with the bowl games if WVU takes the BCS berth for the big east?
Belk would have a choice between UL, Cincinnati and Rutgers. I think Rutgers goes to Pinstripe and then UL-UC will be in either Belk or Liberty. Depends on the matchups.
For a college playoff: if only we had a test case where a bunch of smaller schools would have a full blown playoff so we could see the financial, travel, prestige, ect of the system to see the loss of revenue, empty stadiums, reduction of importance of bowl games. Maybe something like a bunch of schools who were Division 1, but not in the FBS bracket. Hmm...if only...
I am sure the college administrators have no idea what you are talking about :)
Which schools from the Big East would be a good fit for the Big 12?
Louisville is next in line if this year is any indication.
That was my point exactly. Before the AQ talk picks up any more momentum, shouldn't be BE do all that it can to get everyone aboard before they second guess their decision? We saw what happened before when Marinatto and the rest of those clowns waited to make decisions...
Oh OK I misunderstood. The Big East has got to get this done as quickly as possible, no question. There is nobody just twiddling their thumbs up there. They want to get a deal done as quickly as you guys want it done. But there are a lot of intricacies involved and a lot that is unknown. AQ status being one of them!
With us getting closer to bowl season, do you think the bowl season has been diminished over the years by allowing teams who are 6-6 into games?
I just do not get rewarding mediocrity. Go ahead, throw your tomatoes at me.
And if USF wins?
If USF wins, Bulls go to Beef O Brady and then it's a decision for BBVA on UConn and Pitt/SYR winner.
Just a quick note to all of the chatters: the Big Ten is not, nor will they ever invite Louisville or Cincy, simply on the grounds of academics on top of their poor football draw (just telling it like it is). In terms of the Big Ten or ACC expanding again: everyone is waiting on Notre Dame to make a move, until then, everyone is staying put. ND might move if the new BCS is unfavorable to independents (such as going back to pure conference tie-ins to the BCS Bowls), and if ND comes to the Big Ten, they'll grab an east coast team (such as Rutgers) because that's where ND's biggest draw is. The ACC would also grab another east coast team to get to 16.
It's worse than that - a 6-7 UCLA team will likely get a bowl game.
Do not remind me, Andy. I am so mad at the NCAA for that.
If USF wins it's Cincy to the Orange Bowl and WVU to the Liberty bowl
Well Cincy would have to win. I forgot about the other scenarios, thanks for correcting me, Tom. If USF wins, WV goes to Belk regardless.
All right guys thanks for chatting with me today. Stay tuned tonight for tweets on the game and an instant analysis after it ends. Enjoy the last week of the season!