Greetings and salutations! Hit me with your best shot.
I think Louisville will win the conference and go undefeated, even after a sloppy (no pun intended) play against Southern Miss. Do you see them doing this or who will win out?
Well, I still think Louisville will win the Big East but I do not think anybody is going to run the table. Maybe I will be proven wrong.
Is the conference expansion good for the Big East, even with multiple teams so far off geographical?
I think that remains to be seen Zach. Having to rebuild your league twice in the span of 8 years is not something anybody wants to do but that is the position the Big East is in right now, good or bad. If the Big East can hold this crew together, I think the league will be fine.
Just wanted to say that the piece you wrote on how the Big East is still alive and kicking was one of the best things Big East related I have read in a while. Thanks for that! Now on to my question: has there been any news related to what divisions will be next year and will the Big East be going to an 8 or 9 game schedule?
Thanks, Jesse. The Big East has not announced anything officially, but they are more than likely going to that Red/Blue lineup where everybody is split without geographic boundaries. And it is an 8-game schedule.
Is it just me, or does ever USF game look the same (at least against fbs teams). Keep it competitive for the first half. Give up some ground in the third quarter. And stage a fourth quarter comeback that may or may not work out. Wasn't this about the same last year? I think the stress they leave me may cause some premature baldness.
Stress makes me go gray. Shh, don't tell anybody. That pattern does seem to fit the bill, Jordan. It would be nice if they put together a complete game one of these days.
Even though Cincinnati has a great chance of becoming 6-0 before they face L'Ville, does the stregth of schedule hinder them from being a ranked amongst the nations best?
Well, two of those games will be against FCS opponents in Delaware State and Fordham so that is not going to help matters once the BCS standings come out in a few weeks.
Hi AA:Of the two comeback wins for Cincy (USF (last season) or V Tech) which one stands out as the better of the two?
Well, on second thought ... USF. That was a conference game. Without that win, no Big East title. Va Tech is the "sexier" win because it came against a ranked ACC school.
Last game whitmer threw one touchdown and no interceptions. Do you think whitmer will have another good game?
He was going against Buffalo's D. Totally different animal this week vs. Rutgers. This team did show some vulnerabilities against the pass vs. Arkansas, but UConn does not have anywhere near the QB or WRs as the Hogs. I think UConn will struggle to score.
Does a bye week really give a team an advantage, we play Louisville in a week? We just came off of one! Maybe we can catch them sleeping at 11 am!
Well, Pitt has owned the series recently (4 straight wins) but you bring up a good point. I will take a look at how teams do after their bye weeks to see if it really helps.
Andrea- As always keep up the great work ( I see you Matt F.)..I think the MVP of the season so far for RU is D. Brock..I love that he has given Nova more plays to pass rather play ultra conservative...Do you see this continuing? Also, is it even remotely possible to believe that this team can go undefeated this season?
Thanks, Aaron. I am going to somewhat dispute your assessment. Rutgers really only opened it up for him vs. Arkansas. I was at the USF game and that was about as conservative as you get. But I will say this -- I think Rutgers has made a great decision to call plays that favor Nova. What I mean by that is -- they are getting him more comfortable with each game plan without asking him to do too much. They have the luxury to do that because of Jamison. I think it is possible to go undefeated but that final 3 game stretch is just brutal.
Can you see Temple pulling an upset this weekend?
Ball State beat USF, so anything is possible, right? Plus BJ Daniels has a sprained ankle and was limited in practice Wednesday. Keep an eye on that as the game goes on. BJ has been forced to run for his life a lot this season so if he is ineffective running or scrambling, this could play to Temple's advantage.
Congrats on yoru promotion to ACC Blogger. WIll you be going full time ACC next year to stay with NINE TIME NATIONAL CHAMPION PITT
I am doing both, Joe Pitt Fan! Multi-tasking at its finest :)
With Holmes and Page out, is RU's run D a concern? Vallone can slide over to nose, but they'll still need another DT. Hamilton?
I think that is an absolute concern, particularly because there is not much depth there. I know Rutgers wanted to try and bring Hamilton along slowly but now they face the possibility of playing a true freshman a significant amount of time. We'll see how they respond.
What is the scoop on Big East TV deal? Half of the exclusive window with ESPN is over. Do you think they will strike a deal or this is going to open market? Finally, what you think the ballpark would be for football member? I am BSU fan.
I have gotten a lot of TV ?s into the queue so I will just answer them all here. I have no insight or knowledge into the TV negotiations at this time. All I know is the discussions are ongoing. There have been a wide variety of $$$ thrown out there, but your guess is as good as mine. Nobody truly knows what the BE will end up with. I expect it will be a pretty good deal, but it will not be what the ACC received. Just a guess.
Do You see Miami upsettingNotre dame this weekend?
I do not.
How badly does USF need to get a win against Temple this weekend?
IF they don't, it will be tough sledding to get into a bowl game. They would need 4 wins in the final 6 games: UL, Syracuse, UConn, Miami, Cincinnati, Pitt. It is possible, but obviously a win over Temple is going to be huge.
I know you predicted Syracuse to win by one point this week. Do you see something I don't see? Syracuse hasn't beat Pitt since 2004, Coach P's last year.
Syracuse is actually favored to win, which surprised me. I was all ready to call it my upset special. We saw glimmers of the Syracuse offense in the first 2 games with some of the numbers they were putting up. I think they can win. Pitt beat Va Tech and an FCS team so I am not ready to 'crown' them unbeatable just yet.
What do you think Cincinnati and Louisville would be ranked in the AP for their match-up in a few weeks if both teams are still undefeated? I'm thinking Louisville at 14 and Cincinnati at 19.
Too hard to predict. I have no idea who is going to win or lose ahead.
I'm looking way down the line, but if either RU/Louisville/Cincy were to go 12-0, would they get selected for the BCS Championship if they are one of 2 undefeated teams?
Depends on who the 1-loss teams are.
Hey there! As a Husker fan its hard to see Dr. Tom retire again. Can Shawn Eichorst properly fill the shoes of Tom? What's your opinion of him and what he did with his short time in Miami? Last question, if we play a full game like we played the last two quarters of the Wisconsin game, can we knock off Ohio State? Thanks!
Hi Melissa. I do not know much about Eichorst, he was only at Miami 18 months. I think Nebraska likes his Big Ten background, after serving as the right-hand man to Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin. You have seen how well run that program, particularly the football program, has been over the last several years. Ohio State has looked sloppy at times, so anything is possible. I still think the Buckeyes win. Have a great one!
Just curious but do you ever look at some AP voter's polls and just shake your head? Anyway, what do you expect the carry breakdown to be this week between Jamison and Huggins?
I am not an AP voter, but the answer is yes. ... As for a carry breakdown, my guess would be 20-25 for Jamison, 10-15 for Huggins? Depends on how the game goes.
Do the Bearcats find join the top 25 with a win this weekend over Miami (Ohio)?
They are in the coaches' poll. But they should be the next team in the AP poll. They are the first team receiving votes.
you know its bad for USF when they are desperate to beat Temple. Should Holtz start worrying about his job?
He just got a contract extension so I am going to say no for right now. We'll see how the rest of the season goes.
Realistically speaking do you think this season has a chance to alter the perception of the Big East nationally?
I think it would be a good first step, but there is a lot of work that has to be made. If Mike Aresco can finagle something with this report of a 7th elite game being added, that would be huge. BE also has to be in the same neighborhood for revenue generated from this playoff, so keep an eye on that as well. Those will be 2 big factors for perception of the league.
Since a 3rd of C-USA will be in the BE next year I think this is a relevant question: What is going on in C-USA country? They are getting hosed by SBC and WAC teams! The only teams a foresee getting 6 wins and going bowling are ECU, UCF, and Tulsa and UCF potentially has a bowl ban.
C-USA looks turrrrrible this year. Keep in mind a lot of those teams lost pretty outstanding QBs so it is a transitional year for guys like Houston and Southern Miss
What are the keys for UConn to remain competitive and possibly eek out a win against Rutgers this Saturday?
Well first and foremost, UConn has a terrific defense. So that right there should keep UConn competitive. Secondly, UConn has to RUN THE BALL consistently, control the clock, take advantage of some of the injuries Rutgers has to its line. If it can create some turnovers the way it did last year, the Huskies could be in good shape.
Is that your Sir Charles impression?
Thumbs up or thumbs down?
The answer to Josh's question is about RU, Louisville, and Cincy is NO. Unless all but one of Oregon, Nebraska, Alabama, LSU, georgia, Notre Dame, South carolina, USC, Florida, west Virginia, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahomaand Texas have more than one loss those BE teams will not make the title game.
That is entirely possible, Zach. That is why I say it depends on who the one-loss teams are.
What's your thoughts on the Cards through the first 5 weeks? They haven't really passed the eye test, but a couple of those games were in brutal conditions. Plus they're a very young team, and young teams usually improve as the season progresses. That's my 2 cents. Thoughts?
I agree with your 2 cents wholeheartedly. 5-0 is 5-0 even if they have looked so-so doing it. I do worry about the game at Pitt next week. Louisville has not played well vs. the Panthers and the Cardinals have not inspired much confidence just yet. Still some growing up to do for this crew.
We miss your non-aq chats!
I miss you, too, Rocky! You asked me about Fresno earlier. I think it is entirely possible for the Bulldogs to win. Boise State has looked ... un-Boise like without all its terrific seniors from a year ago. Fresno has done really well with Coach D, Robbie and Carr so I expect a great game!
Most of the focus was on Munchie last week, and for good reason, but how solid did Thompkins and RDIV look? Munchie's accuracy still worries me but the playmakers are certainly there...
What, no love for Mr. Julian? You are right, the playmakers are there. Cincinnati has done an excellent job utilizing them to this point, and will continue to do so as they work on getting Munchie just a little more accurate. This is a really fun team to watch.
What is the Big East's record again non-conference opponents so far this year?
Thanks AA! Didn't mean to sound like a jerk. My B10 is really down so I get a little cynical. I'd probably cheer for the Big East team in that title game against any one of those teams if they did make it
No you did not sound like a jerk. You are dead on.
The Bearcats and Munchie are coming back to the Nip after a road game in DC. The last time they played at home the Cats had 6 turnovers. What do they have to do to make sure that doesn't happen again?
I think they will be much more focused in this game. Butch Jones will stress the importance of this rivalry, and how much the team needs to win this game. Last year they did not play well in the first half vs. Miami so I am sure that will come up as well. Plus, Zac Dysert I am sure has the attention of the defense too. They cannot afford to overlook this team.
Thumbs up. Sounds just like him.
Hopefully you still have been keeping up with alot of the Non-AQ teams Andrea! Nevada could have easily been 5-0 and maybe ranked, Fresno is doing great, Utah St and San Jose St are rising programs along with LA Tech...
Hey I put Virginia on upset watch last week vs. La Tech and was right. So yes I am!
True or false: Louisville is a unknown commodity until they play a conference game? Second question: why do you rank Rutgers as the best team, and then have Louisville in the BCS game? You do know that Louisville plays at Piscataway this year, right?
I do know that, Brian. I will take this opportunity to explain my power rankings. When I do them, I rank how each team is playing week to week, how impressive they have looked, who they have beaten. My bowl projections are how I think the season is going to end up. Louisville has not looked great, but I still like the Cards to win the Big East. Just because Rutgers is playing at home doesn't mean it is an automatic they win. And plus, they do have to play at Cincinnati and at Pitt before facing UL.
Any chance this gets better soon? We have lost 10 of 13. Skip didn't enherit a bare cupbord. I'm starting to lose a lot of faith quick.
You are not the only one. A lot of USF fans are asking whether Skip should be on the hot seat. This team is loaded with talent. I don't think the season is over after one Big East loss. If USF can finish strong the rest of the way out, I am sure that would make people feel a lot happier. But right now that looks like a big "if."
Should we be concerned about the extremely conservative playcalling for UConn against Buffalo or do you suspect they were simply holding back in order to keep some tricks for the Big East schedule?
I Am not sure what tricks you could be referring to, since UConn is typically a grind-it-out type team.
Overall, the Big East has gotten off to a strong start given that it boasts three ranked, undefeated teams in Louisville, Cincinnati and Rutgers. Aside from one of these teams "running the table", is there anything else the Big East can do to garner more respect from the major college football world (i.e. Media, Coaches, etc.)?
Coaches have told me they need to prove it on the field. I think having commissioner Mike Aresco give media briefings at each game he attends this year is a good move as well. He has to do a lot of hand shaking and cajoling in these playoff meetings as well.
So, no pandemonium in Piscataway this year??? Is L'ville the undisputed champ???
I didn't say that, Harold. I think that is going to be an outstanding game, and I hope for the opportunity to be there to see it happen.
Do you think the BE losing Pitt and Cuse and adding the teams they got is addition by subtraction? Is the BE better than it was as a result of the moves?
If you are talking about on-the-field Wins and Losses, I did the comparison last year and the win percentage is about the same.
I watch coach Kyle Flood on press conferences and I am very impressed with his presence and the way he answers questions with authority. What do you think of the first year coach so far ?
Two thumbs up, Kevin. I don't think anybody predicted Rutgers to be ranked and 4-0 at this point.
PS... here in Georgia the 4-3 against the ACC is nice. The 2-0 against the SEC is even more powerful.
You know I meant to add that into my story from Monday.
No one predicted Arkansas to be a dumpster fire either.
One of my favorite terms.
H-Town:It is a LOSS. Unless you started watching FB yesterday, you understand that TRADITION plays a huge part in rankings and perception. That translates to $$$ your conference can get!
Pitt is chiming in as it slams the door in your face, H-Town.
Is it just me or would the Big East be ridiculed right and left for a call like the one that ended the OK State/Texas game while the Big 12 seems to have been given a pass for the most part?
OH I don't think the Big 12 has been given a pass at all. Seems like a pretty big debacle to me if you have apologies and then apologies for apologies.
Could be a 2006 year.... top 3 teams beating each other in round-robin fashion. Hope not, but looking very possible. What say you, Big Guns?
I agree, which is why I do not think anybody will go undefeated. There is not much separating the top 3 teams, and I think Pitt has the potential to upset, along with just about everybody else.
If you come to Rutgers this year, will you eat a Fat Darrell?
IS that a trick question?
Is it time we talk about the Big 10 losing their AQ status?
Feel free, Bill. Everybody should lose their AQ status if you ask me.
Do you like the 8 game schedule for the acc? or stick with the 9? N Dame changing the landscape that much!
I like 8 for every conference. I like the opportunity to play other teams and not just box yourself in with so many conference games.
Had a fantastic time in DC! From your seat what suprised you most about the Bearcats performance. For me (though I'll grant they tired some late) the defense kept them in the game until Munchie and the boys on offense could figure a way to hit that Bud Foster defense.Great job Munchie! And BOOO to the people that kept Munchie's grandma from seeing it!
Boo is right, Bearcatvol. ... I have to say, I was surprised at the poise and leadership Munchie showed on that game-winning drive. I picked UC to win, so I knew the D would be fine. Munchie sometimes scares me when he goes back to pass, but that drive really was masterful.
I think that would be the best case scenario for the big east (the round robin). Wouldn't three teams 11-1 be good for the BE reputation?
Well undefeated would be better, right? But in the even that does not happen, certainly three 11-1 teams would be an outstanding season for this league. I think it would send a strong message, AND think about this ... all 3 teams return their starting QBs AND starting RBs next year.
Hello Andrea, its been a while since I been on the Chat. What a great article you had earlier in the week regarding Rutgers, Cinny and Louisville and about the Big East. You did a outstanding job talking up the Big East. Now THe # RANKED teams need to keep winning.. DO you feel RU, Cinny, LouisV will stay undefeated before the Cinny plays Louisville?
Thanks, John. I think UC will be undefeated. I am more concerned about UL with games at Pitt and then USF before Cincinnati. One of those teams could pull an upset.
Rutgers should be favored to go 9-0 if all goes well. But which one of the games seems like the one where RU can slip up?
Yes Rutgers should go 9-0. If you are forcing me to pick one, then I will pick UConn. Huskies won last year, and this has been a VERY CLOSE series recently. There are lots of UConn players who will be extra motivated in this one because they are from NJ and feel Rutgers snubbed them. I am not saying they will lose, but this one would be the one that could give them the most trouble.
Kevin has a point. How much would it gaul to so called Big 5 to have to invite 2 Big East teams to the BCS fun party. (and perhaps a Boise too) To beautiful to even think about. Say what you want... both UC and UL have taken a lot of fans to their BCS games.
I know the BE fans would be loving every second.
Would the BE BCS rep (Louisville, Cincy, Rutgers) have a chance against Florida State in the Orange Bowl?
Who says FSU is not playing for the national title :)
AA- if (IF) louisville continues this upward trend, with recruiting, keeping the coaching staff together, 10+ win seasons and bowls- how many years out is the program from elite status- honestly- is next year going to be a big trophy year?
Great question, Chris. I am not sure I can accurately answer, and I will point to your rival, Cincinnati. The Bearcats have put together 10-win seasons, BE championships, BCS appearances and have not reached "elite" status. When you are one of these programs from outside the traditional conferences, it just takes a little while for people to think about you in an elite way.
Folow-up question: So it is possible that UC vs. UL could be a "semi-final" game and then UL vs Rutgers could be the "final" (that determines the BE champ)?
What about Rutgers vs. UC, at Nipp?
I'll say it: FSU is not playing for the national title.
AA- What is it about Pitt's prolific offense that makes you think they will give us a hard time? Pitt has always been a sleeping giant killer- but were not a giant now are we!?!?!
Oh, I don't know, the fact that Pitt ran for 200 yards last year and has its running game rolling once again?
Does Butch Jones seem happy in Cincinnati or will greener grass be calling him soon?
Yes he is happy in Cincinnati. He turned down an offer this past season .. he has me convinced he wants to stick around for the long term.
What is SU's record w/ Justin Pugh playing from game 1? The difference between him and Big Lou should big huge.
Would he have helped Syracuse to hang onto the football? That said, I am looking forward to watching him play tomorrow. I think he will make a huge difference.
Will Boise come in and own our conference next year, or will they be looking up at the new guard?
Boise would not be owning anything this year, that is for sure. I have no idea what this team will look like at the end of the year let alone next season. Too early to make predictions for 2013.
Pitt is very capable of beating UofL this year. They've had our number lately and they're good at home. I think it'll be the real measure of this UofL team to see them play in a hostile environment against a team with talent on the same level as their own.
I totally agree, which is why this game should concern UL fans.
I am very concerned about Rutgers Defensive linemen. A lot of players hurt. Worried if the back ups can keep the pressure on.
That is a valid concern, John.
Andrea: Please don't go to the ACC Blog, we like you over here sticking up for us!
I can do both, Charlie!
Another displaced Non AQer here. Better Ohio team...Bobcats or Bearcats?
You continue to predict the Cards to pull out a BE championship. What is your reasoning even though they continue to play sloppy? No thought that the Catbears defense can shut down Bridgewater and pull out the win?
I like your handle, Catbears! No doubt UC has looked strong on D, but Louisville has got some really nice balance working on its offense right now and Bridgewater is better than Legaux. UL has played sloppy, no question about it, but I still think playing at home gives them an edge. Bowl predictions are subject to change each week, just remember that!
OK everyone, thanks for joining me today! Enjoy the games and see you next week.