This one is dedicated to Mr. Beano, a man who will be missed dearly.
Could Rutgers go undefeated in a weak conference? Potential BCS Bowl?
Sure it is possible, but there are tough tests on the schedule. Cincinnati and Louisville are no slouches.
Guarantee that Temple wins this week in Connecticut.
Are you guaranteeing it?
Andrea, thanks for many for memories this season. However, the state USF is simply depressing right now, and I feel I must cut back in my overindulging in order to keep some happiness in my life. Hoping you understand.
Does this mean no more USF football for you, Jordan?
Do you think C. Coyer can throw the ball effectively enough to beat UCONN's and Rutgers' defenses?
If Temple beats either of those teams, it is going to have to have an outstanding rushing performance. This is not so much about Coyer's ability to throw, but also some of the inexperience he as at WR. That group has not distinguished itself yet.
RU is looking and playing much more relaxed under coach Flood. Good or Bad? Better for avoiding an upset, but is it contributing to so many penalties that if they continue, will eventually cost them a game?
I agree they are playing more relaxed, and that may indeed lead to Rutgers avoiding what seems to be an annual upset or two. But you are right, the penalties are alarming. Flood has to walk a fine line between wanting his players to be loose while maintaining discipline at all times. He knows the penalties are a problem. Now he has to find a way to fix them.
Dave Brock, Rutgers Offensive Coordinator, is off to a great start. Why is it working so well for him after only a brief stint as BC's interim offensive coordibator?
He has got a great OL to work with, and a terrific back in Jamison. Without those working in concert, then things would be a whole lot different at Rutgers this year.
AA, I really appreciate your efforts with the blog, it really helps break up the work day. Now, should SU and Pitt both pull off the upsets this weekend, do you see both 'Ville and RU being dropped from the Top 25, given how far so many other teams have fallen after a loss, in the polls recently?
Well they are already ranked so low to begin with, I could certainly see that, especially since Syracuse and Pitt have losing records. I am not sure either team would deserve a ranking if they lose. But a lot of that depends on who loses behind them.
I'm not sure if the Big East has this award but would anybody be more deserving of comeback player of the year than Marcus Sales?
I would have to think about that for a moment but he certainly would be the first name that comes to mind, no question.
So which Pitt do you think we'll see on Saturday? And do you think this is the game where Louisville finally puts a whole 4 quarters together and shows people why they're the highest ranked BE team?
Your guess is as good as mine, Conner! I wrote about schizo Pitt yesterday. I picked Louisville, and I believe I may be in the minority there. I just think the way the Cards are running the ball, and with Teddy behind center, they can really bust the game open. I have only seen Pitt play one good game against FBS competition, and that was against Va Tech. Louisville is better than Va Tech.
With all of the experience on the Uconn coaching staff, mainly coach P. and coach DeLeone, are you surprised how dis-organized the Huskies have looked in recent games?
I am, quite frankly. There is no excuse for that.
Since the politicians are all always talking about the middle class during election season, where has the Big East's middle class gone? We have 3 schools who have identified themselves as the top tier but everyone else is so blah this season. Who is going to emerge from that pool of 5 schools as the BE's middle class?
Well Big East fans cannot have it both ways. If you have a strong upper class, then there is not really enough space for a strong middle class, not with 8 teams in the league. The Big East benefits being top heavy this year. From a national perspective, nobody is wondering, 'Who is the fourth best team?' If you are looking for one, then the BE would be best served if it is a remaining member. At this point, all 5 look pretty blah to me. It is a toss up who is going to make a bowl from that group.
Of the 3 undefeated teams, who do you think is the most complete team thus far? How do you see the season ending for each?
Well, I have Rutgers No. 1 in my power rankings, but I still think Louisville has a good shot at winning the league title. UL is better on offense, and I think the D will be better at the end of the season. I think all 3 teams will wind up with 10 or more wins.
What's the weather forecast at Pitt this weekend?
Hi 61. You are welcome.
Depends on how the game goes, Josh. Rutgers is going to be conservative 9 times out of 10. Arkansas was a unique situation because they got into a shootout and had to throw. Last week, that was unnecessary. Rutgers will keep pounding it as long as it can.
I do, especially with the change in AD. That was an absolute embarrassment. I thought they would lose, but not like that! I am sorry for you!
Mississippi State gets the benefit of playing in the SEC, plain and simple.
Not sure that is in the cards for this year, Jordan.
Are we talking 2009? I think that Cincinnati team was better.
Sounds like the motto the teams live by, cool shoes. As for the depth chart, I think Skip needs to do something to find a spark for this team, particularly up front. Someone explain to me where the big beefcakes are on the DL! Bueller?!
Andrea, It feels great to be an RU fan this week.. I've been reading a great amount about the Tangerines (i.e. CUSE) Blitzing Defense and how they are getting a lot of pressure on the QB lately. Considering that Pitt's OL has had a bad year and might not be a good barometer, will that be a problem for RU to handle? I know three step drop's and a strong showing by Jamison can combat that but, just wanted to get your opinion on how RU fares.
That is the subject of my Game of the Week video, Aaron! Rutgers' offensive line is much better than Pitt's, so that is first and foremost. But Syracuse is playing better up front. As long as Rutgers can establish the run and control the clock and game, I do not think there will be as many blitzing opportunities for Syracuse.
Skip needs to tweak the coaching chart. Unfort I think the issue is bigger than Skip, It goes all the way up to the AD Woolard. He shouldnt had given Holtz a raise after last season. Thoughts?
No he shouldn't have, but if you read this article by Greg Auman you will see there may have been other factors involved. http://www.tampabay.com/sports/doug-woolards-contract-as-usf-athletic-director-extended-enriched/1250867
AA, If RU and 'Ville are both undefeated heading into the showdown in Piscataway, do you think the winner has a chance of getting into the NC, ahead of a 1 loss SEC team?
Brad Edwards may be better equipped to answer that one, but my first guess is going to be no.
I read that Mike Aresco is pressuring Navy to come sooner than the agreed 2015 date because he needs their allure to improve the television contract and lure in school #14. If Mike presses too hard does he risk losing Navy all together?
Navy AD Chet Gladchuk said last week that was news to him, and his program remains firm in joining in 2015.
What would it take for a Big East team to get the national championship game from here, other than being undefeated?
1. No other undefeated teams. 2. Avoid having multiple one-loss SEC teams, and possibly one-loss Big 12 teams (Those two are the top of the conference power rankings at this point). We will start to see where BE teams stack up Sunday, when the first BCS standings are released. Keep that in mind.
Where do you think UCF would be ranked in this years BE?
Most likely 4.
They Block Video Plug-In's and Youtube at my work establishment.. Sorry about that Andrea...If Jamison gets another strong showing do you think he gets any Heisman Buzz? He has to be at the minimum in the Doak Walker discussion?
I do not want to get you in trouble at work! But I am glad I covered a topic you were interested in. Jamison is already getting Heisman buzz on the BE blog, thanks to the Big Tuna. Rutgers has to make a serious run for that to happen.
If all USF gets our wins at Syracuse,Uconn, and Pitt to finish 5-7 and last in Big East again, do you think he gets fired like most of us expect?
I am not going to predict his fate. He will be re-evaluated for sure, but I have no idea what USF is going to do.
Any update on whether Federico is kicking for RU this Saturday? (If they need a kicker, I still have some eligibility left.)
It appears as if he remains a game-time decision.
Has there been a bigger surprise in the Big East at running back than Lindsey Lamar? He's looked like the Big East version of CJ Spiller his senior year after what looked like a redshirt year.
What does it say about this coaching staff that they wanted to redshirt him? Fill in the blank.
I heard that two of UofLs starting LB's are out for Saturdays game, have you heard anything about them and the OL injury?
Daniel Brown is out indefinitely and it appears as if James Burgess is doubtful, too. Depth looks like a concern right now, and that should be a key area to watch, particularly with Pitt and its ability to run the football. I have not heard any update on John Miller. He remains questionable.
I'm all for establishing the run (it's what TU does). However, Temple will certainly need to keep the defenses of UCONN and RU honest, completing the quick/short passes which kept USF's defense honest for the most part. Relying solely on the run against a team ranked 8th against the run (6th in total defense) will be no easy task.
No you are absolutely right. I was not implying that they will only run the ball. But I do not know that the Owls can win if they are unable to get their ground game going. That was my point.
Pitt has beaten Louisville four straight years. Can they make a statement and pull off the upset?
Sure, why not? Pitt beat Va Tech earlier this year. If the Panthers can run the way they did last year vs. Louisville, then absolutely they can win.
Nice dedication. We know they're not world beaters, but it was nice to see all 7 future BE members win last week. You know the non-AQs well - was this a sign these teams are improving, or just a product of a soft schedule?
I do not think it is fair to judge improvement on one game. We can talk about them as a whole at the end of the season. It obviously is good that Boise and UCF look pretty decent.
Who is the early fav for C.O.Y., P.O.Y.?
You will have to wait until next week for our midseason reports. But just for fun, why don't you all chime in now! Go!
Who's your pick to break 100 yards this weekend: Jeremy Wright or Senorise Perry? And do you think its good, or bad, that Louisville is one of only 3 teams in the country with 2 rushers having over 380 yards each?
Perry. I like him more as a runner, just my preference. I think it is good for Louisville to have two equally productive RBs. Great to change things up and not put too much wear and tear on each player.
Would Boise be the favorite in the Big East right now?
Flood, JJ (duh)
Brian is first to respond!
Do you think its critical that in the new Big East, which doesn't have a ton of common history, that the Cincy/L'ville/Memphis and Temple/Rutgers/UConn triple rivalries all remain preserved? Also, any thoughts on how Aresco and company can create some rivalries among some of the more geographically diverse members?
Those rivalries will be preserved. The Big East has already said they are not going to throw away rivalries that are already there. I don't think you can manufacture rivalries. They are created over time and a lot of that will be predicated on the teams that end up emerging at the top of the conference on a consistent basis.
Example: USF created a decent rivalry with WVU because of all the upsets it pulled.
Im biased....Flood & JJ
Let me rephrase- where would Boise be in the Big East pecking order if they were in it this year, do you think?
If we are adding in the new schools, Boise would still be behind the undefeateds at No. 4, then UCF No. 5.
COY--B. JonesPOY--Mr. Winn RB UC
Glad to see you here, Mr. P!
If you had to pick a position as the Big East's greatest strength what would it be?
How well do you feel Rutgers compensated for the injuries to Burton and Holmes against UCONN? Should RU fans feel comfortable moving forward?
I think Rutgers did well, but I am going to need more than one game against a pretty mediocre OL to judge whether it will be smooth sailing from here on out.
One thing that cannot be questioned in Holtz and USF's demise is BJ Daniels play and will to win. He's had a tremendous year and will finish as Big East alltime leader. Game winning drives against Nevada and what should have been Ball State and Temple. Hedid everything he could but defense can't hold.
You forgot special teams vs. Temple, Will. I think BJ has a big heart, but he has had his fair share of mistakes as well.
Balder Dash!!!! You said UCF would be 4, not Boise!
I believe you specifically asked "in this year's" Big East.
How ridiculous is it that PSU, BC, WVU, RU, Pitt and Cuse are in 4 different conferences? The football gods really screwed that one up. Would have been a pretty good conference.
I am not going to blame the football gods. I am going to blame the management in each of those athletic departments for making moves that best serve their own institutions.
If Rutgers and Lousville remain undefeated how much National attention would the Thursday night game get, more than the 2006 faceoff between these two teams?
I am not going to compare this year to 2006. But if they are undefeated, I think there will be a huge amount of national attention on this game. It is the only game on, and would be for the BCS bid. No doubt people would be tuning in.
Thank you for your very on the point article about Cincinnati's level of national respect. I still believe that it is lacking (even from you, i.e. response to Stephen above). What is the cause? Time and time again, Cincinnati is continually underrated and continually delivers. Is the one win missing, a win in a BCS game?
Thanks for reading, Josh. In my opinion, here are the 3 biggest causes.1. The Big East has a bad national perception.2. Strength of schedule is not considered particularly strong.3. They have looked bad in both BCS games.
Is Rutgers overrated a bit? Very good defense and a solid offense, but they are still beatable. A mistake here or there could be the difference. Outside of Army, every game they play the rest of the year will be competitive and could come down to one turnover or broken play.
I think you could say the same for each undefeated Big East team. You can point out weaknesses from the three. The fact is, all three could end up losing to each other and the BE could have a three-way tie at the top (again). Or they could lose to a team they should beat. That has happened to Rutgers how many times? Happened to Louisville last year, too.
Let's not get the cart before the horse. Rutgers and Louisville have get past Cincinnati first.
Mitch same could be said for numerous others as well. Imagine if FSU, UF, Miami, USF , UCF were in the same conference and not in 4 different conferences?
Well in that case, two of those football programs are FBS infants compared to the ones in the Northeast. That has something to do with alignment as well.
Time to be honest. At this point, what is the advantage of SDSU and Boise St in joining the Big East? The Big East has zero advantage when it comes to BCS access. And anyone who assumes the BE TV contract will exceed last year?s offer (with the loss of PITT, WV, SYC, and ND) are naive at best. Why not stay in the MWC where you have good rivalries already built?
They will still get a boatload more $$$ in the Big East than the MWC. Bottom line.
Big East moved ahead of the ACC on the espn conference power poll (rightfully so)!! Now just imagine if we could somehow dump Syracuse and Pitt on the ACC and add say Boise State. That would really create some separation!
Well, I guess you can wait a year and find out how much in 2013!
You think Boise will get BCS bid? Jerry Palm is still projecting that
Boise has a lot of work to do for that to happen. I am still not convinced this team is going to win out. Fresno this weekend is going to be a really tough game and so is Nevada to close the season. I would not be surprised if the Broncos drop one of those.
It seems like RU has had trouble guarding against the semi-deep routes over the middle. Anyone on Syracuse we have to look out for that could take advantage of that? Haven't been watching the nation's best 2-3 team, sorry :-P
Marcus Sales. He is having a terrific year.
I'm biased, too, but Butch Jones had less to work with coming back, and should be COY. Jamison is POY.
COY is going to be a very close race, I think. I am not sure yet who will get midseason honors. All depends on how Saturday goes.
Do you see Rutgers struggling a bit with Syracuse this week? I feel like this one may be a little trickier than UConn.
It will be a lot trickier. I picked a close game and said it was not going to be easy. I firmly believe that.
If you had to predict the score of RU v Bama at a neutral site this weekend, what would it be? Also, do you think WVU would hose the conference this year, even though their D is atrocious?
My guess on Rutgers vs. Bama would be something like 24-6. I don't see how Rutgers would put up many points on Bama. ... As for WVU, I think this team would win the BE this year, but I do not think it would be putting up the same type of points and yards. BE defenses are much better than the Big 12.
Do you see any BE team taking over the dominate WVU spot for the next few years or will the BE always be a yearly toss up?
Well, Cincinnati fans will argue that the Bearcats already have that spot because of their consistent success the last five seasons. I think what would benefit the league the most is if there is a clear-cut upper class, as I mentioned earlier. There need to be more teams like Cincinnati and Boise State, which seem to finish in the Top 25 on a yearly basis. Those two have the best national pedigree of anybody in the future BE.
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong stated on the Jim Rome show he was staying put in Louisville. Do you believe him, or do you think if his hometown program, Arkansas made him an offer, he would bolt?
I can only take these coaches at their word. None of us can sit here and predict what Charlie is going to do.
Nasib's numbvers are skewed by a Northwestern secondary that looked terrible in game one. But he will still put some points on the board. RU will need to bring the "Tall" guys into play to win. I look for Coleman, Wright and Harrison (and Deering) to make the difference for RU.
I seem to recall he played very well vs. USC. Syracuse could have a huge problem if it does not have Shamarko Thomas in the secondary.
I'd love to see the Big East poach a lower level ACC, or SEC school.... maybe like Vandy/Maryland/Kentucky... still in the "Big East country" as far as geography is concerned - maybe get a chance to thrive in a "weaker" conference. What do you think those chances are if the TV Deal gives similar money, at LEAST to Maryland's ACC Cut?
ZERO. No way will it happen, those leagues are much more stable than the Big East. And will have more $$.
Do you think any big east team has the chance to destroy another conference in a BCS game, much like last year?
While I think the three teams ranked are good, I don't think anybody has an offense capable of destroying anybody the way West Virginia did last year.
AA, First off, I'm converted. I used to think you only bashed the Big East as if it were poilcy from Micky Mouse, but now I have come to rely on the information you provide. So my question is this: Does the success that WVU is having, give any credibility to the Big East and the teams that beat them last year?
All right everybody, I am exiting stage right. Thanks for the great questions, and enjoy Saturday!