WHAT A WEEK!
A Big East team (albeit on the way out) kept a coach sought after by an SEC team, a team with tradition, and money. We all know this is huge, but please tell us again.
From my column today: We have become so accustomed to coaches bolting for the next available opportunity at bigger, richer programs, that most everybody expected Strong to leave, too. But Strong's decision to stay at Louisville served as a reminder that sometimes the best opportunity you have is the one staring you in the face. http://espn.go.com/blog/bigeast/post/_/id/40301/strong-goes-against-grain-with-move-to-stay
For those who have not listened to his opening statement, I highly recommend you do. Very moving, and very heartfelt.
I?m very disappointed to see Rutgers suing the Big East. Is their goal really to leave immediately and pay nothing? Or is it a negotiating ploy to get the same deal Pitt and Syracuse have? Do they care nothing about the members they leave behind?
Were you disappointed to see Pitt and West Virginia sue the Big East as well? Unfortunately, that is what everybody has been reduced to in order to just move on their merry way.
I'm anxiously awaiting USF to announce their next coach. I know Taggart and Mcgaee are early favorites but what are the chances of Quinn from Florida? Any idea how soon the hire will happen?
Quinn told The St. Petersburg Times yesterday he has no interest in the job. I have no timetable for when a decision will be made, but it sounds as if there are a lot of interested candidates.
Should I have a glimmer of hope that AD Manual suggested to Coach P to take offensive calling away from DeLeon.? To me that sounds like if you don't and the offense goes south next year, you are both going to be out. But, since the AD is a bit wishy washy I might be reading to much into it. And one other thing get Ollie a contract already!
Well, I am not going to speak for Warde Manuel but it sounds as if he wants some changes to be made. That should be at the top of the list given what we saw this year. I mean UConn WASTED the best defense in the league.
Head Coach Doug Marrone not coach of the year?!?!Rut and lous were supposed to be bad! Cuse was picked 7th!!!! and won a tie for the conference
You mean they were supposed to be good, right? They are voted on by the coaches, so let's please remember that first and foremost. My choice was Charlie Strong so I am not too surprised at all. Look at the overall records.
Your personal opinion, on a scale of 1-10 how shocked were you that Strong turned down Tennessee?
Well if 1 is not shocked and 10 is stick my finger in a socket shocked, I will say ... 3.
AA the AD of Cincinnati in a recent interview indicated that the Big East is going to go to 16 teams. Are you you hearing any of this as well? If so, who will be the other schools? Fresno State, Army, Nevada?
I would not be surprised if that is the case, and I have no idea who the other adds would be. Nobody had Tulane on their list, right?
Butch Jones has decided not to go to Colorado, do you think that means that he will stay in Cincy or does Tennessee bump him to the top of their list after Strong denied them and Jones heads to Tenn?
Great question. I think it is one we have been pondering all day. You will note that nowhere in the reports is there mention that Jones will stay at Cincinnati. Nothing official from the school. Perhaps we should read between the lines?
Andrea, I assume Lousiville will be the pre-season favorite next year in the Big East, who do you see as the biggest threat to them?
Probably Boise and Cincinnati. Broncos return a good chunk of their team, and we have learned to never count out Cincinnati! Of course the Bearcats may have a new coach so ...
AA, if overall records are to be considered for BE COY, shouldn't strength of OOC count heavily in the favor of SU?
Doug Marrone basically called himself a bad coach after the 2-4 start, guys!
We know Barry Alvarez is only going to coach the Rose Bowl and he is not going to look at Pitt for a head coach. Who do you think is on the top of his list?
You should probably ask the Big Ten guys about that one. All I know is it is a GREAT DAY for Pitt.
AA, what do you think of Judy' Genshaft's comments about the Big East getting a bowl tie in with either the Fiesta or Cotton Bowl. Seems like if the BE were to somehow score this victory schools might settle down a bit. Thoughts?
She sounds totally misinformed.
Do you see Louisville competing for the national championship next year and years to come with Strong staying? Can the Cards finish in the top 10 this year if we beat Florida? I think we will prove that the SEC is all hype and I predict a Cards victory - 24 to 10 in the Sugar.
That is a bold prediction! If Louisville wins, I do not see a top 10 finish. The Cards are not even in the Top 15 right now. As for competing for a national championship, that is going to be hard given the conference Louisville plays in. How will another 9-0 start be any different next year?
AA, please tell me the sky isn't falling and that everything will be ok! Seriously though.
Well, the sky is definitely not falling. Last I checked the beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds were above my head.
The only thing more embarrassing than USF performance Saturday was the crowd. I think Skip was run due to too many people calling for his job. Woodward certainly gave Stan Heath several bad seasons. Did Skip deserve longer?
Look, the decision was made and that is that. I will say this -- what did USF do this year that led you to believe the Bulls would turn around consecutive losing seasons without 24 seniors?
Andrea I just returned from a business trip down in the Triangle area of NC. Had a chance to take a trip east to East Carolina and to the Outer Banks. Completely changed my idea of having ECU in the Big East, they should have been added a long time ago. Nice area and great campus and facilities. Looking forward to going down there for some BBQ and going to the beach. Hopefully an early Sept game for us.
I have been to a game there when I was working at the Sentinel. I ate at a delicious local BBQ place myself, believe it was called Uncle Yammy's. Anyway, they have terrific fan support and sell out their stadium. I think the bigger concern was adding them as an all-sports member. I have no problem with them as a football only member.
Hey for those of you guys asking questions ... you will not get yours posted if you call me by the wrong name. Just a heads up! It's A-N-D-R-E-A
OK, let's move on.
I am still reeling from Thursday's loss in Piscataway. I am also still digesting the Fat Darrel that I ate. Questions for a nice/intelligent gal: (1) What are Rutgers chances to win a BCS berth next year; (2) Do you think Rutgers can get to the Rose Bowl by 2018?
Well, let me see here ... my Magic 8 ball says ... no idea on the second question. So I will answer the first. At this point, I would not project Rutgers into a BCS game next year given all the talent leaving on defense. That is how Rutgers won games this year. Who is going to win games for them next year?
Does Big Guns still work??
I will allow it.
AA, Tulane will win the Big East in three years...bank on it!
Vinnie, I think you are going to regret saying that.
Why should Boise joint the Big East (new Conference USA) after all the shifting around? TV deal will definitely not be the same as it would have been and with all the shifting, why not hold out for a bid to Pac 12, or Big 12 if they expand?
They are not getting a bid to the Pac-12 or Big 12. Sorry.
Hi Andrea, do you know any words about TV Contract and BYU? Thanks.
Nothing on either front.
LOL. Ok, had to ask...what are they calling you?
Sandy? Sandy?! C'mon people! Heather? She is over in the ACC blog, folks.
How did Graham get 1st team big east over big George Winn. I assume it is just the name, numbers are not even comparable.
I am scratching my head on that one. Maybe they gave it to him for getting 1,000 yards after tearing his ACL. I really am not sure.
What do you make of the ACC presidents coming out with their unity pledge? Just more hot air from guys who will stab each other in the back for $10M more a year, or legit love??
I don't really have a problem with the statement. They're just words, you know?
Taggart's resume seems a bit thin despite ringing endorsements from several people. Who should USF target as their new coach?
I am not on the search committee so I don't get a vote. I actually think Taggart is a great fit. I don't think his resume is thin at all. So he's only had one head coaching job -- look at what he did there. He worked miracles, Jesus.
Guess us uconn fans are stuck with coach p for one more year. Great. :( All I know is I'll be happy as long as whitmer who can only throw the ball to the other team all the time isn't the qb. I'd rather have Cochran be the qb. What happens if we do bad next year?
Not sure what happens, but it is clear that PP is on the hot seat. I was going to write a column about him returning this week and then, well, ALL HECK BROKE LOOSE! I Will have something next week. I really applaud Manuel for letting him have one more year. But it's a make or break year, no question.
Feeling any more love in here than last week?
Not nearly as contentious, Nate!
do you think doug marrone eventually goes to the nfl / bigger time school or sticks with syracuse
I think he likes it where he is. He is an alum and has put in a lot of time and effort to get this program headed in the right direction. I believe he just got a contract extension as well if you read between the lines of Dr. Gross' recent comments.
Would you bet that Louisville and Rutgers play next year in the Big East, but not in 2014?
What do you think of the new playoff system that everyone has been wanting. Think that will the BCS mess? I dont.
*fix* the BCS mess? No. I was in favor of a playoff until I saw this model. It's going to be much worse than it is now, in my opinion. I wanted them to get rid of all the tie-ins. That hasn't happened. There is going to be way more arguing about the four teams in the playoff than there is now, too, I bet.
Any idea why the conferences keep ratcheting up the member numbers a few at a time instead of just getting it done with all in one swoop, so we can try to get back to some type of normalcy ?
None of this makes sense to me, Jon.
Was I disappointed to see Pittsburgh and West Virginia sue the Big East? Yes! All Rutgers had to do was negotiate an exit like Syracuse did. But they seem to want to want to leave early and not pay anything! Did Syracuse not sue because they would like to schedule Big East Basketball members (ie St. John?s and Georgetown)? People in CT are wondering if UConn is still paying for the bad blood created by suing Boston College when they left.
Syracuse never wanted to go the lawsuit route. That was their choice, and they seemed to get the resolution they wanted. I understand UConn fans feeling that way, but this was a decision based on the overall strength of the athletic department. Right now, Louisville is much stronger -- and football is a huge reason why.
Who has home field advantage in the BBVA Compass Bowl?
I am going to go ahead and say Syracuse, believing that the Orange got the nod over Pitt because they are from New York. I can't figure why else the Pinstripe would turn down the BYB.
Any first rounders come from the BE this year in the draft?
I am going to say no right now. But remember last year at this time, I also said no, and then Chandler Jones and Bruce Irvin got themselves picked in the first-round. It is simply too early to say we have not even had the Senior Bowl, combine or pro days.
Okay, let's say Cincinnati miraculously retains him one more season, I can't imagine he will stay beyond that unless we find a new conference affiliation where he can accomplish more. Would you tend to agree with this statement? If Jones does, in fact, leave for another job, will Cincinnati be able to hire someone like him again to stay successful or has Cincinnati even lost it's major stepping-stone status with what MAC teams can even do (like NIU) and "other 5" conferences making the BCS?
Calvin, I truly believe that the (in)stability in the Big East will be a driving factor in any decision Jones makes now or into the future. Well, I should say not just Jones, but any coach. If Louisville was in the Big East still, I think there would have been a much greater chance of Charlie leaving.
Two things for everyone: follow Brian Murphy on twitter, he always has really good stuff on Boise and the Big East (he currently is tweeting Aresco's comments on TV deal)Secondly, has there been any indications who tie breakers are going to work for the conference title game? Hopefully the system isn't as convoluted as the current BCS game selection for Big East!
You are right, Murphy is a friend and good at what he does. We have not gotten any information in tiebreakers, but I would imagine that head-to-head would come first.
QB competition between Nova, Bimonte, and Rankin next year for Rutgers?
I think he needs to open up the competition in the spring to push Nova a little more, yes.
I'm going to try to buy the right of FireBrock.com but i think some BC students already beat me to the punch
Oh boy. I am not an advocate of those sites!
I don't know how to form this as a question, but I'd like your take on this. A lot of people have, in my opinion, been attacking Coach Strong's character after the resolution of the TN offer. Saying that he only did it to leverage more money, he's scared of the SEC, he had other hidden motives, etc. It's really quite frustrating given all he's done for the community off the field. Known community service includes weekly cancer ward visits and taking the entire team up to Southern Indiana to help tornado victims clean up. He does all these things without media attention. What does a coach have to do to prove he's a stand up guy?
My take is this: there are always going to be naysayers and cynics out there who refuse to see what is right in front of them. All I can do today is take Charlie at his word. Does it matter whether he had hidden motives? Does he matter if he leveraged for more $$. Les Miles does that ANNUALLY and nobody seems to mind or rip him for it. The bottom line is that Charlie has done a terrific job in Louisville, he is a part of that community, his family is a part of that community and for right now, he decided he wants to stay a little longer. I will never fault a coach for that, for being loyal and for expressing his gratitude to players and an AD for putting their absolute trust in him. Charlie is not like a lot of these other coaches. He's only been a head coach for THREE YEARS GUYS. Nobody else gave him a shot. Louisville did, and I think speaks volumes for why he decided to stay. This was my favorite quote from today: "I was always on everybody's short list. But Tom let me know from the very beginning I was the only one on his list."
Hi Andrea This the first time that I've gotten to read the chat while actually going on. Do you think that Charlie Strong's turn down of Tennessee will stop or at least slow down other schools from coming after him in the future?
I don't think it will stop anybody. An AD is always going to think he has a shot no matter what happens in the past. But if Charlie has no interest, then he has got to say right off the bat, no interest, don't call me, don't talk to me, don't come near me.
Andrea, please give Rutgers fans a reason to care about the Russell bowl.
Last time you will see Khaseem Greene, Scott Vallone, Steve Beauharnais, Duron Harmon and a truly outstanding senior class. Ten win season. AND Rutgers could hand VT its first losing season since 1992. Wow. I gave you 3 reasons!
AA, I just wanted to publicly thank you for your excellent article on Charlie Strong and his decision to remain at Louisville. Some of your best writing yet, and I would say that if it was about any team's coach. :) Thank you!
That is very kind of you to say. I always appreciate the feedback, good and bad. I am just happy you guys are reading!
Thankfully the pain of this season for USF is over and we're pretty excited about getting a new coach. Do you find it rather surprising the level of interest that the USF job has gotten? A lot of people didn't think it was as attractive as it was three years ago, but now we see some pretty big name (such as Houston Nutt and Butch Davis) showing interest in the job, not to mention people like Willie Taggart (who is a really intriguing pick).
No I am not surprised at all. As I said in my column earlier this week, this is a great job. Great facilities, great recruiting area, and a conference that is pretty winnable. Lots of coaches should be interested in the job.
To Brian (DC) -- If you go to the Russell Bowl, you'll be only minutes from Big Guns herself?!?!?!
Why is Marrone afraid of West Virginia and why won't he give the trophy back when WVU shows Syracuse the Big East door? Two trophies should be given the winner IMHO.
Scared? I believe the man has beaten WVU two straight years, so ...
Hey AA, I'm just recovering from last week's heartbreak. How far back do you think the Rutgers defense will be setback with the loss of seniors?
Great question, Josh. I actually am going to do a piece at some point in the next few weeks looking at the impact of this defensive group. There are going to be a lot of unproven players next year that is for sure.
A-N-D-R-E-A- I'm still mad about the Ville Game...I hope it bothers all RU fans...we can not stand for this conservative play calling!! When your WR's average 6-4 in height.. and the majority of plays are run plays only up 14-3, Good Luck trying to beat Ohio State with HB runs up the middle on 3rd and7.. If they don't fix this now...We will be the Indiana of the B1G
Aaron, there is no excuse for Rutgers to lose that game. None.
Not trying to bang on Charlie Strong, but lets not pretend he is staying at UofL JUST because he is just a good guy. He's getting over $4-million reasons to stay. Perhaps Tennessee decided he wasn't a $4-mil a year coach.
I believe Tennessee's offer was around $4.3 from the reports I saw.
And WVU has won eight out of the last ten and it is Geno's opportunity to make things right. So what is your opinion on the decision? To me accenting the rivalry sells tickets, alienating a fan base doesn't.
Yeah I got your point. I agree the trophy should be on the line.
RU would not have lost that game if UofL didn't have a not-so-secret weapon. And you all know his name. Say it with me....TEDDY HEISMAN!a?¢ :)
I asked for that one.
Will future BE schools still be able to sign coaches of Butch Jones' caliber with Central Michigan (Jones' stop before Cincy) being able to go to the BCS just the same as Cincy, in fact with higher chances this year, as there are two champs from non-AQ above BE champ Louisville.
I think it all depends on the school, Calvin, and what it can afford to pay.
Any thoughts on how BE football scheduling will be done for 2013? Most teams certainly would enjoy having Boise as one of their home games.
According to a Tweet from Brian Murphy I just saw, the home/away schedules will be announced early next week.
Hey Andrea, I'm a Cincy fan but live down in Louisville, any word on if Butch is getting a new deal from Cincy?
He met with the school president and AD but it has been quiet on the Jones front since news early this AM that he turned down Colorado.
Kyle Flood admitted in his press conference how Bridgewater is a play maker for Louisville. Almost admitted Rutgers doesn't have a play maker at QB. Again Flood body of work for the season on the offensive side of the ball, hasn't been good. It has gotten worst as the season went on.
That was the huge disparity in that game, no question, John. I asked him about Gary yesterday and he had pleasant things to say, but again, I wonder how much the coaches have impacted how Nova has performed.
I think the reason there isnt the trophy on the line for cuse/wvu is because syracuse thought it would be disrespectful to the pinstripe bowl that they are bringing another trophy with them and would take away from the game
Yes that is what Marrone said. But honestly, my 4-year-old daughter is older than the Pinstripe Bowl! C'mon.
Early thoughts on Cincy-Duke? Duke is a good story getting to a Bowl and all... but didn't they limp down the stretch? BTW: Butch I hope you stay!!! But man you are really dragging us through h***!
I appreciate the asterisk there! Yes you are correct, Duke has lost four straight and beat one team with a losing record. I think Cincinnati is the favorite, but they have to slow down Duke's QB Sean Renfree and two great WR in Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder.
What are your thoughts about Walter Stewart? Heard he was cleared to prepare for the combine. But the original story about why he couldn't play is he had a defect since birth. I hope he is ok, but alarm bells are going off in my head. I worry for they yong man. Your thoughts?
I saw that report, Terry, and I was concerned as well. All I can say is that if he has been medically cleared to prepare, then the doctors know way more than us and are sure he will not injure himself critically if he tries to play football.
AA, is this the first time in BE history that coaches (Strong, Jones) have turned down opportunities to go to "better" schools or conferences?
I am going to write that post WHEN/IF Jones says he is staying at Cincinnati. No confirmation on that yet.
I admittedly didn't watch many RU games, but didn't Nova light it up (Teddy Heisman-style) against Arkansas? Aberration or poor coaching??
That game was a complete shoot out on both sides.
AA, do you think South Florida would be better off with a college coach or a pro coach? Seems to be no one knows who is going to get the nod.
If I was hiring somebody for a college job, I would want a college coach who has extensive recruiting ties to my area or the area I want to get players from.
Do you think Munchie is going to switch back to the WR spot for UC? He is too talented to simply sit on the bench.
I thought the same thing about Luallen! Not sure what they will do, though.
Two questions: 1. What do you think Louisville will have to do to win the Sugar bowl? 2. Are there going to be more chats leading up to and through bowl season. (I've come to enjoy these very much and appreciate your input.)
Thank you, Tim. 1. I think Louisville has to control the line of scrimmage and protect Teddy. Florida has a very strong defense so that is going to be huge if the Cards are going to be able to stay in the game. We have seen the Gators offense struggle at times with consistency, so Louisville needs to be much better up front than we have seen for most of the season in order to close up some of the running lanes for Gillislee and Driskel. 2. Yes we will continue to have our weekly chats so stay tuned!
I'll shorten my question: why does ES(EC)PN feel the need to rank the conferences? Is the master plan to become part of the BCS formula or something? Putting the Big 12 behind the Pac 12 when the computers don't is just a sign of ESPN's bias.
Master plan? Pshaw. Our Stats & Information folks put that out every week since there are always debates about the best conferences out there. I mean that is nothing new, right? They are not throwing things against a wall, they have a method and formula and I think they are pretty accurate with what they do.
How frequently do you read the nonsense that we post daily in the comments of each blog submission? Do we get you to laugh out loud?
I read some, not all. Depends on how I want my day to go :)
Who votes for the all-Big East team? Media/coaches/both? Because George Winn should be told who not to send Chrismas cards to.
Glad you asked so we can clear up any confusion. The BIG EAST COACHES vote on the team. No media.
Kentucky, Purdue and Colorado are in stronger conferences perhaps. But look at them historically and its a FAR stretch to say they are better programs. Tennessee or Wisconsin? That is another story, it gets tough for Cincinnati to compete with that. Cincy lloses Butch to one of them I can understand. Not gonna like it, but can understand. UK, PU, CU not so much. You agree?
Yes I agree.
So do you think UConn, Cincy, USF will be left out in this conference carrousel?
Trying to predict what happens with realignment is like trying to corral a pig in mud. Or something like that?
To answer your question towards the start of the chat in reference to UofL's chances at the NC game, "How will another 9-0 start be any different next year?" Pre-season ranking. As much as we all hate it, pre-season rankings do matter in this sport. So a 9-0 start next season may translate into a higher ranking than this season depending upon where they start.
Maaaaaaaaaaybe. Notre Dame was unranked and in the national title game so ... I think it really all depends. I will tell you one thing -- if Louisville starts 9-0 and wins EVERY game impressively without needing fourth-quarter comebacks against Southern Miss, then things may be moderately different.
Andrea, Loved the piece on Strong this morning. When Louisville goes to the ACC, I hope you come along as ACC blogger. After this week, is there a better AD in the game than Tom Jurich? I challenge any AD to have a better week. He's the guy I'm shocked that school's aren't chasing
He should be in contention for AD of the year, IMO.
Look at marcus Sales stats and tell me how he doesn't at least make the 2nd team
Devin Street and Mike Shanahan's numbers were just as good. I don't really have a problem with their selections to the second team.
What is the word on all of the non-contract / non-access bowls when BCS 2.0 starts in 2014? Are they all up for new tie-ins??
Yes they would all be up for new agreements. Nothing has been announced just yet with those games.
All right, everyone thanks for joining me today. Another great chat, see you again next week!